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

TOK, can a machine know

Extracts from this document...


Tok : Can a Machine Know? The definition of knowledge is under constant and ever-lasting debated due to its impalpable nature. However, in general, it is agreed that "Knowledge acquisition involves complex cognitive processes: perception, learning, communication, association and reasoning." The Oxford English Dictionary defines knowledge to be "(i) expertise, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject, (ii) awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation." Overwhelming advances in technology have led people to contemplate weather machines can themselves gain knowledge, a property once only attributed to the human conscious. A machine is defined to be "A device consisting of fixed and moving parts that modifies mechanical energy and transmits it in a more useful form." Arguments and debates around this question are numerous and well supported and touch realms of psychology, philosophy, religion and others. ...read more.


Human beings are capable of spontaneous knowledge, arising from practically nothing (example intuition). Knowledge with human beings is also changeable and flexible according to perception, something a machine lacks and is deprived of having. Also, with the argument of computers being able to know, we must understand how it functions. Computers and similar technologies execute arithmetic calculations (which are quite basic, simple, and repetitive) in order to perform and display pre-programmed or recently applied commands. These calculative methods are also instilled by humans (who determine what and what computers cannot know). This means they're limited, based on previous knowledge, cannot acquire new knowledge, cannot reason qualitatively, and only performs tasks (against knowing consciously). Some others argue that the new technology the world currently has is capable of knowing. Their strongest argument is Artificial Intelligence (AI). There are many philosophies about Artificial Intelligence, and knowledge itself is a central issue in the matter. ...read more.


This statement is also self-explanatory. The strongest philosophical stance currently is that "The brain can be simulated."- Hans Moravec & Ray Kurzweil. They, among others, claim that with the new biological and physiological understanding of the brain and its functions, it can be simulated with hardware and software programs, giving machines human-like knowing. These are the basic and most powerful arguments concerning AI, the main position from which arguers claim that machines are capable of knowing. The question of whether a machine is capable of knowing is very debatable. Until knowledge is properly and precisely defined, any answer can be heavily supported. Until further advances in the realm of technology however, we cannot ultimately claim machines know, due to their limits in many a trait human's possess and use in their knowing process. Also knowing requires a conscious, unconscious, and subconscious, which is currently limited to human beings. "There are no facts, only interpretations"-Nietzsche, and since machines cannot make a conscious choice in believing (being only limited to what it is pre-programmed to "know"); I believe a machine is not capable of knowing. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge 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 International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essays

  1. How do I know what is right and what is wrong?

    In that debate, I was assigned to debate about "legalism" which is a philosophy that states that all humans are corrupt to start with. Being more detached from religion, that debate became a kind of a self realization moment. It made me ponder the fact that do I follow all

  2. In what sense, if any, can a machine be said to know something? How ...

    The Greek physician Galen definitively proved Aristotle wrong in a series of experiments on sheep brains by demonstrating that injury to the brain affected sensory perception and cognition. Without definite proof from Galen, people may have continued to believe that the heart was the center of all intellectual activity.

  1. Seeing James the Red Engine cry, prompted me to ask whether a machine could ...

    A dualist could argue that it is true to say the body of a human is a complicated machine, but the mind of a machine is a wholly different entity. A machine is a purely physical system, this cannot be denied, and in this way is the same as our physical body.

  2. Art assignment TOK

    you just view it online you are missing the experience of actually being there. Experiencing Art 9. A work of art to experience is the 'infamous' Voice of Fire by Barnett Newman in C214. Stare at either blue edge of the painting (where they meet the wall)

  1. can a machine know TOK

    Some ways of knowing cannot be used by machines so thus can a machine know?. There exists a major difference in the ways of knowing for a human and a machine. Man's ways of knowing are language, perception, emotion.

  2. Can a machine know

    How many times has my mother of father commanded me to go out and empty the garbage or to clean my room? Even if I complain and whine about how busy I am, I still do it anyway. My computer is very similar, recently I wanted to make a DVD

  1. Can a Machine Know? TOK essay.

    It might be hard to understand how simple machine components that cannot perform any task on their own, and are unable to think can somehow make a machine know anything when arranged in a certain way. It is important at this stage to point out that knowledge does not necessarily

  2. Although complete dependence on intuition is not suggested, intuition is often surprisingly accurate. But ...

    always room for the logic side of our mind to evaluate the reliability of the explanation and provide reasons whether it can be applied or not in our life just like what have been said by Austin Dacey, "Guts are important.

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