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The Robot-Reply and the Definition of Being Human - Essay Example

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The Robot-Reply and the Definition of Being Human

In perception, movement, and through the imitation of human action, one might begin to believe they are seeing a sentience, but true sentience requires something more. Searle explores the idea through an examination of causality, that a being must be able to create causality for its choices through the framework of intention. In an examination of the concept of intention as it relates to the creation of sentience, the exploration of the idea of AI becomes as much a philosophical discussion as one of science. In order to discuss the concept of artificial intelligence, one must first discuss the idea of sentience. Sentience means that the thoughts of a being are directed by intention and not dictated through programmed parameters within which the thoughts have been constructed. Claudia Dreifus discussed the emergence of social robots in the M.I.T. God and Computers project with Anne Foerst, the theological advisor for the project. The need for a theological advisor comes from a need to create a discourse on the meaning of the human experience as it is being translated through a computer generated reflection of human behavior. In the case of the M.I.T. project, the idea of embodiment goes a long way in defining the ‘intrinsic value’ of the robot, the premise being that this means that the robot deserves the respect of its reflection of humanity because it has become embodied. In relationship to this embodiment, the robot, according to Foerst, will develop the right to the kind of respect afforded to humans when it can no longer be turned off. When a robot exists in a framework of independence and without the vulnerability of the switch, it becomes a being of intent. Through the socialization skills that are being applied in the project, the robots they have created have already begun to breach the veil between mechanics and life. Searle discusses the idea of creating a thinking robot by creating psychological explanations. These psychological explanations provide a testing environment through which psychological factors in humans can be tested. This type of A.I. requires cognitive capacities. Given the appropriate programs, a computer begins to have cognitive states. In the God and Computers project from M.I.T. the robots are given humanoid embodiment, their shape and existence in space relatable at a level that provides for social interaction. The question that one can ask in relationship to the cognitive states that computers have been given in order to create psychological frameworks is whether or not those programs gain ‘life’ status when given into the embodiment of a robotic shell. Defining the difference between the way in which the brain thinks and the robot processes is an attempt to define human life in contrast to the reactions of a machine that can formulate human like responses. In other words, it is the discussion of what is human and what is human-like. The interesting thing that can be noted is that audiences and readers of Shelley’s work rarely consider that the creation made by Dr. Frankenstein is significantly distinguishable from human life. The body of the creation is human as it is constructed from human parts, and while the brain is human it is ...Show more


Clients Name Name of Professor Name of Class Date The Robot-Reply and the Definition of Being Human The idea of artificial intelligence has a history that is as long as the history of science fiction. From the theme of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, arguably one of the first science fiction novels, the idea of human created intelligence, a sentient being created from the will of human science, has been a continuing fascination (Shelly, Panshin, Panshin, and Cook 162)…
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The Robot-Reply and the Definition of Being Human essay example
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