Freedom and Autonomy

  • Geoff L. Simons


People often take comfort in the notion that computers may be regarded as machines. Machines are comprehensible, subject to known physical laws, unlikely to behave in a capricious or malevolent way. A corollary to this view is that computers are highly predictable, unable to display the freedom of choice said to characterise human mental processes. However, with the growing sophistication of computer systems it is ever harder to consign these comfortably to the realm populated by sewing machines and motor vehicles. There is a disturbing suspicion that computers are not at all normal machines, that they are in fact capable of displaying what might be seen as mental attributes.


Moral Responsibility Artificial System Creative Activity Human Freedom Human Choice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© G. L. Simons 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoff L. Simons
    • 1
  1. 1.The National Computing CentreEngland

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