Artificial Intelligence Essay has been very highly debated and discussed since its emergence after World War II. My purpose in this paper is to present some of the major components of AI and to show arguments for and against its existence. Along the way I will insert my opinions and thoughts on AI and give my reasons for holding these thoughts as true.
The current concept of AI relating to computers was first introduced by Alan Turing in the 1950s. He formed the basis of computing and designed the Turing Machine, which was one of the first models of a computer.
A Turing Machine is a machine that consists of a long strand of tape with some square marks on it, a reading head, and something it outputs to. The reading head can move either back and forth and outputs a 0 if the spot is empty and a 1 if the spot has a square in it. This process is what a computer does. This is all that a computer does. It reads its code (the tape) and either activates an electrical pulse or does nothing. The code is in binary form, ex: 0110001111.
The interesting thing about the Turing Machine is that this same process is very similar to the activation of neurons in the brain. Either the neuron fires or it doesnt.
Turing formed a theory in which he claimed that his machine could perform any computable action. This theory is unproven but is widely held as true, and has also not been disproved. The key word in his theory as relating to AI is computable. Computable doesnt take into consideration time.
Where as the number of rational numbers is computable; the number of real numbers is not because the number of irrational numbers is not computable. The formula to get every rational number is to divide every integer by every other integer. This is infinite but does compute every rational number. There is no formula that will find every irrational number. This is important because since a computer is a Turing Machine it can not do any thing that is not computable. Thus, if the human mind can do something that is not computable then a computer could not replace the human mind.
In John Searles essay he presents an argument against strong AI. His main point is that merely solving a problem doesnt indicate an understanding of the problem. He gives an example, which is called the Chinese room. He shows that given certain information he could translate Chinese without understanding any Chinese.
Searle shows a major component lacking from AI today. This component is understanding.
In video games you can program an enemy to duck your shot, but the enemy is just following its programming. The code for this action might resemble:
If (hero is facing enemy) and (gun is fired)
Then (lower head)
This action would resemble intelligence because it ducked the shot, but the enemy experiences none of the understanding that a human would. It doesnt know that it would no longer exist if the shot hits it. It doesnt know that the hero is purposely shooting at it. The action is the same, but there is none of the understanding.
This form of AI is called symbolic AI.
It is theorized that given enough small pieces of symbolic code in a program it could do everything the human mind can do.
William Lycan presents a similar view of this with his computer called Harry. He claims that since the computer can do everything a human mind can do and passes all the tests that we attribute to consciousness, then it is prejudice to not consider the computer to be conscious.
One of the main problems in AI is that we do not understand everything about the human brain. Some people assume the brain operates on a set of fundamental rules. While others believe that there is more to the brain.
This relates to AI in that a computer operates on a set of fundamental rules as well and if the brain operates on a set of rules then the human mind can copied by artificial intelligence. Whereas, if there is more to the human then artificial .