Daniel Fabulich (
Tue, 21 Jul 1998 18:11:23 -0400 (EDT)

I'm an idiot... HERE's the best argument against AI critics:

AI's goal is not to create an artificial soul, but to create artificial
*intelligence*, which is a very different concept. Intelligence can be
defined purely in terms of behavior: the ability to problem-solve, respond to stimuli and/or coordinate its efforts with other intelligent beings. If the AI project builds a computer that can do these things, then it will have succeeded; *appearing* to act intelligently should not depend on the soul, unless it is somehow necessary for problem-solving. Arguably, the best test for AI is the Turing test: does it behave so much like a person that another person is fooled?

There is a great deal of evidence that intelligent behavior CAN be exhibited by artificial constructs; that we will create a device which will respond to stimuli so convincingly that we will have no way to tell the difference between the robot's behavior and a person's behavior. Even if this construction does not have a soul, it WILL be intelligent; if so, AI will have worked.

Good point about cryonics and NDEs; between that and the point about frozen zygotes I think we've answered the question for AIs and cryonics.

As for uploading... see that rather copious thread in its numerous incarnations over the years. IMO, we've yet to answer that question well enough to satisfy *ourselves*, (sorry to those on both sides who think the other side is obviously wrong! :p) so I should hardly think that we'll be able to answer it well in a short FAQ answer.