- Paperback: 228 pages
- Publisher: Discovery Institute (31 Mar. 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0963865439
- ISBN-13: 978-0963865434
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,128,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Are We Spiritual Machines?: Ray Kurzweil vs. the Critics of Strong AI Paperback – 31 Mar 2002
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Top customer reviews
Kurzweil explains his materialistic view and expectations of machine consciousness in the near future of computing, receives rebuttals from critics and other experts in the field and then responds to those essays.
A fascinating and thought-provoking glimpse into the future of conscious agents.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I personally disagree with this world renowned genius about the value of A.I. when the GW sequences of events are increasing global devastation. Or I feel he over values A.I. as whether humans will have the ability to exist next to and participate in an inferior societal positioning to the machine, is even livable or survivable. We will prove it one way or another with CO2 and methane, regardless of A.I. and computer superiority. We may arrive at the door step to bake our planet before we are assimilated.
B 36 Ears
The controversy behind Kurzweil stems from his recent book "The Age of Spirtual Machines", which is a detailed accounting of his predictions and beliefs regarding artificial intelligence. Many individuals objected to his visions and predictions, and he answers a few of them in this book. In particular, he attempts to counter the arguments against him by the philosopher John Searle, the molecular biologist Michael Denton, the philosopher William A. Dembski, and zoologist Thomas Ray. With only a few minor exceptions, Kurzweil is successful in his refutation of their assertions.
But even if Kurzweil completely refutes the arguments of these individuals, and possibly many more against him, the countering of arguments will not by itself solve the problems in artificial intelligence research. The fact remains that much work still needs to be done before we are priveleged to see the rise of intelligent machines. Kurzweil is well-aware of this, for he acknowledges this many times in this book. He points to reverse engineering of the human brain as one of the most promising strategies to bring in the robotic presence. The success or failure of this strategy will take the mind-body problem out of purely academic circles and bring it to the forefront of practical research in artificial intelligence. The 21st century will thus see the rise of the "industrial philosopher", who works in the laboratory beside the programmers, cognitive scientists, robot engineers, and neurologists.
Each reader of this book will of course have their own opinions on Kurzweil's degree of success in countering the arguments of Searle, Denton, Dembski, and Ray. But one thing is very clear: Kurzweil is no arm-chair philosopher engaging in purely academic debates on the mind-body problem. He is right in the thick of the research and development of artificial intelligence, and if the future turns out as he predicts, he will certainly be one of the individuals contributing to it. He and many others currently working in artificial intelligence are responsible for major advances in this field in just the last few years. Their ingenuity and discipline is admirable in a field that has experienced a roller coaster ride of confidence and disappointment in the preceding decades. All of these individuals have proved themselves to be superb thinking machines.
Time, space, spirit or soul, working of mind etc these are all beyond the realm of science. Science is limited to five senses. What can not be sensed with these five senses is beyond science. We may not ever be able to know the truth about these. We can feel happy to postulate theories but these will never be definitely proved.
And there comes the truth about existence of God, the One Who created all these and has the knowledge.
Science has not even come to know what is the nature of the smallest particle and of what substance is it made of. In fact the scientists are still arguing over whether the smallest particle is matter or energy? The same is the case of nature of light which can perfectly be considered as energy and equally proved as mass!
Hence we can not be machines, spiritually or mateially. We all are unique entity with free will within limited parameters and will be answerable to the Creator for how we behave in this life and be punished or rewarded in the hereafter life.
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