Introduction to Philosophy 1101
February 23, 2013
The year is 2013 and technology dominates our day and age. Our society is turning to one that requires some sort of technology to survive. One may argue that a lot of people have cell phones or know how to use one. That can range from a ten year old child, to an eighty-five year old grandmother. One may also argue that most households have either a television or computer or even both in most cases. The use of technology in people’s lives is growing and therefore the demand for technological products. Children are addicted to playing games on their PlayStation or texting their buddies and their parents are busy sending emails and checking stocks on their iPads’. With this steady growth in usage of technology in people’s lives, the demand for these machines is also growing. Competitors selling these machines compete to make their products better than the rest of the sellers, constantly keeping them updated and in tune with what people would want to see in these machines and what they need from them. For example, let us look at “SIRI,” which is software developed by the company Apple. It is an intelligent personal assistant which is used in Apple products. Siri is given a woman’s voice and uses it to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of Web services. Most machines in this generation are equipped with this personal assistant ability or something very similar. This new recent development in machines has stirred a very interesting debate amongst philosophers. That debate is whether or not machines have the ability to think.
Alan Turning, who was a computer scientist, wrote a 950 page paper in the 1950s, about a way to test whether machines can actually think. It became known as the Turning Test for Thinking Machines. In his paper Turning also outlines some objections people had to machine...