It is argued that Nozick's experiencemachine thought experiment does not pose a particular difficulty for mental state theories of well-being. While the example shows that we value many things beyond our mental states, this simply reflects the fact that we value more than our own well-being. Nor is a mental state theorist forced to make the dubious claim that we maintain these other values simply as a means to desirable mental states. Valuing more than our mental states (...) is compatible with maintaining that the impact of such values upon our well-being lies in their impact upon our mental lives. (shrink)
Can we test philosophical thought experiments, such as whether people would enter an experiencemachine or would leave one once they are inside? Dan Weijers argues that since 'rational' subjects (e.g. students taking surveys in college classes) are believable, we can do so. By contrast, I argue that because such subjects will probably have the wrong affect (i.e. emotional states) when they are tested, such tests are almost worthless. Moreover, understood as a general policy, such pretend testing would (...) ruin the results of most psychological tests, such as those of helping behavior, attitudes to authority, moral transgressions, etc. However, I also argue that certain philosophical thought experiments do not require us to have as much (or any) affect to understand them, or to elicit intuitions, and so can be tested. Generally, experimental philosophy must adhere to this limit, on pain of offering vacuous results. (shrink)
Robert Nozick's experiencemachine thought experiment is often considered a decisive refutation of hedonism. I argue that the conclusions we draw from Nozick's thought experiment ought to be informed by considerations concerning the operation of our intuitions about value. First, I argue that, in order to show that practical hedonistic reasons are not causing our negative reaction to the experiencemachine, we must not merely stipulate their irrelevance (since our intuitions are not always responsive to stipulation) (...) but fill in the concrete details that would make them irrelevant. If we do this, we may see our feelings about the experiencemachine becoming less negative. Second, I argue that, even if our feelings about the experiencemachine do not perfectly track hedonistic reasons, there are various reasons to doubt the reliability of our anti-hedonistic intuitions. And finally, I argue that, since in the actual world seeing certain things besides pleasure as ends in themselves may best serve hedonistic ends, hedonism may justify our taking these other things to be intrinsically valuable, thus again making the existence of our seemingly anti-hedonistic intuitions far from straightforward evidence for the falsity of hedonism. (shrink)
In the second half of their recent, critically acclaimed book Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior , Elliott Sober and David Sloan Wilson discuss psychological hedonism. This is the view that avoiding our own pain and increasing our own pleasure are the only ultimate motives people have. They argue that none of the traditional philosophical arguments against this view are good, and they go on to present theirownevolutionary biological argument against it. Interestingly, the first half of their (...) book, which is a defense of group selectionism, has received almost all of the attention of those people who have published reactions to the book. No one has published a detailed reaction to the argument of the latter half of the book. In this article, the author explains and critically discusses their evolutionary biological argument against psychological hedonism, concluding that in its current form it is not strong enough to support its conclusion. However, the author goes on to argue that despite recent criticisms of Robert Nozick’s experience-machine argument, it is still a good argument against psychological hedonism. In support of the latter point, the author responds to the objections of Sober and Wilson and to the more recent criticisms offered by Matthew Silverstein. Key Words: hedonism • psychological egoism • evolution • Robert Nozick • Elliott Sober. (shrink)
Robert Nozick famously asks us whether we would plug in to an experiencemachine, or whether we would insist upon ‘living in contact with reality’. Felipe De Brigard, after conducting a series of empirical ‘inverted’ experiencemachine studies, suggests that this is a false dilemma. Rather, he says, '…the fact is that people tend to prefer the state of affairs they are in currently,' or the status quo. In this paper, I argue that these studies are (...) a test case for ‘experimental philosophy’ as such. Specifically, I argue that De Brigard offers a series of faulty studies, and so, reaches unfounded conclusions. More generally, I argue that certain philosophical thought experiments cannot be tested empirically at all, and this limits what experimental philosophy can do. (shrink)
