Having watched “Bicentennial Man” yet another time last week I found Stephen Law’s article, “Could a Machine Think?”, really apt for my mood. The article obviously delves on the complex issue that has become more and more relevant with the advances in technology. The day when robots with super advanced artificial intelligence becomes a reality is no longer something that we can consider to be far-fetched. These are days when things from science fictions are becoming a reality. And as that day approaches we know that the day when a dilemma of titanic proportions is also drawing near. Will robots become advanced enough to achieve self-awareness? If so, what do we do then? What will be the right moral standpoint? How will we accept it and how will the AIs react to how we receive them?
These questions are all discussed in a very engaging manner in Stephen Law’s “Could a Machine Think.” This article is written in a script style showing the discussion between a machine, Emit, and its owner, Geena. This article is a great read whether or not you are interested in philosophy because it reads like a story. However, the questions posed are ones that will really make you think and the points raised shows sophistication in philosophical argument.
The “Could a Machine Think” is just one of the articles available in “Think”, a philosophy journal published for the Royal Institute of Philosophy. What makes “Think” really great is that the journal is aimed at a wide audience making the articles both interesting and readable for everyone from philosophers to laymen. Free online articles can be found at the Cambridge Journals website. For full access to “Think” journals you will need to subscribe.