n Acta Academica - Artificial Intelligence (AI) and being human : what is the difference? - research

Volume 49 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0587-2405



This paper begins by focusing on the recent work of David Gelernter on artificial intelligence (AI), in which he argues against ‘computationalism’ – that conception of the mind which restricts it to functions of abstract reasoning and calculation. Such a notion of the human mind, he argues, is overly narrow, because the ‘tides of mind’ cover a larger and more variegated ‘spectrum’ than computationalism allows. The argument of Hubert Dreyfus is examined, that the AI research community concentrate its efforts on replacing its cognitivist approach with a Heideggerian one, a recognition that AI research cannot ignore the ‘embeddedness’ of human intelligence in a world, nor its ‘embodiment’. However, Gelernter and Dreyfus do not go far enough in their critique of AI research: what is truly human is not just a certain kind of intelligence; it is the capacity for ‘care’ and desire in the face of mortality, which no machine can simulate.

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