Neuroscience & Mind Icon Neuroscience & Mind

“Are We Spiritual Machines?”

Photo credit: Rod Long, via Unsplash.

I’ve been reviewing philosopher and programmer Erik Larson’s The Myth of Artificial Intelligence. See my earlier posts, hereherehere, and here.

The event at which I moderated the discussion about Ray Kurzweil’s The Age of Spiritual Machines was the 1998 George Gilder Telecosm conference, which occurred in the fall of that year at Lake Tahoe (I remember baseball players Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire chasing each other for home run leadership at the time). In response to the discussion, I wrote a paper for First Things titled “Are We Spiritual Machines?”  it is still available online at the link just given, and its arguments remain current and relevant. An abridged version of this article then appeared in an anthology, edited by my friend and colleague Jay Richards: Are We Spiritual Machines? Ray Kurzweil and the Critics of Strong AI. This anthology is still available and still worthy of attention, if only to point out how the same themes and misconceptions about AI persist.