Philosophy & Cybernetics

Sayre, Frederick and Kenneth M Crosson

Among philosophers informed in such matters there is now a fairly general agreement that the possibility of artificially intelligent mechanisms ' "ill force some basic changes in our conception of intelligent behavior in the human being. The editors share this agreement but are convinced that a responsible commentary on the issues of human and mechanical intelligence is possible only against the background of a thorough familiarity with both the philosophic and the technological problems involved. Philosophic discussions of artificial intelligence, increasingly numerous during· recent years, too often reflect less than a close acquaintance with computers and tend thereby to be overly speculative and technically unrealistic. When left to philosophically untutored computer specialists, on the other hand, commentary on such matters seems to involve more gross misconceptions about human mental behavior than can be overlooked in the name of charity from a responsible philosophic point of view. In hopes of striking· a fruitful balance between these two extremes, the Institute was staffed with specialists in several fields, including (among the scientific) information theory, computing science, and biology, and (among the philosophic) phenomenology, theory of perception, and philosophy of mind. Each member, moreover, shared considerable interest in the others' technical problems, and all had in common a lively interest in understanding· the import of computer technology for the sciences of man.

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