Nozick’s ExperienceMachine thought experiment is generally taken to make a compelling, if not conclusive, case against philosophical hedonism. I argue that it does not and, indeed, that regardless of the results, it cannot provide any reason to accept or reject either hedonism or any other philosophical account of wellbeing since it presupposes preferentism, the desire-satisfaction account of wellbeing. Preferentists cannot take any comfort from the results of such thought experiments because they assume preferentism and therefore cannot establish (...) it. Neither can anyone else, since only a preferentistshould accept the terms of the thought experiment. (shrink)
Years ago Robert Nozick provided the experiencemachine argument, which states that since many people would forgo a life of artificially stimulated tremendous pleasure provided by an "experiencemachine," it must be that sometimes people are motivated by things other than the pursuit of their own pleasure. This is to say that he rejected psychological hedonism. In a recent book Elliot Sober and David Wilson defend the view that Nozick's argument does not provide adequate refutation of (...) psychological hedonism. This article defends Nozick's argument against their objections. (shrink)
Robert Nozick's experiencemachine thought experiment (Nozick's scenario) is widely used as the basis for a ?knockdown? argument against all internalist mental state theories of well-being. Recently, however, it has been convincingly argued that Nozick's scenario should not be used in this way because it elicits judgments marred by status quo bias and other irrelevant factors. These arguments all include alternate experiencemachine thought experiments, but these scenarios also elicit judgments marred by status quo bias and (...) other irrelevant factors. In this paper, several experiments are conducted in order to create and test a relatively bias-free experiencemachine scenario. It is argued that if an experiencemachine thought experiment is used to evaluate internalist mental state theories of well-being, then this relatively bias-free scenario should be used over any of the existing scenarios. Unlike the existing experiencemachine scenarios, when this new scenario is used to assess internalist mental state theories of well-being, it does not provide strong evidence to refute or endorse them. (shrink)
In the decades since Robert Nozick posed his now famous thought experiment involving the experiencemachine, philosophers have taken his treatment as conclusive. A review of the literature finds almost no one who has argued that people would choose the experiencemachine. To find such unanunity among philosophers is unexpected. But the situation is especially surprising because Nozick's conclusion appears mistaken. In support of this view, we offer three different sorts of reasons why persons would be (...) inclined to choose the experiencemachine. We illustrate these reasons by the use of numerous examples at least as plausible as the experiencemachine itself. (shrink)
Nozick’s ExperienceMachine thought experiment is generally taken to make a compelling, if not conclusive, case against philosophical hedonism. I argue that it does not and, indeed, that regardless of the results, it cannot provide any reason to accept or reject either hedonism or any other philosophical account of wellbeing since it presupposes preferentism, the desire-satisfaction account ofwellbeing. Preferentists cannot take any comfort from the results of such thought experiments because they assume preferentism and therefore cannot establish it. (...) Neither can anyone else, since only a preferentistshould accept the terms of the thought experiment. (shrink)
In refutation of hedonism, Nozick offered a hypothetical thought experiment, known as the ExperienceMachine. This paper maintains that end-of-life-suffering of the kind that is resistant to state-of-the-art palliation provides a conceptually equal experiment which validates Nozick’s observations and conclusions. The observation that very many terminal patients who suffer terribly do no wish for euthanasia or terminal sedation is incompatible with motivational hedonism. Although irreversible vegetative state and death are equivalently pain-free, very many people loath the former even (...) at the price of the latter. This attitude cannot be accounted for by hedonism. Following these observations, the goals of palliative care are sketched along four circles. The first is mere removal or mitigation of noxious symptoms and suffering. The second targets sufferings that stymie patients’ life-plans and do not allow them to be happy, the third targets sufferings that interfere with their pursuance of other goods (palliation as a primary good). The fourth is the control of sufferings that do not allow the person to benefit from any human good whatsoever (“total pain” or critical suffering). Only in the fourth circle are people hedonists. (shrink)
Nozick's thought experiment is less effective than is often believed. Certainly, there could be reasons to enter the machine. Possibly, life there might be among the best of all those available. Yet we need to distinguish between two versions. On the first, I retain my beliefs, memories, dispositions, some knowledge. On the second, all these too are determined by the scientists. Nozick alludes to both versions. But only on the first will machine life have appeal.
