What do think is the best argument against the Chinese Room thought experiment?
Jun 27
M$170 bet
I will choose the answer according to whichever answer destroys the Chinese Room experiment as an argument against conscious computers. It is possible I choose multiple answers if I really like them. Jun 20, 11:52pm: the title was meant to say: what do **I** think is the best...
MichaelWheatley
Modules of a system may not themselves have the characteristics they grant the larger system. Bob, who's inside the room working the levers, does not know chinese any more than a neuron in my brain "knows" chinese.
51%
JoyVoid
joy_void_joy answered
That which points to the one GLUT that talks about consciousness, out of all the vast space of possibilities, is now...the conscious person asking us to imagine this whole scenario.( https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/k6EPphHiBH4WWYFCj/gazp- )
14%
Duncan
Duncan answered
Proving that anything doesn't have consciousness is inherently impossible. No level of inaction or mis-action could prove such a thing; even if you grant the CR argument, it's only arguing against one pathway to consciousness.
8%
ManifoldMarketsUser
For humans to be conscious and Chinese Rooms to all not be conscious, there would need to be some process in the brain that can't be represented by Chinese Room manipulation rules. By the Church–Turing thesis, this is impossible.
6%
MartinRandall
Proves too much
1.5%
Duncan
Duncan answered
Too complicated; no one can agree, so it's not a useful intuition pump.
1.4%
Duncan
Duncan answered
Since it is only clumsily describing how a human brain works, you might as well just talk about brains, and not waste time on hypothetical rooms.
1.1%
Duncan
Duncan answered
Clearly, since no one has a good explanation or description of consciousness, the correct belief is that no one has consciousness; you might think you do, but you are wrong. Therefore, the CR argument is meaningless.
0.7%
Duncan
Duncan answered
"I can access the internet, but I don't know anything about IPv4, so I don't 'really understand' what I'm doing. Therefore, I am not conscious" is a stupid argument; Q.E.D.
0.7%
Duncan
Duncan answered
Insofar as anyone will accept that anyone has consciousness, ever and always, they do it empirically. The Chinese room does not address how to judge this empirically, so it is entirely beside the point.
0.7%
Duncan
Duncan answered
The argument begs the question of the existence of consciousness in other humans; there is no good evidence for this.
0.6%
MartinRandall
Wouldn't actually work
0.4%
Add your answer
MichaelWheatley
Modules of a system may not themselves have the characteristics they grant the larger system. Bob, who's inside the room working the levers, does not know chinese any more than a neuron in my brain "knows" chinese.
51%
MichaelWheatley
The thought experiment is pulling a kind of sleight of hand by talking about Bob. In the larger analogy, the Chinese room itself is the agent, the thing which (if it's conscious) "knows" Chinese, not Bob. He's just a cog in the machine.
0
MichaelWheatley
Michael Wheatley is betting Modules of..." chinese.
"Knowledge" is when information is inside your brain (as opposed to inside a book on your shelf). So of course Bob, whose fiddling with dictionaries, doesn't know Chinese. But an artificial intelligence with a dictionary-and-human-powered input-output module plausibly DOES have the knowledge inside its brain. Is that any different from the parts of our brain that convert soundwaves into messages? If you made a neuralink that replaced a brain-damaged patient's language center with an antenna sending and receiving data from an ultra-fast Chinese room, would that person's subjective experience be any different from our own? I'm not trying to persuade you of my point of view here, just to point out that we're back to square one: people arguing based on their divergent intuitions about where consciousness comes from. Once you use the analogy properly (stop equivocating between a machine and a component of the machine) it stops being able to illuminate anything.
0
JoyVoid
That which points to the one GLUT that talks about consciousness, out of all the vast space of possibilities, is now...the conscious person asking us to imagine this whole scenario.( https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/k6EPphHiBH4WWYFCj/gazp- )
14%
JoyVoid
joy_void_joy is betting That which...Cj/gazp- )
In essence, the chinese room problem lies on the assumption of a General LookUp Table, that being the book that Bob consults. But if we follow-the-improbability and asks where the book comes from, it appears that we have no way of saying how it came up to be
0
JoyVoid
joy_void_joy is betting That which...Cj/gazp- )
So to put it in another way, the consciousness lies within the problem itself, because we need a conscious mind to imagine it. It lies within the book because such a book is as impossible to implement as water freezing itself. Even if you say such a book wouldn't be conscious, an hypothetical one is because we can't actually read in it
0
JoyVoid
joy_void_joy is betting That which...Cj/gazp- )
So the whole experiment does not work because it hides away the complexity under a room. But it's not different to asking "Does the book know Chinese". It might not be conscious if you had it in hand for real, but that is different from the question being asked
0
Duncan
Proving that anything doesn't have consciousness is inherently impossible. No level of inaction or mis-action could prove such a thing; even if you grant the CR argument, it's only arguing against one pathway to consciousness.
