Artificial Intelligence

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    Dembski, William A.

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    Are We Spiritual Machines?: A response to Ray Kurzweil's Age of Spiritual Machines

    "According to The Age of Spiritual Machines, machine intelligence is the next great step in the evolution of intelligence. That man is the most intelligent being at the moment is simply an accident of natural history. Human beings need to be transcended, not by going beyond matter, but by reinstantiating themselves in more efficient forms of matter, to wit, the computer. Kurzweil claims that in the next thirty or so years we shall be able to scan our brains, upload them onto a computer, and thereafter continue our lives as virtual persons running as programs on machines. Since the storage and processing capacities of these virtual persons will far exceed that of the human brain, they will quickly take the lead in all aspects of society. Those humans who refuse to upload themselves will be left in the dust, becoming "pets," as Kurzweil puts it, of the newly evolved computer intelligences."
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    Dembski, William A.

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    Conflating Matter and Mind

    "I've been asked to respond to criticisms of my paper 'Converting Matter into Mind' (PSCS, Dec90). My reaction to these criticisms is this: 'Yes, I could have been more careful in some details and choice of terminology, but the substance of my position is unaffected.' The critics were guilty of two faults. First was a failure to read my work with sufficient care. Thus I've been charged with among other things failing adequately to distinguish cognitive science from artificial intelligence and failing properly to understand supervenience in relation to the hierarchical levels constituting the human person-points I took pains to clarify so as not to be misunderstood. Second was the allegation that I claimed to prove more than I actually proved. Thus Gregory Clark contends that 'Dembski has not proven that, from God's perspective, to be valuable is to be intelligent,' when such a demonstration was not my intention. In the sequel I want both to recapitulate my arguments and to clarify my motives for writing 'Converting Matter into Mind' (henceforth abbreviated CMIM)."
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    Dembski, William A.

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    Converting Matter into Mind: Alchemy and the Philosopher's Stone in Cognitive Science

    "Just as alchemy was legitimized when it gave up its grandiose ambitions and turned to chemistry, so too, one may hope, cognitive science will cast off its pretensions and turn to what I have called the science of cognition. In taking information processing as its paradigm for examining human cognition, the science of cognition is a branch of computer science-it is legitimate and cannot be impugned. I encourage scientists to press on in the science of cognition and determine just how much of human cognition can be represented computationally. Such a research programme does not threaten me. I am, however, committed to viewing computers and the programs they run as tools for my intellect, much as hammers are tools for my hands, and not as my peers. Cognitive science degenerates into a spurious philosophical enterprise when computers are no longer viewed as tools, but as potential peers or superiors."
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    Dembski, William A.

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    The Primacy of the First Person: Reply to Ray Kurzweil

    "What have evolutionary computation and neural nets bought us? They've given us some nifty pattern recognition software. They've given us novel airplane wing designs, crooked wire genetic antennas, and world-class chess playing programs. They've solved some interesting problems. What I haven't found them to do, however, is invent complex multipart devices whose components all need to be in place for the devices to function. Nor have I found them to solve the frame problem, understand language above the level of a three-year old, or compose a Chopin prelude. In short, nothing I've seen to date leads me to believe that intelligence can properly be subsumed under complexity or computation."