Wednesday, May 04, 2005

"Strong AI"

Something we didn't cover in class that relates to the theory of mind is "Strong IA" The thesis states that "The appropriately programmed computer is a mind" This is according to Searle. His paper is online at this site. So, Searle argues that a man in a room who can only speak English could in fact follow instructions written on paper in English that tell him steps to manipulate Chinese characters. A Chinese person could then ask this man in the room any question and he would "answer" it by following the English instructions. Searle argues that this man is "an appropriately programmed computer" and that he is not, however a mind, because a mind would understand Chinese while the man does not. Does anyone disagree/agree with his argument?


Blogger Rachel said...

Hm, ok, well I think i disagree. It's possible that in that particual instance he was acting like a appropriately programmed computer, but he has the capacity to think like a mind and not just follow directions. Chosing whether or not to utilize this ability is just discression and doesn't mean that the person isn't a human with a mind. So I think that this example is not an 'if and only if' statment, so it doesn't say anything about the converse situation. A human who thinks with their mind can also think like a computer, but that doesn't mean a computer can think like a human with a mind. So i disagree with this argument because he is only acting like a computer, he isn't a computer. My guess is this argument would be extrapulated to say that computers have some qualities humans have, which is true, but computers don't have the capacity right now to have a true mind. However, I think that true AI is possible, but we would have to figuer out all the mysteries of the brain first to recreate it. This probably won't ever happen 100%, so that means that true AI might not be possible within the span of this human race.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Sabrina Sitkoski said...

I don’t know. I guess I would like to start out saying that I do not properly understand how computers are programmed and that anything I say on that subject is not going to be incredibly technologically sound. But I think that we could program computers to “understand.” That it is metaphysically possible to have the kind of programming needed that would correctly simulate a mind. I feel like over the years we have programmed computers to do things that were not imaginable to the original programmers, so it will be possible to create and AI that could simulate a mind. However, not to get all bad science fiction novel here, but would we want to make a computer that smart? I am not sure that I would.

9:23 PM  

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