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Virtual Dictionary

The Chinese Room Paradox

The Chinese room paradox is an infamous scenario first proposed in the 1980s by philosopher John Searle. In it there is a sealed room, with a person inside. Into the room come slips of paper with Chinese symbols on them, but the person inside the room does not understand Chinese. Fortunately for them, they have a large manual, which tells them what to do. It contains a long list of conditional statements, such as ?if the symbol consists of two squiggly lines bending to the left, answer it by strokes here, here, and here.?

Thus the person in the room composes an answer to the question or statement on the paper, and when they are done, they pass it back. The person in the sealed room has no clue what the squiggles mean, but to a Chinese person outside the room the answers make perfect sense and are exactly relevant to the question posed.

The paradox applies directly to artificial intelligence systems studying natural language. They may have no clue what they are saying, but if the rules are strict enough and broad enough, they don?t need to. Searle is pointing out there is no meaningful difference between ?appearing to understand? and ?understanding? Chinese, or by inference, any other natural language.

Below, we offer a selection of links from our resource databases which may match this term.

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The Chinese Room Paradox


Resources in our database matching the Term The Chinese Room Paradox:

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Locally Hosted resource
Response to Podcast The Paradox of Choice
At the time of writing this, the article 'Podcast The Paradox of Choice' has been on the server for less than a day. It contains a TED podcast and a partial transcription of same. The podcast is essentially a twenty minute long, semi lucid, raving rant by philosopher Barry Schwartz, regarding his book, and the meaning of paradox of choice.

Locally Hosted resource
Podcast: The paradox of choice
This cast from TED 2005, features Barry Schwartz taslking about his then-new book, "The Paradox of Choice". He uses it as a forum to argue that the more choice you have, the less freedom you have, because you cannot make up your mind what to choose.

Locally Hosted resource
The Virtual Clean Room
Purdue University, in Indiana, US, decided to create a clean room to train students on vial procedures sterilizing implanted equipment. They could not build their own clean room, not and be able to keep it to the same standards of cleanliness. So, they created a virtual replica clean room.

World Review: Virtual Forbidden City
World Review: Virtual Forbidden City welcome screen
Opened to the public in mid October 2008, IBM?s virtual forbidden city is a to scale replica of the Chinese city of the same name which served China for centuries as an exclusive realm for the nation's emperors. To create it, IBM spent more than three years working with Chinese officials and the Palace Museum to construct an interactive, animated replica of the 178-acre walled fortress in the Dongcheng District of Beijing.
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Locally Hosted resource
3D RoboVision
A team working at Brown University, believe they have made a breakthrough in robotic vision systems: A robot that follows a person from room to room to room, tracking them regardless of lighting conditions, crowds milling between the user and the robot, temporary obstructions or anything.

Linked resource
Building Blocks: Details
Details, points of interest within a room. This resource details the all-important, and oft overlooked process of creating objects with sub-descriptions within a room, so as to allow the players to explore and interact with the room in a common sense way.

Linked resource
Building Blocks: Rooms
This article looks at the basic locational structure of many worlds - the humble room. Orientated towards textual worlds, it looks at what should, and should not go in a room, to make it a readilly understandable entity.

Locally Hosted resource
China imposes online gaming curbs
Industry News

Originally news from 26-08-2005, this story is of a landmark case in the evolution of virtual nations. It has long been known that eventually the physical world would see the virtual as a threat. The Chinese are the first to try to curtail it. A new law is being introduced to prohibit more than three hours spent in an online environment.

Linked resource
$250,000 Ambulance
Better help is on the way for the 30-odd million people who call on EMS every year. Shrinking electronics, wireless proliferation and ?smart? materials from the likes of NASA are set to transform the ambulance into a virtually mobile emergency room.

The pulse is a pen, a biro which is held and written with like any other. However, unlike most, it digitally records every pen stroke, and picks up the audio in the room at the same time, linking the two together and storing them on an internal 1GB or 2GB flash memory system.


Industry News containing the Term The Chinese Room Paradox:

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Chinese director Wang Xinmin will shoot a TV series based on the Chinese massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) Xian Lu Qi Yuan 2, reports eNet. Xian Lu Qi Yuan 2 is a 2D online fantasy game developed by Beijing based onlin...

Google Inc. wants to apologize for its poor communication with Chinese authors about scanning their books into its online library and is ready to work out a settlement to allay copyright concerns, a writer's group said Sunday.

The Chinese net-using population looks set to exceed that of the US in less than three years, says a report.

China's net users number 100m but this represents less than 8% of the country's 1.3 billion people.


The Chinese government has set up a Censorship Committee to study online gaming and virtual environments, after one virtual gameworld, Project IGI2: Covert Strike, incensed officials for its portrayal of the Chinese army. Chinese state pres...

The founder of Chinese IT giant Lenovo said in an interview published Monday that Apple is missing huge opportunities in the world's most populous nation because it does not understand mainland consumers.

"We are lucky that...