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Computers Intelligence (ai) & Semantics

Bots and Beasts

What Makes Machines, Animals, and People Smart?

by (author) Paul Thagard

Publisher
MIT Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2021
Category
Intelligence (AI) & Semantics, Mind & Body, Cognitive Science
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780262045940
    Publish Date
    Oct 2021
    List Price
    $39.95

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Description

An expert on mind considers how animals and smart machines measure up to human intelligence.

Octopuses can open jars to get food, and chimpanzees can plan for the future. An IBM computer named Watson won on Jeopardy! and Alexa knows our favorite songs. But do animals and smart machines really have intelligence comparable to that of humans? In Bots and Beasts, Paul Thagard looks at how computers ("bots") and animals measure up to the minds of people, offering the first systematic comparison of intelligence across machines, animals, and humans.

Thagard explains that human intelligence is more than IQ and encompasses such features as problem solving, decision making, and creativity. He uses a checklist of twenty characteristics of human intelligence to evaluate the smartest machines--including Watson, AlphaZero, virtual assistants, and self-driving cars--and the most intelligent animals--including octopuses, dogs, dolphins, bees, and chimpanzees. Neither a romantic enthusiast for nonhuman intelligence nor a skeptical killjoy, Thagard offers a clear assessment. He discusses hotly debated issues about animal intelligence concerning bacterial consciousness, fish pain, and dog jealousy. He evaluates the plausibility of achieving human-level artificial intelligence and considers ethical and policy issues. A full appreciation of human minds reveals that current bots and beasts fall far short of human capabilities.

About the author

Paul Thagard is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. He is the author of The Cognitive Science of Science (MIT Press, 2012) and many other books.

Paul Thagard's profile page

Other titles by Paul Thagard