The Chinese room experiment

About: cct map 4 chinese room


From our friends at Macrovu.com - part of the argumentation for "Can computers think?" which is part of the argumentation on the Turing Test etc...etc...

Tags

  1. chinese room
  2. philosophy
  3. leviathan
  4. ai
  5. chalmers

Comments


Seth says
This is one of the favorite topics on comp.ai.philosophy.  It is a thought problem that seems to have gained a lot of traction amoungst ai thinkers. 

Another thought problem (perhaps a generalization of the Chinese Room) would be to concieve that there were a mechinism composed of gears and pulleys like some kind of giant Rube Goldberg device that (and this is a premis here) functioned identically to a human brain.  The questions are:  should you attribute intelligence to that devise?   Should you attribute a soul to that devise?

I carry the thought problem closer to reality as follows.  Assume that society is such a devise.  Now does it not have the intelligence (or super intelligence) of a human being?


Mark de LA says
You beg the question somewhat because society is already composed of so-called intelligent human beings. A collection of human beings should be at least as intelligent as the least intelligent member unless they destroy each other's intelligence by socializing with eachother.  A less obvious question might be will the internet ever be intelligent at a certain point if all the humans at that point were wiped out ?


Mark de LA says
Another question even more profound is if the World gets wiped out because of a Nuclear Holocaust then can it be said at that point that, before it happened, there was human intelligence ?


Seth says
I am not begging the question because it does not necessarily follow that a collection has the same attributes as it's components.  Does a lump of iron have the same qualities as a iron molecule?  Does a heard of cattel function the same as a cow?

The Internet must needs supervene on the people who run it and interact through it.  Take them away and the Internet will collapse. Just like if you take away the molecules of a lump of iron, the lump of iron will collapse.


Mark de LA says
Basically, a molecule is a mathematical abstraction. You really can't see an atom (electron microscopes notwithstanding). There is a huge & critical mass of people who practice the physical & chemical paradigm that claim there are atoms, but in the final analysis you nor I have ever seen an atom.  As a matter of fact your analogy to a lump of iron proves my point. You have to postulate that such things and behaviors as atoms might exist because of your mathematics & experiments - it is all abstraction.  And if that is not enough to satisfy your mathematicians, you may play around with string theory .


Mark de LA says
It's like pretending that the government is something else otherwise than US. 


Seth says
M 2006-05-10 08:53:09 3525
A collection is an abstraction. A human being is being doing what humans do. Being a human being means doing what human beings do. The collection doesn't change that.

That's bs.  Is a lump of iron a abstraction?  Is it not a collection of molecules?

Mark de LA says
Don't confuse a very good mathematical model of something with what is actually there.  The model of the atom has been revised many times since it was first used to describe that which can't be divided any further. Now we have strings & quarks etc...
atom Look up atom at Dictionary.com1477, as a hypothetical body, the building block of the universe, from L. atomus (especially in Lucretius), from Gk. atomos "uncut," from a- "not" + tomos "a cutting," from temnein "to cut." An ancient term of philosophical speculation (in Leucippus, Democritus), revived 1805 by British chemist Dalton. Atomic is from 1678 as a philosophical term; scientific sense dates from 1811. Atomic energy first recorded 1906; atomic bomb first recorded 1914 in writings of H.G. Wells, who thought of it as a bomb "that would continue to explode indefinitely." Atom bomb is from 1945; Atomic Age is from 1945.


Mark de LA says
Try a different analogy for a group of people 


Seth says
... fine if you can't cocieve of molecules as tangeable items, then think of anything that behaves differently in aggregate.  I already gave you the example of a cow and a heard of cows to cover that point.  I'm sure you can think up many more of these examples.  You are chasing dead ends just to avoid dealing with the reality of what i am saying.

Also please review the concept of supervention ... perhpas in the manner that David Chalmers uses it .... you seem to be totally missing the point.


Mark de LA says
seth 2006-05-10 09:24:11 3525
... fine if you can't cocieve of molecules as tangeable items, then think of anything that behaves differently in aggregate.  I already gave you the example of a cow and a heard of cows to cover that point.  I'm sure you can think up many more of these examples.  You are chasing dead ends just to avoid dealing with the reality of what i am saying.

Also please review the concept of supervention ... perhpas in the manner that David Chalmers uses it .... you seem to be totally missing the point.
I'm not sure I want to run down your rathole to figure out what YOU mean by supervention & what that has to do with group versus individual behavior. Why don't you explain it. BTW, if you think there is something there you might have to believe in folk souls, national spirits etc. & maybe in the Hundredth Monkey Experiment.

