Many thanks for taking the time to read the article and write a response — both are very much appreciated.
I’m afraid that I’m not sure I agree with your analogy as far as I understand it.
I am not making a phiosophical argument that general AI is in principle impossible — merely pointing out that the way that people are going about to attempt to create such a thing are without a decent model of what ‘intelligence’ is, and that, as such, their efforts are likely to be inadequate.
At the same time I’d also note that the efforts to date seem to rely upon a set of assumptions about ‘intelligence’ that are at best groundless, or, at worse, obviously false, and then sketching out some possible ways to think about ‘intelligence’ and how it was brought about that might be more productive.
I don’t really have a strong view about the specific physical properties of ‘intelligent’ things — indeed, on a good day I’d be inclined to classify ant colonies as ‘intelligent’ — even though they’re not even unified physical objects.
My point is more that anything that we do classify as ‘intelligent’ has to date always been a physical product of the process of evolution with a stake in the world through its propogation by reproduction, and that this might be the intrinsic grounding of ‘intelligence’ — for anything to be ‘intelligent’ it has to be a physical object embedded in the world with a stake or independent interest in it.
I’m not really that bothered whether that’s made of carbon or meat or silicon or ants; but I don’t think its just a bunch of non-embedded 1s and 0s on a punch card, or a magnetic tape, or a hard drive or a processor of whatever physical composition that might be cited.
And I don’t really care about ‘minds’ or brains all that much — ravens are ‘intelligent’, but I’m not hung up on attributing minds to them; and I don’t really mind if you don’t think I’ve a mind or not, it’s rather beside the point I was attempting to make.
Hope that clarifies my intent a little more clearly and apologies if I was not clearer earlier.