One thing keeps me out of the strong ai camp... i find Roger Penrose's argument in The Emporer's New Mind quite compelling ( it's a long time since i read it but as i recall it's essentially that our brains are at a very deep level quantum mechanical and
non-deterministic and can never be accurately simulated by a deterministic machine in a reasonable time )....
I worry about the term 'deterministic'. I beleive everything is deterministic unless it takes state from outside itself.
If you consider 'the universe' (i.e. everything) there is nowhere to draw state from. Thus, the universe is deterministic.
The best argument for this is the past. You can't change the past. It has happened. The future will become the past. Sure, there are all sorts of weirdisms about frames of reference, and we have difficulty in breaking down and modelling the very small aspects
of things in our universe (our crude approximations are proving useful though). But there is only one past that affects me, the past shapes me (action/reaction), so everything in the universe is 'deterministic' (this doesn't mean there can't exist 'other universes'
or 'parallel universes', it just means that 'my universe' is everything that can impact me).
So the universe is a state machine in a constant state of flux. We can never really 'prove' the rules, but we can observe what the rules 'tend to be'. I can't think of any way to 'similate' or 'pre-determine' what the universe will do, because the only stuff
that I have available to work with also exists in the universe (matter, energy, etc.) and if it didn't then I wouldn't be able to use it, because as soon as it affected me it would be impacting the universe and have to be counted as a part of it. But just
because I can't pre-determine the outcome (i.e. the future) it doesn't mean the furture is not deterministic.
I think we (as humans) need to get over ourselves. We're not that sophisticated. We're "just a virus spamming the universe with rough copies of ourselves". Anyway, since that's what we're doing, I wish we'd hurry up and get off Earth. I hope an inter-planetary
settlement operation takes place during my life time..
My big philosophical thing these days centres on language. Am I really communicating with you, such that we are actually doing something 'meaningful', or am I just using symbols that based on my experience are likely to cause you to react in a way that I suspect
is likely to be favorable to my existance in the long term?