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This chapter presents a short history of artificial intelligence, and we discuss the Turing Test, which is a test of machine intelligence. We discuss strong and weak AI, where strong AI considers an AI programmed computer to be essentially a mind, whereas weak AI considers a computer to simulate thought without real understanding. We discuss Searle’s Chinese room, which is a rebuttal of strong AI, and we discuss philosophical issues in AI and Weizenbaum’s views on the ethics of AI. There are many subfields in AI and we discuss logic, neural networks and expert systems.
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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.
Weizenbaum was a psychologist who invented the ELIZA program, which simulated a psychologist in dialogue with a patient. He was initially an advocate of artificial intelligence but later became a critic.
Descartes’ ontological argument is similar to St. Anselm’s argument on the existence of God, and implicitly assumes existence as a predicate (which was refuted by Kant).
An automaton is a self-operating machine or mechanism that behaves and responds in a mechanical way.
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 in applying 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.
Rogerian psychotherapy (person-centred therapy) was developed by Carl Rodgers in the 1940s.
Eliza Doolittle was a working-class character in Shaw’s play Pygmalion. She is taught to speak with an upper-class English accent.
The term ‘Milesians’ refers to inhabitants of the Greek city-state Miletus which is located in modern Turkey. Anaximander and Anaximenes were two other Milesians who made contributions to early Greek philosophy approx 600 B.C.
Plato was an idealist: i.e. 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 and he was born in Dysart castle in Kilkenny, Ireland. He was 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: i.e. ‘ 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.
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).
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