FSEM 198, Fall 2043
Writing Assignment 1

AS YOU KNOW, there are three writing assignments in this course, in addition to the group project. The first of the three assignments is to write a paper that addresses issues raised about intelligence and artificial intelligence in the movie AI: Artificial Intelligence. You should approach this question based on the readings you have done for class, including "Computing Machinery and Intelligence," The Language Instinct, stories from The Cyberiad, "Visualizing the Mind," and "The Soul of the Mark III Beast." You might find that some of material from the presentation on Animal Minds is relevant, and you might even want to look at the Loebner competition and the ALICE chatbot. Although it is not absolutely required, you might want to do some additional research.

I am not assigning a specific topic for the paper. You should think about the characters of David, Gigolo Joe, Teddy, and the other robots in AI. Are they intelligent? Are they conscious? Do they have real emotions? What do you think of other character's reactions to them? How do they use language? How does their intelligence and language use compare to that of humans? Is the portrayal realistic or plausible? Would the robots pass the Turing test? You should think about issues such as these and use them to develop some theme for your paper. The theme should be one that will allow you to make specific references to the readings from the course.

You should make an appointment to meet with me in my office to dicuss your ideas for your paper. I will have a sign-up sheet in class on Thursday. We can also discuss how things are going in your other classes and any other issues that you might have about life at HWS.

This paper is due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, October 5. The paper should be in double-spaced format and should be about 3 or 4 pages long. You'll have an opportunity to rewrite the paper if you are not satisfied with your grade on the first version.

Your paper must include a bibliography. And of course, you must avoid plagiarism by including a reference for any words or any idea that you take from any source. References can be in the form of footnotes, or, if you prefer, they can be given as inline references such as [Pinker, p. 163]. In some cases, such as when you are quoting general ideas, you can embed the reference in the general flow of the prose of your paper, as in: As Pinker discusses in Chapter 5 of The Language Instinct, ...  References to material on the Internet are acceptable. A bibliographic entry for the Internet should include a title, an author if known, and the URL (location) where the item can be found.