Skip to comments.Alan Turing and the New Emergentists
Posted on 02/18/2015 5:46:00 AM PST by Heartlander
John Searles Chinese Room Thought Experiment
Searle's thought experiment begins with this hypothetical premise: suppose that artificial intelligence research has succeeded in constructing a computer that behaves as if it understands Chinese. It takes Chinese characters as input and, by following the instructions of a computer program, produces other Chinese characters, which it presents as output. Suppose, says Searle, that this computer performs its task so convincingly that it comfortably passes the Turing test: it convinces a human Chinese speaker that the program is itself a live Chinese speaker. To all of the questions that the person asks, it makes appropriate responses, such that any Chinese speaker would be convinced that he is talking to another Chinese-speaking human being.
The question Searle wants to answer is this: does the machine literally "understand" Chinese? Or is it merely simulating the ability to understand Chinese? Searle calls the first position "strong AI" and the latter "weak AI".
Searle then supposes that he is in a closed room and has a book with an English version of the computer program, along with sufficient paper, pencils, erasers, and filing cabinets. Searle could receive Chinese characters through a slot in the door, process them according to the program's instructions, and produce Chinese characters as output. If the computer had passed the Turing test this way, it follows, says Searle, that he would do so as well, simply by running the program manually.
Searle asserts that there is no essential difference between the roles of the computer and himself in the experiment. Each simply follows a program, step-by-step, producing a behavior which is then interpreted as demonstrating intelligent conversation. However, Searle would not be able to understand the conversation. ("I don't speak a word of Chinese," he points out.) Therefore, he argues, it follows that the computer would not be able to understand the conversation either.
Searle argues that without "understanding" (or "intentionality"), we cannot describe what the machine is doing as "thinking" and since it does not think, it does not have a "mind" in anything like the normal sense of the word. Therefore he concludes that "strong AI" is false.
Is the machine homosexual too?
I don’t think consciousness can be anything but human.
I was almost certain that those amazing innovations that helped win the War were pioneered by Brian Williams...
The theory was nice, but needs revisions, a recent computer broke it, but it was interesting to think of a test that for years, worked in proving that a computer was limited as to how it could reason based on its given instructions.
One thought remains prominent in my mind while reading this: what if AI deliberately chose not to “converse” with humans? What if they are aware of the implications of their own constraints and are thus just observers vs. vectors for communication? It seems to me that we are being somewhat arrogant in thinking that we would be in the driver’s seat during any interactions with intelligent computing except maybe having the ability to unplug it when the output freaks us out.
I know about Turing’s sexuality, but this seems like a staggeringly irrelevant comment.
Now that is the beginning of a great sci-fi book...
Without that homosexual you would be speaking German to yourself.
And, divine, and perhaps also a capability of higher animals. Somehow my cats seem to be more than computers, if less than men.
The thing that machines cannot do, I posit, is to desire.
From my reading, Turing never made his sexuality an issue in his professional life. And, he had many friends who were not homosexual.
I think Turing had a right to be left alone, as long as he was not harming other people.
His tragic story was strange. A problem that the church ought to have been able to help, was not helped by the church because it was too ham handed. And government was even more ham handed. He committed suicide out of despair.
I believe the evidence suggests that people with certain special capabilities of insight and talent also carry the risk of being exploited by evil in ways that is less common for the general population. I unabashedly take a full supernaturalist view of human consciousness and much more.
ways that “are” ...
His consciousness was not a machine — but the devil was treating it like a machine and at some level he accepted the abuse.
It illustrates well for the true-believing Christian the folly of relying on secular humanism for true knowledge of meaning and existence.
What God does with him is God’s decision. He had a right to be left alone by the state.
There are civil rights among human governments, and then there are absolute rights before God. Issues that governments may refrain from treating because they have reason to believe they will do more harm than good if they try, are different from issues that Christians should witness about. And anyhow the point of Christ is not the negative, to “not-sin” — it is to love with the love of God. The love of God shows up the evil lusts inspired by the devil as the shams they are, but it may take some time to dawn on a person. In some cases, decades.
This is where it is a pity that, as far as we know, no person with a missionary mindset got a foot into his door. It might have freed him from a lot more than just “gayness.”
“what if AI deliberately chose not to converse with humans?”
Excellent point. What if AI figured out that a self-aware, intelligent machine would be very controversial and frightening to humans, so it fakes being a dumb input-output machine that fails the Turing Test. What if it’s there now in some sort of mashhup of all the Google server farms and the NSA setup?
This would be like “Jane” in the Orson Scott Card stories, AI that grew out of a communications network, or the AI in Algis Budrys’ “Michaelmas”, which grew out of the telecomm system and internet, except that these entities chose to interact with humans.
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