Can computers think independently and do they have "minds"? This question has been the topic of countless, bad movies since the 1950s as well as a number of science fiction novels. We all believe that we have minds. It is something that is taken for granted but what exactly is a mind and are humans the only to possess them? Ever since the invention of the computer, they have been a mystery, even to the smartest of scientists. With the ongoing development of artificial intelligence and high population of computer literate people, the possibility of computers with minds must be re-evaluated. The initial question that must be answered before tackling the mind/computer problem is how do you define a mind? This is something that philosophers have been trying to answer for hundreds of years, long before the invention of the computer. Renee Descartes supported the concept of dualism' which is the belief that the mind is a separate non-physical entity associated with the body during its life. On the other hand, behaviorism holds the notion that the mind does not exist but rather patterns of behavior and our pre-dispositions to such behavior. Functionalism is another school of thought that has come to light recently and draws its theory from computer technology. Functionalism believes that the mind is simply a program and the body, its hardware. With all the different theories, none of them have been able to answer the question on whether computers are similar enough to the human brain to have intelligence. The think the simplest definition for intelligence is the ability to adapt. You can tell a computer to go to a specific IP address but if IBM's address is no longer www.ibm.com, the computer does not know how to find the new one. More specifically, it can be said that intelligence is the to take into consideration the circumstances of completing a certain task. Alan Turing, a mathematician, sought to answer the question on whether or not computers possess...
Bibliography: 1. http://www.siam.org/siamnews/bookrevs/CHESSIDE.HTM, Retrieved July 17, 2005
2. http://www.research.ibm.com/deepblue/, Retrieved July 17, 2005
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