Recently, they had a supercomputer compete on the TV show Jeopardy. The computer ended up winning the game, and there have been a lot of reports from people who are worried that computers are going to take over the world.
After all, if computers know more trivia than we do, it is definitely time to worry.
Personally, I'm confused as to why Intel spent $25 million to build a machine that can win Jeopardy. Didn't anyone stop for a moment and wonder if this was really the best way they could have used their money? After all, we are in a depression. And even though the computer is really fancy, it can't exactly be used for a lot of different things, you know?
The big question behind all this is what Pope John Paul II called the most important question of the 20th century--"What is a human being?" Scientists have decided that humans are simply machines. The brain is basically a computer that controls the human body. Humans are really complicated machines, to be sure, but they're still just machines.
This is why scientists think it's worthwhile to build humanoid robots and supercomputers. If they can build a machine that looks and acts and thinks just like a human, it will prove that humans are just machines.
Opposed to these scientists are people who believe in souls. Humans have souls, which is what makes them different from computers or animals. The soul is a non-physical part of the body, so people claim scientists will not be able to duplicate it in their experiments. Psychologists who believe in the subconscious usually side with the soul-supporters. They say that humans are more than just machines.
There is a third group of people who say that humans are more than just machines, because humans can feel emotions. I've never heard a very well-developed version of this theory, though. Scientists tend to disregard the argument from emotion, because you can control a person's emotions by giving them drugs.
So, here's my question for you readers. What do you think humans are? Are they complicated machines? Are they more than machines, because they have emotions? Or are they more than machines, because they have souls?