Many philosophers believe that Robert Nozick's experiencemachine argument poses an insurmountable obstacle to hedonism as a theory of well-being. After an initial attempt to demonstrate that the persuasiveness of this argument rests on a key ambiguity, I argue that the intuitions to which the thought experiment appeals are not nearly as clear as many philosophers suppose they are. I believe that a careful consideration of the origin of those intuitions -- especially in light of the so-called "paradox (...) of hedonism" -- reveals that they can, in fact, fit quite comfortably into a hedonistic theory of well-being. (shrink)
Contemporary production of machine-based images relay gradually on the autonomy of computing machines. Autonomous computing machines require the interaction with users like Human-Computer-Interaction technology and other interface technologies, especially computing machine-based images must also ask for viewer as an inter-actor, viewer’s participations. Whether this interaction of viewer-user is with machines or with images, if it is an interaction with each individual that have autonomy or self-organization, its interaction will be the interaction of each ecosystem. And the forms of (...) this environmental interaction are an exchange of energy in natural ecosystem or aesthetic communication in art. Hence the aesthetics of future autonomous machine-based images need to focus on a number of mesh-works and the ways of interactions between the aesthetic individuals and their structures, i.e. aesthetic ecosystems. (shrink)
Cybernetics promoted machine-supported investigations of adaptive sensorimotor behaviours observed in biological systems. This methodological approach receives renewed attention in contemporary robotics, cognitive ethology, and the cognitive neurosciences. Its distinctive features concern machine experiments, and their role in testing behavioural models and explanations flowing from them. Cybernetic explanations of behavioural events, regularities, and capacities rely on multiply realizable mechanism schemata, and strike a sensible balance between causal and unifying constraints. The multiple realizability of cybernetic mechanism schemata paves the way (...) to principled comparisons between biological systems and machines. Various methodological issues involved in the transition from mechanism schemata to their machine instantiations are addressed here, by reference to a simple sensorimotor coordination task. These concern the proper treatment of ceteris paribus clauses in experimental settings, the significance of running experiments with correct but incomplete machine instantiations of mechanism schemata, and the advantage of operating with real machines ??? as opposed to simulated ones ??? immersed in real environments. (shrink)
In the USA and England and Wales, involuntary treatment for mental illness is subject to the constraint that it must be necessary for the health or safety of the patient, if he poses no danger to others. I will argue against this necessary condition of administering treatment and propose that the category of individuals eligible for involuntary treatment should be extended. I begin by focusing on the common disorder of schizophrenia and proceed to demonstrate that it can be a considerable (...) harm to a person's life without causing the person to be a danger to himself. I illuminate this claim by constructing a thought experiment concerning a person who slips on a banana peel and falls into a malfunctioning version of Robert Nozick's experiencemachine. I propose that the reasons why we should remove the person from the machine are the same reasons why we should administer involuntary treatment to individuals with schizophrenia. I rebut three objections to the analogy and conclude that if we believe that we have a duty to provide treatment for reasons relating to a person's wellbeing, it follows that we should reject the health or safety requirement and instead broaden the category of individuals who are eligible for involuntary treatment. (shrink)
In this short paper I will introduce an idea which, I will argue, presents a fundamental additional challenge to the machine consciousness community. The idea takes the questions surrounding phenomenology, qualia and phenomenality one step further into the realm of intersubjectivity but with a twist, and the twist is this: that an agent’s intersubjective experience is deeply felt and necessarily co-affective; it is enkinaesthetic, and only through enkinaesthetic awareness can we establish the affective enfolding which enables first the (...) perturbation, and then the balance and counter-balance, the attunement and co-ordination of whole-body interaction through reciprocal adaptation. (shrink)
