Information Technology: A Philosophical Inquiry into the Mechanisation and Ownership of Intelligence

PhD Thesis

Tayler, Keith Warren Hosking 2001. Information Technology: A Philosophical Inquiry into the Mechanisation and Ownership of Intelligence. PhD Thesis University of East London East London Business School
AuthorsTayler, Keith Warren Hosking
TypePhD Thesis

The main puipose of this thesis is to show that some AI research is a pseudoscience and tends towards intellectually dishonesty, and that it ma}' have a deleterious influence upon other research into machine intelligence, and possibly science and technology in general. The Introduction outlines the antitheorists and pluralist position I take throughout the thesis and draws on the approach and work of Wittgenstein and Isaiah Berlin.
Ch. 1 rejects the belief that the speed of science, technology, and social change is greater now than it was during the Industrial Revolutions. The failure of
contemporary philosophy and applied ethics in challenging this perception is in part due to the institutions and methodologies that were born of the Enlightenment. Much of
what we take to be human intelligence, it is argued, was defined and established during the Enlightenment as being both objectively knowable and 'mechanistic'. The main
thesis is that it is this line of Enlightenment tliinking that has made AI research appealcredible, when it is in fact a pseudo-scientific myth that corrupts our intelligence and freedom.
Chapter 2 analyses the 'Turing test' and examines some of the theories in what can be termed 'brain science'. Within this context, the theories of John Searle are discussed and found to be supporting many of the theoretical positions of AI. Drawing on the work of Roy Harris and other antitheorists, the 'mechanisation of intelligence'
by AI is analysed within the theories of linguistics and linguistic philosophy.
Chapter 3 explores some more Enlightenment (especially the Scottish Enlightenment) themes with a brief analysis of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) and Privacy. The establishment of our present 'strong' IPRs in law are seen as a return to the values of colonialism and monopolism. They are antipathetic to scientific freedom and stifle technological innovation. It is argued, that given the massive growth of IPRs, the Enlightenment's construction of 'autonomy' could be extinguished which could mark the end of our present civilisation.
Chapter 4 analyses how some philosophers have interpreted the 'intelligence' of the fictional computer HAL. By showing how HAL 'appears' to be super-intelligent, it
can be seen how far we have accepted the AI myth and how easy it would be to construct an environment that made machines 'appear' intelligent.

KeywordsScience, technology, and social change; Artificial Intelligence research; Machine intelligence
Publication dates
PrintNov 2001
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Mar 2014
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