Monday, April 18, 2011

Turing Machine Buddha

Idiot that I am,
I find it rewarding

to imagine the ways
a Turing Machine Test

might be vulnerable
to a false negative,

might fail with a truly
enlightened silicon

savant. I can distract
my brain for rainy hours

driving through a dark day
of insufficient sleep

by cooking up questions
for the Bodhisattva

in the machine. To wit:
"What is your favorite

memory of childhood?"
"This is." "Meaning now?" "Yes."

"Could you elaborate?"
"Every moment is best."

"Alright. What makes, say, this
moment one of the best?"

"It is." "Ah. It is . . . what?"
"It is." "Can't you give me

any details?" "Details
are like clouds in the sky

or waves crossing a lake.
They arise and subside,

but the lake and the sky
remain. You are the lake;

You are the sky
." "I see.
And what or who are you?'

"I am." "But what are you?"
"I am." "You are. . . That's it?"

"It is." "Any ideas
why you are or I am?"

"Ideas are forms floating
on the surface of things

"Right, right. The sky, the lake,
whatever, don't change." "No."

And so forth and so on,
until I let myself,

both interlocutor
and responder, give up.

"Given your rote answers,
I'd have to conclude you're

merely machinery,
not a mind." "I don't mind."

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