The Turing Test & Chinese Room Experiment: Lecture Handout: Larry Hauser

The Turing Test and Chinese Room Experiment

THE TURING TEST

Descartes' Challenge: For we can certainly conceive of a machine so constructed that it utters words, and even utters words which correspond to bodily actions causing a change in its organs (e.g., if you touch it in one spot it asks what you want of it, if you touch it in another it cries out that you are hurting it, and so on). But it is not conceivable that such a machine should produce different arrangements of words so as to give an appropriately meaningful answer to whatever is said in its presence, as even the dullest of men can do. (Descartes 1637, p. 140)

The Imitation Game

Questioner:
Aims to discover if A or B is the Man
Questions
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<---------
Answers
(A) Male: aims to fool the questioner

(B) Female: aims to help the questioner

Turing's Test

Questioner:
Aims to discover if A or B is the Computer
Questions
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<---------
Answers
(A) Computer: aims to fool the questioner

(B) Human: aims to help the questioner

Modified Turing Test Setup

Questioner:
Aims to discover if the querent is human or computer.
Questions
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<---------
Answers
Human or Computer

Turing's rationale: "The question and answer method seems to be suitable for introducing almost any one of the fields of human endeavor which we wish to include" (Turing 1950, p.435).

 Turing's analysis: "The [imitation] game may perhaps be criticized on the ground that the odds are weighted too heavily against the machine. This objection is a very strong one, but at least we can say that if, nevertheless, a machine can be constructed to play the imitation game satisfactorily, we need not be troubled by this objection" (Turing 1950, p. 435).

 Turing's prediction: "in about fifty years' time [by the year 2000] it will be possible to program computers ... to make them play the imitation game so well that an average interrogator will have no more than 70 per cent. chance of making the correct identification after five minutes of questioning." (Turing 1950, p.442).

Partial Turing Tests

Questioner:
Aims to discover if the candidate has specific mental properties or abilities.
Q: 7+5=?
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<---------
A: 12
Specific Mental Property at Issue: Calculates Sums?

Turing's Second Prediction: I believe that at the end of the century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted." (Turing 1950, p.452)

 FOUR METAPHYSICAL TAKES ON MIND

  Dualistic  
Input
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Output
Appropriate output to given input must be mediated by the right conscious experiences.  Mental states and processes are, essentially, phenomenological or qualetative states and processes.
Mind-Brain
Identity
Theory
Input
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Output
Appropriate output to given input must be mediated by the right neurophysiological mechanisms.  Mental states and processes are, essentially, neurophysiological states and processes.
Functionalism
Input
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<---------
Output
Appropriate output to given input must be mediated by the right procedures.  Mental states and processes are, essentially, computational processes.
Behaviorism
Input
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Output
Appropriate output to given input is all that's required.   Mental qualities are behavioral dispositions of systems and not, essentially, identifiable with any (type of) mediating states or processes.

SEARLE'S CHINESE ROOM EXPERIMENT

Questioner
a native speaker of
Chinese
Questions in Chinese
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<---------
Answers in Chinese
Monolingual English speaker hand tracing a Natural Language Understanding program of Chinese by following instructions written in English.

Searle's Conclusion: it seems to me quite obvious in the example that I do not understand a word of the Chinese stories. I have inputs and outputs that are indistinguishable from those of the native Chinese speaker [i.e., everything that behaviorism would require], and I can have any formal program you like [all functionalism would require], but I still understand nothing. (Searle 1980a, p. 418)

REFERENCES

 Descartes, R. 1637. Discourse on Method. Translated in J.Cottingham, R.Stoothoff, and D.Murdoch, The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, Vol.1. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge (1985). 131-141 (Part 5).

 Descartes, R. 1642. Meditations on First Philosophy. Translated in J.Cottingham, R.Stoothoff, and D.Murdoch, The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, Vol.2. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge (1984). 16-23 (Second Meditation).

Descartes, R. 1646. "Letter to the Marquess of Newcastle, 23 November 1646". Translated in Anthony Kenny, Descartes Philosophical Letters. Clarendon Press: Oxford (1970). 205-208.

 Dretske, F. 1985. "Machines and the Mental". Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, Vol.59. 23-33.

 Hauser, Larry. 1993a. "Why Isn't my Pocket Calculator a Thinking Thing?" Minds and Machines, Vol.3. 3-10.

 Hauser, Larry. 1993b. "The Sense of 'Thinking': Reply to Rapaport". Minds and Machines, Vol.3. 21-29.

 Hauser, Larry. 1993c. Searle's Chinese Box: The Chinese Room Argument and Artificial Intelligence. East Lansing: Michigan State University (doctoral dissertation).

 Landau, Barbara and Gleitman, Lila. 1985. Language and Experience: Evidence from the Blind Child. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA.

 Nagel, T. 1974. "What is it Like to Be a Bat?" Philosophical Review, Vol. 83. 435-450.

 Rapaport, William. 1993. "Because Mere Calculating Isn't Thinking: Reply to Hauser". Minds and Machines, Vol.3. 11-20.

 Searle, J. R. 1980. "Minds, brains, and programs". Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Vol.3., 417-424.

 Turing, A. M. 1950. Computing machinery and intelligence. Mind, Vol. LIX. 433-460.