The Chinese Room Revisited Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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SOURCE of the intelligence that important ? Shouldn?t we emphasize the LOCUS (site) of the intelligence, where it is stored and used? Surely, the programmer is the source of any intelligence that a computer possesses. But is this relevant? If the computer were to effectively make use of the intelligence bestowed upon it by the programmer ? wouldn’t we say that it is intelligent? If tomorrow we will discover that our mental states are induced in us by a supreme intelligence (known to many as God) ? should we then say that we are devoid of mental states? If we were to discover in a distant future that what we call ?our? intelligence is really a clever program run from a galactic computer centre ? will we then feel less entitled to say that we are intelligent? Will our subjective

feelings, the way that we experience our selves, change in the wake of this newly acquired knowledge? Will we no longer feel the mental states and the intelligence that we used to feel prior to these discoveries? If Searle were to live in that era ? would he have declared himself devoid of mental, cognitive, emotional and intelligent states ? just because the source and the mechanism of these phenomena have been found out to be external or remote? Obviously, not. Where the intelligence emanates from, what is its source, how it is conferred, stored, what are the mechanisms of its bestowal ? are all irrelevant to the question whether a given entity is intelligent. The only issue relevant is whether the discussed entity is possessed of intelligence, contains intelligence, has

intelligent components, stores intelligence and is able to make a dynamic use of it. The locus and its properties (behaviour) matter. If a programmer chose to store intelligence in a computer ? then he created an intelligent computer. He conferred his intelligence onto the computer. Intelligence can be replicated endlessly. There is no quantitative law of conservation of mental states. We teach our youngsters ? thereby replicating our knowledge and giving them copies of it without ?eroding? the original. We shed tears in the movie theatre because the director succeeded to replicate an emotion in us ? without losing one bit of original emotion captured on celluloid. Consciousness, mental states, intelligence are transferable and can be stored and conferred. Pregnancy is a process

of conferring intelligence. The book of instructions is stored in our genetic material. We pass on this book to our off spring. The decoding and unfolding of the book are what we call the embryonic phases. Intelligence, therefore, can (and is) passed on (in this case, through the genetic material, in other words: through hardware). We can identify an emitter (or transmitter) of mental states and a receiver of mental states (equipped with an independent copy of a book of instructions). The receiver can be passive (as television is). In such a case we will not be justified in saying that it is ?intelligent? or has a mental life. But ? if it possesses the codes and the instructions ? it could make independent use of the data, process it, decide upon it, pass it on, mutate it,

transform it, react to it. In the latter case we will not be justified in saying that the receiver does NOT possess intelligence or mental states. Again, the source, the trigger of the mental states are irrelevant. What is relevant is to establish that the receiver has a copy of the intelligence or of the other mental states of the agent (the transmitter). If so, then it is intelligent in its own right and has a mental life of its own. Must the source be point-like, an identifiable unit? Not necessarily. A programmer is a point-like source of intelligence (in the case of a computer). A parent is a point-like source of mental states (in the case of his child). But other sources are conceivable. For instance, we could think about mental states as emergent. Each part of an entity

might not demonstrate them. A neurone cell in the brain has no mental states of it own. But when a population of such parts crosses a quantitatively critical threshold ? an epiphenomenon occurs. When many neurones are interlinked ? the results are mental states and intelligence. The quantitative critical mass ? happens also to be an important qualitative threshold. Imagine a Chinese Gymnasium instead of a Chinese Room. Instead of one English speaker ? there is a multitude of them. Each English speaker is the equivalent of a neurone. Altogether, they constitute a brain. Searle says that if one English speaker does not understand Chinese, it would be ridiculous to assume that a multitude of English speakers would. But reality shows that this is exactly what will happen. A single