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This guide addresses the need for literary criticism for beginning literary critics. It provides resources for finding short stories, for getting plot summaries, reviews and literary criticism or explication of short stories.

New Criticism is one of several ways of looking at and analyzing literature

Work in Artificial Intelligence (AI) has produced computer programsthat can beat the world chess champion and defeat the best humanplayers on the television quiz show . AI has alsoproduced programs with which one can converse in natural language,including Apple's . Our experience shows that playing chessor , and carrying on a conversation, are activitiesthat require understanding and intelligence. Does computer prowess atchallenging games and conversation then show that computers canunderstand and be intelligent? Will further development result indigital computers that fully match or even exceed human intelligence?Alan Turing (1950), oneof the pioneer theoreticians of computing, believed the answer tothese questions was “yes”. Turing proposed what is now known as “TheTuring Test”: if a computer can pass for human in online chat, we should grant thatit is intelligent. By the late 1970s some AI researchers claimed thatcomputers already understood at least some natural language. In 1980U.C. Berkeley philosopher John Searle introduced a short andwidely-discussed argument intended to show conclusively that it isimpossible for digital computers to understand language or think.


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The Robot Reply concedes Searle is right about the Chinese Roomscenario: it shows that a computer trapped in a computer room cannotunderstand language, or know what words mean. The Robot reply isresponsive to the problem of knowing the meaning of the Chinese wordfor hamburger—Searle's example of something the room operatorwould not know. It seems reasonable to hold that we know what ahamburger is because we have seen one, and perhaps even made one, ortasted one, or at least heard people talk about hamburgers andunderstood what they are by relating them to things we do know byseeing, making, and tasting. Given this is how one might come to knowwhat hamburgers are, the Robot Reply suggests that we put a digitalcomputer in a robot body, with sensors, such as video cameras andmicrophones, and add effectors, such as wheels to move around with,and arms with which to manipulate things in the world. Such arobot—a computer with a body—could do what a child does,learn by seeing and doing. The Robot Reply holds that such a digitalcomputer in a robot body, freed from the room, could attach meaningsto symbols and actually understand natural language. Margaret Boden,Tim Crane, Daniel Dennett, Jerry Fodor, Stevan Harnad, Hans Moravecand Georges Rey are among those who have endorsed versions of thisreply at one time or another. The Robot Reply in effect appeals to“wide content” or “externalistsemantics”. This can agree with Searle that syntax and internalconnections are insufficient for semantics, while holding thatsuitable causal connections with the world can provide content to theinternal symbols.