MOORE_LAWSTUDENT
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#1
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Anyone got any advice on structuring an answer to the TOK question, Can a machine know?
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Deus
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I STRONGLY suggest you choose another question. That's my advice.
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andy_cole2
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why?
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Deus
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Can a machine know is the hardest ToK prescribed title there is available. The trouble is the topic is too big. Hundreds of books have been written and people have spent their lives trying to answer that question.

However, if you are seriously going to consider doing it, here is some real advice. Firstly, DO NOT FOCUS ABOUT AI. AI is not about knowing, and therefore you will score very low because you will technically be off-topic. You can mention it but don't focus your essay on AI.

Secondly, talk about the obvious problem of knowledge. What is it to know? Perhaps bring in an original example of how we can be decieved about what knowledge is? The most common example is the chinese symbol thing.

Talk about how knowledge is gained, and then compare that to the way computers "learn".

I'm a bit out of ideas right now, but good luck if you choose that question.
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dan
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(Original post by Deus)
Firstly, DO NOT FOCUS ABOUT AI. AI is not about knowing, and therefore you will score very low because you will technically be off-topic. You can mention it but don't focus your essay on AI.
Of course you focus it on AI!! What do you think intelligence is?? It's about machines learning information and being able to function like a human!


Can a machine know is not that hard to do:

1. You need to define knowledge.

2. Do humans know?

3. You need to briefly describe how a machine might not be able to know - relate it to your definition of knowledge using ToK issues.

4. You need to say how a machine would know - i.e that it would write its own code. (RELATE IT TO AI AND HOW AI MIGHT DEVELOP IN THE FUTURE.) - You need to relate ToK to this section! Its not going to be easy, but you will need to have some ToK in here.

5. Describe the implications (ToK wise) of machines knowing.

It isnt a simple topic and it will require you to have some form of passion for computers as it is very specialised. BUT its not impossible
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Deus
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AI is off topic. Intelligence does not relate directly to knowledge or knowing.
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dan
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#7
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(Original post by Deus)
AI is off topic. Intelligence does not relate directly to knowledge or knowing.
AI is about machines gaining knowledge... of course its not off topic. Its very much ON TOPIC.
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.:aRT:.
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Ooh. I did this one.

It is a challenging topic, but if you're interested in it, go for it. You have to be very clear in your thinking about it, but there's nothing to stop you from doing really well on this.

Firstly, you have to define "Machine" and "Know". Don't be lazy here, it's very important. you have to make your definitions very clear, because that's going to shape the rest of your essay. For example, you should deal with the question "Can a machine be Biological?" ala Blade Runner. I'm not saying that you should run with this, but it is a good idea to bring it up as a possible avenue for further discussion - if you had the time to write a thesis on this. (Note that this is the nature of all TOK essays; a limited scope of indepth discussion) You should also discuss whether knowing requires awareness.

Once you've got those down, and made sure that your discussion is very specific, while bringing up other issues to show that you've thought about them, think about "Who know when a Machine knows?" After all, you're going to have to be able to tell, if you want to discuss "Can a Machine Know". Then, for that matter, "Who knows when a Human knows?"

Here is where I'd recommend bringing up ideas such as tests and examinations, these, presumably being that standard that the majority of the world determines knowledge by. You can also bring up the idea of cultural differences - for example while robots/ technology is viewed with suspicsion by western cultures (Terminatior), this is not the case in Japan (Astro Boy) - Would that make a difference?

Whay do the results of the test mean anyway? Is the interpretation of a machine's result different from that of a humans?

Also since you need to discuss AoKs, you can mention the idea that AoKs for humans and machine may be different. Why? Because machines and humans may think and percieve in different ways (machines think in on/off, true/false). You know, like, if a machine's perception is mathematical, then is Maths a valid AoK for machines? Another idea is, do machines really have to be experts in the AoK of Art? After all, not all humans are experts in that AoK, or the AoK of science and maths, for that matter. Are the thought patterns of machines and humans that different? (Pre progammed vs base instinct)


That should be enough to get you through the first half or a bit more of you essay. There's other issues, naturally, but that's where it starts depending on your individual take on the question.
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HMSChocolate
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#9
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sounds like an extended essay you guys have running here. it's a very very broad topic, isn't it?
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Deus
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#10
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VERY.

It's one of the prescribed ToK titles for 2007. The problem is exactly what you just said HMSChocolate. There is too much. That's the only risk with this essay. In the ToK essay word limit is 1500 words. People have written huuge books on this topic, which is one of the main reasons why I don't recommend it as a ToK essay.

Otherwise it's a very interesting topic.
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MOORE_LAWSTUDENT
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#11
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the task isnt to come up with a definite conclusion though, its to explore the TOK issues
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saray
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I think this seems as an interesting topic...

Id do exactly as art proposes. Begin with definitions. However, avoid definitions made by dictionaries, that is very bad.

Secondly, this about AI. I think it is relevant to mention this concept. You can describe what AI is and how the human being has made machines know. And then you list a couple of ways that the machines knows.

When you have done that, you mention the implications, or problems of this. That is, how the machines does not know. And here you have to think about a structural thing. Will you first state all the ways a machine knows, and then all the ways it doesnt, or will you have a paragraph about how the machine knows and then a paragraph about the implications of that statement. It is a matter of taste. I prefer the last model - easier to keep track of the arguments.

Stick to this topic.
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Deus
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Saray, well said. I agree with you on mentioning AI as of course it is relevant. I just wanted to stress the importance of not making it the core of the essay.
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dan
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Ok firstly, one of the main marking criteria for the essay is


EXAMPLES

The only example of machines knowing, or getting close to knowing, comes under the topic of AI. Therefore, AI is wholly relevant to the essay and will get you marks - you need to talk about existing models such as A.L.I.C.E and how they could be classed as knowledge by your definition.

AI should not be the whole focus of your essay but it should have some input.. at least 2 paragraphs explaining the stage of knowledge that you believe is currently available.

PS. Deus, AI is about knowing - its solely about machines being able to replicate human learning and emotions, which by definition is classed as knowledge.
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saray
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(Original post by Deus)
Saray, well said. I agree with you on mentioning AI as of course it is relevant. I just wanted to stress the importance of not making it the core of the essay.
I agree with you here dues, AI should not be the core of the essay. It should be mentioned and explained though. And then one ought to discuss how the machine knows and naturally examples should be incorporated.
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buzhidao
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#16
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ive seen this question.
its hard and its easy too.
many points to argue.

id take it from human manipulation and start from there
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