Measurement is said to be the basis of exact sciences as the process of assigning numbers to matter (things or their attributes), thus making it possible to apply the mathematically formulated laws of nature to the empirical world. Mathematics and empiria are best accorded to each other in laboratory experiments which function as what Nancy Cartwright calls nomological machine: an arrangement generating (mathematical) regularities. On the basis of accounts of measurement errors and uncertainties, I will argue for two claims: (...) 1) Both fundamental laws of physics, corresponding to ideal nomological machine, and phenomenological laws, corresponding to material nomological machine, lie, being highly idealised relative to the empirical reality; and also laboratory measurement data do not describe properties inherent to the world independently of human understanding of it. 2) Therefore the naive, representational view of measurement and experimentation should be replaced with a more pragmatic or practice-based view. (shrink)
The debate about experience-based or tacit knowledge has focused much attention on the limits to formalisation of work process knowledge. A main line of argument has been that, for example, industrial work even with highly advanced technical equipment can only be performed adequately when the worker through experience on the job has gained a feel for the functioning of the machinery and the properties and behaviour of the materials. In this debate links tend to be created between on (...) the one hand formalised-abstracted-verbal knowledge as opposed to on the other hand informalised-concrete-tacit knowledge. We have worked for some years with the design of training materials which at its core have video documentation of best practice as we have found it at work. In this paper we will present and discuss experience with design and use of a hypermedia type training material, SPRING to be used by new machine setters in the spring industry. Based on our own experience we will argue for the relevance of this type of training materials as a means of supporting reflection and dialogue in the community of practitioners. (shrink)
Philosophers of mind typically group experiential states together and distinguish these from intentional states on the basis of their purportedly obvious phenomenal character. Sytsma and Machery (Phil Stud 151(2): 299–327, 2010) challenge this dichotomy by presenting evidence that non-philosophers do not classify subjective experiences relative to a state’s phenomenological character, but rather by its valence. However we argue that S&M’s results do not speak to folk beliefs about the nature of experiential states, but rather to folk beliefs about the entity (...) to which those experiential states are attributed. In two experiments, we demonstrate that ordinary attributions of subjective experiences (of smell and felt emotions) to a simple robot are not sensitive to valence, but instead respond to functional assumptions about the entity to which the states are (or are not) attributed. (shrink)
Heidegger's treatment of 'machination' in the Beiträge zur Philosophie begins the critique of technological thinking that would centrally characterize his later work. Unlike later discussions of technology, the critique of machination in Beiträge connects its arising to the predominance of 'lived-experience' ( Erlebnis ) as the concealed basis for the possibility of a pre-delineated, rule-based metaphysical understanding of the world. In this essay I explore this connection. The unity of machination and lived-experience becomes intelligible when both are traced (...) to their common root in the primordial Greek attitude of techne , originally a basic attitude of wondering knowledge of nature. But with this common root revealed, the basic connection between machination and lived-experience also emerges as an important development of one of the deepest guiding thoughts of the Western philosophical tradition: the Parmenidean assertion of the sameness of being and thinking. In the Beiträge 's analysis of machination and lived-experience, Heidegger hopes to discover a way of thinking that avoids the Western tradition's constant basic assumption of self-identity, an assumption which culminates in the modern picture of the autonomous, self-identical subject aggressively set over against a pre-delineated world of objects in a relationship of mutual confrontation. In the final section, I investigate an important and illuminating parallel to Heidegger's result: the consideration of the relationship between experience and technological ways of thinking that forms the basis of the late Wittgenstein's famous rule-following considerations. (shrink)
Since there isn't a computer that seems conscious at this time, the idea of machine consciousness is supported by thought experiments. Here's one old chestnut: "What if you replaced your neurons one by one with neuron sized and shaped substitutes made of silicon chips that perfectly mimicked the chemical and electric functions of the originals? If you just replaced one single neuron, surely you'd feel the same. As you proceed, as more and more neurons are replaced, you'd stay conscious. (...) Why wouldn't you still be conscious at the end of the process, when you'd reside in a brain shaped glob of silicon? And why couldn't the resulting replacement brain have been manufactured by some other means?". (shrink)
