SYMBOLIC PROCESSING 2)3)
D. GREGORY writes: "A great deal of mischief and unnecessary excitement has been caused through the use of the phrase symbolic processing. Symbolic processing, as distinct from number crunching is what powerful Lisp machines were manufactured for. The focus of the distinction is the realization that computers are not restricted to the manipulation of numbers, but rather, they can be made to manipulate any kind of symbol which mayor may not represent a number. What is overlooked of course, is that the difference is a difference in our eyes only: the machine is in no position to care one way or the other whether what it manipulates appears to us as a number or a word. And it does not care because what it manipulates has no ultimate meaning for it.
"To a machine, the symbols it shunts around are syntactic patterns: it is only when a user interacts with the machine that the patterns are given some final symbolic value that finds existence at a semantic experience in the user".
"… It is the key to understanding how PASK's cybernetics is quite different to the A.I. enterprise" (1993, p.63)
In other words, by careless use of terminology, man puts unwittingly his own ghost in the machine and mistakes it for real.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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