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The introspection game - or, does the Tin Man have a heart?

Clifton, Andrew (2003) The introspection game - or, does the Tin Man have a heart? [Preprint]

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Abstract

Eliminative functionalism is the view that mental attributes, of humans and other machines, consist ultimately in behavioural abilities or dispositions. Hence, ‘Strong AI’: if a machine consistently acts as if it were fully conscious, then conscious it is. From these assumptions, optimistic futurists have derived a variety of remarkable visions of our ‘post-human’ future; from widely-recognised ‘robot rights’ to ‘mind uploading’, immortality, ‘apotheosis’ and beyond. It is argued here, however, that eliminative functionalism is false; for at least on our present knowledge, the subjectively qualitative characteristics of conscious experience are neither deducible from, nor logically required to generate, the performance of any sort of overtly ‘intelligent’, or indeed, characteristically human behaviour. Thus, a machine could easily be designed to report awareness of phenomenal qualities, without necessarily possessing them; and Alan Turing’s ‘Imitation Game’ test for artificial thinking is unable to determine whether or not a machine is sentient. An alternative test is proposed, in which the machine is asked phenomenological questions under conditions designed to detect any form of cheating—whilst also, potentially revealing evidence for the occurrence of genuine qualitative experience.

Item Type:Preprint
Keywords:Turing test, artificial intelligence, strong AI, functionalism, extropianism, post-humanism, consciousness, qualia
Subjects:Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence
ID Code:3483
Deposited By:Clifton, Mr Andrew
Deposited On:10 Mar 2004
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:55

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