SciTech Connect

Title: Is the brain's mind a computer program

Is the brain's mind a computer program In recent decades, the question of whether a machine can think has been given a different interpretation entirely. The question that has been posed in its place is, Could a machine think just by virtue of implementing a computer program Is the program by itself constitutive of thinking This is a completely different question because it is not about the physical, causal properties of actual or possible physical systems but rather about the abstract, computational properties of formal computer programs that can be implemented in any sort of substance at all, provided only that the substance is able to carry the program. A fair number of researchers in artificial intelligence (AI) believe the answer to the second question is yes. They believe further-more that they have a scientific test for determining success or failure: the Turing test devise by Alan M. Turing, the founding father of artificial intelligence. The Turing test, as currently understood, is simply this: if a computer can perform is such a way that an expert cannot distinguish its performance from that of a human who has a certain cognitive ability-say, the ability to do addition or to understand Chinese - then the computer also has that more » ability. So the goal is to design programs that will simulate human cognition in such a way as to pass the Turing test. What is more, such a program would not merely be a model of the mind; it would literally be a mind, in the same sense that a human mind is a mind. By no means does every worker in artificial intelligence accept so extreme a view. A more cautious approach is to think of computer models as being useful in studying the mind in the same way that they are useful in studying the weather, economics or molecular biology. To distinguish these two approaches, the authors call the first strong AI and the second weak AI. It is important to see just how bold an approach strong AI is. « less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:OSTI ID: 5305098
Resource Type:Journal Article
Resource Relation:Journal Name: Science (Washington, D.C.); (United States); Journal Volume: 262:1
Country of Publication:United States
Language:English
Subject: 99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS//MATHEMATICS, COMPUTING, AND INFORMATION SCIENCE; ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE; FEASIBILITY STUDIES; BRAIN; COMPUTER CODES; DIGITAL COMPUTERS; LEARNING; NEURAL NETWORKS; PARALLEL PROCESSING; BODY; CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM; COMPUTERS; NERVOUS SYSTEM; ORGANS; PROGRAMMING 990200* -- Mathematics & Computers