On Computational Wings: Rethinking the Goals of Artificial Intelligence; Exploring Intelligence; Scientific American Presents; by Ford, Hayes; 6 Page(s)
Many philosophers and humanist thinkers are convinced that the quest for artificial intelligence (AI) has turned out to be a failure. Eminent critics have argued that a truly intelligent machine cannot be constructed and have even offered mathematical proofs of its impossibility. And yet the field of artificial intelligence is flourishing. "Smart" machinery is part of the information-processing fabric of society, and thinking of the brain as a "biological computer" has become the standard view in much of psychology and neuroscience.
While contemplating this mismatch between the critical opinions of some observers and the significant accomplishments in the field, we have noticed a parallel with an earlier endeavor that also sought an ambitious goal and for centuries was attacked as a symbol of humankind's excessive hubris: artificial flight. The analogy between artificial intelligence and artificial flight is illuminating. For one thing, it suggests that the traditional view of the goal of AI-to create a machine that can successfully imitate human behavior-is wrong.