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Dreyfus's criticism of AI
The section "Dreyfus's criticism of AI" is taken from an e-mail a friend of mine, who has read Drefyus's book and taken a few of his classes, sent me. If anybody drastically disagrees with its formulation, by all means, change it! :) --Fastfission 13:15, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The statements regarding Dreyfus as a prominent figure in artificial intelligence and a prominent philosopher are misguided at best. I speak from great interest in his work on Heidegger and his abilities as a professor of Heidegger which must surely be commended. But as far as the global philosophy community is concerned Dreyfus doesn’t even make gadfly status—he and several of his colleagues at Berkeley will repeatedly call his contributions noteworthy and influential. But in my experience at several prominent US universities, Oxford, and UCL in Europe, and from conversations with numbers of students of philosophy, cognitive science and neuroscience, none have even heard of the man. His books What Computers Can’t Do (and Still Can’t Do) exhibit no knowledge of cognitive science, formal logic, mathematics or any of the actual methods used by people in the “artificial intelligence” field. Which should be noted is not explicitly a field at all, and no university I know of has an “Artificial Intelligence” department. They do have neuroscience departments, and cognitive science departments and philosophy departments but Dreyfus is largely inept to address any of these as his knowledge is in highly soft continental philosophy. If a student of Dreyfus’s wrote this wikipedia article on the professor, it is accurate and commendable in its objective facts, I agree with this much. But I would highly recommend the person who wrote this to rethink the use of “influential” “major” “prominent” “leading” and any other such misguided assessments. I also urge the reading public to research Professor Dreyfus’ achievements and discuss his influence with people in the philosophy of mind field—the cognitive science and neuroscience fields (which do work on “artificial intelligence”) will not know his name, much less any influence his students may be lead to believe he has. -Andre, November 2005
Dreyfus is well known in the field of artificial intelligence, although amongst 'true believers' he is still widely loathed. He is, it's true, less well known in the field of cognitive psychology and it's also probably true that he is more or less unknown in the field of neuroscience. But so what? Dreyfus doesn't write about psychology in general let alone neuroscience: he writes about AI, and amongst AI specialists (and, more specifically amongst philosophers who write about AI) he is very well known. It should also be noted that in populist works about psychology, consciousness and AI (for example, John Horgan's work) he tends to be quoted: he is better known outside academic circles than most philosophers. Ultimately if you have asked around and no one has heard of him then that's your take on things: but I used to work in a psychology department and many of the psychologists who worked there (especially those interested in more 'philosophical' issues of psychology) had heard of him. It should also be noted that his introduction to Being and Time is the standard English introductory text. User: BScotland.
When people delve into the philosophy of AI, the "AI is impossible/misguided" field can pretty much be characterized as "Searle, and his bunch" and "Deryfus, standing alone". Deryfus's work is by leaps and bounds more in quantity, depth & quality than anyone else from this camp. Not belittling Sealre for which this is very much a part-time pursuit, All his work in AI could be contained in a not-long chapter from Dreyfus's book.
His book may be tedious, it may be difficult to read, it may be overly argumentative and confrontational, it may (by now) be slightly out of date, but it is still the biggest and best work of its kind: A serious all-encompassing philosophical critique of AI.
Due disclosure: I am writing the article What Computers Can't Do, and am working on an MA Thesis on what philosophers and technologists can learn from each other. Samfreed 08:35, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Although "some" of Dreyfus's criticisms of AI may have been well-founded, in fact both his original book and his 1992 book focused heavily on chess-playing and maintained that computers wouldn't compete seriously. In 1992 he said their skill had increased but apparently plateaued. Given that he wrote this 5 years before Deep Blue defeated Kasparov, I think this article should be more balanced -- one could argue he simply erred in picking chess as a focus, but he did in fact discuss chess at length. He clearly misjudged the issue deeply. If no one responds to this, I will edit the entry at some point. User: Jgrudin. —Preceding undated comment added 19:56, 7 August 2009 (UTC).
Recent comments about Heidegger and Wittgensten
Aren't the recent comments at least unsourced, and at worst Original Research, or POV? Samfreed 22:57, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition
There are numerous references to "Dreyfus, H.L. & Dreyfus, S.E. (1986). Mind over machine: The power of human intuition and experience in the era of the computer. New York: The Free Press." as the "Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition", e.g. here ... and the number of references seems to grow (I heard about it in a podcast interview on Pragmatic Programmers Refactoring your Wetware). I think it is an absolute must for this to get into the Text.