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Passage 1

Alan Turing proposed a simple test to solve the question of whether a machine or a computer
can think. The ‘Turing test’ works as follows: an observer tries to find out whether he
communicates with a computer or with a human by typing questions and reading the answers
on the screen. If he cannot identify by the answers whether his interlocutor is a human or a
computer, and the computer’s answers are indistinguishable from a human, it has passed the
test and then, according to Turing’s proposal, it can be said to think.
John Searle attacked on the validity of Turing test. He proposed a thought experiment known as
the ‘Chinese Room’. Imagine that a speaker of English is put in a room with an input and output
tray, and is given a batch of Chinese characters, plus a set of instructions in English. When he
finds a set of Chinese characters in his input, he has to produce a set of Chinese characters by
way of output; the instruction tells him how to manipulate (read, compare, combine, order)
Chinese symbols so as to come up with the correct stack of output symbols. Outside the room,
speakers of Chinese know that the input characters are questions in Chinese, and they can read
his outputs as answers in Chinese, in so far as the instructions guarantee symbol sequences
that are comprehensible for Chinese readers. To them the English-man seems a Chinese-storycomprehending system. In reality, however, all he does is manipulate uninterpreted symbols
according to some set of formal syntactic rules (the ‘program’); that is, the English-man plus his
instructions are imitating a computer program.
The English speaker/ understander without knowledge of Chinese answers questions
intelligently, by going through a routine of symbol manipulation. So, the crux is: ‘What would
it be like if my mind actually worked on the principles that the theory (of strong artificial
intelligence) says all minds work on?’ And the conclusion is: ‘The computer is me … the
computer has nothing more than I have in the case where I understand nothing’. The Englishman plays the role of a computer program; obviously, he does not understand Chinese,
and the conclusion Searle draws is that in so far as he does what a computer program does
(manipulating symbols according to syntactic rules) a computer program cannot be said to
understand anything. This means that the famous Turing test for intelligence (does the system
give the right answers to difficult questions, such that it is indistinguishable from human
answers?) is irrelevant; the system can give the right answers in exactly the same way as a
human – but without really understanding anything. It follows that symbol manipulation is
not sufficient for understanding. It has often been argued that Searle’s thought experiment is
unrealistic and misleading. One objection is that the complexity of a working expert system is
not comparable with the sheet of instructions and the stack of symbols that Searle provides the
English-man with – and from that complexity might emerge genuine understanding.

Which of the following is / are correct according to Searle? (i) Both the English-man and the computer do symbol manipulation (ii) Both the English-man and the computer do not understand Chinese a. Why is it argued that Searle’s thought experiment is unrealistic and misleading? a. It is misleading to compare Chinese and English b. Both (i) and (ii) 2. Chinese-man produces Chinese symbols as output while English-man fails to do so d. When the observer declares that the machine can think 3. Computers are incomparable with human beings d.1. Only (ii) c. Passing Turing test does not imply that the machine understands anything it does b. It is unrealistic to compare Turing test and Chinese room thought experiment . Complex computer systems can produce genuine intelligence and so they should not be compared to manipulation of simple symbols and instructions c. What is the difference between a ‘Chinese-man in the Chinese room’ and an ‘Englishman in the Chinese room’? a. Neither (i) nor (ii) d. Only (i) b. Chinese speakers outside the room identify the Chinese-man inside the room as Chinese while they cannot identify the English-man inside the room as Chinese 5. When the machine provides intelligent answers b. Chinese-man understands Chinese while English-man understands English b. Turing test is not an upgraded version to test machine intelligence 4. Chinese-man understands Chinese while English-man manipulates Chinese symbols according to instructions c. When the machine operates according to the instructions fed into it c. Turing test requires attestation of a human observer d. Turing test does not test the intelligence of the machine c. Why is Turing test irrelevant to testify the intelligence of a machine? a. When an observer fails to identify whether the answers are given by the machine or a human being d. When is a machine said to pass Turing test? a.