[Wittrs] Re: What the Man in the Room Knows (and when does he know it?)

  • From: "SWM" <SWMirsky@xxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 15:44:11 -0000

--- In Wittrs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Gordon Swobe <wittrsamr@...> wrote:

> --- On Tue, 3/23/10, SWM <wittrsamr@...> wrote:
> > the system that is the CR is insufficiently specked
> Underspecked? Hardly! The system that implements this program has 
> consciousness, hundreds of billions of interconnected neurons and an English 
> education. I wish my computer had everything it has.

I guess you haven't been paying attention to what I've been saying then. The 
system that implements the CR is not the guy in the room. It is the things the 
guy does. Where in anything Searle writes do you see him saying the guy is the 
system. He is either in it or it is in him. It IS certain things being 
performed and all the CR does is a rote response activity, matching squiggle X 
to squiggle Y.

What is needed are processes performing lots more things including
picturing multiple layers of representations of the world and the self, systems 
to make the right kind of connections between the various representations, 
systems to store and disassemble and then to reassemble information in order to 
provide the "material" for these representations, etc., etc.

It isn't the billions of neurons of capacity though they are required to 
provide the necessary platform. Its the complex functionality.

Rote translation/response performed by matching Xs to Ys is not understanding. 
Again, it's like building a bicycle and then wondering why it doesn't fly up 
into the clouds like an airplane!

> Even then my computer would not understand Chinese from manipulating Chinese 
> symbols according to rules of syntax. T'ain't logically possible except in 
> science-fiction novels.
> Do you like science-fiction?
> -gts

Not these days but as a kid, yes.

For now the issue is what kind of system has understanding. The CR doesn't 
because of what it is specked TO DO. That is the point I've been making here 
and have been making for many lists now.

I see why you think it matters to assert that the guy in the room has 
understanding though. You think the guy is the system. But Searle never says 
that nor would it make sense if he did since the point is what computational 
operations can achieve not what a smart guy can.


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