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Grounding Symbols in the Analog World with Neural Nets

Harnad, Stevan (1993) Grounding Symbols in the Analog World with Neural Nets Think, 2, (1), pp. 12-78.

Record type: Article


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?

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Published date: 1993
Additional Information: (Special issue on "Connectionism versus Symbolism," D.M.W. Powers & P.A. Flach, eds.). [Also reprinted in French translation as: "L'Ancrage des Symboles dans le Monde Analogique a l'aide de Reseaux Neuronaux: un Modele Hybride." In: Rialle V. et Payette D. (Eds) La Modelisation. LEKTON, Vol IV, No 2.] An introduction to the Theme section by Peter Flach and David Powers Stevan Harnad's Target Article Reactions to the target article by C. Franklin Boyle with Harnad's response Selmer Bringsjord with Harnad's response Eric Dietrich with Harnad's response Michael G. Dyer with Harnad's response James H. Fetzer with Harnad's response Pat Hayes with Harnad's response Vasant Honavar with Harnad's response R.W. Kentridge with Harnad's response Bruce J. MacLennan with Harnad's response Drew McDermott with Harnad's response David M. W. Powers with Harnad's response Herbert L. Roitblat with Harnad's response John R. Searle with Harnad's response
Organisations: Web & Internet Science


Local EPrints ID: 253369
PURE UUID: 9e501505-61e2-46aa-b6ea-dc9dfd882752

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Date deposited: 26 May 2000
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 09:58

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Author: Stevan Harnad

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