8%
Duncan
Duncan bought M$1
It's somewhat akin to if I spent a lot of time building a complex argument that humans do not gain their consciousness from their stomachs. That's nice if I can actually prove it, I guess, but it completely misses the point that we still don't know what /does/ cause consciousness.
0
ManifoldMarketsUser
For humans to be conscious and Chinese Rooms to all not be conscious, there would need to be some process in the brain that can't be represented by Chinese Room manipulation rules. By the Church–Turing thesis, this is impossible.
6%
ManifoldMarketsUser
If the brain uses some hypothetical uncomputable property of quantum mechanics to be conscious like in Penrose's theory (very unlikely IMHO), then a computer could just be designed that uses that the same way neurons would. We already have quantum random number generators and quantum computing.
0
AndrewHartman
@ManifoldMarketsUser While I raise this argument when people bring up the Chinese room, I've always thought it's more likely to prove humans aren't conscious than computers aren't.
0
MartinRandall
Proves too much
1.5%
MartinRandall
Proves that humans can't know Chinese, because our neurons don't. So it's a bad argument. Exactly why it's bad is not interesting.
0
Duncan
Too complicated; no one can agree, so it's not a useful intuition pump.
1.4%
stone
@Duncan do you mean this question or the argument?
0
Duncan
Duncan bought M$5
@stone The thought experiment.
0
Duncan
Since it is only clumsily describing how a human brain works, you might as well just talk about brains, and not waste time on hypothetical rooms.
1.1%
Duncan
Duncan bought M$1
We use auditory nerves and a language center look up the meaning of pressure waves in the air, so that we can make other pressure waves. When these waves do not go through the look-up tables (e.g., if you just look at a picture of the sound waves), they are nonsense. Talking about books and libraries and Chinese made sense 500 years ago, but it's silly to waste time on that now.
0
Duncan
Clearly, since no one has a good explanation or description of consciousness, the correct belief is that no one has consciousness; you might think you do, but you are wrong. Therefore, the CR argument is meaningless.
0.7%
Duncan
"I can access the internet, but I don't know anything about IPv4, so I don't 'really understand' what I'm doing. Therefore, I am not conscious" is a stupid argument; Q.E.D.
0.7%
Duncan
Insofar as anyone will accept that anyone has consciousness, ever and always, they do it empirically. The Chinese room does not address how to judge this empirically, so it is entirely beside the point.
0.7%
EnopoletusHarding
Enopoletus Harding is betting Modules of..." chinese.
@Duncan Good reply.
0
Duncan
The argument begs the question of the existence of consciousness in other humans; there is no good evidence for this.
0.6%
Duncan
Duncan is betting Too compli...ion pump.
Moreover, given that the only conscious entity in the universe does not understand Chinese (prove me wrong), the fact that the room does not understand Chinese is a (very very very very very small) data point in it's favor.
0
Duncan
Duncan is betting Too compli...ion pump.
I may be an AI, I may even be in some form a Chinese room, but one thing I know for sure about myself, it is that I do not understand the Chinese language.
0
EnopoletusHarding
Enopoletus Harding is betting Modules of..." chinese.
@Duncan This is trollish.
0
Duncan
Duncan is betting Too compli...ion pump.
@EnopoletusHarding It's a slight bit of an inside joke. It certainly is not meant to be trolling.
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MartinRandall
Wouldn't actually work
0.4%
MartinRandall
The room ends up taking weeks to hold a simple conversation, which means that it fails its Chinese exam. Also potentially it collapses under it's own gravity due to the size of the rulebook.
0
General Comments
Duncan
"I can access the internet, but I don't know anything about IPv4, so I don't 'really understand' what I'm doing. Therefore, I am not conscious" is a stupid argument; Q.E.D.
0
Angela
I don’t believe in conscious computers.
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Rutger
@Angela Why not? You have one inside your head.
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Rutger
A little less snappy: We know you can make something that is conscious by connecting neurons together in the right way, so shouldn't the default assumption be that you can do the same thing by connecting semiconductors together in the right way? What is special about carbon that you can't replicate whatever gives humans consciousness in silica?
0
JoyVoid
@Angela What would change your mind on that topic?
0
Angela
(might be a consequence of spending a lot of time on the level of 17th-18th century theologian (when humoral theory was in vogue), so less time spent thinking about 20th century emergent questions about consciousness)
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AndrewHartman
@Angela I recommend Dennett, though I think a lot of other philosophers hate him.
0