> > >Lee:  No, the important claims that Bruno makes go far beyond. 
> He attempts 
> > > to derive physics from the theory of computation (i.e., recursive 
> > > functions, effective computability, incompleteness, and 
> > > unsolvability).
> > > His is also one set of the claims, hypotheses, and 
> conjectures that 
> > > attempt to reduce physics to a completely timeless abstract world.
> > > Julian Barbour, in The End of Time, gave, as you probably 
> know, one 
> > > of the most brilliant presentations from this perspective.
> > 
> >Jonathan:  Sure; but I was just addressing the observation by Bruno that
> > description of a ball can bruise you (if you are also a 
> description). 
> > That observation is not unique to Bruno's Comp; it applies to any 
> > theory that accepts the premise of Strong AI.
> I'm astonished to hear this; I thought that "strong AI" 
> referred merely to the claim that fully human or beyond 
> intelligence might be achieved by automatic machinery even if 
> the programs only push bits around one at a time.  In other 
> words, what distinguished the strong AI camp from the weak AI 
> camp was that the latter believed that more is needed somehow 
> or other: perhaps parallel processing; perhaps biological 
> program instantiation; perhaps quantum gravity tubules or... 
> something.

No, the conventional meanings of strong vs. weak AI are merely:

Weak AI: machines can be made to act *as if* they were intelligent
(conscious, etc).
Strong AI: machines that act intelligently have real, conscious minds
(actually experience the world, qualia etc).

A claim that a description of an object (a simulated billiard ball for
instance) can bruise me (cause me pain etc) if I am a simulation, requires
strong AI, such that my simulation is conscious. Otherwise, under weak AI,
my simulation can only act *as if* it were bruised or in pain, since it is
not actually conscious.

> As far as believing that a billiard-ball *machine* or a 
> hydraulic machine might instantiate me (as a running 
> program), I for one *do* believe that. So in my understanding 
> of the terms, as I said above, then it follows that I myself 
> am in the strong AI camp (ontologically).

But Strong AI usually presumes substrate independance; so if you don't
believe that a mechanical ping pong ball machine for instance could
instantiate an intelligence, you would not be classed as in the Strong AI
> But I (and I know I speak for others) don't think that I'm 
> only a description; we believe that we must be processes 
> running during some time interval on some kind of hardware in 
> some physical reality.
> So we are as yet unmoved  :-)  by Bruno's descriptions.

The usual reply is that this begs the question as to what a "process" is. If
we accept the block universe, time is a 1st person phenomenon anyway, so how
do differentiate between what is a description and what is a process?

Jonathan Colvin

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