What would it take for AI to become lively and human-like? in Intellectual Stuff: Philosophy, Science, Technology Posted Friday at 03:42 PM · Edited Saturday at 12:04 AM by DocWatts To add to what's already been brought up, John Verveake covers the Relevance Realization problem in a ton of detail in his 'Awakening from the Meaning Crisis' series. The philosopher Hubert Dreyfus also addresses this in his book 'What Computers (Still) Can't Do'. But the gist of it is that Reality is disclosed to human beings in a way that what's relevant about a situation we're absorbed in tends to be immediately apparent without us having to apply rules. The reason that is so is that having a body with needs requires a practical ontology (an understanding of Being) for the purposes of survival, where what Reality *is* on an experiential level is going to be coupled to what kind of creature one is. 'Being' in this context referring to our pre-reflective, nonconceptual understanding of people and objects. Being is the most foundatioal way we're able to understand a tree as a tree, a human face as a human face. It's what allows what we come across to be meaningful for us, and is pre-supposed by other forms of understanding. When we do step back and refer to rules, it tends to be because our normal ways of skillful coping have become disrupted (such as when you run into a highly novel or unexpected situation) or when one is an absolute beginner in some domain. Digital computers operate on different axiomatic principles than living organisms, and need to use deterministic rules to interact with their environments. The problem with using rules to try to determine what's relevant is that you also end up needing rules to apply the rules, then rules to apply those rules, ad infinitum. This presents an intractable problem for AI because determining which of the innumerable features of one's environment are relevant for a particular purpose comes from a capacity for Care, not from applying rules. Organisms including human beings do not have this problem because our experience of Reality comes pre-structured so that what's relevant for our interests and purposes tends to be immediately obvious. Which is the reason why most of what you accomplish in your day to day life (walking down the stairs, brushing your teeth, recognizing faces, etc) is done almost effortlessly, without relying on any rules.