Can Computers Think Research Paper

  • Length: 6 pages
  • Subject: Education - Computers
  • Type: Research Paper
  • Paper: #32880143

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Computers Think

Computers are programmed to think

Thinking is defined as the ability to make sense, represent, model, or interpret the world a person experiences. Thinking also allows humans to make predictions in regards to their world. To an organism that has needs, desires, and objectives', thinking is helpful as it enables the organism to make plans in order to accomplish these goals. Using this definition we can see clearly that computers are not organism and, therefore cannot posses the ability to think. Computers have the capability to make predictions, but the predictions made by computers have been programmed by humans. Humans who required equipment that can assist in analyzing their thoughts and predictions developed programs to be used by computers. Without human intervention, the computers would not be able to model, represent, or interpret any information.

It is assumed by a majority of people that computers have the capability to think. This is because computers have the ability to perform tasks faster and even provide suggestions. The reality though is that computers do not have the capability to think. Computers are machines and like any other machine they rely on software programs developed to perform specific tasks. The programs are developed by engineers and using the fast processing speed of computers, it seems as though the computers are thinking. Making use of the fast processing speed of computers humans have managed to use computers to make predictions of weather changes, stock prices, and other predictions. Once this information is presented to the world, people assume that the computers were able all on their own to come up with the information. Computers do not have needs, desires, or objectives, therefore, computers cannot make plans for themselves in order to accomplish any goals. Human intervention is required to input data into the computer, and using the program in the computer information can be derived. Computers provide assistance to humans.

Thoughts are the result of thinking in the form of ideas or arrangement of ideas. There is no general agreement of how thoughts are formed. If computers could think then they would be formulating ideas on how to improve in something the computer is processing. Thinking requires the computer to analyze a situation and make recommendations based on its analysis. This is something that computers do all on their own, but the data required for this analysis has to be provided by humans. The lack of human intervention would mean that computers cannot make any analysis. This clearly shows that a computer is just a machine, and like any other machine it requires human input in order for the machine to perform its activities.

A computer developed to control traffic cannot be used to perform any other activity without first having to change its program. If this computer had the ability to think there would be no need to change its program as it would adapt to the new situation. Thinking would allow the computer to know that it is no longer controlling traffic, and it would analyze its new environment to formulate ideas on how to tackle its work or task. The programs developed for computers have a set of rules that the computer has to follow and obey. The rules have to be obeyed in a specified sequence for the computer to achieve its function. The programs allow computers to perform logic and produce results.

Artificial intelligence

Intelligence can be defined in many ways as abstract thought, self-awareness, logic, understanding, learning, communication, problem solving, planning, retaining, and having emotional knowledge. Computers have the capacity to communicate, retain, solve problems, and perform logic. They lack the essential capability of emotional knowledge, self-awareness, abstract thought, and planning. This indicates that computers can only simulate human thinking, but they cannot actually think on their own. Artificial intelligence is based on simulations developed by programmers and engineers, which mostly simulate desired behavior. Desired behavior makes the computer to perform activities based on the engineers' perception of human behavior. Using artificial intelligence people have been misled to believe that computers can actually think.

Computers do not have a mind even with artificial intelligence computers still do not have the reasoning capability of humans. This limits the reaction of computers to various situations. Intelligence is required for the computer to perform a task while taking into account all compelling circumstances. Scientists have long argued if it is possible to use artificial intelligence to create a human computer. This argument is far from over because some scientists have always said that the programs to be used by the human computer are all syntax and have no semantics. This means that a computer is not able to achieve any thought as it merely follows the rules telling it how to shift symbols. The computer does not need to understand the meaning of these symbols. On the other side, the scientists have pointed to the fact humans have to be taught how to perform various activities, which is why they go to school and college. Using this analogy the scientists have stated that computers can learn to think eventually. This is still very theoretical as it has not been proven.

Artificial intelligence gives a computer human like characteristics, but it does not actually clone a human being. The characteristics or behaviors the computer will have are based on its desired tasks. A computer can be developed to only perform a specific function, therefore, using artificial intelligence the computer will only have characteristics for performing this particular functions. Adding more functions will mostly result in errors as the computer would not be able to differentiate the various situations. This limits the capabilities of artificial intelligence. Even with the advanced processing capabilities of computers nowadays, mimicking human behavior is still difficult mainly because computers do not have the intelligence and thinking ability of humans. Humans are developing these computers trying to demonstrate that one can make a human computer, but they forget that the human mind is a very powerful tool, and it has not been fully understood.

Computers will not have the capacity to think until scientist can successfully develop a brain, that is able to process different emotions, build on its experiences and adapt to challenges. Artificial intelligence also denies computers the ability to build on their own experiences. Instead, computers are given processing power that allows them to process information at super speeds. This speedy processing of information is not based on past experiences, but rather from the program installed. Engineers developing computers that can think should focus on how the computer can use the information gathered for future use. This would not mean that the computer is thinking, but it would be able to mimic thinking behavior.

Informality of behavior

Humans have the ability to adapt to different situations. This has made it hard for anyone to develop a set of rules that humans should follow. Humans use their intelligence, thinking, and conscious to determine the best way of handling any single situation. What this means is that two humans cannot have the same result for the same situations. This is because each person has a unique of interpreting the situation. Computers on the other hand, would have specific programs, which have set of rules informing the computer what to do in each situation. This would mean that two computers would most likely produce the same exact result when presented with the same situation. This fully demonstrates that computers cannot think. If they could think the results would have demonstrated different. The lack of consciousness limits computers to only follow and obey rules of the programmer.

Thinking allows humans to have different assumptions and ideas in regards to the same situation. Computers cannot have different assumptions as they would present information based on the input…

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