Leveraging the Singularity: Introducing AI to Liberal Arts Students

James B. Marshall

In recent years, the notion that computers and robots will attain superhuman levels of intelligence in the next few decades, ushering in a new "posthuman" era in evolutionary history, has gained widespread attention among technology enthusiasts, thanks in part to books such as Ray Kurzweil's The Singularity Is Near. This paper describes an introductory-level AI course designed to examine this idea in an objective way by exploring the field of AI as it currently is, in addition to what it might become in the future. An important goal of the course is to place these ideas within the broader context of human and cosmic evolution. The course is aimed at undergraduate liberal arts students with no prior background in science or engineering.

Subjects: 1.6 Engineering And Science; 9.4 Philosophical Foundations

Submitted: May 5, 2008

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