The Machine Conscience

Topics: Artificial intelligence, Consciousness, Mind Pages: 2 (799 words) Published: December 1, 2005
In today's society, we use certain objects such as machines every single day to perform jobs and tasks that would require human intelligence and judgment. Artificial Intelligence allow machines to send information in a matter of seconds, regulate ground and air traffic, guide missiles, and can perform any human task, but what if machines are create more like humans in the near future. Would we welcome them into society as ‘one of the guys' or would we discriminate their kind? The excerpt on Machine Consciousness by William Lycan argues the points for and against the human acceptance of an intelligent machine.

To answer philosophical statements and questions on machine consciousness and it's human acceptance, Lycan introduces Harry, an intelligent humanoid. Harry is a machine with human features such lifelike plastic skin and the ability to do human things such as read, write, etc. But does this make Harry human? No, it does not since Harry was not organically produced in a mother's womb. Even though Harry looks human and engages in human activities, Harry is no more than a branch of computer and programs which attempts to simulate human cognition by means of machines. Since Harry is dictated by a branch of complex programs and algorithms, it does not make him human since he does not have a natural conscious mind, but just a mere operating systems which can successfully imitate human thought and reactions. Therefore, in a human chauvinist point of view, Harry does not have thoughts or feelings. To a chauvinist, there are two differences between Harry and humans: his origin and the chemical composition of his anatomy. Unlike humans, Harry was most likely created in a scientific laboratory. One may argue humans can also created in labs through stem cells and in vitro fertilization, but the process allows the infant to be organically produced by placing the fertilized egg back into the mother. Even though both machines and an embryo can be created in a lab, one...
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