cognitive science is defined as the study of intelligent systems
this suggests that it covers a wide range of different kinds of cognition
intelligence is a threshold term
some things are intelligent while others are not
can machines be intelligent?
is your computer intelligent (or, at least, able to demonstrate intelligence given the proper software – this is important because we don’t want to say that anything with a brain is intelligent. rather, it is processes the brain performs that exhibit the intelligence)
look at larry learner
what does larry’s forfeiture tell us?
at least one way of putting it is to say that larry assumes you are as smart as “he” is
there is a winning formula, and larry knows it. “he” has the ability to recognize when the formula can be utilized, when it cannot, and he will use it when it can
is larry intelligent?
most say no
those that say yes commonly respond in three ways
larry is intelligent because If a human plays that well, we say that person is intelligent. refusing to say the same thing about larry is just prejudice (against machines).
larry is intelligent at the game “last one loses,” even if he isn't intelligent in other areas.
larry may not be as intelligent as we are, but he is intelligent. (intelligence comes in degrees.)
the “no” answer
what are the best reasons for believing that larry is not intelligent?
larry isn't intelligent any more than a calculator or an automated dishwasher is.
it isn't larry that is intelligent, it's the programmer who is. the programmer has built his own intelligence into the program.
the first answer doesn’t say anything. it says that calculators aren’t intelligent, and larry is the same kind of thing, but it doesn’t tell us why calculators themselves aren’t intelligent. it pushes the question back with no real reason
the second answer can be fleshed out to be something like this:
it isn't Larry that is intelligent, it is the programmer (in this case, tony kuzola). the programmer had to figure out what the winning moves were and then encoded that information in the program. all the program does is record the knowledge acquired by the programmer. tony might have written this knowledge in a book; instead he encoded it into a computer program. but there is no more reason to say that the program is intelligent than to say that a book is.
how do we learn the moves?
one possibility is that a person has enough math theory that he can recognize the pattern immediately
most of us would learn the correct moves through trial and error
let’s say tony learned this way
hence, tony, the programmer, is intelligent (and larry, the computer program, is not) by virtue of the fact that the programmer learned by trial and error what the winning moves are.
larry learner learns
here larry does not know winning moves, only the rules of the game, plus he rules out moves that don’t win by trial and error
play this version of larry learner
what is learned
if you play long enough, you may notice that a pattern begins to develop. as numbers were removed from the cups, every fourth cup beginning with the first (#1, #5, #9) would eventually be emptied completely. every fourth cup beginning with the second (#2, #6, #10), would eventually end up with only the number "1" in it; every fourth cup beginning with the third (#3, #7) would end up with only the number "2" in it; and so on. if you were to play enough games, all of the cups would eventually be emptied of numbers except for the cup and number combinations representing the "winning" moves.
the point is that larry learned the moves, and, if learning is what constitutes intelligence, the larry is in
larry is not intelligent because larry just does what he's programmed to do.
this assumes two things:
nothing that is programmed is intelligent
humans are not programmed
humans are programmed
could respond to this by saying human beings are "programmed" in two important ways: by nature and by nurture. we are not the authors of our own intelligent abilities. first, our brains are complex organs that have built into them the mechanisms that make possible our reasoning abilities. YOU did not design or build your own brain. either nature did (through evolution) or God did. but in either case, you don't get credit for it. second, you have been taught and trained by many people, you have been nurtured. if you were raised by wolves, you wouldn't speak a language and you would be incapable of many forms of reasoning that you now take for granted. the training that you have received from other people is a kind of programming. yes, the capacities that machines have were "built in" by humans, but the capacities that we have were "built in" as well. so the second premise is false. humans are programmed, at least in a certain broad sense of "being programmed."
best reason to doubt larry’s intelligence
larry’s abilities are too narrow
larry can only play this one game, and only with 10 pencils
we, on the other hand, can play with various different numbers of pencils, and we can play other games – we can learn lots of things and not just this one thing
is this ample justification for saying larry isn’t intelligent?