The proponents of machine consciousness predicate the mental life of a machine, if any, exclusively on its formal, organizational structure, rather than on its physical composition. Given that matter is organized on a range of levels in time and space, this generic stance must be further constrained by a principled choice of levels on which the posited structure is supposed to reside. Indeed, not only must the formal structure fit well the physical system that realizes it, but it (...) must do so in a manner that is determined by the system itself, simply because the mental life of a machine cannot be up to an external observer. To illustrate just how tall this order is, we carefully analyze the scenario in which a digital computer simulates a network of neurons. We show that the formal correspondence between the two systems thereby established is at best partial, and, furthermore, that it is fundamentally incapable of realizing both some of the essential properties of actual neuronal systems and some of the fundamental properties of experience. Our analysis suggests that, if machine consciousness is at all possible, conscious experience can only be instantiated in a class of machines that are entirely different from digital computers, namely, time-continuous, open, analog dynamical systems. (shrink)
Some have claimed that people with very different beliefs literally see the world differently. Thus Thomas Kuhn: ‘what a man sees depends both upon what he looks at and also upon what his previous visual—conceptual experience has taught him to see’ (Kuhn 1970, p. ll3). This view — call it ‘Perceptual Relativism’ — entails that a scientist and a child may look at a cathode ray tube and, in a sense, the first will see it while the second won’t. (...) The claim is not, of course, that the child’s experience is ‘empty’; but that, unlike the scientist, it does not see the tube as a cathode ray tube. One way of supporting this claim is to say that one cannot see something as an F unless one has the concept F. Since the child plainly lacks the concept of a cathode ray tube, it cannot see it as a cathode ray tube. Although Perceptual Relativism is hard to believe, this supporting suggestion is not so implausible. After all, when we see (and more generally, perceive) the world, the world is presented to us in a particular way; so how can we see it as being that way unless we have some idea or conception of the way it is presented? We need not be committed to a representative theory of perception to think that perceptions in some sense represent the world. We can express this by saying that perceptions have content. Now it is a commonplace that the contents of beliefs and the other propositional attitudes involve concepts. The belief that this thing is a cathode ray tube involves, in some sense, the concept cathode ray tube. So the line of thought behind Perceptual Relativism may be expressed thus: seeing an F as an F is a state with content. (shrink)
The radical empiricism of William James was first formally presented in his seminal papers of 1904, 'Does Consciousness Exist?' and 'A World of Pure Experience'. In James's view, pure experience was to serve as the source for psychology's primary data and radical empiricism was to launch an effective critique of experimentalism in psychology, a critique from which the problem of experimentalism within science could be addressed more broadly. This collection of papers presents James's formal statements on radical empiricism (...) and a representative sample of contemporary responses from psychologists and philosophers. With only a few exceptions, these responses indicate just how badly James was misread - psychologists ignoring the heart of James's message and philosophers transforming James's metaphysics into something quite unintelligible to the emerging generation of experimental psychologists. (shrink)
Which objects and properties are represented in perceptual experience, and how are we able to determine this? The papers in this collection address these questions together with other fundamental questions about the nature of perceptual content. -/- The book draws together papers by leading international philosophers of mind, including Alex Byrne (MIT), Alva Noë (University of California, Berkeley), Tim Bayne (St Catherine’s College, Oxford), Michael Tye (University of Texas, Austin), Richard Price (All Souls College, Oxford) and Susanna Siegel (Harvard (...) University) -/- Essays address the central questions surrounding the content of perceptual experience -/- Investigates how are we able to determine the admissible contents of experience -/- Published in association with the journal Philosophical Quarterly. (shrink)
In examining the puzzle of experience, and its possible solutions, Valberg discusses relevant views of Hume, Kant, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, and Strawson, as well as ideas from the recent philosophy of perception. Finally, he describes and analyzes a manifestation of the puzzle outside philosophy, in everyday experience.
