Why minds are not like computers

April 25, 2009

AI proponents understand that communication is possibly the most important way of demonstrating intelligence, but by denying the importance of each agent's internal comprehension, they ironically deny that any real meaning is conveyed through communication, thus ridding it of any connection to intelligence. While AI partisans continue to argue that the existence of thinking and social interaction in programs is demonstrated by their mimicry of observed human input-output behavior, they have merely shifted the burden of proof from the first-person experience of the programs themselves to the first-person experiences of the people who interact with them. So although behaviorists and functionalists have long sought to render irrelevant the truth of Descartes' cogito, the canonization of the Turing Test has merely transformed I think therefore I am into I think you think therefore you are.

A detailed, smart and thoughtful analysis of the many conflations and misunderstandings long prevalent in the study of strong AI, and how the goals of the field have become somewhat less ambitious over time. (I realize it's a very long article, but power through it — it's worth it.)

You should follow me on Twitter here