One response to Searle's Chinese room argument is that the room has a virtual mind.
From Wikipedia's article on the Chinese room: "Minsky argues, a computer may contain a "mind" that is virtual in the same sense as virtual machines, virtual communities and virtual reality."
Searle responds: "No one supposes that computer simulations of a five-alarm fire will burn the neighborhood down or that a computer simulation of a rainstorm will leave us all drenched."
In an interview he also says: "Consciousness is a biological property like digestion or photosynthesis. Now why isn’t that screamingly obvious to anybody who’s had any education?"
Maybe I am missing something but it doesn't seem at all obvious to me. For example: it seems totally plausible that some people on Stack Exchange are p-zombies. (They have all the physical/biological properties of humans but no consciousness) It doesn't seem like we'd be able to tell the difference.
If telling the difference between people and p-zombies is difficult, why does Searle insist that consciousness is "obviously" physical? If consciousness is "obviously" physical, how does Searle propose we can tell the difference between people and p-zombies?