On 2/18/07, Mark Peaty <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

My main problem with Comp is that it needs several unprovable assumptions to
> be accepted. For example the Yes Doctor hypothesis, wherein it is assumed
> that it must be possible to digitally emulate some or all of a person's
> body/brain function and the person will not notice any difference. The Yes
> Doctor hypothesis is a particular case of the digital emulation hypothesis
> in which it is asserted that, basically, ANYTHING can be digitally emulated
> if one had enough computational resources available. As this seems to me to
> be almost a version of Comp [at least as far as I have got with reading
> Bruno's exposition] then from my simple minded perspective it looks rather
> like assuming the very thing that needs to be demonstrated.

You can't prove that a machine will be conscious in the same way you are.
There is good reason to believe that the third person observable behaviour
of the brain can be emulated, because the brain is just chemical reactions
and chemistry is a well-understood field. (Roger Penrose believes that
something fundamentally non-computable may be happening in the brain but he
is almost on his own in this view.) However, it is possible that the actual
chemical reactions are needed for consciousness, and a computer emulation
would be a philosophical zombie. I think it is very unlikely that something
as elaborate as consciousness could have developed with no evolutionary
purpose (evolution cannot distinguish between me and my zombie twin if
zombies are possible), but it is a logical possibility.

Stathis Papaioannou

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