Seth says
Well your thinking would be well informed by mastering the concept of supervention if you have not already studied it.  This is not something that i made up or am using in an idiosyncratic way.   If you acquaint yourself with the literature out there then you will not be dependant on my understanding.   But anyway here is my take on it ....

We frequently think that the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts ... and it is.  So ask yourself what is added?  How does an aggregate of things behave differently than the individual things themselves?  One could define a relationship called "supervene" which gives the relationship between the added behavior and the behavior of  the individual units alone.   One can say that the behavior of the lump of iron supervenes on the particules that make it up.  Note that we are talking here about tangeable behaviors and processess ... not abstractions. 


Mark de LA says
So what is an example where the whole is greater than the sum of all it's parts & behaviors ? Iron is not a good one because atoms etc are abstractions. What is the behavior of a herd that is different than a bunch of cows (besides the size of the effect) ?

Mark de LA says
su

Seth says
M 2006-05-10 10:17:28 3525
So what is an example where the whole is greater than the sum of all it's parts & behaviors ? Iron is not a good one because atoms etc are abstractions. What is the behavior of a herd that is different than a bunch of cows (besides the size of the effect) ?
A herd of cattle will stampede.  A single cow will not just run like that.  There really are so many examples of this that it is rediculous.  A mob might lynch a man, where any one of its members would not do it alone ... etc ... etc.   I really don't have time to argue each of these examples with you. 

Mark de LA says
Sounds like a sleeve-job or looking for a mail buoy in the middle of the Pacific Ocean - almost a shell game 


Mark de LA says
It is still individuals that accomplish the behavior of the mob. Someone gets a rope and fashions a noose etc..
Mass insanity such as Islamo-fascism is still individuals subjected to the brainwashing of the mullas acting concert.
Anyway, so what ?


Mark de LA says
You are pretending that some collection or critical mass of networks & electronics is going to produce something that is intelligent? There are a lot of science fiction stories about that !
I think as far as intelligence goes that nobody knows how to define intelligence, really - The Turing Test fails in a way to satisfy certainly my sense for what is intelligent. Linguistic intelligence is not all there is to human intelligence.  In my Zoology I class they had not at that time been able to define life, another property of human beings. 


Seth says
M 2006-05-10 10:38:26 3525
You are pretending that some collection or critical mass of networks & electronics is going to produce something that is intelligent?
Nope, that's not what i said ... specifically not what i said ... here is what i did say ...
The Internet must needs supervene on the people who run it and interact through it.  Take them away and the Internet will collapse. Just like if you take away the molecules of a lump of iron, the lump of iron will collapse.
In other words we are not just talking about the electronic components of the Internet. 



Mark de LA says
seth 2006-05-10 10:44:14 3525
M 2006-05-10 10:38:26 3525
You are pretending that some collection or critical mass of networks & electronics is going to produce something that is intelligent?
Nope, that's not what i said ... specifically not what i said ... here is what i did say ...
The Internet must needs supervene on the people who run it and interact through it.  Take them away and the Internet will collapse. Just like if you take away the molecules of a lump of iron, the lump of iron will collapse.
In other words we are not just talking about the electronic components of the Internet. 
Like the old man said of the alchemists - "to make gold you have to have gold" ... In your case you start out with intelligence (whatever that is) in humans and you get a group with intelligence - not a suprise !

Mark de LA says
I could probably argue successfully that "society" actually produces a dumber effect than the individuals together can produce.  There tends to be a dumbing down of people to the lowest common denominator under the guise of equality. Public schools are my prime example here.


Mark de LA says
Start out with a set of components none of which has intelligence to begin with & see if you can get any intelligence out of it. The same with life ... start out with a set of chemicals or substance that has no life to start with (whatever life is) and see if you can get any life out of it. BTW, DNA seems to be something that people get out of something living in the first place. I am not aware of actually synthesizing DNA from say, coal.

Mark de LA says


On a tangent to this and related to the Ming, I was re-reading the running text in Shu Chameleon today and came across this passage by waw:

"The Chinese use ideograms which have many meanings, varying according to the topic of discourse. Thus, an author may be talking about politics or family matters & mention, say, a "lame duck," or "rain." In the absence of volumnious footnotes the identical significance is lost if terms are translated literally. A task such as this, therefore, cannot be completed by one who is only a linguist or a philologist. There must be some way of finding out what was in the mind of the original writer. Moreover one must have had practical experience with the subject."


Mark de LA says
That bears out my experience with the projective geometry contents of the s.'.s.'.s.'. 
It is weird that I began yesterday to scan and OCR the text of the BC with a view toward separating out the running test for both the cube stuff & the background info on the YI.  It is not an easy task


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