Can Machines Think


Can Machines Think Essay, Research Paper

Artificial Intelligence is a broad topic, consisting of different fields, from machine vision to expert systems. Nowadays with the use of high level techniques, computers have been programmed to solve many difficult problems, but the products that are available today are only a sample of what is coming in the future.

AI has an interesting history and has always been on the pioneering end of computer science. In order to classify machines as “thinking”, it is necessary to explain intelligence. What is intelligence exactly? How do you get intelligent? All these questions are still unanswered and all of them have helped to create both problems and solutions that found the heart of modern AI. Instead of building a theory of intelligence, there are a great variety of theories, such as the psychological, the cognitive theories and other theories. All these theories are reaching to the conclusion, that intelligence is composed from various mental power and abilities.

Psychologists assume that intelligence is based on adaptation, adjustment of self and behavior. Therefore it is important to understand the determinant factors of a complicated problem or a complex situation. The cognitive theory is focused on mental representations of information, such as images, ideas or symbols and on processes to operate with these signs. It considers an intelligent being as a kind of information-processing system.

If we assume that a machine has the same components which mirror a human body, it could theoretically be possible that this machine thinks. From this point of view a digital computer could be described as an instantiation of a computer program and all humans are nothing more than instantiations of computer programs and they are able to think!

Even if we are unable to imitate mental processes, it is possible for AI to reproduce the information processing, like a human brain does. Computers could be programmed in the same way as the brain processes information. To simulate human intelligence the computer must first simulate and understand the human behavior. But even after that, the computer must be able to understand emotions and how those emotions make us feel.

A computer can appear to think but in reality it is just following instructions. The goal of AI is to stimulate human performance at a task, not only do they want the program to do the best as it can but to also fail where a person would fail. There are some techniques which have been developed by psychologists that can be used to do this analysis. A digital computer is purely a machine to manipulate ones and zeros, given a specific program. But humans are able to understand what the “meaning” of the phrase was, however a computer would not.

The separation between a human and a machine is easy because one has emotions and the other one doesn’t. Machine based decisions are more logical and rational and are without any emotional baggage. But on the other hand emotions are useful to form decisions. There are only two possible ways of dealing with this problem. Emotions can be provided for intelligent machines by duplicating a sub-system of a human brain or on the other hand we could have machines without any emotions. If that’s the case, then machines will not take account of any moral issues of our society.

AI is, as shown in the article, a powerful scientific invention with far-reaching possibilities that offers great changes. But when will we accept the changes and allow this to be a possibility? If we ever will then we have to be prepared for the worst, that could happen in AI, in regard to ultraintelligent machines.

Hopefully this will be just a futuristic fiction. I agree with Charles W. Bailey, Jr., when he said computers will never simulate human intelligence in that way human brain does. So the answer to the question: “can machines think?”, must be denied. It will never be possible to attribute human qualities to a machine, because of lacking emotions or feelings. Computer systems could never interact in same environment as a human does, maybe they perfectly simulate this so these systems appear to be intelligent. The complex human brain and its understanding will never be duplicated.

But the AI technology will be a useful tool to utilize for our society. AI based software will have more influence in various areas like Simulation, Language and Speech, Automatic Programming, Sensor Systems, Robots, Expert Systems and ParallelismNeural Networks. These examples can be seen as partially artificially intelligent, but have not yet reached the full capacity.

Artificial intelligence will most definitely exist at some point in the future and technology will influence further conception. The advances that are impossible today will be similar to reality tomorrow. To reach this stage there are many technical problems to solve. Till we have a system, which will be able to perform a multitude of so called humanoid tasks, scientists will have to do a lot more research before this goal will eventually be achieved.

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