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Intelligence in the Chinese Room The Chinese Room thought experiment proposed by Searle in 1980 has brought up many issues concerning artificial intelligence The experiment envisages a room in which an English speaker sits equipped with a book of instructions in English Through one window messages in Chinese are passed on to him He is supposed to follow the instructions and correlate the messages received with other pieces of paper already in the room also in Chinese This collage he passes on to the outside through yet another window The comparison with a computer is evident There is input a processing unit and output What Searle tried to demonstrate is that there is no need to assume that the central processing unit the English speaker understands or for that matter performs any other cognitive or mental function the input or the output both in Chinese Searle generalized and stated that this shows that computers will never be capable of thinking being conscious or having other mental states In his picturesque language syntax is not a sufficient base for semantics Consciousness is not reducible to computations It takes a certain stuff the brain to get these results Supporters of strong artificial intelligence believe that a correctly programmed computer is not simply a simulation or model of a mind it actually would count as a mind That is it understands has cognitive states and can think Searles argument or more precisely thought experiment against this position the Chinese room argument goes as follows Suppose that many years from now we have constructed a computer which behaves as if it understands Chinese In other words the computer takes Chinese symbols as input consults a large look-up table as all computers can be described as doing and then produces other Chinese symbols as output Suppose that this computer performs this task so convincingly that it easily passes the Turing Test In other words it convinces a human
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