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Artificial Ntelligence Essay

1829 words - 8 pages

Artificial Intelligence: Watch Out!
Over the years, the thought of computers becoming out equal or taking over has been a major concern. The procedural knowledge that is programmed into machines, such as computers and robots, is known as artificial intelligence. In “The AI Revolution is On,” Steven Levy describes artificial intelligence as machines that do “human-like tasks in ways that people never could” using skills that are programmed into them without “re-creating the brain” (210). Although the information that is processed by humans and machines is done differently, the outcome remains the same. With artificial intelligence on the rise, the competition for jobs are greater than ever ...view middle of the document...

Therefore, Watson’s ability to answer questions had more to do with it being able to manipulate the symbols, which were the Jeopardy! questions.
After Watson’s win on Jeopardy IBM received both positive and negative responses. Fish responds to Watson’s success by calling Watson “a bigger and fancier version” of his laptops program. He goes on to say that the win was “impressive, but a wholly formal achievement that involves no knowledge (the computer doesn’t know anything in the relevant sense of “know”). Finally, Fish describes Watson’s achievement as not coming “within a million miles of replicating the achievements of everyday human thoughts” (217-218). Searle responds to Watson’s win by giving credit to the programmers by stating, “A computer’s effectiveness is a function of the skill of the programmers designing the program” (215). Searle basically says that how the computer works is only a reflection of the programmers skills and “the designing program used” (215). In “Watson Is Far from Elementary” Stephen Baker reports on feedback posted on blogs and opinion pages, he found comments like “Watson doesn’t ‘know’ anything” being said. Baker found that people were also saying Watson doesn’t have human like characteristics, for example, “it can’t laugh at jokes, can’t carry on conversations, nor does it have a sense of self” (218). However, Baker recognizes the significance and value of what Watson did and suggests to not think of computers as “human wannabes but rather as powerful tools, ones that can handle jobs currently held by people” (219). Very soon these “question-answering machines” will be working next to us in “offices and laboratories” forcing us to change the way we learn and how we think (218). Clearly, despite criticism, Watson’s success is just the beginning of what technology will be able to do.
With the information that humans are taught over the years, they learn to retain and recall it, whereas machines are just programmed to compute answers. Searle describes the differences between the brain and digital computers by explaining that the brain “causes consciousness, understanding and all the rest of it” and a digital computer “is too much of a machine to have human understanding” (216). In other words, the brain is the cause of humans being able to comprehend and have emotions, whereas computers can’t do those things because they’re only programmed to complete tasks. Searle describes “actual human thinking” as “a concrete biological phenomenon existing in actual human brains” (216). Computers simply cannot do a lot of human like things. One of those things is the ability to understand; according to Searle, computers, like Watson, are not designed to understand; instead they are created “to simulate understanding,” to give off the impression that it could understand. Searle also explains that the reason computers “lack understanding is because they have no way to get from symbols to meanings” (215-216). So not only does...

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