The difference I’m not seeing

“Intelligence,” said my old professor, “is the ability to perceive differences.” ┬áThat was back in about 1979, when the thought of building Artificial Intelligence was still science fiction. Today, we can make rudimentary AI, though HAL 9000 is a long way off – to say nothing of Commander Data.

But I’ll be jiggered if I can perceive the difference between the accidental overspray left behind on a sidewalk from somebody’s project, and the full-abstract art that hangs in some parts of the gallery. Could we train a computer to do it? I doubt that rules of distinction could be articulated. I suppose the computer would just have to earn a MA in Fine Arts, just like us meatbags.

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