Is Artificial intelligence an oxymoron? One can not 'fake' great intelligence except if like a con-artist one say's all sorts of things that 'sound' intelligent without saying anything. An actor playing the role of a genius in a TV show has to sometimes say some things that upon further reflection of the audience not only sound clever but are clever ; if one is to believe the actor is brilliant. Any info. management system like an A.I. computer 'make' statements that are 'artificially' intelligent; they either really are 'intelligent' or they are not. So Artificial Intelligence sounds like a misnomer. It should be called something like 'Algorithmetic Generated Intelligence'. Any thoughts?

  • It's not that the intelligence in AI is artificial... it's that the origin of the intelligence is artificial. In contrast, we are 'naturally selected' intelligence. Apr 3, 2015 at 15:38
  • You may be asking two intertwined question whether it is possible and whether it is a coherent proposition.
    – Neil Meyer
    Apr 4, 2015 at 13:41
  • "One can not 'fake' great intelligence except if like a con-artist one say's all sorts of things that 'sound' intelligent without saying anything." - yes, you can. I can't remember the name of the concept, but imagine you have an kiosk full of cards holding the answers to all possible questions, with an attendant at the kiosk window. Apr 10, 2015 at 8:40
  • You ask a question, they go and find the right card, and give you the answer. There's no deduction required or processing intelligence - just knowledge (the cards) & ability to access it without interpreting the question or the answer. The person serving at the kiosk appears to be fantastically intelligent, but really they're just fetching data. Apr 10, 2015 at 8:40

5 Answers 5


"Singularity" or "technological singularity" as it is known nowadays, is a hypothesis that claims, artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence in the not-so-distant future. In light of your question, there are some interesting elements in this claim that are worth further analysis. Take a human being for instance and try analyzing his behavior from the moment of birth until the moment of his--I use a masculine human being for the sake of simplicity--ultimate demise. You will undoubtedly notice that his knowledge is gained through experience and interaction with others which in turn will provide him with his judgement and understanding of the world surrounding him. We are now replicating this biological process by integrating it in non-biological "artificial intelligence". Imagine a machine, running a program that would have the ability to modify itself through experience and interaction with others and the environment surrounding it, which in turn will give it the knowledge to judge and understand the world around it. Therefore I think, "artificial intelligence" is not an oxymoron and strictly in terms of the process, what "artificial intelligence" does, is not any different from what human beings do. In other words, our intelligence also uses an algorithm but through biological processes. Feelings, morality, pain and other human attributes are nothing but temporal and self-reflective objects--generated through this same algorithm--that inevitably fade away; therefore I think the real question is: Would "artificial intelligence" be able to overcome itself and accept the temporality of those objects and in so doing act against its machine attribute of perpetuating data?


The answer is no - artificial intelligence is not an oxymoron.

Artificial basically means "made or produced by people" and therefore artificial intelligence means an intelligence produced by people, which is a reasonable description.

"Artificiality (also called factitiousness, or the state of being artificial or man-made) is the state of being the product of intentional human manufacture, rather than occurring naturally, through processes not involving or requiring human activity." - Wikipedia

On the other hand "Algorithmetic Generated Intelligence" is not a good name for various reasons; for example, it is long, and its meaning is obscure (what is algorithmetic anyway?).

  • But a person thinking of some great idea is 'made or produced by people'.. So in this case thinkining is artificial.
    – 201044
    Apr 5, 2015 at 19:31
  • Algorithmetic refers to algorithms.
    – 201044
    Apr 5, 2015 at 19:32
  • There is a common distinction between artificial and natural as coming from natural bodily processes or not. The last cookies I baked were artificial in that sense, and my son was produced naturally, using that distinction. Not recognizing that distinction is thoroughly unhelpful. Dec 7, 2018 at 18:52

As a programmer who is currently working on Artificial Intelligence, I can say that part of the issue with your question is that we are not trying to make machines "intelligent" where the meaning of "intelligent" is to be smarter or have more processing power than something else.
The idea of this machine intelligence is that it is capable of thinking or learning on its own, and that it can replicate the processes that happen in the human brain. This is the concept of the Turing test - that it can replicate these processes accurately enough to be perceived by a human as thinking like a human, not as a highly intelligent human.

  • Does 'thinking on it's own' mean the computer system can 'reprogram itself' of 'rearrange' it's 'internal' info. ( without causing system damage) in ways that might resolve some 'set-up' goal? Also didn't Turing regard the ability of any system to trick a person into thinking it was also a 'person' ; that this was essentially what 'thinking' was about?
    – 201044
    Apr 11, 2015 at 12:45

Artificial intelligence is right up there with "Military Intelligence" and "Forest Management." Intellect is the "whore" of intelligence. Sanity is defined as balance, and balance is mind, body, spirit and soul in homeostasis. The mind "tries" to analyze itself, yet such fruitless folly is only learned from experience, heart and common sense, not reductionist, intellect and science.



Means not real


Palpable consciousness

The two words do not belong together

Edit- if it would please the veterans, I could supply definitions from Webster’s.

  • Hello and welcome to the site. Please edit this to explain, because what you have written is not a real argument. Dec 7, 2018 at 1:16
  • I agree with curiousdannii. This probably could use a reference to a text that gives the reader a place to go for more information. I also agree with you that the words "artificial" and "intelligence" do not belong together. Best wishes and welcome to this site. Dec 7, 2018 at 2:13
  • I do not argue or debate. I hope that others would seek truth instead of remaining in ignorance of truth.
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    Dec 7, 2018 at 5:07
  • Psalms 119:142 To honor the request that a reference be given.
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    Dec 7, 2018 at 5:16
  • :) < that is all I wanted to type for my final comment but the request was for thirteen more characters.
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    Dec 7, 2018 at 5:19

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