Rehabilitating AI: Argument loci and the case for artificial intelligence [Book Review]

Argumentation 18 (2):149-170 (2004)
This article examines argument structures and strategies in pro and con argumentation about the possibility of human-level artificial intelligence (AI) in the near term future. It examines renewed controversy about strong AI that originated in a prominent 1999 book and continued at major conferences and in periodicals, media commentary, and Web-based discussions through 2002. It will be argued that the book made use of implicit, anticipatory refutation to reverse prevailing value hierarchies related to AI. Drawing on Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca's (1969) study of refutational argument, this study considers points of contact between opposing arguments that emerged in opposing loci, dissociations, and casuistic reasoning. In particular, it shows how perceptions of AI were reframed and rehabilitated through metaphorical language, reversal of the philosophical pair artificial/natural, appeals to the paradigm case, and use of the loci of quantity and essence. Furthermore, examining responses to the book in subsequent arguments indicates the topoi characteristic of the rhetoric of technology advocacy
Keywords Argument  Artificial Intelligence  Logic  Refutation  Kurzweil, R
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