Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Peter Jones writes:
>> And such a universe could be emulated as a running, deterministic process.
>> that won't get you into Plato's heaven, because it is a *running* process --
>> is still dynamic. A recording of the process could exist in Plato's heaven,
>> it wouldn't have all the counterfactuals, so the computationalist is not
>> required to believe that it contains any real sentience -- the simulated
>> in it would have no more consciousness of their own than the characters in a
>> Likewise, the computationalist is not required to believe that an unexecuted
>> programme is sentient (even though it has, theoretically, the
>> No-one would believe that a brain-scan, however detailed, is conscious, so
>> computationalist, however ardent, is required to believe that a progamme
>> gathering udston a shelf is sentient, however good a piece of AI code it is.
> Leave aside for the moment the computer running in Platonia and consider a
> computer. You say that a computer program is defined in part by its ability to
> handle counterfactuals, distinguishing it from a mere recording, but it is
> distinction with which I have difficulties. The characters in a film are not
> conscious because the film only simulates external appearance, not because it
> lacks if-then statements. A film obviously does handle if-then statements,
> if the patterns on the film are different the projection on the screen would
> be different.
That's not a proper example though. It would imply to a rock - it would be
if it weren't a rock. To be intelligent (much less conscious) the if-then must
inresponse to different environmental inputs.
>A computer program basically does the same thing: it consistently
> produces a certain output for a certain input.
That's why you can't tell whether a program is intelligent by giving it a
input". There must be a variety of inputs and the response will in general be
different depending on their order (smart programs have memory).
>In the MWI of QM a computer program
> or human mind may have more luxuriant branchings than a recording,
This seems to reify the branches as part of the program. They are part of the
*process of running* the program. The branches arise from different inputs.
>but that is
> just a matter of degree, and in any case there is no reason to suppose that a
> program is any less valid or less conscious because of the presence or
> absence of
> near-copies segregated in parallel universes. In the CI of QM it would be
> to introduce true randomness into a computer program but the same could be
> for a recording, and again there is no reason to suppose that a program is any
> less valid or less conscious because it isn't random. Randomness and/or
> processes are not a prerequisite for a classical computer to function.
I agree with that.
> You might say that a computer program has a two-way interaction with its
> environment while a recording does not, but it is easy to imagine a situation
> where this can be perfectly reproduced by a recording. In run no. 1, you
> start up
> the computer program and have a conversation with it. In run no. 2 you start
> the computer program and play it the recording of your voice from run no. 1.
> far as the program is aware, it receives exactly the same inputs and goes
> exactly the same responses on both runs, but one is a recording and the other
> not. Run no. 2 is exactly analogous to a film: a fixed input resulting in a
> output, even though if the input had been different the output would also have
> been different. I don't see how you could say that the computer is conscious
> run no. 1 but not in run no. 2.
If the program is intelligent it'll be bored by 2. :-) You seem to mixing
of discovering whether a program is intelligent, with what it means for it to
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