Comment on @JimSpohrer: Quality of life thru the ages

@jimspohrer Thanks for pointer to 2011 book by Hubert Dreyfus, found link to commentary on Watson at Jeopardy Challenge

via Twitter / @JimSpohrer: Quality of life thru the a ….

Quality of life thru the ages Berkeleys Dreyfus recommended my current reading – after Watson Smart Machine discussion

Commentary from Kelly and Dreyfus about Watson on Jeopardy challenge at Watson Still Can’t Think –

The adaptive, responsive, biologically inspired robots that Brooks and others have built may not inhabit the same world that we humans do. And to the extent that they have purposes, projects and expectations they are probably not much like ours. For one thing, although they respond to the physical world rather well, they tend to be oblivious to the global, social moods in which we find ourselves embedded essentially from birth, and in virtue of which things matter to us in the first place. Despite these perhaps insurmountable deficiencies, we find this approach to be a possible step in the right direction. But whether or not it is ultimately successful, the embodied AI paradigm is irrelevant to Watson. After all, Watson has no useful bodily interaction with the world at all. [….]

The greatest danger of Watson’s victory is not that it proves machines could be better versions of us, but that it tempts us to misunderstand ourselves as poorer versions of them.

From “Watson Still Can’t Think” | Sean Dorrance Kelly and Hubert Dreyfus | February 28, 2011 | New York Times at Sean Dorrance Kelly and Hubert Dreyfus at

Synopsis of latest Dreyfus writing at Book Review – All Things Shining – By Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly –

Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly … two distinguished philosophers from the heart of the profession offer a meditation on the meaning of life, in a sharp, engaging style that will appeal to readers both within the academy and beyond it. They provide a compressed narrative of changes in Western understanding of human existence over the course of nearly three millenniums, and argue that reading great works of literature allows us to rediscover the reverence, gratitude and amazement that were available in Homeric times. These qualities, they believe, can be cultivated to provide a bulwark against the nihilism they rightly view as threatening our ability to lead meaningful lives in the 21st century. “The gods have not withdrawn or abandoned us,” they conclude. “We have kicked them out.”

From “What It All Means” | Susan Neiman | January 20, 2011 | New York Times Sunday Book Review at


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