Analysis Of The Book ' Searle 's Chinese Room '

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Johnson Lai (400014979)

TA: Andrew Lavigne

Philos 1E03

Searle 's Chinese Room

The Turing Test is a test described by Alan Turing to define whether a robot has indistinguishable human intelligence or behaviour. John Searle attempts to disprove the theory of the Turing Test through his Chinese Room thought experiment. In this experiment, Searle proposes that a man unwittingly communicates to a native speaker through the use of a program. Searle presents the prepositions that artificial intelligence is solely syntactic and do not constitute conscious “intention”- that the man in the room did not display knowledge yet communicates through rules and functions. Through the Chinese Room experiment, Searle attempts to refute functionalism through the definitions of semantics, intentions, and simulation. However, Searle does not clearly distinguish the definitions and aspects of the implications of his arguments against the Turing Test; ultimately, this leads to lack of context and failure to account for all cases against the Test.

Argument 1. “Syntax and semantics”. To begin, John Searle takes into account that humans understand semantics and syntax. That concludes that an intelligent being can demonstrate intention and consciousness through the use of meaning with semantic symbols or behaviours. Searle 's first argument is that “programs are purely formal (syntactic)” (Cole, 1). This argument ignores the science behind how computers and human brains work. The neural
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