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Old 7th September 2010, 08:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panomaniac View Post
I don't get it. If the answers make sense, and are even "insightful" then obviously the person wrote the big book of instructions understood.
If I read the setup correctly, not only understood the story in Chinese writing but also the thing (person(s)?) that generated the questions about it and those who would evaluate the answers.

Either that or the instructions were brilliantly designed after a functional theory of everything, or at least how to usefully/properly arrange Chinese letters for any purpose whatsoever.

Thadman, people don't usually devise thought experiments just for fun. What was the original point of this question?

Last edited by Andrew Eckhardt; 7th September 2010 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 7th September 2010, 08:28 PM   #12
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Old 7th September 2010, 08:36 PM   #13
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Old 7th September 2010, 08:39 PM   #14
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I believe it was a question on the nature of intelligence and whether machines
( read computers ) would ; when sufficiently powerful; be considered to be intelligent.
I think there were also questions raised at the time about computer sentience once sapience was raised to a sufficiently high level
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Old 8th September 2010, 12:16 AM   #15
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Moondog55

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Are the machines smart or what?

Faith in GPS sends Mercedes downstream -- Engadget

Which one was NOT smart, the machine or the operator? Where did the lack of understanding occur?
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Old 8th September 2010, 12:50 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thadman View Post
So where did the understanding occur?
No understanding occurred, there was an algorithm 'run'. Its important to point out the impracticability of this thought experiment though. According to some estimates there are over 20,000 different Chinese ideograms - so a sequence of merely 20 characters has more permutations than there are atoms in the observable universe. The chances of finding the answers 'correct, even insightful' are infinitesmally small - far lower than the chances of finding no Chinglish in Google's translation of an online page of Chinese.
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Old 18th December 2012, 08:26 PM   #17
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Quite interesting,

Chinese room...an old thread..

Chinese room - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A brain creates a mind...so anything simulating a brain should create a mind..
would it be sentient...

Interesting...no HAL 9000 yet?

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Old 18th December 2012, 10:02 PM   #18
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abraxalito
No understanding occurred, there was an algorithm 'run'.
Yes. There is a world of difference between accurate processing of symbols (which computers do all the time), and understanding a text and answering questions based on understanding of that text. Having said that, some simple 'comprehension' questions may be answerable by mere symbol processing. Deeper questions require understanding, so at present the best that could be done is for the automaton (whether electronic or biological) to fake understanding.
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Old 18th December 2012, 10:07 PM   #19
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Understanding would depend on how the Chinese Room deals with questions outside the rulebook. If an unpredictable question is answered with gibberish, then there's no understanding.
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Old 18th December 2012, 10:34 PM   #20
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what we have here is the Turing test where the man in the Chinese room is a stand-in for a microprocessor: Turing test - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And, wasn't it Sir Roger Penrose who claims to have shown there is great doubt that it will ever be possible for a Turing machine (digital computer) to perfectly simulate a human mind. There are mathematical problems that can be proven to be impossible to solve using an algorithm and have only been solved through human insight - this is an underlying tenant of his claim. Read the book "The Emperors New Mind".

And another implication from his work is that the physical mechanisms that enable the human mind are therefore not algorithmic and our brains are not equivalent to a Turing machine - the only alternative is that there are quantum level processes at play which do not operate on an algorithmic basis and so operate outside the bounds of the Chinese room where instructions in a book are to be followed.
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Last edited by Bigun; 18th December 2012 at 10:40 PM.
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