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Can a Computer Have a Mind?

We would have liked to have been a fly on the wall at a recent discussion at Stanford that matched the philosopher John Searle with the artificial-intelligence expert Terry Winograd. The question they were grappling with is whether a computer can have a mind, and we are grateful that Bruce Goldman was there taking notes.

"We still don’t know how the brain creates consciousness,” Goldman quotes Searle as saying. Therefore, we need to not only simulate brain function but duplicate it. And that leads Goldman to this reassuring conclusion:

That’s a comforting constraint for carbon-based throwbacks such as myself, who would like to feel our dominance is assured, at least for a while, by the excruciating nested complexity of the biological components-within-components-within-components of the human brain. 

Read more here, and let us know what you think. 

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