I was planning to do a post today about the Chinese Room argument, a thought experiment invented by John Searle which claims to show that digital computers, as we currently understand them, cannot possibly think. I’ve long been familiar with this argument, and I always thought it was rather silly.

As I was reading the Chinese Room argument in more detail this morning, though, I realized that the full scope of what Searle claims is even broader than I originally realized, and it will take more than forty minutes to fully understand his argument and convey it fairly. In the interests of getting it right, I’ll abstain from cranking out a hasty analysis today.

Oddly, as I read Searle’s arguments in more detail, I become even more convinced that he’s wrong. Nevertheless, it’s important to get the facts straight.

So, yeah. Investigating thought experiments, that’s me. What are you up to this fine Wednesday morning?

6 responses to “Processing…

  1. Writing, checking your blog, listening to strange songs, and reading. I’ve managed to train myself to write for longer periods of time at once now, and so I’m getting quite a bit done again. With luck, I’ll be sending out my story to beta readers very soon.

  2. The argument seems circular.
    If we assume that the only the man in the box can possess understanding and stipulate that he doesn’t understand then there is no understanding.

    This has had me thinking a lot today. Looking forward to reading your article.

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