[Air-L] What can/should computers do?

Eric P. S. Baumer ericpsb at cornell.edu
Tue Jan 22 09:04:47 PST 2013

Hello air-l-er's,

I'm looking for literature reporting on empirical investigations of perceptions 
about both what computers can do and what computers should do.

I'm familiar with a number of philosophical pieces considering potential 
abilities and/or limits of computers (Turing, Minsky, Dreyfus, Weizenbaum, 
etc.). However, most of those are philosophical or abstract arguments made by 
philosophers of or researchers in artificial intelligence. I've not been able to 
find any work that examines lay or non-expert beliefs about either what 
computational systems are (not) capable of or what are (in)appropriate tasks for 
computational systems to perform.

To sum up, here's what I'm looking for:
- perceptions of computers' (suit)abilities
- empirical research (not philosophical arguments)
- emphasis on lay/non-expert perceptions (not researchers in AI)
- bonus points if related to natural language processing
- bonus points if related to political coverage, opinions, and/or bias

Thanks in advance,


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