Monthly Archives: March 2015

Do Wizards Believe in Magic?

A more-than-somewhat oblique look at the issues of trying to define machine ‘intelligence’

Two hobbits are sat in a tavern in a quiet backwater of The Shire. After a prolonged silence devoted to the appreciation of their mugs of Bucktooth’s Old Tawny, one turns lazily to the other and mumbles …

“I see the Rollyberry Magic Man’s been caught out once and for all!”
“How’s that?”
asks the other.
“Those acorns he was making appear out of thin air … Turned out he had them stuffed up his sleeves all along.”
“So, he’s a fake then?”
“S’pose so. Doesn’t surprise me though. I always had my suspicions about that bloke. Old Bill Gamwise reckons, when he made that fire appear from nowhere, he had a contraption made out of flints in his pocket.”
“Hmm, so probably all the magic he’s done has been phoney then?”
“Yep, reckon so … “

A further period of ‘reflection’ follows … Eventually …

“So, do you think there really IS any magic then?”

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