This talk was delivered as part of a course on Reality, Robots and Religion at The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at the University of Cambridge. Here’s a brief overview:
Could a machine exhibit intelligence similar to that of a human being? Is it possible to develop a computer system that is conscious? How do these questions relate to theological views about human nature? For example, could developments in artificial intelligence (AI) undermine or support such views? The first part of the talk provides some context for addressing these issues by giving a very brief overview of aspects of the philosophy of AI. In particular, it looks at topics such as the distinction between strong AI and weak AI, the Turing Test, the Chinese Room argument and debates about physicalism, the view that there is nothing in the world over and above the physical. The second part of the talk explores possible implications of current or future findings of AI for theological views of the soul.
The talk is available in audio or as a downloadable mp4 video.
Talks from other speakers at the course, including the Astronomer Royal, Lord Rees, can be accessed from the Faraday site under Multimedia.