Here is a Scientia Salon video chat between Dan Kaufman and Massimo Pigliucci, this time focusing on the issues surrounding the so-called “strong” program in Artificial Intelligence. Much territory that should be familiar to regular readers is covered, hopefully, however, with enough twists to generate new discussion.
We introduce the basic strong AI thesis about the possibility of producing machines that think in a way similar to that of human beings; we debate the nature and usefulness (or lack thereof?) of the Turing test and ask ourselves if our brains may be swapped for their silicon equivalent, and whether we would survive the procedure. I explain why I think that “mind uploading” is a scifi chimera, rather than a real scientific possibility, and then we dig into the (in)famous “Chinese Room” thought experiment proposed decades ago by John Searle, and still highly controversial. Dan concludes by explaining why, in his view, AI will not solve problems in philosophy of mind.
Massimo Pigliucci is a biologist and philosopher at the City University of New York. His main interests are in the philosophy of science and pseudoscience. He is the editor-in-chief of Scientia Salon, and his latest book (co-edited with Maarten Boudry) is Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem (Chicago Press).
Daniel A. Kaufman is a professor of philosophy at Missouri State University and a graduate of the City University of New York. His interests include epistemology, metaphysics, aesthetics, and social-political philosophy. His new blog is Apophenia.