Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> 
> Brent meeker writes:
>> Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>>> Brent Meeker writes:
>>>
>>>> I would say that many complex mechanical systems react to "pain" in a way 
>>>> similar to simple animals.  For example, aircraft have automatic shut 
>>>> downs and fire extinguishers.  They can change the flight controls to 
>>>> reduce stress on structures.  Whether they feel this "pain" is a different 
>>>> question.  I think they feel it if they incorporate it into a narrative to 
>>>> which values are attached for purposes of learning ("Don't do that again, 
>>>> it hurts.").  But that's my theory of qualia - a speculative one.
>>> Pain mostly comes before learning. Infants are born with the 
>>> ability to experience pain, so they learn to avoid activities which 
>>> cause pain. 
>> But the learning is a higher level thing.  The experience has two levels.  
>> One is just hardwired reactions, pulling your hand back from the fire.  The 
>> aircraft already has this, as to some very simple organisms.  The other is 
>> part of consciousness, which I speculate is creating a narrative in memory 
>> with attached emotional values.  Babies certainly feel pain in the first 
>> sense, but they seem to have to learn to cry when hurt.  I've accidentally 
>> stuck one of my infant children when diapering them and gotten no reaction.
> 
> Pulling your hand back from the fire is primitive spinal reflex: you actually 
> do this 
> before you perceive the pain. This is straightforward wiring and occurs even 
> if the 
> connection between brain and spinal cord is severed. There is an intermediate 
> step,
> however, between that and the learning and emotional reaction which goes with 
> the painful stimulus, which might be called the raw perception of pain, and 
> which is 
> probably hardwired during brain development.
> 
> There is actually controversy about whether neonates experience pain. 
> Operations 
> such as cardiac surgery were done with just a muscle relaxant to stop the 
> baby from 
> moving when its chest was cut open. None of them complained afterwards... 
> These 
> days, proper analgesia is used, as all the evidence short of asking them 
> suggests that 
> neonates *do* experience pain.  
>  
>>> It seems to be hardwired at a very basic level, which 
>>> makes me think that it ought to be easier to implement in an AI than 
>>> more complex cognitive processes and behaviours. But how would 
>>> a behaviour such as an aircraft's reaction to a fire on board be 
>>> characterised as "painful" in the way an infant putting its hand in a 
>>> flame is painful? If the aircraft's experience is not painful, what can 
>>> do to make it more like the baby's?
>> Add the narrative memory with values attached and then the ability to review 
>> that memory when contemplating future actions.
> 
> Putting your hand in a flame hurts before you have had any time to 
> contemplate 
> the hurt. It hurts just as much if you're an intelligent contemplative type, 
> a 
> complete dolt or a young child.

But even a complete dolt forms memories.  The question is does it hurt just as 
much if you're a fish?  an sponge?  a paramecium?

Brent Meeker

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