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Alan Turing and the “hard” and “easy” problem of cognition: doing and feeling

Alan Turing and the “hard” and “easy” problem of cognition: doing and feeling
Alan Turing and the “hard” and “easy” problem of cognition: doing and feeling
The "easy" problem of cognitive science is explaining how and why we can do what we can do. The "hard" problem is explaining how and why we feel. Turing's methodology for cognitive science (the Turing Test) is based on doing: Design a model that can do anything a human can do, indistinguishably from a human, to a human, and you have explained cognition. Searle has shown that the successful model cannot be solely computational. Sensory-motor robotic capacities are necessary to ground some, at least, of the model's words, in what the robot can do with the things in the world that the words are about. But even grounding is not enough to guarantee that -- nor to explain how and why -- the model feels (if it does). That problem is much harder to solve (and perhaps insoluble).
Harnad, Stevan
442ee520-71a1-4283-8e01-106693487d8b
Harnad, Stevan
442ee520-71a1-4283-8e01-106693487d8b

Harnad, Stevan (2012) Alan Turing and the “hard” and “easy” problem of cognition: doing and feeling. [in special issue: Turing Year 2012] Turing100: Essays in Honour of Centenary Turing Year 2012, Summer Issue.

Record type: Article

Abstract

The "easy" problem of cognitive science is explaining how and why we can do what we can do. The "hard" problem is explaining how and why we feel. Turing's methodology for cognitive science (the Turing Test) is based on doing: Design a model that can do anything a human can do, indistinguishably from a human, to a human, and you have explained cognition. Searle has shown that the successful model cannot be solely computational. Sensory-motor robotic capacities are necessary to ground some, at least, of the model's words, in what the robot can do with the things in the world that the words are about. But even grounding is not enough to guarantee that -- nor to explain how and why -- the model feels (if it does). That problem is much harder to solve (and perhaps insoluble).

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Published date: 14 June 2012
Organisations: Web & Internet Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 340293
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/340293
PURE UUID: 4bc0d664-318c-49e5-aed4-f9e67bccb941
ORCID for Stevan Harnad: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6153-1129

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Jun 2012 11:29
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 13:06

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