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FFAI Chinese Room Argument by Mind Map: FFAI Chinese Room Argument
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FFAI Chinese Room Argument

Obvious logical fallacies

"Syntax by itself is not sufficient to guarantee the presence of semantics."

"Simulation is not duplication. Simulating an airplane isn't the same as flying."

"Implemented programs are syntactical (i.e., not semantic) processes. Minds have semantic content."

You can't disprove Searle's argument because it is "not even wrong" (Feynman), it is simply not well posed.

Nevertheless, there may be some useful intuition that caused Searle to make this argument.

statement of the argument

John Searle, Scholarpedia

60 Second Chinese Room

Premise 1: Implemented programs are syntactical processes.

Premise 2: Minds have semantic content.

Premise 3: Syntax by itself is neither sufficient for, nor constitutive of, semantics.

Conclusion: Therefore, the implemented programs are not by themselves constitutive of, nor sufficient for, minds.

"In short, Strong Artificial Intelligence is false."

Principle 1

Principle 2

NLP Reply

think about Searl-like implementation

would this work?

Searle is right

Searl is wrong


Lessons learned?


I think Searle is wrong.

I think Searle's argument is silly and irrelevant to AI.

Still, one can learn something from debugging silly arguments.

People pay attention to it and cite it as an argument against "strong AI".

"AI apologetics" - as AI researchers, try to have good counterarguments

Searle: common replies

Systems Reply

Robot Reply

Brain Simulator Reply

(fine line between strawman fallacy and dialectic)

Searle: three common misinterpretations

"Computers can't think."

"Machines can't think."

"It is impossible to build thinking machines".

So what is his hypothesis then? "Programs can't think?" How is that different from these others?