, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 67-69

Introduction: Philosophy and Theory of Artificial Intelligence

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What is PT-AI?

The theory and philosophy of artificial intelligence has come to a crucial point where the agenda for the forthcoming years is in the air. This special volume of Minds and Machines presents leading invited papers from a conference on the “Philosophy and Theory of Artificial Intelligence” that was held in October 2011 in Thessaloniki (www.pt-ai.org).

Artificial Intelligence is perhaps unique among engineering subjects in that it has raised very basic questions about the nature of computing, perception, reasoning, learning, language, action, interaction, consciousness, humankind, life etc. etc.—and at the same time it has contributed substantially to answering these questions (in fact, it is sometimes seen as a form of empirical research). There is thus a substantial tradition of work, both on AI by philosophers and of theory within AI itself.

The classical theoretical debates have centred on the issues whether AI is possible at all (often put as “Can machines think?”) or whe