No responses yet to this question. It seems to me a straightforward
consequence of computationalism that we should be able to write a program
which, when run, will experience pain, and I suspect that this would be a
substantially simpler program than one demonstrating general intelligence. It
would be very easy to program a computer or build a robot that would behave
just like a living organism in pain, but I'm not sure that this is nearly
ensure that it is in fact experiencing pain. Any ideas, or references to
that have considered the problem?
> If 3rd person behaviour can be taken as evidence of 1st person experience
> what does that mean in the case of a machine emulating an organism in pain?
> The ability to experience pain appears to be phylogenetically very old and
> dependent on only very minimal cognitive ability. A person in the end stages
> of dementia may make you wonder whether they are conscious at all, until they
> start screaming in response to a painful stimulus and it becomes clear that
> they must retain at least that most basic of conscious experiences. Building
> a machine to emulate just the responses to pain would be a doddle compared to
> building one that could walk, talk, be creative etc. Would such a machine
> thereby actually experience the pain? If so, is it possible that I could run
> a program on my computer which would experience pain if I move the mouse in a
> particular way, or that I am inadvertently torturing the computer as I am
> writing this?
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