The Chinese Room Argument: Ray Kurzweil vs. John Searle


" 'When we hear it said that wireless valves think,' [Sir Geoffrey] Jefferson said, 'we may despair of language.' But no cybernetician had said the valves thought, no more than anyone would say that the nerve-cells thought. It was the system as a whole that'thought', in Alan's [Turing] view…" -- Andrew Hodges (from his book Alan Turing: the Enigma). In his rewarding book, How to Create a Mind, Ray Kurzweil tackles John Searle's Chinese room argument. That said, I do find its philosophical sections somewhat naïve. Of course there's no reason why a "world-renowned inventor, thinker and futurist" should also be an accomplished philosopher.

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