The ongoing research program of showing Searle’s Chinese Room Argument to be false

This essay considers selected responses to the Chinese Room Argument and Searle’s replies to those responses, with particular attention to how the arguments in question relate to his key assertions that a) syntax is not sufficient for semantics, and b) that the brain possesses causal powers which are necessary for understanding and cannot be replicated in a digital computer. It then discusses what recent neuroscience research can say about the Chinese Room, and ultimately decides that Searle does not sufficiently persuade us of his conclusion, and that the possibility of a machine- based intelligence is still up for grabs.

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