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Far from it, the predominant opinion in the AI community, among both sides of the strong/weak issue, is that the mind is a strictly physical phenomenon [Fischler 1987].Even Searle, a weak AI advocate, believes that The AI debate is primarily concerned over whether our current, algorithmic computing paradigm is sufficient to achieve intelligence, once "the right algorithm" has been found.If weak AI can ever be proven, it might lead to a refutation of Church's thesis (as implied in [Bringsjord 1997]). Searle, a prominent and respected scholar in the AI community, offered the "Chinese room parable" [Searle 1980].
a program running in a complex, but predictable, system of electro-chemical components (neurons).
Although the term "strong AI" has yet to be conclusively defined [Sloman 1992], many supporters of strong AI believe that the computer and the brain have equivalent computing power, and that with sufficient technology, it will someday be possible to create machines that enjoy the same type of consciousness as humans.
Still, there are those who cling desperately to the strong AI dream.
Searle says in [Baumgartner 1995] that these people have built their professional lives on the assumption that strong Artificial Intelligence is true. Then you do not refute it; you do not convince its adherents just by presenting an argument.
Akin to the debate of whether machines can live is the debate over whether machines can be intelligent.
This is the great Artificial Intelligence debate, one which has not been resolved and probably never will be.
An early attempt at this was the Connection Machine, introduced by Thinking Mind, Inc.
in 1986, which had up to 64,000 processors, massively connected, capable of fully parallel operation.
If Star Trek is any reliable predictor of our world's future (hah!
), then the issue of whether machines can be alive won't be resolved any time soon.