Tuesday, 4 October 2011

John Searle and the Chinese Room Conundrum

Computers. That everlasting realm of ones and zeroes encapsulated within the magic of hardware and software. Seems the specifications of Intelligence, Consciousness, logic and understanding? A prominent concept within modern neurophilosopy suggests that computers and their silicon counterparts possess the ability to reason and understand spoken and written language, a critical function of the human mind. This came to be known as the 'Chinese Room Test', first conceived by John Searle suggests that when an individual carries out a conversation with computer in Mandarin, the computer, programmed so perfectly to reply to all statements given. The damning factor is the prospect that the individual and the computer are separated by a door and the individual believed he is speaking to a fluent Chinamen due to the perfect replies given in chinese. but does this suggest any room for artificial intelligence at such s profound level?

If one were to critically analyse the logic displayed in the conjecture we can reach certain conclusions to refute Searle's claims. Firstly, the computer being programmed perfectly to speak chinese is encoded with an infinite series of chinese language conventions and more critically, the letters. In effect, all the computer is doing is matching letters and symbols to produce the perfect response and shares no consciousness regarding the meaning or nature of the questions and statements. Thus, the potential for artificial intelligence seems far-fetched for even a Quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) transistors are outweighed by the the pride of the nervous system, the Neuron. Secondly, the individual who shares no fluency in the language of Chinese, replies using the same rules exhibited by the computer program.

1 comment:

  1. nice background
    and as i say for everything else.....
    a well written text, you should become an author of a new series of books like the dummies series, i can just see the president of america baffled over your writing
    more famous than jobs