> > unless you can eyeball it you're not being scientific).
> >
> > The subtlety with 'objective scientific evidence' is that ultimately it
> is
> > delivered into the private experiences of indiividual scientists. Only
> > agreement as to what is evidenced makes it 'objective'. So the privacy
> of
> > the experience individuals is and always will be an intrinsic and
> > unavoidable part of the whole process.
> >
> > If this is the case then there's a way around it - because in saying the
> > last sentence I have been implicitly assuming that a human is doing the
> > observing and therefore accepting tacitly all the limitations of that
> > circumstance. Relax that constraint and what do you get? Either another
> > biological life form is supplying evidence or a non-biological life-form
> > is giving evidence of consciousness somehow.
> Why a "life form"?  Why not an instrument or a robot?

Call it what you want. AGI (artificial general intelligence) or artificial
scientist, George... its more like 'life' than any other artifact in that it
has experiences. That's all.

> >
> > A non-biological life-form offers the only really flexible and fully
> > controllable and ethical option. How can this do the job, you ask? Isn't
> > this a circular arument? You have to know you;ve built a conscious life
> > form in oder that you get evidence to prove its consciousness?
> >
> > Not really... what it does is open up new options. In another world
> where
> > ethics are different you'd experiment by grafting scientist's heads
> > together so they could verify each other's experiences in some way.
> Plenty
> > of scientists! Why not?! ... erm...welll...not really gonna fly is it?
> Don't we "graft scientists heads together" now by speech, papers,
> symposia,...
> > So the viable alternative is 'grafting' putative artifiacts together in
> > 'cancellation bridges'
> Huh??

There's an academic here who has a similar critical style. It sort of says
"I don't get it, so you must be wrong"  :-)

A very common method in electrical measurement is the formation of a
'bridge' structure in multiples of 4 measurement elements. At the moment of
relevance the 'control' and the 'probe' match each other. They are
intimately interrelated physically - for example a strain gauge. I am
working on a similar technique, only for phenomenal consciousness and all on
one chip and all physically interrelated electromagnetically. The same sort
of outcomes are possible  - I think - I can get a) the same behaviour with
and without phenomenality and also behaviour that can only have arisen
because phenomenality exists. I can compare two phenomenal quale, but I
can't experience either. It's better than nothing - a start.

> >of one form or another and configure them in such a
> > way as to report unambiguously the presence or absense of the results of
> > the physics of experience doing its stuff. Merge 4 artificial scientists
> > and get them to compare/contrast... and report....
> So, for example, if we build a lot of different Mars rovers and they go to
> Mars and
> they report back similar things we'll have evidence that they are
> conscious?

I think you misunderstand... see the above.... yes there is a statistical
element to the experiment (numbers of chips, numbers of 'scientists'/chip)
but this is not the mechanism doing the reporting - the mechanism is the
physics on the individual 'merged scientist' chips. BTW the 'science' being
done by these 'scientists' is the sort of science that could be done by a
paramecium - :-) very very simple but science it is. It's just that several
scientists get to experience the one single experience and conversely each
individual scientist can experience any other scientist's experience. Mix
and match. One way or another there's a protocol towards and acceptable
'truth' in there.
The existence of successful science is proven by the existence of technology
that used the science outcomes. Science cannot have occurred without the
existence/reality of phenomenal consciousness. Hence the existence of
consciousness is already objectively/scientifically proven. All that is
really missing is specific mechanism and then a detailed ontology of
experiences related to the objectively observed physics. Then we'll be

In the end, tho - the chips will be implantable (say in the occipital) I
think - so the human isn't entirely cut out of the loop in the long term. In
fact with any luck they'll be able to repair the "experientially-impaired".
Also there are visualisation options in a technological solution - where the
artifact's experiences can be directly converted to human-viewable
visualisation. The artifact could then also look at it's own internal life
and tune it to show the human what effects are happening.....There's a bunch
of ways through this. I can't wait to play with it... anyone got $100
million? Call me. :-)

Colin Hales

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