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starship-design: unmanned missions, AI, etc.

since we're on the subj. of computers, some words from an AI optimist-
	The criterion of machine "intelligence" is not that it think the smae
way as a human being, or be "creative" (tho' some do write music and
make art)  The vaunted "Turing Test" has its place if the goal were to
simulate _human_ intelligence, but why do that when real humans are
plentiful and cheap?  Computers augment our abilities in that their
internal processes, and therefore strengths, are so alien from ours. 
even the neurons and transistors are fundamentally different.  
	little creativity is required for space flight, a far more valuable
skill is vigilance and the ability to both react to danger and pursue
the mission objectives.  A computer program which analyzes input to
design an optimal orbit for radar mapping a planet or one for avoiding
asteroids could be fairly small, and do a better job than astronauts.
Human creativity is much less efficient than a large computer running a
big decision tree, or a family of daemons which respond to situations as
they occur.  In fact, i challenge the group to concieve of a scenario
during an interstellar mission which a human crew's decisions would be
better than a computer's, such that the superiority could justify the
added weight, cost, risk, and general pain in the neck which astronauts
Nels Lindberg