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The future of computers - do not be afraid.

In order actually to create human cognition on a machine, one would not only have to simulate the behavior of the human agent, but one would have to be able to duplicate the underlying cognitive processes that account for that behavior. Because we know that all of our cognitive processes are caused by brain processes, it follows trivially that any system which was able to cause cognitive processes would have to have relevant causal powers at least equal to the threshold causal powers of the human brain. It might use some other medium besides neurons, but it would have to be able to duplicate and not just simulate the causal powers of the brain.

That is not the point of the argument at all. If a computer is defined as anything that can carry out computations, then every normal human being is a computer, and consequently, a rather large number of computers can think, namely every normal human. The point is not that computers cannot think. The point is rather that computation as standardly defined in terms of the manipulation of formal symbols is not by itself constitutive of, nor sufficient for, thinking.

A second misunderstanding is that the Chinese Room Argument is supposed to show that machines cannot think. Once again, this is a misunderstanding.

The brain is a machine. If a machine is defined as a physical system capable of performing certain functions, then there is no question that the brain is a machine.
 A since brains can think, it follows immediately that some machines can think.

A third misunderstanding is that that the Chinese Room Argument is supposed to show that it is impossible to build a thinking machine. But this is not claimed by the Chinese Room Argument. On the contrary, we know that thinking is caused by neurobiological processes in the brain, and since the brain is a machine, there is no obstacle in principle to building a machine capable of thinking. Furthermore, it may be possible to build a thinking machine out of substances unlike human neurons. At any rate, we have no theoretical argument against that possibility. What the Chinese Room Argument shows is that this project cannot succeed solely by building a machine that implements a certain sort of computer program.

One can no more create consciousness and thought by running a computer simulation of consciousness and thought, than one can build a flying machine simply by building a computer that can simulate flight. Computer simulations of thought are no more actually thinking than computer simulations of flight are actually flying or computer simulations of rainstorms are actually raining. The brain is above all a causal mechanism and anything that thinks must be able to duplicate and not merely simulate the causal powers of the causal mechanism. The mere manipulation of formal symbols is not sufficient for this

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