What Computers Still Can't Do
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What Computers Still Can't Do : A Critique of Artificial Reason

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Description

When it was first published in 1972, Hubert Dreyfus's manifesto on the inherent inability of disembodied machines to mimic higher mental functions caused an uproar in the artificial intelligence community. The world has changed since then. Today it is clear that "good old-fashioned AI," based on the idea of using symbolic representations to produce general intelligence, is in decline (although several believers still pursue its pot of gold), and the focus of the Al community has shifted to more complex models of the mind. It has also become more common for AI researchers to seek out and study philosophy. For this edition of his now classic book, Dreyfus has added a lengthy new introduction outlining these changes and assessing the paradigms of connectionism and neural networks that have transformed the field.

At a time when researchers were proposing grand plans for general problem solvers and automatic translation machines, Dreyfus predicted that they would fail because their conception of mental functioning was naive, and he suggested that they would do well to acquaint themselves with modern philosophical approaches to human beings. What Computers Can't Do was widely attacked but quietly studied. Dreyfus's arguments are still provocative and focus our attention once again on what it is that makes human beings unique.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 408 pages
  • 137 x 203 x 21mm | 522g
  • MIT Press
  • Cambridge, Mass., United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0262540673
  • 9780262540674
  • 300,038

Table of contents

Part 1 Ten years of research in artificial intelligence (1957-1967): phase I (1957-1962) cognitive simulation - analysis of work in language translation, problem solving, and pattern recognition, the underlying significance of failure to achieve predicted results; phase II (1962-1967) semantic information processing - analysis of semantic information processing programmes, significance of current difficulties. Part 2 Assumptions underlying persistent optimism: the biological assumption; the psychological assumption - empirical evidence for the psychological assumption - critique of the scientific methodology of cognitive simulation, "A Priori" arguments for the psychological assumptions; the epistemological assumption - a mistaken argument from the success of physics, a mistaken argument from the success of modern linguistics; the ontological assumption. Part 3 Alternatives to the traditional assumptions: the role of the body in intelligent behaviour; the situation - orderly behaviour without recourse to rulels; the situation as a function of human needs. Part 4 Conclusion - the scope and limits of artificial reason: the limits of artificial intelligence - the future of artificial intelligence.
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About Hubert L. Dreyfus

Hubert L. Dreyfus is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley.
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Rating details

149 ratings
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