Chinese Room Scenario by John R. Searle Essay

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Chinese Room Scenario by John R. Searle Through the use of his famous Chinese room scenario, John R. Searle tries to prove there is no way artificial intelligence can exist. This means that machines do not posses minds. The debate between those who are in favor of strong and weak artificial intelligence (AI) is directly related to the philosophy of mind. The claim of weak AI is that it is possible to run a program on a machine, which will behave as if it were a thinking thing. Believers of strong AI say that it is possible to create a program running on a machine which not only behaves as if it were thinking, but does actually think. Strong AI followers argue that an installation of a computer program is considered a mind as real…show more content…
Searle remarks that this choice of program is not directly relevant to his argument, but is merely an example. He then suggests that instead of running the program on a machine, that it can be represented as a series of written instructions that he could follow. To make sure he is following the instructions, everything is expressed in Chinese, since Searle did not know the language. The complete situation has Searle in a room where Chinese symbols are passed through one slot of the room along with English instructions on how to read them. He then computes them and passes out the meanings through the second slot in the room. Searle’s actions resemble Schank's program. The input is the Chinese and instructions, and the output is the translated story. Since he is the installation of the computer program, it shows the reader how other installations, such as a program running on a machine, must lack the same understanding of Chinese and of the stories as he does. The Chinese room offers a good starting point for thinking about the claims of strong AI, but it does not completely prove they are false. It is not at all surprising that Searle running the program does not show understanding of Chinese since the program, in any of its installations, never seems to understand it in the first place. The program was only a simple story, which could give answers to certain questions, but also made no attempt to ever

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