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Artificial Intelligence

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 29 April 1999

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss artificial intelligence. Can we create a machine that creates? Some argue so. And is consciousness, as we are, with headaches and tiffs and moods and small pleasures and sore feet - often all at the same time - capable of taking place in a machine? Artificial intelligence machines have been growing much more intelligent since Alan Turing’s pioneering days at Bletchley in World War Two. Its claims are now very grand indeed. It is 31 years since Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C Clarke gave us HAL - the archetypal thinking computer of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. But are we any nearer to achieving the thinking, feeling computer? Or is it just a dream - and should it remain as one?With Igor Aleksander, Professor, Imperial College London and inventor of Magnus - a neural computer which he says is an artificially conscious machine; John Searle, Professor of Philosophy, University of California and one of only two people in the world to invent an argument, the Chinese Room Argument, which destroys the plausibility of the idea of conscious machines.

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