Artificial Intelligence Searle vs Dennet

Topics: Philosophy of mind, Chinese room, Functionalism Pages: 4 (1173 words) Published: February 24, 2014
Philosophy Assignment Three
Proving Artificial Intelligence

For many years one of the greatest debates between many notable philosophers has been the nature of Artificial Intelligence. Much of this debate has been centered around whether or not this Artificial Intelligence is capable of concious thought or that it simply just appears to think and is not actually conscious in the same way as is a human brain. In this paper I will take into acount the views of William Lycan, John Searle and later argue on behalf of Daniel Dennet to prove that a conscious robot is possible.

First I will begin with William Lycan's view in favour of Artificial Intelligence. Lycan supports the functionalist view that brain states are not identical to mental states. Functionalism is the belief that saying “I'm in pain” is not the same as saying “the C-fibers in my brain are firing”. In essence, neurological states help to bring about mental states, which then lead to behavior. Lycan also supports the possibility of Artifical Intelligence, which is the possibility that a machine can “think” in the same way humans can. He argues that computers are intelligent in the sense that they can register, store, manage and use information, but he believes that their ability to seek out information is limited, they have no goals or purposes, and they only know what they are programmed to understand, they do not have an internal sense of themselves. Some limitations to this Artificial Intelligence include facts that computers must be fed information, as they cannot choose what they are given, and the effectiveness of the information they are given is up to their programmer. In order for Lycan to back up his argument of human intelligence, he introduces a character by the name of Harry, who is engineered to be similar to humans with life-like skin and biology. Lycan stated that Harry would be treated as a person, but there are some reasons to believe that this robot is not...

References: Dennett, D. (1991). Consciousness imagined. Consciousness Explained, , 431-440.
Hauser, L. Chinese room argument. Retrieved from:
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