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Reality, Consciousness and AI

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1) In your own words, briefly explain how Descartes came to be so much more certain of himself as a thinking consciousness ("I think therefore I am") than he was of the physical reality of his everyday world. You sit at your computer now but how can you be sure that it's real and you're not actually dreaming instead?

2) Could a machine think or could a computer develop consciousness? What is the difference between thinking as a human being and computing as a highly developed robotic entity?

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The Descartes question needs to refer to two concepts that are central to Descartes' Method: that he would only accept as true an idea that presented itself to him "clearly and distinctly" and that he would begin his exploration of certainty by doubting everything that could possibly be doubted. As a result, he imagined that he could doubt any of his perceptions of the world, but he could not doubt his own existence; for even if he ...

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The solution provides concise advise in the following topics: thinking consciousness and reality (Cartesian) and artificial intelligence probability.

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Metaphor/Humanity Essay

1)What role do metaphors play in helping people grasp the concept of Artificial Intelligence? Do you agree with the statement that the brain is a "meat machine"? What other metaphors might be applicable to the function of the human brain?

2)In the article "First tentative steps," Rodney Brooks is quoted as saying, "My belief is that we, people, are machines. So in principle, I see no reason why we can't build a robot that is as capable as a human being." Compare that statement with the two remaining articles, other readings you have done, and your own views. Discuss your position relative to the possibility of machines becoming equal to humans.

3)How do you think Victor Frankl would answer the question, "What does it mean to be human?" Examine his ideas on life, love, suffering, and humor. Develop your own definition of what it means to be human.

4)Consider John Searle's "four features of mental phenomena." What specific aspects of each feature make mental phenomena so difficult to fit into a scientific conception of the world? What are the implications of the four conclusions he makes in Chapter 2 in defining a "thinking" machine?

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