Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Brent Meeker writes:
>>> You're implying that the default assumption should be that
>>> consciousness correlates more closely with external behaviour
>>> than with internal activity generating the behaviour: the tape
>>> recorder should reason that as the CD player produces the same
>>> audio output as I do, most likely it has the same experiences as
>>> I do. But why shouldn't the tape recorder reason: even though the
>>> CD player produces the same output as I do, it does so using
>>> completely different technology, so it most likely has completely
>>> different experiences to my own.
>> Here's my reasoning: We think other people (and animals) are
>> conscious, have experiences, mainly because of the way they behave
>> and to a lesser degree because they are like us in appearance and
>> structure. On the other hand we're pretty sure that consciousness
>> requires a high degree of complexity, something supported by our
>> theories and technology of information. So we don't think that
>> individual molecules or neurons are conscious - it must be
>> something about how a large number of subsystems interact. This
>> implies that any one subsystem could be replaced by a functionally
>> similar one, e.g. silicon "neuron", and not change consciousness.
>> So our theory is that it is not technology in the sense of digital
>> vs analog, but in some functional information processing sense.
>> So given two things that have the same behavior, the default
>> assumption is they have the same consciousness (i.e. little or none
>> in the case of CD and tape players). If I look into them deeper
>> and find they use different technologies, that doesn't do much to
>> change my opinion - it's like a silicon neuron vs a biochemical
>> one. If I find the flow and storage of information is different,
>> e.g. one throws away more information than the other, or one adds
>> randomness, then I'd say that was evidence for different
> I basically agree, but with qualifications. If the attempt to copy
> human intelligence is "bottom up", for example by emulating neurons
> with electronics, then I think it is a good bet that if it behaves
> like a human and is based on the same principles as the human brain,
> it probably has the same types of conscious experiences as a human.
> But long before we are able to build such artificial brains, we will
> probably have the equivalent of characters in advanced computer games
> designed to pass the Turing Test using technology nothing like a
> biological brain. If such a computer program is conscious at all I
> would certainly not bet that it was conscious in the same way as a
> human is conscious, just because it is able to fool us into thinking
> it is human.
Such computer personas will probably be very different in terms of information
storage and processing - although we may not know it when they are developed
simply because we still won't know how humans do it. But a good example would
be a neural net vice a production system. At some level I'm sure you can get
the same behavior out of them, but at the information processing level they're
Incidentally, I wonder if anybody remembers that the test Turing proposed was
for an AI and a man to each try to fool an interrogator by pretending to be a
Metaphysics is a restaurant where they give you a 30,000 page menu and no food.
--- Robert Pirsig
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