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Daniel Dennett thinks a game can show that computers could really think


Fr. Robert Verrill, OP, takes different view:

In his paper “Real Patterns,” Tufts University philosopher Daniel Dennett writes the following:

In my opinion, every philosophy student should be held responsible for an intimate acquaintance with the Game of Life. It should be considered an essential tool in every thought-experimenter’s kit, a prodigiously versatile generator of philosophically important examples and thought experiments of admirable clarity and vividness.

One of the reasons why Dennett likes the Game of Life is because he thinks it can help us understand how computers could be genuinely intelligent. Now I do think the Game of Life provides us with some interesting thought experiments, but precisely for the opposite reason to Dennett: the Game of Life simulation makes it manifestly obvious that conventional computers could never be intelligent in the strong sense of the word.

Conway’s Game of Life is not a game in the conventional sense. Rather, the Game of Life is a computer simulation that takes place on a two-dimensional square grid. Robert Verrill, OP, “Can a game prove that computers could really think?” at Mind Matters Today More.

Daniel Dennett

Dennett is also known for the thesis that consciousness is an evolved illusion.

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