What robots can and can't be

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Kluwer Academic, 1992 - Computers - 380 pages
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What Robots Can and Can't Be is a self-contained, rigorous, sustained argument for the unique, two-sided position that: (side one) Al will continue to produce machines with greater and greater capacity to pass stronger and stronger versions of the Turing Test; but that (side two) the 'Person Building Project' (the attempt by cognitive engineers to build a machine which is a person) will inevitably fail. The defense of side two rests in large part on a refutation of the proposition that persons are automata -- a refutation involving an array of issues, from free will to Gödel to introspection to Searle and beyond. The defense of side one brings the reader face to face with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as they tackle perhaps their toughest case ('Silver Blaze'); the upshot of this visit with Conan Doyle's duo is an algorithm-sketch for the solving of murder mysteries. Side two also involves a look at the author's mechanical' approach to writing fiction, and the philosophical side of computerized story generation. The volume is peppered with numerous illustrations, all quite professionally done.

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