From the Chinese room argument to the Church-Turing thesis

Dean Petters, Achim Jung

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Searle’s Chinese Room thought experiment incorporates a number of assumptions about the role and nature of programs within the computational theory of mind. Two assumptions are analysed in this paper. One is concerned with how interactive we should expect programs to be for a complex cognitive system to be interpreted as having understanding about its environment and its own inner processes. The second is about how self-reflective programs might analyse their own processes. In particular, how self-reflection, and a high level of interactivity with the environment and other intelligent agents in the environment, may give rise to understanding in artificial cognitive systems. A further contribution that this paper makes is to demonstrate that the Church-Turing Thesis does not apply to interactive systems, and to self-reflective systems that incorporate interactivity. This is an important finding because it means that claims about interactive and self-reflective systems need to be considered on a case by case basis rather than using lessons from relatively simple non-interactive and non-reflective computational models to generalise to all computational processes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of AISB Annual Convention 2018
Subtitle of host publicationPhilosohphy after AI: mind, language and action Symposium
PublisherSociety for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB)
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2018
EventPhilosophy after AI Symposium at the 2018 AISB Convention - Liverpool, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Apr 20186 Apr 2018


ConferencePhilosophy after AI Symposium at the 2018 AISB Convention
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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