The Chinese Room Argument
1. Overview Work in Artificial Intelligence (AI) has produced computer programs that can beat the world chess champion and defeat the best human players on the television quiz show Jeopardy. AI has also produced programs with which one can converse in natural language, including Apple's Siri. Our experience shows that playing chess or Jeopardy, and carrying on a conversation, are activities that require understanding and intelligence. Does computer prowess at challenging games and conversation then show that computers can understand and be intelligent? Searle argues that a good way to test a theory of mind, say a theory that holds that understanding can be created by doing such and such, is to imagine what it would be like to do what the theory says would create understanding. Imagine a native English speaker who knows no Chinese locked in a room full of boxes of Chinese symbols (a data base) together with a book of instructions for manipulating the symbols (the program). 2. 17. 3. 4.