• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How convincing is the claim that some machines could be persons?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐How convincing is the claim that some machines could be persons? To begin to analyse the aspects which would lead to machines being recognised as persons, the characteristics required to be considered as a person must be realised. These characteristics include: rationality, autonomy, language (communication), self-awareness, creativity, reflection, empathy, embodiment, possessing a network of beliefs and socialising. The issues involved with considering some machines to be persons is the fact that; many argue no machine can be considered a fully-pledged person as all of the characteristics haven?t been satisfied for any machine. Secondly, most people believe that to be a person, it requires being a human being. On the other hand, people believe in the advancement of technology and believe one day machines will be recognised as persons regardless of if they are humanoids or humans. My view is that machines cannot be considered persons and views of both sides of the argument will be explored through this essay. There are several arguments that exist in favour of machine personhood. ...read more.


The judge is unaware of which participant is the human or the machine, and if the judge cannot tell which participant is the human then the machine is said to have passed the test. This is linked to the idea of if machines could be persons as, if even an experienced human judge cannot tell the difference between a machine and a human when engaging in conversation, then the possibility that a machine can be considered as persons is high Strong arguments exist which contribute to the idea of why we shouldn?t consider machines as persons: The fact that no machine has ever exhibited all of the characteristics required for personhood, dismisses the belief that machines could be recognised as persons. Although, technology is advancing rapidly and machines such as ASIMO have displayed very high intelligence in recognising objects etc. the argument that machines do not actually understand things the same way humans do still exists. This is due to humans using thought processes, and ?thinking? to understand basic things, while machines must be programmed to do this and is very limited. ...read more.


Therefore, Searle believed machines could not be said to be thinking in the same manner as humans. The Chinese room test is performed by a human participant who knows only English being placed in a room and following English instructions for manipulating Chinese characters which result in to the participant appearing to be able to communicate in Chinese with the people outside the room. This proves what Searle says about the machines not understanding what they are processing and displaying as human behaviour, as it is just manipulating language given to them through instructions which the human participant did in ?The Chinese room?. In conclusion, although the fact that the potential for machines to be considered at least diminished persons exists, due to the advancement of technology which has produced machines like ASIMO which can recognise objects and has a significantly strong learning ability etc. or the form of communication that machines express through Binary code; I still believe that machines cannot be considered persons without satisfying all the essential characteristics of personhood and not imitating it through simulation, it can only be recognised as a person through displaying strong human-like behaviour. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. "Religious Language is meaningless." Discuss.

    Aquinas believed that the answer lay in Analogy. Aquinas stated that the world was created by God and depends on him. Therefore, human love can be related to the love of God because he is the source of love. Saying that I am good and that God is good, there is an Analogy of Attribution.


    This would imply that machines can think, as physically, they demonstrate all the characteristics which signify this. Many philosophers would still dismiss the idea that machines could ever be persons. According to certain philosophers, such as John Searle, there seems to be something missing - in Searle's case, "understanding".

  1. Do you find any of the arguments for cognitivism convincing?

    This creates a kind of set Moral Law based on universalised maxims, which basically means that an action can only be right if it can be universalised. This, according to Kant, leads to a perfect moral system. To his favour, the theory is very simple to understand, and in many

  2. Can computers think?

    Most importantly, it must be asked whether Turing has approached the original question from the right angle. He is substituting the question of whether or not a machine can think, for whether or not one such machine could imitate a human through language.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work