PHIL 219 Foundations of Artificial Intelligence


This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of artificial intelligence. The course is broken into four modules. The first centers on the question “Can machines think?”. It introduces students to the philosophical debate about the nature of mental phenomena---culminating with the view that mental states are fundamentally computational. The second module focuses on the question of “What is a computer?” and introduces students to the central concepts of computer science. Here, students learn, e.g., the difference between formal systems, finite state automata, and Turing machines. The third module addresses the question of “How do artificially intelligent systems work?” It looks at the design of such systems and at how search techniques enable them to navigate their environments. The last module asks the question “How do artificial systems relate to the brain?” It explores the intersections between AI and neuroscience, such as the design and application of Artificial Neural Nets and Deep Learning.