Re: Turing Test

From: HARNAD, Stevan (
Date: Thu Jun 01 2000 - 21:20:41 BST

> On Thu, 1 Jun 2000, Boardman, Adam wrote:
> If you take a T3 passing robot then remove all external
> non-computational components (sensors & limbs etc), then re-attach all
> its inputs/outputs to other computer systems that simulate an
> environment, identical to the real one.

If you take a T3 passing robot and remove all external (and internal! --
why only external?) noncomputational components, then you no longer have
a T3 passing robot but an implemented symbol system. If you run the code
in a virtual world, we're back to a virtual system in a virtual world --
a place we've been many times in these discussions!

It's all squiggles.

> Have we killed it? Its now entirely computational, could be simulated
> inside another person.

Would we kill one of us if we removed all of his noncomputational
(implementation-independent symbolic) components? You bet we would.

And whatever you might do with the (implementation-independent) code
that was left over (whether you put it in a simulated world or a
payroll programme), there would be no one left in there...

> Are we saying that it would fail to develop a mind in these
> circumstances if it hadn't had the additional benefit of the real
> world? or that being placed in a virtual world would cause it to lose
> its mind?

What is the "it" you have in mind here? We are talking about a bunch of
squiggles and squoggles.

> If we take it that Searle is running this new computational system
> that has had the benefit of grounding in the real world and is now
> placed entirely inside his head within its virtual world. Then surely
> we must have a T4 before we have a mind?

Implementation-independent squiggles are not grounded; squiggles that
are functional components of a T3 robot are grounded -- the whole system
is grounded. Remove the noncomputational parts of the system and the
grounding's gone too.

T4 refers to a T3 robot that is also internally equivalent and
indistinguishable from the innards of a real human being. The
disembodied squiggles you are talking about here couldn't be further
from that.


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