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

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Introduction

´╗┐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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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