do submarines swim?

We have very little information about what 'thought' is, in fact, it's not very clear how you could have such information. But the mass of our information about thought is about what we get by looking at language, so that yields the suggestion that Humboldt took to an extreme that they are the same. But, again, you could introspect if you like. It's the only kind of evidence we have. Doesn't look like as if they are the same. There seems to be lots of kinds of thought that never can get articulated. And I don't see to reason to doubt that some of kind of thought is going on with organisms that don't have language.

You know, in computational cognitive science there's a big enterprise, which in my view is a total waste of time, which goes back to a misreading of a very short paper by Alan Turing back in 1950. Alan Turing, great mathematician and founder of modern computational science and so on, had a paper called the something like "Do machines think?" and he devised the test, now called the 'Turing test', he called it an 'Imitation Game' and what he's been interpreted as arguing, he didn't say it, is that if a machine (machine means program, not a physical computer), if a program can pass this test that will show that it thinks.

If you're an employee of IBM you get paid to construct Watson and other huge programs that are supposed to pass the test. And you can get a hundred thousand dollars if you construct such a program. But there's one line in Turin's paper which seems to have been ignored, what he said is the question whether machines think is too meaningless to deserve discussion.

And he's right. The question whether machines think is like asking whether submarines swim, if you want to call that swimming, yeah they swim. If you don't want to call it swimming they don't.

But these are not factual questions, they are questions about how we only use the word. Now there is something going on that we loosely referred to as 'thought' that we don't know much about what it is. And will never find out as long as attention is restricted to what's accessible to consciousness.

Some of you may know that there are recent experimental results showing that the decisions about say, motor action, like whether to pick [something] up, that the decision is actually made microseconds before you are aware of making the decision. That has been misinterpreted as an argument about freedom of will. it has nothing to do with freedom of will, what it means is that decisions are made in a way that's inaccessible to consciousness.

Noam Chomsky (2014)