The Philosophical Foundations of Artificial Intelligence

Stanford Continuing Studies

Stanford Continuing Studies

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About the course

Attempts to create intelligent machines raise philosophical questions about the criteria for evaluating how intelligence, consciousness, and thinking could apply to machines of our own making. What is human thought? What is consciousness? What is intelligence? Can the dynamics of human thought be replicated? These are the fundamental questions that the field of artificial intelligence (AI) has to grapple with. We will begin by considering the Turing Test, which modeled the brain as a computer in a primitive attempt to evaluate intelligence. Soon viewed as too reductionist, the Turing Test quickly lost favor as philosophers turned to suggesting a more phenomenological way of seeing the question, drawing on the work of Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty and the concepts of “situation” and “embodiment.” We will look at how the latest innovation in AI, which is behind today’s self-driving cars, tries to incorporate the concerns of this phenomenological approach. Finally, we will discuss the warnings that a fully developed superintelligence, which would be many times more intelligent than we are, would constitute an existential threat.

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The Philosophical Foundations of Artificial Intelligence at Stanford Continuing Studies

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Disclaimer

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