Artificial Intelligence

1574 Words7 Pages
Artificial Intelligence At a time when computer technology is advancing at a rapid pace and

when software developers are convincingly hawking their products as

having artificial intelligence, the inevitable question has begun to

take on a certain urgency: Can a computer think? Really think? In one

form or another this is actually a very old question, dating back to

such philosophers as Plato, Aristotle, and Descartes. And after nearly

3,000 years the most honest answer is still uncertain. After all, what

does it mean to think? On the other hand, that is not a very

satisfying answer. However, with his paper: Minds, brains and programs

published in 1980, John Searle has had a huge impact on the artificial

intelligence issue worldwide. This essay will focus on Searle's idea

that computers are incapable of being conscious, and then analyse

whether Searle is right in terms of his three main efforts: a critique

of computationalism and strong Artificial Intelligence (AI); the

development of a theory of intentionality; and the formulation of a

naturalized theory of consciousness.

At the first place, the best-known example of Searle's critique of

computationalism and strong AI is his Chinese Room Argument. The

argument (1980) goes as follows: Searle supposes that, many years from

now; 'we have constructed a computer, which behaves as if it

understands Chinese.' In other words, the computer takes Chinese

symbols as input, consults a large look-up table (as all computers can

be described as doing), and then produces other Chinese symbols as

output. 'Suppos...

... middle of paper ...

...n an

unquestionable way. Therefore, just like Dennett's idea, we still can

say that making conscious artificial intelligence is possible in the




Daniel, C. Dennett (1991), Consciousness Explained, Penguin Books, New


Searle, J. (1980) Minds, brains, and programs, Behavioral and Brain

Sciences, 1: 417-24.

Searle, J. (1983) Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind,

Cambridge University Press, New York.

Searle, J. (1997) The Mystery of Consciousness, New York Review Press,

New York.



Armin Laux and Heinrich Wanshong (eds.) (1995) Knowledge and Belief in

Hhilosophy and Artificial Intelligence, Aksd. Verl, Berlin.

Margaret, A. B. (1990) The Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence,

Oxford University Press, UK.
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