>Is consciousness based on information or computation? Let me give an >example to explain what I mean. Suppose there is a computer running an AI >program. Assuming computationalism, this computation should contribute to >the measure on conscious experiences. Now suppose there are two computers >independently running two identical AI programs with the same inputs. This >should make twice as much contribution to the consciousness measure. > >But now suppose there is one computer running an AI program, and a second >computer that makes a copy of the first computer's state after every >operation. My question is how much contribution to the consciousness >measure does this setup make, compared to the single computer setup? If >consciousness is based on computation, then it makes the same >contribution, since there is just one instance of the AI computation being >run. But if consciousness is based on information, then it makes twice as >much contribution, since there are two copies of the AI's state at any >given time. > >So which is it?
I personnaly deny the concept of "measure of conscious experiment". I deny the fact that consciousness is an *objective* property of matter, just because you can not define a physical property, measurable by an external apparatus, whose measure could determine the degree of consciousness (or if you can, let me know). Much of the discussion about consciouness is plagued by this fact, because we include it in formalisms that have not been deviced to handle it. The only consciousness we know is our own one, by means that are different from those we use to interact with the outer world. We think that the other human beings are conscious because of the similarity of their behavior with ours, but it does not define what is consciousness. If one succeeds in building a computer with a human-like behaviour (which is quite possible in my sense), deciding if it is actually conscious or not is purely a matter of convenience, not an intrinsic property. In other words, I think the proposition "Another than me is conscious" is really unprovable. Gilles