Computers only exhibit the free will of programmers
Computers can't have free will because they can't act except as they are determined by their designers and programmers—i.e. they only exhibit the free will of their programmers.


The argument

This view has been held by many since the conception of computing machines; here is an example from Ada Augusta, Countess of Lovelace:

"The Analytical Engine has no pretensions whatever to originate anything. It can do whatever we know how to order it to perform. It can follow analysis; but it has no power of anticipating any analytical relations or truths. Its province is to assist us in making available what we are already acquainted with" (Lady Lovelace, 1842, p. 284).


Ada Augusta, Countess Lovelace. 1842. Notes upon the memoir [to 'Sketch of the Analytical Engine In vented by Charles Babbage by L. F. Menabrea'] by the translator. In Charles Babbage and his Calculating Engines, (ed. Emily and Philip Morrison), Dover Publications: New York, 1961.

Artificial Intelligence »Artificial Intelligence
Can computers think? [1] »Can computers think? [1]
No: computers can't have free will »No: computers can't have free will
Computers only exhibit the free will of programmers
Preprogrammed robots have no psychological states »Preprogrammed robots have no psychological states
Some computers can program themselves »Some computers can program themselves
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