The Chineese Room Experiment - EPR Against AI | Artificial Intelligence

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Standard argument against AI
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  pdfcrowd.comopen in browserPRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API Chinese Room Argument The Chinese room argument is a thought experiment of John Searle (1980a) and associated (1984)derivation. It is one of the best known and widely credited counters to claims of artificial intelligence (AI)---that is, to claims that computers do  or at least can  (someday might) think. According to Searle's srcinalpresentation, the argument is based on two key claims: brains cause minds  and syntax doesn't suffice forsemantics . Its target is what Searle dubs strong AI. According to strong AI  , Searle says, the computer isnot merely a tool in the study of the mind, rather the appropriately programmed computer really is  a mindin the sense that computers given the right programs can be literally said to understand   and have othercognitive states (1980a, p. 417). Searle contrasts strong AI with weak AI. According to weak AI  ,computers just simulate  thought, their seeming understanding isn't real understanding (just as-if), theirseeming calculation is only as-if calculation, etc. Nevertheless, computer simulation is useful for studying the mind (as for studying the weather and other things). Table of Contents 1. The Chinese Room Thought Experiment 2. Replies and Rejoinders a. The Systems Reply  b. The Robot Reply  pdfcrowd.comopen in browserPRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API c. The Brain Simulator Reply d. The Combination Reply e. The Other Minds Reply f. The Many Mansions Reply 3. Searle's Derivation from Axioms 4. Continuing Dispute a. Initial Objections & Replies  b. The Connectionist Reply 5. Summary Analysis 6. Postscript 7. References and Further Reading 1. The Chinese Room Thought Experiment  Against strong AI, Searle (1980a) asks you to imagine yourself a monolingual English speaker locked in aroom, and given a large batch of Chinese writing plus a second batch of Chinese script and a set of rules in English for correlating the second batch with the first batch. The rules correlate one set of formalsymbols with another set of formal symbols ; formal (or syntactic ) meaning you can identify thesymbols entirely by their shapes. A third batch of Chinese symbols and more instructions in Englishenable you to correlate elements of this third batch with elements of the first two batches and instruct you, thereby, to give back certain sorts of Chinese symbols with certain sorts of shapes in response. Thosegiving you the symbols call the first batch 'a script' [a data structure with natural language processingapplications], they call the second batch 'a story', and they call the third batch 'questions'; the symbols yougive back they call . . . 'answers to the questions' ; the set of rules in English . . . they call 'the program' : you yourself know none of this. Nevertheless, you get so good at following the instructions that   from thepoint of view of someone outside the room your responses are absolutely indistinguishable from those of Chinese speakers. Just by looking at your answers, nobody can tell you don't speak a word of Chinese.   pdfcrowd.comopen in browserPRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API Producing answers by manipulating uninterpreted formal symbols, it seems [a]s far as the Chinese isconcerned, you simply behave like a computer ; specifically, like a computer running Schank and Abelson's (1977) Script Applier Mechanism story understanding program (SAM), which Searle's takes forhis example.But in imagining himself   to be the person in the room, Searle thinks it's quite obvious . . . I do notunderstand a word of the Chinese stories. I have inputs and outputs that are indistinguishable from thoseof the native Chinese speaker, and I can have any formal program you like, but I still understand nothing. For the same reasons, Searle concludes, Schank's computer understands nothing of any stories since the computer has nothing more than I have in the case where I understand nothing (1980a, p. 418).Furthermore, since in the thought experiment nothing . . . depends on the details of Schank's programs, the same would apply to any [computer] simulation of any    human mental phenomenon (1980a, p. 417);that's all it would be, simulation. Contrary to strong AI, then, no matter how intelligent-seeming acomputer behaves  and no matter what  programming  makes it behave that way, since the symbols itprocesses are meaningless (lack semantics) to it  , it's not really intelligent. It's not actually thinking. Itsinternal states and processes, being purely syntactic , lack semantics (meaning); so, it doesn't really have intentional   (that is, meaningful) mental states . 2. Replies and Rejoinders Having laid out the example and drawn the aforesaid conclusion, Searle considers several replies offered when he had the occasion to present this example to a number of workers in artificial intelligence (1980a,p. 419). Searle offers rejoinders to these various replies. a. The Systems Reply  The Systems Reply  suggests that the Chinese room example encourages us to focus on the wrong agent: thethought experiment encourages us to mistake the would-be subject-possessed-of-mental-states for the  pdfcrowd.comopen in browserPRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API person in the room. The systems reply grants that the individual who is locked in the room does notunderstand the story but maintains that he is merely part of a whole system, and the system  doesunderstand the story (1980a, p. 419: my emphases).Searle's main rejoinder to this is to let the individual internalize all . . . of the system by memorizing therules and script and doing the lookups and other operations in their head. All the same, Searle maintains, he understands nothing of the Chinese, and . . . neither does the system, because there isn't anything inthe system that isn't in him. If he doesn't understand then there is no way the system could understand because the system is just part of him (1980a, p. 420). Searle also insists the systems reply would have theabsurd consequence that mind is everywhere. For instance, there is a level of description at which my stomach does information processing there being nothing to prevent [describers] from treating the inputand output of my digestive organs as information if they so desire. Besides, Searle contends, it's justridiculous to say that while [the] person doesn't understand Chinese, somehow the conjunction of thatperson and bits of paper might (1980a, p. 420).  b. The Robot Reply  The Robot Reply  - along lines favored by contemporary causal theories of reference - suggests whatprevents the person in the Chinese room from attaching meanings to (and thus presents them fromunderstanding) the Chinese ciphers is the sensory-motoric disconnection of the ciphers from the realitiesthey are supposed to represent: to promote the symbol manipulation to genuine understanding,according to this causal-theoretic line of thought, the manipulation needs to be grounded in the outside world via the agent's causal relations to the things to which the ciphers, as symbols , apply. If we put acomputer inside a robot so as to operate the robot in such a way that the robot does something very muchlike perceiving, walking, moving about, however, then the robot would, according to this line of thought, unlike Schank's computer, have genuine understanding and other mental states (1980a, p. 420). Against the Robot Reply Searle maintains the same experiment applies with only slight modification. Put
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