John Searle's Chinese Room Argument (CRA) does not object to using computers as tools to simulate human understanding but to the claim that the simulating machines and the programs actually understand language and that this explains how humans understand language:
Partisans of strong AI claim that in this question and answer sequence the machine is not only simulating a human ability but also (1) that the machine can literally be said to understand the story and provide the answers to questions, and (2) that what the machine and its programs do explains the human ability to understand the story and answer questions about it.
Searle's CRA is a thought experiment showing that this is not likely the case by imagining the human simulating what the computer does by tracing through the code in the program.
Searle doesn't object to the analogical reasoning in what he calls "weak AI", only that in "strong AI". In weak AI, computers enable "us to formulate and test hypotheses in a more rigorous and precise fashion." He objects to the analogical reasoning in strong AI where "the computer is not merely a tool in the study of the mind; rather, the appropriately programmed computer really ls a mind".
Analogical reasoning is also used in the similarities of the collective memory of ant colonies that the OP references. Deborah Gordon presents the following analogy between individual ants and the individual neurons in our brains and uses analogy to compare the similarities of brains and computers:
Like a brain, an ant colony operates without central control. Each is a set of interacting individuals, either neurons or ants, using simple chemical interactions that in the aggregate generate their behaviour. People use their brains to remember. Can ant colonies do that? This question leads to another question: what is memory? For people, memory is the capacity to recall something that happened in the past. We also ask computers to reproduce past actions – the blending of the idea of the computer as brain and brain as computer has led us to take ‘memory’ to mean something like the information stored on a hard drive.
While analogical reasoning is important it can also be the source of fallacious reasoning when the analogy is "weak". Here is how Bo Bennett describes a "weak analogy":
When an analogy is used to prove or disprove an argument, but the analogy is too dissimilar to be effective, that is, it is unlike the argument more than it is like the argument.
Searle would likely complain that the analogies Gordon is making between the collective memory of ants, human neurons and computer memories is at some point weak. His CRA would focus the weakness on the analogical reasoning between neurons and computer memories to the extent that such analogies were used to support strong AI.
Bo Bennett, "Weak Analogy, Logically Fallacious https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/181/Weak-Analogy
Deborah M. Gordon, "An ant colony has memories that its individual members don’t have" Aeon December 11, 2018 https://aeon.co/ideas/an-ant-colony-has-memories-that-its-individual-members-dont-have
Searle, J. R. (1980). Minds, brains, and programs. Behavioral and brain sciences, 3(3), 417-424.
"Analogy" Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analogy