The question of whether a computer has a mind

Saul McLeodpublished The mind is about mental processes, thought and consciousness. The body is about the physical aspects of the brain-neurons and how the brain is structured.

The question of whether a computer has a mind

The question of whether a mechanical device could ever be said to think—to experience feelings, or to have a mind—is not really new one. But it has been given a new impetus, even an urgency, by the advent of modern computer technology.

The question touches upon deep issues of philosophy.

Transforming Consciousness through Ritual Body Postures

What does it mean to think or to feel? What is a mind? Does mind really exist? Assuming that they do, to what extent are minds functionally dependent upon the physical structures with with they are associated? Might mind be able to exist quite independently of such structures? Or are they simply the functionings of physical structures?

In any case, is it necessary that the relevant structures be biological in nature brainsor might mind be equally well be associated with pieces of electronic equipments? These are among the issues, I shall be attempting to address in this article.

Consider a hypothetical case in which a new model of computer has come on the market, with a size of memory store and numbers of arithmetic and logical units in excess of those in a human brain. Suppose also that these computers have been carefully programmed and fed with a great quantities of data of an appropriate kind.

Question | Definition of Question by Merriam-Webster

The manufacturers are claiming that the devices actually think. They are also claiming them to be genuinely intelligent. Or they may go further and make the suggestion that the devices actually feel — pleasure, pain, compassion, pride, etc.

Indeed, the claim seems to be being made that they are conscious. Ordinarily, when we purchase a piece of machinery, we judge its worth soleny according to the service it provides us.

If it satisfactorily performs the task we set it, then we all well pleased. In other words, we ask the computer to produce human-like answers to any question that we may care to put to it and if it answers our questions in a way indistinquishable from human being, then the claims that it indeed thinks or feels, understans, etc.

The question of whether a computer has a mind

To verify this claim, the computer together with some human volunteer, are both to be hidden from the view of some perceptive interrogator. The interrogator has to try to decide which of the two is the computer and which is the human being merely by putting probing questions to each of them.

These questions, but more importantly the answers that the interrogator receives, are all transmitted in a impersonal fashion, say typed on a keyboard and displayed on a screen. The interrogator is allowed no information about either party other than that obtained merely from this question and answer session.

If in the course of a series of such tests the interrogator in unable to identify the real human subject in any consistent way, then the computer is deemed to have passed the test. Now, it might be argued that this test is actually quite unfair on the computer.

For if the roles were reversed so that the human subject instead were being asked to pretend to be a computer and the computer instead to answer truthfully, then it would be only too easy for the interrogator to find out which is which.

The question of whether a computer has a mind

All that he would need to do would be to ask the subject to perform some very complicated arithmetic calculation. A good computer should be able to answer accurately at once, but a human would be easily stumped.

One might have to be a little careful about this, however. For example, Tathagat Avtar Tulsi, a PhD student in the department of physics, Indian Institute of Science, is able to multiply any two random number in less than a minute.

For if the interrogator were to ask the computer a complicated arithmetical question then the computer must now have to pretend not to be able to answer it, and though this may give an eerie impression that the computer has some understanding, infact it has none, and is merely following some simple mechanical rules.

Even though the black side has more powerful pieces left two rooks and a bishopthere is no way for them to get through the white pawns and place the white king in checkmate — they cannot take any of the white pawns — and the white king is safe as long as he remains behind the pawns, moving around freely.

Well, yes, it is a stalemate, but that is better than utter defeat.


Instead, it took the black rook, thus opening up the barrier of pawns and it was all lost from there. The human judgements serve to cut down drastically the number of serious possibilities that need be considered at each stage of calculation, and much greater depth can be achieved in the analysis, when the time is available, than in the machines simply calculating and directly eliminating possibilities, without using such judgements.

The essential point here is that the quality of human judgement and understanding, which springs from consciousness, is an essential thing that the computer lack.

O son of Bharata, as the sun alone illuminates all this universe, so does the soul, one within the body, illuminate the entire body by consciousness — Lord Krsna [ Bg Leave a Reply Your email address will not be published.What is the single most important factor determining the success of a survey?

Turing test - Wikipedia

You got it, it is the types of survey questions - the question types and respondent answer types that form the cornerstones of all surveys! Whether it an email survey, SMS survey, web intercept survey or a mobile app. The philosophy of artificial intelligence attempts to answer such questions as follows: Is the human brain essentially a computer?

Can a machine have a mind, mental states, The question of whether the machine actually feels an emotion. Ask questions and get answers, help others and meet people sharing their experience with Mind. questions, members. To my mind, Searle has not rebutted the strong AI position with his thought experiment.

Instead, he has merely pointed out, implicitly, how difficult it would be for a computer to pass the Turing. The phrase “The Turing Test” is most properly used to refer to a proposal made by Turing () as a way of dealing with the question whether machines can think.

The question of whether a mechanical device could ever be said to think–to experience feelings, or to have a mind–is not really new one.

But it has been given a new impetus, even an urgency, by the advent of modern computer technology.

Mind Body Debate | Simply Psychology