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Turing test  Artificial Intelligence
The Chinese Room Argument
oil on canvas
48" by 24"

Made famous by the American philosopher John Searle in connection with computer intelligence. Imagine a person in a box that has a Chinese-English dictionary. Someone inputs an English phrase with the intention of getting a Chinese translation of the phrase. But suppose the person in the box doesn't understand Chinese. He or she merely can merely look up the pertinent information in the dictionary and copies it onto the paper and releases it, fulfilling a rudimentary iteration of the Turing test. Searle argues that this is essentially how a computer operates. The basic supposition on Searle's part is that syntax does not suffice for semantics. After 38 years his argument has not been refuted. And many have tried.