# Course Seminar - CS 344

Physical Symbol System Hypothesis
Gagan Deep Kaur
Roll No. 07408802

Physical Symbol System
A PSS consists of - Symbols - set of entities that are physical patterns - Symbol Structures - number of instances/tokens related in some physical way - Processes – operate on these expressions to produce other expressions

S1

Symbol CC\$7899ABVV

S1

S2

S3

S4

S5

S6

Symbol Structures “Expressions”

S1 S7 S13 S19 S25

S2 S8 S14 S20 S26

S3 S9 S15 S21 S27

S4 S10

S5

S6 S12

S11 S16 S22 S28 S17 S23 S29 S18 S24 S30

Collection of “Expressions”

At any given time, a PSS contains - collection of expressions - processes to operate on these expressions creation, modification, reproduction, destruction

Physical Symbol System
Key Concepts Designation – the symbol/expressions can refer to something else.

Interpretation – the expressions can refer to its own computational processes which the system can evoke and execute

Examples of Symbol Systems
System Symbol Expressions Processes

Logic

And, Or, Not,

Propositions (T/F)

Rules of Inference

Algebra

+, -, *, /, y, z, 1, 2, 3…. 0, 1

Equations (2+3=5) 00000111000…..

Rules of Algebra

Digital Computer

Program

-----Chess

Chess Pieces

Position of pieces on the board

Legal Chess Moves

Physical Symbol System Hypothesis
- By Allen Newell and Herbert Simon

“A physical symbol system has the necessary and sufficient means for general intelligent action”

Claims
- Human thinking is a kind of symbol manipulation

- Symbol manipulation necessary for intelligence - Machines can be intelligent, because - Symbol manipulation is sufficient for intelligence

Core assumption of Strong AI

Grounds of PSS

Brain similar with a physical symbol system Psychological Experiments – decision making, learning processes Running AI programs –chess, checkers, theorem proving, Clark – Productivity of Human Thoughts

Examples of PSS
System Symbol Expressions Processes

Digital Computer

0, 1

00000111000…..

Program

-----Chess

Chess Pieces

Position of pieces on the board Thoughts

Legal Chess Moves Mental Operations like thinking Data

Brain

Encoded in brain

AI Program

Data

Data

Merits

Computationally possible to encode symbolic human knowledge Opened avenue for machine intelligence!

Implications
Appropriately programmed computer is capable of conscious thought

Machines can understanding

be

to

think

and

have

genuine

Can Physical Symbol Systems Think?

symbol manipulation = intelligence?

Critiques

Serial manipulation of discrete symbols (PSS)

parallel and distributed processing (Human Brain)

Dreyfus – Role of unconscious instincts than conscious symbol manipulation

Searle’s Chinese Room

Searle’s Chinese Room

Searle’s Chinese Room

Intelligence requires Understanding. Does the program understands the symbols that it uses? Does “symbols” have any meaning for the machine?

Conclusion
The question thus boiled down to this: Could a system think or understand just by having right sort of program? Is syntax enough to ensure “semantics” which is necessary for understanding.

Can Physical Symbol System be

Intelligent?

References Clark, Andy, “Philosophical Implications”, Artificial Intelligence, Ed. Margaret Boden, Academic Press, California, 1996 Dreyfus, Hubert, What Computers Can’t Do: The Limits of AI, Harper & Row, New York, 1979 Newell, Allen and Simon, Herbert, “Computer Science and Empirical Inquiry: Search and Symbols”, Mind Design II, Ed. John Hagueland, MIT Press, 1997, Searle, John, “Minds, Brains and Programs”, Minds I, Ed. Douglas Hofstadter, and Daniel Dennett, Basic Books, 2001, P. 282-306 Wikipedia, Stanford Encyclopedia Various Internet Sources For The Pictures!

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