First I will begin with William Lagan’s view in favor of Artificial Intelligence. Local supports the functionalist view that brain states are not identical to mental states. Functionalism is the belief that saying “I’m In pain” Is not the same as saying “the C- fibers In my brain are firing”. In essence, neurological states help to bring about mental states, which then lead to behavior. Local also supports the possibility of Artificial Intelligence, which is the possibility that a machine can “think” in the same way humans can.
He argues that computers are intelligent in the sense that they can sister, store, manage and use information, but he believes that their ability to seek out information is limited, they have no goals or purposes, and they only know what they are programmed to understand, they do not have an internal sense of themselves. Some limitations to this Artificial Intelligence Include facts that computers must be fed Information, as they cannot choose what they are given, and the effectiveness of the information they are given is up to their programmer.
In order for Local to back up his argument of human intelligence, he introduces a harasser by the name of Harry, who is engineered to be similar to humans with life- like skin and biology. Local stated that Harry would be treated as a person, but there are some reasons to believe that this robot Is not conscious. The first reason Is that Just because the robot exalts human-Like behavior, It does not mean that It Is conscious.
The second reason is that the robot’s origin, which is a laboratory, prevents it from being conscious, and the third reason is that the composition of the robot can prevent it from being conscious. Local denies that all of these objections are persuasive. He finds that the first is unpersuasive because it can be applied Just as well to other humans and he argues that the second and third objections are unpersuasive because they seem to be a presentment. Local then Introduces another thought experiment to prove why the objections to his argument are not persuasive.
He introduces Henrietta who is a normal human being who is replaced with synthetic body parts. Lagan’s argument is that if we were to replace a single part of Henrietta body with a synthetic counterpart then she would still be conscious, so what not to say that if we were to completely replace Henrietta body parts down to he last cell that she would not exhibit the same behavior as before, and indeed be John Sear argues against this and distinguishes between two different types of artificial intelligence, strong artificial intelligence and weak artificial intelligence.
Strong artificial intelligence is the claim that it is possible for a computer to have a mind in the fullest sense of the word, where it can think, reason, imagine and do all things associated with the human brain. Weak artificial intelligence is the claim that computers can only appear to think and are not actually conscious. In order to criticize strong Artificial Intelligence, Sear conducts a famous thought experiment known as the Chinese Room. In this experiment Sear imagines that a machine that does not understand Chinese is placed in a room with an “In” slot and an “Out” slot.
Chinese symbols come in through the “In” slot, which the machine responds to by arranging corresponding Chinese symbols based off the rules laid out in a book, then it sends them out through the “out” slot. The computer writes such sophisticated Chinese that it passes the Turing Test, where people on the outside of the room rating with the computer believe that they are writing to a real Chinese person ,when in fact the computer cannot really understand Chinese, even if the people on the other side of the door think it can.
All that the computer is doing is following instructions, which shows that computers don’t really understand the language. Sear believes that no matter how intelligent-seeming a computer behaves and no matter what programming makes it behave that way, since the symbols it processes are meaningless (lack semantics) to it, it’s not really intelligent. It’s not actually thinking. It’s internal states and processes, being purely syntactic, lack semantics (meaning); so, it doesn’t really have intentional (that is, meaningful) mental states” [Hauser].
Charles argument is that no sort of artificial intelligence could ever result because all that is happening is rule-based activity, with no understanding of Chinese symbols. Detente accuses John Charles thought experiment of being an “imagination distorter”. Sear asks you to imagine a situation but he prevents you from imagining it the way you want to. The Chinese Room thought experiment is unfair because it lies on peoples inability to imagine the level of programming required to pass a Turing Test.
Sears’s downfall is that he has neglected to focus on the crucial element of the thought experiment which is the complexity of code needed to give the illusion of understanding Chinese symbols. Detente claims that “Sear begs the question. He invites us to imagine that a giant program consists of some simple table-lookup architecture that directly matches Chinese character strings to others, as if such a program could stand in, fairly, for any program at all” [Detente, 1991].