Phi 1:: Introduction to Philosophy Fall 2010 Handout 7 I. Searle’s Chinese room A. A person who speaks no Chinese is placed in a room, and follows instructions which amount to answering written questions about Chinese stories, in Chinese. B. The person also answers English questions about English stories, but speaks English, and does not need to follow instructions. C. Conclusions: 1. To those outside the room, there is no apparent difference in the way Chinese and English questions are handled. 2. Even so, the person in the room understands English but not in any way Chinese. II. Searle’s target A. Searle’s initial target is what he calls ‘strong AI’. 1. Weak AI : The computer (AI program) is a valuable tool for studying the mind. 2. Strong AI : Such a computer (program) is a mind. 3. Engineering AI : Such computers (programs) do interesting things. (Not mentioned by Searle.) B. The Chinese room example is supposed by Searle to refute Strong AI. 1.
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