Re: No More Searle Please

From: Jeff Medina (
Date: Wed Jan 18 2006 - 11:07:30 MST

On 1/18/06, Richard Loosemore <> wrote:
> Searle's Chinese Room "argument" was nonsense when it was first
> proposed, so it depresses me to see people still talking about it.
> [followed by Richard's view of why the Chinese Room is nonsense]

>From this response, it follows that a non-intelligent internal system
(instead of a human-level intelligence English speaker) inside
Searle's room would be a successful variant and 'prove' the
impossibility of AI.

Yet Ned Block's lookup table is just such a variant.

Searle's Chinese Room is still trash, AI is still possible, and
Block's thought experiment similarly fails to speak against the
possibility of AI.

But not for the reasons you gave.

Side note: I personally have no reason to believe an intelligent
system could not be built, in part or in full, out of other
intelligent systems. So at least one person does make the claim you
think Searle was attacking (which he wasn't; he was attempting to give
an example to attack the general case, as Block did with his lookup
table, but not his Chinese Nation).

Jeff Medina
Community Director
Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Relationships & Community Fellow
Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies
School of Philosophy, Birkbeck, University of London

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