Although it is convenient for experimental purposes to think of perception in stimulus-response terms, the immense contribution of stored data, required for prediction, makes us see perception as largely cognitive. Although there must be physiological mechanisms to carry out the cognitive logical processes, of generalising and selecting stored data, the concepts we need for understanding what the physiology is carrying out are not part of physiology. This makes parallel processing convenient for biological computing, and serial computing more convenient for man-made computers. If so, biological perception seems to demonstrate powers of parallel processing, while computers demonstrate very different powers of serial processing.
Sociologists are concerned to predict the effect of changes on future society.But is prediction in principle possible when intelligence is involved? Ifintelligence is the production of novelty, accurate prediction might seem to bestrictly impossible. However this may be, it seems that the present troubleabout social prediction is simply that there are no adequate theoreticalmodels of societies. This means that politicians are almost powerless topredict, plan, or control, except with incredible errors. We find ourselves injust this position in trying to assess the implications of future intelligence.Machine Intelligence 6