April 26, 2010

"No one supposes that computer simulations of a five-alarm fire will burn the neighborhood down..."

Just one sentence (another one titles this post) from John Searle's classic 1980 article, "Minds, brains, and programs" setting forth his "Chinese Room" argument against "strong AI":
"No one would suppose that we could produce milk and sugar by running a computer simulation of the formal sequences in lactation and photosynthesis, but where the mind is concerned many people are willing to believe in such a miracle because of a deep and abiding dualism: the mind they suppose is a matter of formal processes and is independent of quite specific material causes in the way that milk and sugar are not."

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