Thursday, April 26, 2007


This is going to sound a bit too much like BLDGBLOG, but it's late and it's what I'm thinking about.

Artificial intelligence researchers love to compare intelligence to animals. "Human intelligence is 50 years away," they might say, "but something equivalent to a rat or small dog is just around the corner." This is an easy analog that anyone can understand (and also acknowledges the subjectivity of measuring intelligence.)

While I still can't quite imagine my trash can or car exhibiting any kind of animal intelligence (or I am too afraid to really consider it), I find the idea that my house is as smart as my dog to be almost plausible. There are, after all, lots of places in my house that I've never seen, and plenty of things that it does that are beyond my consideration. It makes noise on it's own from only solar and wind energy (especially at night), and has lived for over 60 years. Probably half of the elements on the periodic table are in my house. In short, it is ancient, unpredictable, and immensely complex. For all I know it's doing the domestic equivalent of wagging its tail right now.

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