Stathis Papaioannou writes:
That's right, but with a fixed input the computer follows a perfectly 
deterministic course, like a clockwork mechanism, however many times we 
repeat the run.  Moreover, if we consider the recording of the input as 
hardwired into the computer, it does not interact with its environment.  So 
we have the possibility that a perfectly deterministic physical system that 
does not interact with its environment may be conscious.  And since the 
computer may be built and programmed in an arbitrarily complex way, because 
any physical system can be mapped onto any computation with the appropriate 
mapping rules,  we have the possibility that any physical system could be 
implementing any computation.  That would be a trivial result given that we 
are unable to interact with such a computer and would never be able to use 
it or recognise it as a computer - except that such a computer can be 
conscious, self-aware in its own segregated virtual world.

NCS: If the computer is "conscious" I don't see how it could be a 
deterministic or predictable physical system.  To me, consciousness means it 
is self-aware, capable of modifying its responses, and therefore not 
predictable.   What are the ingredients of a conscious computer ?  Perhaps 
one essential component is a central processing unit that depends on quantum 
randomness to arrive at a decision when other factors balance out.




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