Conscious, Thinking, and Intelligent Machines?

Some Clarifying Remarks in the Field of Articial Intelligence

In: Artificial Intelligence
Tobias Müller
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In recent years modern technology has transformed almost all areas of our lives, some of them fundamentally, through automation and technology. A new dimension of this technical progress can now be seen in “artificial intelligence”, that is, in computers whose algorithmic processing is known as “machine learning”, the “artificial” generation of knowledge from experience. Progress in AI research has led to the relevant literature already assigning many AI systems the ability to think, learn, predict, analyze, decide, know, and plan. Even autonomy and self-awareness are already attributed to some systems. In order to be able to answer the question of whether such attributions are justified, there is a considerable need for conceptual clarification of this point. In my paper I would like to present some considerations from the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of technology, which could be helpful to achieve a clarification of certain terms. For this purpose, various working definitions of “consciousness”, “thinking” and “intelligence” will be presented, whereby specificities of human consciousness and thinking will be highlighted. Subsequently, it will be discussed whether these specific qualities can already be found in today’s AI systems and whether there are fundamental limits of AI systems.

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Artificial Intelligence

Reflections in Philosophy, Theology, and the Social Sciences