I found this concept very interesting in our current information and technological age. While we may joke about people we know with faux intelligence, applying the true artificial intelligence question to computers is interesting. We have built cell phones that have more computing power than the first Eniac computer, and computers can out chess the masters. Will we ever be able to build a computer that will really be able to think, or feel, or reason. What makes our synapses so different than the silicon and gallium connections in the ever increasing powerful microprocessor?
Oct 14, 2009
Philosophical Phun - Artificial Intelligence :o)
The Chinese Room argument, devised by John Searle, is an argument against the possibility of true artificial intelligence. The argument centers on a thought experiment in which someone who knows only English sits alone in a room following English instructions for manipulating strings of Chinese characters, such that to those outside the room it appears as if someone in the room understands Chinese. The argument is intended to show that while suitably programmed computers may appear to converse in natural language, they are not capable of understanding language, even in principle. Searle argues that the thought experiment underscores the fact that computers merely use syntactic rules to manipulate symbol strings, but have no understanding of meaning or semantics. Searle's argument is a direct challenge to proponents of Artificial Intelligence, and the argument also has broad implications for functionalist and computational theories of meaning and of mind. As a result, there have been many critical replies to the argument. For the full original entry, click here.