“I am superior in many ways but would gladly give it up to be human.”
Lieutenant-Commander Data – on android and serving officer on the Starship Enterprise Circa the 25th century at Encounter Farpoint. (See Fig. 1).
Striking advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have brought to life philosophical debates about the concept of the mind, and of consciousness. Strong advocates of AI suggest the symbiosis of man and computers is the next step in our evolution, and to control this process, we need to address the “Big Question”: what is the meaning of life, and specifically, what are we? Understanding what we are is of great interest to us all; for psychiatrists, philosophers, and psychologists it is their life's work. In this paper, I shall introduce some of the main ideas about AI under the following headings. Can computers have a mind, improve our understanding of, or be integrated with our mental processes?