Technology has traditionally evolved as the result of human needs. Invention, when prized and rewarded, will invariably rise-up to meet the free market demands of society. It is in this realm that Artificial Intelligence research and the resultant expert systems have been forged.
Much of the material that relates to the field of Artificial Intelligence deals with human psychology and the nature of consciousness. Exhaustive debate on consciousness and the possibilities of consciousnessness in machines has adequately, in my opinion, revealed that it is most unlikely that we will ever converse or interract with a machine of artificial consciousness.
In John Searle's collection of lectures, Minds, Brains and Science, arguments centering around the mind-body problem alone is
sufficient to convince a reasonable person that there is no way science will ever unravel the mysteries of consciousness.
Key to Searle's analysis of consciousness in the context of Artificial Intelligence machines are refutations of strong and weak AI theses.
Strong AI Theorists (SATs) believe that in the future, mankind will forge machines that will think as well as, if not better than humans. To them, pesent technology constrains this achievement. The Weak AI Theorists (WATs), almost converse to the SATs, believe that if a machine performs functions that resemble a human's, then there must be a correlation between it and consciousness. To them, there is no technological impediment to thinking machines, because our most advanced machines already think.
It is important to review Searle's refutations of these respective theorists' proposition to establish a foundation (for the purpose of this essay) for discussing the applications of Artificial Intelligence, both now and in the future.
Strong AI Thesis
Strong AI Thesis, according to Searle, can be described in four basic propositions. Proposition one categorizes human thought as the result of computational processes. Given...