Brent Meeker writes:

> Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > Peter Jones writes (quoting SP):
> > 
> > 
> >>> The constraints (a) and (b) you mention are ad hoc and an
> >>> unnecessary complication. Suppose Klingon computers change their
> >>> internal code every clock cycle according to the well-documented
> >>> radioactive decay pattern of a sacred stone 2000 years ago. If we
> >>> got our hands on one of these computers and monitored its
> >>> internal states it would seem completely random; but if we had
> >>> the Klingon manual, we would see that the computer was actually
> >>> multiplying two numbers, or implementing a Klingon AI, or 
> >>> whatever. Would you say that these computations were not valid
> >>> because it's a dumb way to design a computer?
> >> 
> >> I'd say that a defintion of "computer" that applies to everything
> >> is useless.
> > 
> > 
> > I agree, it's completely useless to *us* because we couldn't interact
> > with it. That would be the end of the matter unless we say that
> > computation can lead to consciousness, creating as it were its own
> > observer. Are you prepared to argue that the aforementioned Klingon
> > AI suddenly stops being conscious when the last copy of the manual
> > which would allow us to interact with it is destroyed?
> If it's intelligent we should be able to interact with it without a manual.

I should have specified, there is no input or output device connected. With 
a "normal" computer we might look for patterns in its internal states and 
design drivers for a keyboard and monitor, but with this computer its 
internal states are apparently completely random unless you have the 
original design specifications. 

Stathis Papaioannou
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