(urth) Re: urth-urth.net Digest, Vol 5, Issue 41

Iorwerth Thomas iorweththomas at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 31 04:48:52 PST 2005

>Civet wrote...

>I am not familiar with Penrose. Searle is not quite so bald about it. 
>There's this whole aspect of the Chinese Room thought experiment that we 
>generally strip out (and thank god we do, because thinking about it makes 
>me want to scream) where supposedly the Chinese Room is a purely 
>syntactical calculator *with no semantics*, and if you accept this 
>supposition then to make a long story short it gives Searle some ground to 
>stand on. But there are 100 pretty good reasons not to accept this, and if 
>you reject it then Searle will appear to be standing in the rain shouting 
>"Intelligence is made by brains!" for no particular reason.
>But yeah, he was probably motivated by the same emotional reasons you 
>suggest. He's just not *quite* as sloppy a thinker as all that, or at least 
>not sloppy in quite the same way.

Ok, forgive the ignorance of a physicist... I was under the impression that 
Searle's argument was intended to attack strong AI, in particular the idea 
that algorithms alone are sufficient to simulate consciousness without 
actually enquiring into the nature of the brain, and would therefore only be 
able to attack a Turing test based on the assumptions of strong AI.  I was 
also under the impression that AI research had moved on from that postion 
towards things like neural networks, which sound more likely to work 
(largely because they imitate the only conscious things we know of), IMO.

I'm probably wrong, though.


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