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AI, artificial intelligence, philosophy, substance dualism, physicalism


There is currently a good deal of attention being focused on artificial intelligence, broadly speaking, and deep learning, specifically. The attention is warranted, as these technologies are predicted to affect our collective lives in innumerable ways even beyond their already expansive social reach. There is much to consider regarding the benefits and potential harms of AI. And of course there are the apocalyptic musings about super-intelligent machines running amok, bringing science fiction scenarios uncomfortably close to anticipated reality. But productively engaging in discussions about the ethical and social implications of AI, and about which sorts of futures it is reasonable to anticipate, requires clarity about certain key concepts at play in these conversations. Some of these are conspicuous: artificial and intelligence, notably. The former suggests a contrast with some other concept. But which, exactly? Natural, perhaps? Or organic? And intelligence, being as it is regularly attributed to human persons, might suggest a fitting analogy with intelligence as it occurs in you and me. But what is intelligence in humans? Does it require a mind or a soul? Is it simply a corollary of electrical and chemical processes in the human brain? Gaining clarity about the range of meanings to which such terms refer—and familiarity with the relevant debates surrounding the various meanings—will provide the conceptual framework necessary to better articulate the precise ethical and pragmatic questions we think most important to our efforts to intentionally navigate a world with AI.

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Copyright © 2022 Wipf and Stock Publishers. All rights reserved. This chapter self-archived with permission of publisher.


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