Artificial Intelligence and the Phenomenology of Flesh

Phaenex 1 (1):73-85 (2006)
A. M. Turing argued that there was "little point in trying to make a 'thinking machine' more human by dressing it up in ... artificial flesh." We should, instead, draw "a fairly sharp line between the physical and the intellectual capacities of a man." For over fifty years, drawing this line has meant disregarding the role flesh plays in our intellectual capacities. Correspondingly, intelligence has been defined in terms of the algorithms that both men and machines can perform. I would like to raise some doubts about this paradigm in artificial intelligence research. Intelligence, I believe, does not just involve the working of algorithms. It is founded on flesh's ability to move itself, to feel itself, and to engage in the body projects that accompanied our learning a language. This implies that to copy intelligence -- i.e., to produce an artificial version of it -- the flesh that forms its basis must also be reproduced
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