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Next: References Up: Chess Isn't Tough Enough: Previous: ``McNaught" and Infinite Games

On the ``Big" Questions Driving the Workshop

We end by turning to questions in the 6 bullets from the original call for submissions (we have separated questions when more than one is given under a bullet):

In order to answer these questions, let's distinguish between thinking tex2html_wrap_inline447 and thinking. Thinking tex2html_wrap_inline447 is ``access thinking," which merely involves the processing of information in certain impressive ways. Thinking is quite another thing: it is ``phenomenal thinking," i.e., thinking that crucially involves subjective or phenomenal awareness: if one thinks about that trip to Europe as a kid (e.g.), one remembers what it was like to be (say) in Paris on a sunny day with your older brother - whatever: any such example will do. The distinction between these two senses of thinking has its roots in a recent distinction made by Ned Block between A-consciousness and P-consciousness [Block, 1995]. Adapting the first of these notions, we can hazard the following definition.

Figure 3: A Simple Game of ``McNaught"

Thinking tex2html_wrap_inline447
An agent S thinks tex2html_wrap_inline447 iff it has internal states the representations of which are
  1. inferentially promiscuous, i.e., poised to be used as a premise in reasoning;
  2. poised for (rational) control of action; and
  3. poised for rational control of speech.

Here is how Block characterizes the notion of P-consciousness:

So how should we point to P-consciousness? Well, one way is via rough synonyms. As I said, P-consciousness is experience. P-conscious properties are experiential properties. P-conscious states are experiential states, that is, a state is P-conscious if it has experiential properties. The totality of the experiential properties of a state are ``what it is like" to have it. Moving from synonyms to examples, we have P-conscious states when we see, hear, smell, taste and have pains. P-conscious properties include the experiential properties of sensations, feelings and perceptions, but I would also include thoughts, wants and emotions. [[Block, 1995], p. 230]

Accordingly, we can say that an agent S thinks iff it has P-conscious states.

Now we can synoptically present our answers to the big questions [many of which are discussed in [Bringsjord, 1992]]:

There are certainly thinking tex2html_wrap_inline447 machines!
Deep Blue is one of them. (So is BRUTUS tex2html_wrap_inline287 . There are no thinking machines, and if the machines in question are computers, thinking machines won't ever arrive.)
The Turing Test (and the debate game, S tex2html_wrap_inline259 G, and possibly the infinite games we pointed to above) forms a sufficient condition for intelligence tex2html_wrap_inline447 (= thinking tex2html_wrap_inline447 ). I.e., if x passes TT (excels in S tex2html_wrap_inline259 G), then x is intelligent tex2html_wrap_inline447 (= thinks tex2html_wrap_inline447 ). There are no empirical tests for thinking [Bringsjord, 1995].
It means that we are heading toward an age where the boundaries between human persons and intelligent tex2html_wrap_inline447 machines will blur. It's a milestone, a big one. It indicates that people had better buckle their seatbelts for an age in which, behaviorally, AIs can truly walk among us.
Deep Blue is AI tex2html_wrap_inline447 . Deep Blue is not AI. Deep Debate, if successful, might lay a better claim to AI -- but we still wouldn't have any way to know for sure.
We defer to others.
We defer to others.
The future is incredibly bright. We currently have the technology to create ever more sophisticated thinking tex2html_wrap_inline447 machines. And it may be that such machines can do 80% of the work done presently by humans.
Hey, this question is backwards. It should be: ``Why the emotional attachment to Strong AI seen in many philosophers, cognitive scientists, and AIniks?"

next up previous
Next: References Up: Chess Isn't Tough Enough: Previous: ``McNaught" and Infinite Games

Selmer Bringsjord
Mon May 12 11:57:39 EDT 1997