Dear David. do not expect from me the theoretical level of technicality-talk er get from Bruno: I talk (and think) common sense (my own) and if the theoretical technicalities sound strange, I return to my thinking.
That's what I got, that's what I use (plagiarized from the Hungarian commi joke: what is the difference between the peoples' democracy and a wife? Nothing: that's what we got that's what we love) When I read your "questioning" the computer, i realized that you are in the ballpark of the AI people (maybe also AL - sorry, Russell) who select machine-accessible aspects for comparing. You may ask about prejudice, shame (about goofed situations), humor (does a computer laugh?) boredom or preferential topics (you push for an astronomical calculation and the computer says: I rather play some Bach music now) Sexual preference (even disinterestedness is slanted), or laziness. If you add untruthfulness in risky situations, you really have a human machine with consciousness (whatever people say it is - I agree with your evading that unidentified obsolete noumenon as much as possible). I found Bruno's post well fitting - if i have some hint what "...inner personal or self-referential modality..." may mean. I could not 'practicalize' it. I still frown when "abondoning (the meaning of) something but consider items as pertaining to it" - a rough paraphrasing, I admit. To what?. I don't feel comfortable to borrow math-methods for nonmath explanations but that is my deficiency. Now that we arrived at thequestion I replied-added (sort of) to Colin's question I - let me ask it again: how would YOU know if you are conscious? (Conscious is more meaningful than cc-ness). Or rather: How would you know if you are NOT conscious? Well, you wouldn't. If you can, you are conscious. Computers????? Have a good weekend John Mikes On 6/20/07, David Nyman <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: > > > On Jun 5, 3:12 pm, Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: > > > Personally I don' think we can be *personally* mistaken about our own > > consciousness even if we can be mistaken about anything that > > consciousness could be about. > > I agree with this, but I would prefer to stop using the term > 'consciousness' at all. To make a decision (to whatever degree of > certainty) about whether a machine possessed a 1-person pov analogous > to a human one, we would surely ask it the same sort of questions one > would ask a human. That is: questions about its personal 'world' - > what it sees, hears, tastes (and perhaps extended non-human > modalitiies); what its intentions are, and how it carries them into > practice. From the machine's point-of-view, we would expect it to > report such features of its personal world as being immediately > present (as ours are), and that it be 'blind' to whatever 'rendering > mechanisms' may underlie this (as we are). > > If it passed these tests, it would be making similar claims on a > personal world as we do, and deploying this to achieve similar ends. > Since in this case it could ask itself the same questions that we can, > it would have the same grounds for reaching the same conclusion. > > However, I've argued in the other bit of this thread against the > possibility of a computer in practice being able to instantiate such a > 1-person world merely in virtue of 'soft' behaviour (i.e. > programming). I suppose I would therefore have to conclude that no > machine could actually pass the tests I describe above - whether self- > administered or not - purely in virtue of running some AI program, > however complex. This is an empirical prediction, and will have to > await an empirical outcome. > > David > > On Jun 5, 3:12 pm, Bruno Marchal <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: > > Le 03-juin-07, à 21:52, Hal Finney a écrit : > > > > > > > > > Part of what I wanted to get at in my thought experiment is the > > > bafflement and confusion an AI should feel when exposed to human ideas > > > about consciousness. Various people here have proffered their own > > > ideas, and we might assume that the AI would read these suggestions, > > > along with many other ideas that contradict the ones offered here. > > > It seems hard to escape the conclusion that the only logical response > > > is for the AI to figuratively throw up its hands and say that it is > > > impossible to know if it is conscious, because even humans cannot > agree > > > on what consciousness is. > > > > Augustin said about (subjective) *time* that he knows perfectly what it > > is, but that if you ask him to say what it is, then he admits being > > unable to say anything. I think that this applies to "consciousness". > > We know what it is, although only in some personal and uncommunicable > > way. > > Now this happens to be true also for many mathematical concept. > > Strictly speaking we don't know how to define the natural numbers, and > > we know today that indeed we cannot define them in a communicable way, > > that is without assuming the auditor knows already what they are. > > > > So what can we do. We can do what mathematicians do all the time. We > > can abandon the very idea of *defining* what consciousness is, and try > > instead to focus on principles or statements about which we can agree > > that they apply to consciousness. Then we can search for (mathematical) > > object obeying to such or similar principles. This can be made easier > > by admitting some theory or realm for consciousness like the idea that > > consciousness could apply to *some* machine or to some *computational > > events" etc. > > > > We could agree for example that: > > 1) each one of us know what consciousness is, but nobody can prove > > he/she/it is conscious. > > 2) consciousness is related to inner personal or self-referential > > modality > > etc. > > > > This is how I proceed in "Conscience et Mécanisme". ("conscience" is > > the french for consciousness, "conscience morale" is the french for the > > english "conscience"). > > > > > > > > > In particular I don't think an AI could be expected to claim that it > > > knows that it is conscious, that consciousness is a deep and intrinsic > > > part of itself, that whatever else it might be mistaken about it could > > > not be mistaken about being conscious. I don't see any logical way it > > > could reach this conclusion by studying the corpus of writings on the > > > topic. If anyone disagrees, I'd like to hear how it could happen. > > > > As far as a machine is correct, when she introspects herself, she > > cannot not discover a gap between truth (p) and provability (Bp). The > > machine can discover correctly (but not necessarily in a completely > > communicable way) a gap between provability (which can potentially > > leads to falsities, despite correctness) and the incorrigible > > knowability or knowledgeability (Bp & p), and then the gap between > > those notions and observability (Bp & Dp) and sensibility (Bp & Dp & > > p). Even without using the conventional name of "consciousness", > > machines can discover semantical fixpoint playing the role of non > > expressible but true statements. > > We can *already* talk with machine about those true unnameable things, > > as have done Tarski, Godel, Lob, Solovay, Boolos, Goldblatt, etc. > > > > > > > > > And the corollary to this is that perhaps humans also cannot > > > legitimately > > > make such claims, since logically their position is not so different > > > from that of the AI. In that case the seemingly axiomatic question of > > > whether we are conscious may after all be something that we could be > > > mistaken about. > > > > This is an inference from "I cannot express p" to "I can express not > > p". Or from ~Bp to B~p. Many atheist reason like that about the > > concept of "unameable" reality, but it is a logical error. > > Even for someone who is not willing to take the comp hyp into > > consideration, it is a third person communicable fact that > > self-observing machines can discover and talk about many non 3-provable > > and sometimes even non 3-definable true "statements" about them. Some > > true statements can only be interrogated. > > Personally I don' think we can be *personally* mistaken about our own > > consciousness even if we can be mistaken about anything that > > consciousness could be about. > > > > Bruno > > > > http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/ > > > > > --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---