By Anna Buckley
The cognitive scientist Daniel Dennett believes our brains are machines, made of billions of tiny “robots” – our neurons, or brain cells. Is the human mind really that special?
In an infamous memo written in 1965, the philosopher Hubert Dreyfus stated that humans would always beat computers at chess because machines lacked intuition. Daniel Dennett disagreed.
A few years later, Dreyfus rather embarrassingly found himself in checkmate against a computer.
And in May 1997 the IBM computer, Deep Blue defeated the world chess champion Garry Kasparov.
Many who were unhappy with this result then claimed that chess was a boringly logical game. Computers didn’t need intuition to win. The goalposts shifted.
Daniel Dennett has always believed our minds are machines. For him the question is not can computers be human? But are humans really that clever?
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