Computing Machinery And Intelligence By Alan Turing

1469 Words Apr 15th, 2015 6 Pages
In his paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence,” Alan Turing sets out to answer the question of whether machines can think in the same humans can by conceptualizing the question in concrete terms. In simple terms, Turing redefines the question by posing whether a machine can replicate the cognition of a human being. Yet, some may object to the notion that Turing’s new question effectively captures the nature of machines’ capacity for thought or consciousness, such as John Searle. In his Chinese room thought experiment, Searle outlines a scenario that implies machines’ apparent replication of human cognition does not yield conscious understanding. While Searle’s Chinese thought experiment demonstrates how a Turing test is not sufficient to establish that a machine can possess consciousness or thought, this argument does not prove that machines are absolutely incapable of consciousness or thought. Rather, given the ongoing uncertainty of the debate regarding the intelligence of machines, there can be no means to confirm or disconfirm the conscious experience of machines as well as the consciousness of humans by extension of that principle. In attempting to answer the question of whether machines are able to think, Turing redesigns the question around the notion of machines’ effectiveness at mimicking human cognition. Turing proposes to gauge such effectiveness by a variation of an ‘imitation game,’ where a man and a woman are concealed from an interrogator who makes…
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