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The Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence


One can expect there to be an academic subject called the philosophy of artificial intelligence analogous to the existing fields of philosophy of physics and philosophy of biology. By analogy it will be a philosophical study of the research methods of AI and will propose to clarify philosophical problems raised. I suppose it will take up the methodological issues raised by Hubert Dreyfus and John Searle, even the idea that intelligence requires that the system be made of meat.

Presumably some philosophers of AI will do battle with the idea that AI is impossible (Dreyfus), that it is immoral (Weizenbaum) and that the very concept is incoherent (Searle).

It is unlikely to have any more effect on the practice of AI research than philosophy of science generally has on the practice of science.

John McCarthy
Tue Apr 23 22:16:53 PDT 1996