1Z wrote:
> 
> Brent Meeker wrote:
> 
> 
>>>That's not very interesting for non-conscious computations, because
>>>they are only useful or meaningful if they can be observed or interact with 
>>>their
>>>environment. However, a conscious computation is interesting all on its own. 
>>>It
>>>might have a fuller life if it can interact with other minds, but its 
>>>meaning is
>>>not contingent on other minds the way a non-conscious computation's is.
>>
>>Empirically, all of the meaning seems to be referred to things outside the
>>computation.  So if the conscious computation thinks of the word "chair" it 
>>doesn't
>>provide any meaning unless there is a chair - outside the computation.
> 
> 
> What about when a human thinks about a chair ? What about
> when a human thinks about a unicorn? 

He thinks about a white horse with a horn, both of which exist.  What is the 
meaning 
of "Zeus"...it refers through descriptions that have meaningful elements.

>What about a computer thinking
> about a unicorn?

That's what we're puzzling over.  Is it meaningless if the computer isn't 
conscious...but refers to a horse with a horn if the computer is conscious?

Brent Meeker

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