Grounding Symbols in the Analog World with Neural Nets

Harnad, Stevan (1993) Grounding Symbols in the Analog World with Neural Nets. [Journal (Paginated)]


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Harnad's main argument can be roughly summarised as follows: due to Searle's Chinese Room argument, symbol systems by themselves are insufficient to exhibit cognition, because the symbols are not grounded in the real world, hence without meaning. However, a symbol system that is connected to the real world through transducers receiving sensory data, with neural nets translating these data into sensory categories, would not be subject to the Chinese Room argument. Harnad's article is not only the starting point for the present debate, but is also a contribution to a longlasting discussion about such questions as: Can a computer think? If yes, would this be solely by virtue of its program? Is the Turing Test appropriate for deciding whether a computer thinks?

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:neural nets, symbol grounding, connectionism, symbolism, computationalism, Searle's Chinese Room, Turing Test, robotics
Subjects:Computer Science > Dynamical Systems
Neuroscience > Neural Modelling
Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
ID Code:1586
Deposited By: Harnad, Stevan
Deposited On:18 Jun 2001
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

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