Last Update: 9 April 2007
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For this position paper, I would like you to evaluate the following hypothetical debate.
Con: What do you mean by "being cognitive"?
Pro: I mean that it can perceive (see, hear, etc.); has beliefs, desires, and intentions; can remember; can use and understand natural language; can reason and make rational decisions; etc. You know, the sort of thing that AI researchers are trying to achieve by computational means.
Con: Do you think they will succeed?
Pro: I'm optimistic: I think that a suitable AI program (or maybe a suite of programs) will eventually behave in all these ways.
Con: But that means that you think that such an AI program will be cognitive?
Con: But that's crazy! Computer programs are purely syntactic!
Pro: Now it's my turn to ask for clarification: What do you mean by "syntactic"?
Con: I mean that all it can do is to manipulate the symbols of a formal symbol system.
Pro: So what's the problem?
Con: The problem is that cognition is semantic! That is, it involves the semantic interpretation of those symbols.
Pro: Well, I'm not so sure about that. But suppose you're right. What then?
Con: Well, syntax does not suffice for semantics. So, no purely syntactic computer program can exhibit semantic cognition, even if it behaves in all relevant ways as if it were cognitive.
Then analyze each argument.
|1-2 typed pages, double-spaced (i.e., about 250-500 words), and single-sided.|
|Position Paper #5||YOUR NAME|
|DATE DUE||CSE (or PHI) 484 (or 584), Monday (or Wednesday)|
Failure to do so will result in a lower grade!
|DUE AT THE BEGINNING OF LECTURE, MONDAY, APRIL 16|