Selmer Bringsjord (1995) Are Computers Automata? . Psycoloquy: 6(39) Robot Consciousness (17)
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Psycoloquy 6(39): Are Computers Automata?

Reply to Rickert on Robot-Consciousness

Selmer Bringsjord
Dept. of Philosophy, Psychology & Cognitive Science
Department of Computer Science
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy NY 12180 (USA)


At the heart of "What Robots Can and Can't Be" (ROBOTS, 1992) is the argument that persons can't be built by AI researchers because persons have certain properties such as free will that automata necessarily lack. Rickert (1995) objects that since computers are not automata, this argument fails. ROBOTS stated explicitly, however, that although computers (and, a fortiori, robots) are npt, strictly speaking, automata, what differentiates robots and computers from automata is of no help, because if Turing Machines can't have free will, then neither can embodied Turing Machines with sensors and effectors, that is, neither can robots.


behaviorism, Chinese Room Argument, cognition, consciousness, finite automata, free will, functionalism, introspection, mind, story generation, Turing machines, Turing Test.