>Here is the question I wonder about. Is it meaningful for Eric01 to >consider the concept of precisely the one Eric that he is? > >Or would you say that it is fundamentally impossible for a system >(e.g. Eric01) to accurately conceive of the concept of itself as a >completely specified and single entity, since this requires discrimination >beyond its powers of perception, and, as you note, a possibly infinitely >detailed description? > >Perhaps we could consider a simpler example: a conscious computer >program, an AI. Run the same program in lock step on two computers. >Suppose the program is aware of these circumstances. Is it meaningful >for that program to have a concept of "the particular computer that is >running this program"? > >Hal
I'd say no. Here's my "dark room copy/teleport" paradox. (probably been done before) Imagine that there is a device that can make a perfect copy of you and make it appear in another room in another part of the world. When you enter a room in New York, the lights go out and you are copied. Your copy appears in another dark room in front of the Eiffel Tower. The original is not destroyed, and remains in New York. Ok, so you try the experiment for the first time. You enter the room in New York, the lights go out, the copy is made. You then walk to the door and expect to see the Empire State when you open it. But a second before opening the door, you hesitate. How do you know you are not the copy? If you were to open the door and find that you are in Paris, should you be surprised? I think not. It all makes sense. You are the copy. Being rational you should accept this as normal (50% chance?) and proceed to the closest café and order some croissants. The point is, for all practical purpouses (from a first person perspective), this machine is a travelling device, albeit one that works only some of the times (50 % ?). If you are a die-hard materialist, you need not be worried that you will die, because the original will not be touched. So, what do you think guys? Doesn't this suggest that we are our configuration and not our atoms? This is a challenge to all those materialists out there. One could argue that you cannot make a perfect copy due to fundamental quantum limitations. But the copy doesn't have to be p-e-r-f-e-c-t to achieve similar results. I think current theory says that you can make a "pretty good" quantum copy statistically.