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Old 07-24-2014, 01:15 AM   #1421
jeff_wilson
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Default Re: Ghosts and Mind Copies - The Identity Question

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already done them, next please
Just a moment, I think I see part of the disconnect:

"Searle then supposes that he is in a closed room and has a book with an English version of the computer program...However, Searle would not be able to understand the conversation. ("I don't speak a word of Chinese,"[9] he points out.) Therefore, he argues, it follows that the computer would not be able to understand the conversation either."

In this he is considering himself a clerk as distinct from the program book contents and from the office supplies he uses in the course of activity. If he does not retain any of the knowledge recorded in the book, he is considering only the hardware's counterpart. Of course the clerk does not speak Chinese, just as an unloaded computer does not speak Chinese, or prepare taxes, or play games! As I said earlier, he is considering a part in isolation. With a different book, he could complete other tasks without knowing how to do them, similar to how rowers can propel a ship to a distant port without knowing where it is because the direction is supplied by the helmsman.

And the Greek for helmsman is "kybernetes".
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:09 AM   #1422
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Default Re: Ghosts and Mind Copies - The Identity Question

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Originally Posted by jeff_wilson View Post
Just a moment, I think I see part of the disconnect:

"Searle then supposes that he is in a closed room and has a book with an English version of the computer program...However, Searle would not be able to understand the conversation. ("I don't speak a word of Chinese,"[9] he points out.) Therefore, he argues, it follows that the computer would not be able to understand the conversation either."

In this he is considering himself a clerk as distinct from the program book contents and from the office supplies he uses in the course of activity. If he does not retain any of the knowledge recorded in the book, he is considering only the hardware's counterpart. Of course the clerk does not speak Chinese, just as an unloaded computer does not speak Chinese, or prepare taxes, or play games! As I said earlier, he is considering a part in isolation. With a different book, he could complete other tasks without knowing how to do them, similar to how rowers can propel a ship to a distant port without knowing where it is because the direction is supplied by the helmsman.

And the Greek for helmsman is "kybernetes".
But the AI/Chinese_Room system without a book (or 'book') is like a human without Broca's area.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:22 AM   #1423
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Default Re: Ghosts and Mind Copies - The Identity Question

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room doesn't present it as an obsolete or disproven idea.
It's not really in the category of ideas that can be proven or disproven, which is why arguments about it have essentially gone in circles for the last thirty years -- neither the idea nor the responses to it have meaningfully changed, because people tend to either think the Chinese room example is obviously correct, or they consider one of the responses obviously correct, and there's no room for "that argument is only partially correct".
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:27 AM   #1424
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Default Re: Ghosts and Mind Copies - The Identity Question

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But the AI/Chinese_Room system without a book (or 'book') is like a human without Broca's area.

More like a human who was never exposed to Chinese. The capacity for language remains, as the clerk Searle can still read and write English and thus be able to operate one side of a conversation in another language given the appropriate book. This is similar to the BIOS of an unloaded computer that gives it the ability to load programs.

(BTW Searle and I are glossing over the very real distinction between literally speaking a Chinese dialect and writing the Hanzi logogram characters.)
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:10 PM   #1425
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Default Re: Ghosts and Mind Copies - The Identity Question

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It's not really in the category of ideas that can be proven or disproven, which is why arguments about it have essentially gone in circles for the last thirty years -- neither the idea nor the responses to it have meaningfully changed, because people tend to either think the Chinese room example is obviously correct, or they consider one of the responses obviously correct, and there's no room for "that argument is only partially correct".
Well, yes, which I why I'm not arrogant enough to assume that I'm correct and they aren't but rather suspect they understand something I do not.
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:48 PM   #1426
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Default Re: Ghosts and Mind Copies - The Identity Question

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Well, yes, which I why I'm not arrogant enough to assume that I'm correct and they aren't but rather suspect they understand something I do not.
As I said, the arguments haven't budged, which means it's not a problem of understanding. Essentially, Searle's argument is "the person inside the box doesn't speak Chinese" and responses are generally along the lines of "that doesn't matter".
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Old 02-15-2015, 12:10 PM   #1427
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Default Avoiding the identity issue with blockchain

My take on the "multiple perfect copies" question. Not about how to live with it, but more about "maybe there is an alternative that prevents it to overwhelm society and so concurrent perfect copies won't be used".
Avoiding the identity issue with blockchain
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Old 02-15-2015, 12:31 PM   #1428
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Default Re: Ghosts and Mind Copies - The Identity Question

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As I said, the arguments haven't budged, which means it's not a problem of understanding. Essentially, Searle's argument is "the person inside the box doesn't speak Chinese" and responses are generally along the lines of "that doesn't matter".
The brain cells inside my head don't speak English.
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:29 PM   #1429
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Default Re: Ghosts and Mind Copies - The Identity Question

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The brain cells inside my head don't speak English.
In what sense? They lack literal vocalization of course, but if they lack English comprehension and expression, where else do those arise in you?
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:24 PM   #1430
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Default Re: Ghosts and Mind Copies - The Identity Question

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In what sense? They lack literal vocalization of course, but if they lack English comprehension and expression, where else do those arise in you?
From the interaction of the brain cells, not one of which understands English by itself. And from the interaction of all the cells with my sense organs and the muscles of my vocal tract.

Which is parallel to the interaction of the clerk and the reference book and the pieces of paper with hanzi written on them, from which the Chinese room's understanding of Chinese arises.

Though I don't think the task that Searle describes the room as performing would count as "understanding Chinese" if a human being did it, either.
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