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The long-term goal of artificial intelligence is to create a thinking machine that is intelligent, has consciousness, has the ability to learn, has free will and is ethical. The field involves several disciplines such as philosophy, psychology, linguistics, machine vision, cognitive science, mathematics, logic and ethics. Artificial intelligence is a young field, and the term was coined by John McCarthy and others in 1956. Alan Turing had earlier devised the Turing test as a way to test the intelligent behaviour of a machine. There are deep philosophical problems in artificial intelligence, and some researchers believe that its goals are impossible or incoherent. These views are shared by Hubert Dreyfus and John Searle. Even if artificial intelligence is possible, there are moral issues to consider such as the exploitation of artificial machines by humans and whether it is ethical to do this. Weizenbaum has argued that artificial intelligence is unethical.
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This long-term goal may be hundreds or even thousands of years.
Weizenbaum was a psychologist who invented the ELIZA program. This program simulated a psychologist in dialogue with a patient. He was initially an advocate of artificial intelligence but later became a critic.
An automaton is a self-operating machine or mechanism that behaves and responds in a mechanical way.
This long-term goal may be hundreds of years as there is unlikely to be an early breakthrough in machine intelligence as there are deep philosophical problems to be solved. It took the human species hundreds of thousands of years to evolve to its current levels of intelligence.
Russell is said to have remarked that he was delighted to see that the Principia Mathematica could be done by machine, and that if he and Whitehead had known this in advance, they would not have wasted 10 years doing this work by hand in the early twentieth century. The LT program succeeded in proving 38 of the 52 theorems in Chap. 2 of Principia Mathematica. Its approach was to start with the theorem to be proved and to then search for relevant axioms and operators to prove the theorem.
Of course, the machine would somehow need to know what premises are relevant and should be selected for to apply the deductive method from the many premises that are already encoded.
Common sense includes basic facts about events, beliefs, actions, knowledge and desires. It also includes basic facts about objects and their properties.
I don’t believe that Searle’s argument proves that strong AI is impossible. However, I am not expecting to see intelligent machines anytime soon.
The term ‘Miletians’ refers to inhabitants of the Greek city state Miletus which is located in modern Turkey. Anaximander and Anaximenes were two other Miletians who made contributions to early Greek philosophy approx 600 B.C.
Plato was an idealist, that is, that reality is in the world of ideas rather than the external world. Realists (in contrast) believe that the external world corresponds to our mental ideas.
Berkeley was an Irish philosopher (not British). He was born in Dysart castle in Kilkenny, Ireland; educated at Trinity College, Dublin; and served as bishop of Cloyne in Co. Cork. He planned to establish a seminary in Bermuda for the sons of colonists in America, but the project failed due to lack of funding from the British government. Berkeley University in San Francisco is named after him.
Berkeley’s theory of ontology is that for an entity to exist, it must be perceived, that is, ‘ Esse est percipi’. He argues that ‘It is an opinion strangely prevailing amongst men, that houses, mountains, rivers, and in a world all sensible objects have an existence natural or real, distinct from being perceived’.
This led to a famous Limerick that poked fun at Berkeley’s theory. ‘There once was a man who said God; Must think it exceedingly odd; To find that this tree, continues to be; When there is no one around in the Quad’.
The reply to this Limerick was appropriately: ‘Dear sir, your astonishments odd; I am always around in the Quad; And that’s why this tree will continue to be; Since observed by, yours faithfully, God’.
Hume argues that these principles apply to subjects such as Theology as its foundations are in faith and divine revelation which are neither matters of fact nor relations of ideas.
‘When we run over libraries, persuaded of these principles, what havoc must we make? If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion’.
Merleau-Ponty was a French philosopher who was strongly influenced by the phenomenology of Husserl. He was also closely associated with the French existentialist philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone De Beauvoir.
Atomism actually goes back to the work of the ancient Greeks and was originally developed by Democritus and his teacher Leucippus in the fifth century B.C. Atomism was rejected by Plato in the dialogue the Timaeus.
Cybernetics was defined by Couffignal (one of its pioneers) as the art of ensuring the efficacy of action.
The first AI therapist was the ELIZA program produced by Weizenbaum in the mid-1960s.
These are essentially the transmission lines of the nervous system. They are microscopic in diameter and conduct electrical impulses. The axon is the output from the neuron, and the dendrites are input.
Dendrites extend like the branches of a tree. The origin of the word dendrite is from the Greek word (δενδρον) for tree.
The brain works through massive parallel processing.
The firing of a neuron means that it sends off a new signal with a particular strength (or weight).
Berkeley, G.: Principles of Human Knowledge. Oxford University Press, Oxford (1999) (Originally published in 1710)
Descartes, R.: Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy. Translated by Donald Cress, 4th edn. Hackett Publishing Company, Indianapolis (1999)
Goedel, K.: Undecidable Propositions in Arithmetic. Über formal unentscheidbare Sätze der Principia Mathematica und verwandter Systeme, I. Monatshefte für Mathematik und Physik 38, 173–198 (1931) CrossRef
Hume, D.: An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding. Digireads.com, Stillwell (2006) (Originally published in 1748)
Critique of Pure Reason. Immanuel Kant. Dover Publications (2003)
McCarthy, J.: Programs with common sense. In: Proceedings of the Teddington Conference on the Mechanization of Thought Processes. Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, London (1959)
Newell, A., Simon, H.: The logic theory machine. IRE Trans. Inf. Theory 2, 61–79 (1956) CrossRef
Russell, B., Whitehead, A.: Principia Mathematica. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1910) MATH
Searle, J.: Minds, brains, and programs. Behav. Brain Sci. 3, 417–457 (1980) CrossRef
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