Thinking Machines : Can There Be? Are We?

927 Words Oct 2nd, 2015 4 Pages
“Thinking Machines: Can there be? Are we?”

Queen F5.

The bearded 5 foot 10 creature, composed of a myriad of organic molecules ranging from secretory epithelial cells to antiparallel strands of nucleotides wound together in a double helix, anxiously hauls his piece forward.

Bishop G8.

The metallic machine, developed by the most brilliant German engineers yet manufactured using a plain set of shiny screws, cooling fans, and electrical wires, responds with a bold “checkmate”.

Unlike your typical game of chess on a Sunday evening, the contestants are far from ordinary; one of them is Garry Kasparov, a former world champion, and the other is IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer. Yet for many, the first player is one that can pride itself with the ability to think, while the latter’s intelligence is artificial and ceases to exist without man, its creator. As such, we are faced with the ever-present question: Are machines truly capable of thinking? Not only is this question an entertaining philosophical brain teaser, but it is also in desperate need of an answer as our society becomes increasingly dependent on the cognitive powers of machines. With BBC’s recent report stating that “35% of jobs in the UK are at high risks of computerisation over the following 20 years,” the cost of overestimating or even underestimating machines’ intellectual capabilities could be devastating.

Contrary to its straightforward façade, the knowledge question poses numerous intricacies. What does it…
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