One of the thins which is attractive about Wei's approach, as I understand
it, is that it does not try to answer the question of whether a given
system is conscious, at least not in yes-or-no terms.  Rather, it tries
to give a probability that a given system is conscious, and specifically
that it instantiates a particular consciousness, such as my own.

This allows you to have such things as systems which are "probably"
conscious, or, in a sense, "partially" conscious (in the sense that
we can treat them as having a 10% chance of being conscious, say).
This interpretation makes most sense in the context of the Strong
Self-Selection Assumption (that we can consider our moments of experience
as randomly chosen from among all observer-moments).  The probabilities
assigned to consciousness serve as a weighting factor for how much they
contribute to the ensemble of all observer-moments.

We don't try to ask, "is it like something to be this rock, or this
brain".  We ask, what is the probability that it is like something
to be this rock, or perhaps, what is the probability that it is like
"being me right now" to be this rock.

In Chalmer's "fading qualia", he points out the unreasonability of
describing systems as being partially conscious, maybe halfway between
between being conscious as we are and being zombies.  But Wei's approach
avoids this while still allowing for gradations of consciousness.  He does
not try to imagine what it is like to be one of those systems which is
"50% conscious", rather he simply incorporates the 50% in the contribution
the system makes to the overall ensemble of conscious systems.

Wei's method is reminiscent of an objective variant on Hans Moravec's
pan-psychism, the notion that everything is potentially conscious,
it's just a matter of how we look at it.  Hans would say that a brain
seems conscious to us and a rock does not, because the mapping needed
to see the brain's consciousness is simpler from our perspective than
the mapping that would be necessary for the rock's.  He raises the
possibility that there could be other observers in our own world for
whom the rock was conscious but the brain was not, because the mapping
was simpler in that direction for them.

Wei's approach rejects the subjective element but retains the notion
that there is a degree of probability for any system's consciousness.
The brain's probability is very high, and the rock's is very low.
The construction of the probabilities might be operationally very similar
to Hans' model, having to do with how complex the mapping would have
to be (similar as well to Jacques Mallah's proposal).  But it is given
an objective interpretation.  In effect we reject the notion that there
are legitimate observers for whom the rock is conscious.  Whether there
is a sound objective basis for doing so is still unclear to me.


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