ERIC Number: ED329997
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
The Metaphor of the Mind-as-Computer: Some Considerations for Teachers.
Gozzi, Raymond, Jr.
A metaphor and ongoing debate of the information age is that the mind is a computer or that, conversely, the computer has a mind. Since the debate is conducted using anthropomorphic metaphors such as "intelligent,""memory," and "friendly" (terms from humanity), the language itself pressures the discussion towards the conclusion that computers will surpass humans. In discussing the potentials of future computers, people are really just exploring the implications of their metaphors. For example, they say that the "intelligent" computer will someday "understand" natural language. The use of metaphor prompts people to make exaggerated claims for the computers, and these claims are taken seriously. Computers are ideal or even preferable for tasks which do not require insight or intuition--tasks that are performed by following a set of procedures, although no computer can match the range of awareness of the human mind. Teachers and students need to be aware of the implications of the metaphorical language which is used to describe computers, and the consequent effect of this language on their philosophy. It would be useful to discuss the capabilities of computers in a more appropriate technical language. (PRA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (42nd, Boston, MA, March 21-23, 1991).