Meaning against A.I.

A significant number of researchers believe that there are sentences with semantic value that could never be understood by a machine. These researchers believe that the mind has a semantic component, unlike machines. Their’s is a  Chinese Room type argument a la Searle. Consider Chomsky’s example of two books in a library with the same title, and two readers, each taking out one of the books. Do they get the same book? These researchers argue that machines would be unable to answer correctly on the basis of context since the answer would depend on a cognitive understanding of the situation. My claim is that all  meaningful components of a situation are based on a hierarchy that can be artificially represented by categories capturing the essence and functionality of  human mental operations. The answer to Chomsky’s question would be “yes” if one is  referring to the information content of the books,  “no” if one is referring to the books as physical objects.

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