Not all research in machine consciousness aims to instantiate phenomenal states in artefacts. For example, one can use artefacts that do not themselves have phenomenal states, merely to simulate or model organisms that do. Nevertheless, one might refer to all of these pursuits -- instantiating, simulating or modelling phenomenal states in an artefact -- as 'synthetic phenomenality'. But there is another way in which artificial agents (be they simulated or real) may play a crucial role in understanding or creating (...) consciousness: 'synthetic phenomenology'. Explanations involving specific experiential events require a means of specifying the contents of experience; not all of them can be specified linguistically. One alternative, at least for the case of visual experience, is to use depictions that either evoke or refer to the content of the experience. Practical considerations concerning the generation and integration of such depictions argue in favour of a synthetic approach: the generation of depictions through the use of an embodied, perceiving and acting agent, either virtual or real. Synthetic phenomenology, then, is the attempt to use the states, interactions and capacities of an artificial agent for the purpose of specifying the contents of conscious experience. This paper takes the first steps toward seeing how one might use a robot to specify the non- conceptual content of the visual experience of an (hypothetical) organism that the robot models. (shrink)
Most philosophers appear to have ignored the distinction between the broad concept of Virtual Machine Functionalism (VMF) described in Sloman&Chrisley (2003) and the better known version of functionalism referred to there as Atomic State Functionalism (ASF), which is often given as an explanation of what Functionalism is, e.g. in Block (1995). -/- One of the main differences is that ASF encourages talk of supervenience of states and properties, whereas VMF requires supervenience of machines that are arbitrarily complex networks of (...) causally interacting (virtual, but real) processes, possibly operating on different time-scales, examples of which include many different procesess usually running concurrently on a modern computer performing various tasks concerned with handling interfaces to physical devices, managing the file system, dealing with security, providing tools, entertainments, and games, and possibly processing research data. Another example of VMF would be the kind of functionalism involved in a large collection of possibly changing socio-economic structures and processes interacting in a complex community, and yet another is illustrated by the kind of virtual machinery involved in the many levels of visual processing of information about spatial structures, processes, and relationships (including percepts of moving shadows, reflections, highlights, optical-flow patterns and changing affordances) as you walk through a crowded car-park on a sunny day: generating a whole zoo of interacting qualia. (Forget solitary red patches, or experiences thereof.) -/- Perhaps VMF should be re-labelled "Virtual MachinERY Functionalism" because the word 'machinery' more readily suggests something complex with interacting parts. VMF is concerned with virtual machines that are made up of interacting concurrently active (but not necessarily synchronised) chunks of virtual machinery which not only interact with one another and with their physical substrates (which may be partly shared, and also frequently modified by garbage collection, metabolism, or whatever) but can also concurrently interact with and refer to various things in the immediate and remote environment (via sensory/motor channels, and possible future technologies also). I.e. virtual machinery can include mechanisms that create and manipulate semantic content, not only syntactive structures or bit patterns as digital virtual machines do. (shrink)
In this Response, I defend the notion of intrinsic qualities of experience, discuss the distinction between relational experience and relational structure, clarify the difference between narrow and broad interpretations of color experience, argue against externalist approaches to color experience, defend the concept of isomorphism as a limitation in understanding color experiences, examine critiques of the color machine and color room arguments, and counter objections to within-subject experiments based on memory limitations.
Earlier, we have studied computations possible by physical systems and by algorithms combined with physical systems. In particular, we have analysed the idea of using an experiment as an oracle to an abstract computational device, such as the Turing machine. The theory of composite machines of this kind can be used to understand (a) a Turing machine receiving extra computational power from a physical process, or (b) an experimenter modelled as a Turing machine performing a test of (...) a known physical theory T. Our earlier work was based upon experiments in Newtonian mechanics. Here we extend the scope of the theory of experimental oracles beyond Newtonian mechanics to electrical theory. First, we specify an experiment that measures resistance using a Wheatstone bridge and start to classify the computational power of this experimental oracle using non-uniform complexity classes. Secondly, we show that modelling an experimenter and experimental procedure algorithmically imposes a limit on our ability to measure resistance by the Wheatstone bridge. The connection between the algorithm and physical test is mediated by a protocol controlling each query, especially the physical time taken by the experimenter. In our studies we find that physical experiments have an exponential time protocol, this we formulate as a general conjecture. Our theory proposes that measurability in Physics is subject to laws which are co-lateral effects of the limits of computability and computational complexity. (shrink)
Wittgenstein’s thinking on music is intimately linked to core issues in his work on the philosophy of psychology. I argue that inasmuch musical experience exemplifies the kind of grammatical complexity that is indigenous to aspect perception and, in general, to concepts that are based on physiognomy, it is rendered by Wittgenstein as a form of knowledge, namely, knowledge of mankind.
