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Fig 4.17 – Artificial Intelligence

Text: Page 205

Symbols were important in early AI research and in the debate about whether computers could think. John Searle in his paper “Minds, Brains and Programs,” reported his findings from his Chinese Room experiment modeled after the Turning Test, but with Chinese symbols. Although it may appear that the subject understood Chinese because of computer programming, the reality was that the subject had no understanding of the meaning of the symbols. Seale concluded that computers could not think, have a mind, or intelligence, no matter how much a computer was programmed to be like a human.

The findings of Turing and Searle led to a debate among AI scholars whether computers have a weak or strong artificial intelligence. Those that believed that computers could only simulate the human mind, like Searle, viewed computers as possessing a weak artificial intelligence. Those that argued that a computer, like Turing, had the capacity of understanding the human mind argued for a strong artificial intelligence.

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