One of the tenets of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is that a computer can be so designed that it can simulate human intelligence — and, if it can simulate it well enough, such a computer might as well be called “a thinking machine.” For example, if we set up a Turing Test where we couldn’t tell whether a human or a computer was responding, many AI theorists would claim that it is reasonable to deem the computer (in conjunction with the program it is running) “intelligent,” since there is no discernible difference between its output and the human’s response.
A very prominent American philosopher, John Searle, proposed an ingenious thought experiment to show that computers can never be said to be “intelligent” or to have understanding. Your assignment is to (1) watch the video below, (2) read the two short encyclopedia articles, and then (3) comment on Searle’s argument. Has he proven that artificial “intelligence” is a misnomer? Does this mean that human “understanding” proves that we have something special (a “mind”) that machines can never possess? Or is it possible that artificial “intelligence” might evolve or spontaneously emerge as computer algorithms become more sophisticated?
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