In sociology, there has been a controversy about whether there is any essential difference between a human being and a tool, or if the tool–user relationship can be defined by co-actor symmetry. This issue becomes more complex when we consider examples of AI and robots, and even more so following progress in the development of various bio-machine hybrid technologies, such as robots that include organic parts, human brain implants, and adaptive prosthetics. It is argued that a concept of autonomous (...) agency based on organismic embodiment helps to clarify the situation. On this view, agency consists of an asymmetrical relationship between an organism and its environment, because the continuous metabolic and regulatory activity of the organism gives rise to its own existence, and hence its specific behavioral domain. Accordingly, most (if not all) of current technologies are excluded from the class of autonomous agents. Instead, they are better conceptualized as interfaces that mediate our interactions with the world. This has important implications for design: Rather than trying to help humans to achieve their goals by duplicating their agency in artificial systems, it would be better to empower humans directly by enhancing their existing agency and lived experience with technological interfaces that can be incorporated into their embodiment. This incorporation might be especially facilitated by bio-machine hybrid technology that is designed according the principles of biological autonomy and multi-agent coordination dynamics. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss the application of a new machine learning approach – Argument Based Machine Learning – to the legal domain. An experiment using a dataset which has also been used in previous experiments with other learning techniques is described, and comparison with previous experiments made. We also tested this method for its robustness to noise in learning data. Argumentation based machine learning is particularly suited to the legal domain as it makes use of the (...) justifications of decisions which are available. Importantly, where a large number of decided cases are available, it provides a way of identifying which need to be considered. Using this technique, only decisions which will have an influence on the rules being learned are examined. (shrink)
In “Emergent Ghosts of the Emotion Machine,” James Coan neglects emotion displays involved in social communication and activity in central neurochemical systems associated with drug-induced changes in feelings and desires. Also, he fails to recognize that emotions are not rigidly bound to action tendencies, but rather have evolved internal signals to afford flexibility of response. Emotion indices naturally lack close coordination because different aspects—physiological arousal, expressive display, subjective experience—are differentially accessible to the responder and interaction partner, and therefore (...) undergo different social learning histories. Emotions are entities both at the biological level, involving special-purpose primes, and at the ecological level, involving displays reflecting communicative demands characteristic of a species. Language, not emotion, is the ghost in the machine. (shrink)
The most cursory examination of the history of artificial intelligence highlights numerous egregious claims of its researchers, especially in relation to a populist form of ‘strong’ computationalism which holds that any suitably programmed computer instantiates genuine conscious mental states purely in virtue of carrying out a specific series of computations. The argument presented herein is a simple development of that originally presented in Putnam’s (Representation & Reality, Bradford Books, Cambridge in 1988 ) monograph, “Representation & Reality”, which if correct, has (...) important implications for turing machine functionalism and the prospect of ‘conscious’ machines. In the paper, instead of seeking to develop Putnam’s claim that, “everything implements every finite state automata”, I will try to establish the weaker result that, “everything implements the specific machine Q on a particular input set ( x )”. Then, equating Q ( x ) to any putative AI program, I will show that conceding the ‘strong AI’ thesis for Q (crediting it with mental states and consciousness) opens the door to a vicious form of panpsychism whereby all open systems, (e.g. grass, rocks etc.), must instantiate conscious experience and hence that disembodied minds lurk everywhere. (shrink)
That the successful development of fully autonomous artificial moral agents (AMAs) is imminent is becoming the received view within artificial intelligence research and robotics. The discipline of Machines Ethics, whose mandate is to create such ethical robots, is consequently gaining momentum. Although it is often asked whether a given moral framework can be implemented into machines, it is never asked whether it should be. This paper articulates a pressing challenge for Machine Ethics: To identify an ethical framework that is (...) both implementable into machines and whose tenets permit the creation of such AMAs in the first place. Without consistency between ethics and engineering, the resulting AMAs would not be genuine ethical robots, and hence the discipline of Machine Ethics would be a failure in this regard. Here this challenge is articulated through a critical analysis of the development of Kantian AMAs, as one of the leading contenders for being the ethic that can be implemented into machines. In the end, however, the development of Kantian artificial moral machines is found to be anti-Kantian. The upshot of all this is that machine ethicists need to look elsewhere for an ethic to implement into their machines. (shrink)
This paper is a summary and evaluation of work presented at the AAAI 2005 Fall Symposium on Machine Ethics that brought together participants from the fields of Computer Science and Philosophy to the end of clarifying the nature of this newly emerging field and discussing different approaches one could take towards realizing the ultimate goal of creating an ethical machine.