Artificial Intelligence: Debates about Its Use and Abuse

Document Type



Mathematics (Pitzer)

Publication Date



Artificial intelligence, Turing test, Thought experiments, Controversy


This paper is concerned with the question, “Is what a stored-program digital computer does thinking -in the full human sense of the term?” Several current controversies are examined, including the meaning and usefulness of the Turing test to determine “intelligence.” The Lucas controversy of the early 1960s is taken up, dealing with the philosophical issues related to the man-versus-machine debate, and Dreyfus' ideas against Machine Intelligence are explored. Searle's ideas in opposition to the validity of the Turing test are described, as are various interpretations of the Chinese room thought-experiment and its relation to real “thought”. Weizenbaum's opposition to the “information-processing model of man” is also developed. The paper concludes with a comparison of the 19th-century debates over Darwinian Evolution and those in this century over Artificial Intelligence.

Rights Information

© 1984 Academic Press, Inc.