I missed the meaning of *'conscious'* as applied in this discussion. *If we
accept* that it means 'responding to information' ( used in the wides sense:
in *responding* there is an *absorption* of the result of an observer
moment and *completenig relations thereof* and te *information* as the
*absorbed
relations*) *then a thermostat is conscious*.
Without such clarification Jason's question is elusive. (I may question the
term "physical universe" as well - as the compilation of aspect-slanted
figments to explain observations we made in select views by select means
(cf. conventional and not-so-conventional science, numbers, Platonist
filters, quantum considerations, theological views, etc.)
*
Then Bruno's response below refers to a *fetish* (person? what is this?) -
definitely NOT a computer, but "relative to* ANOTHER(?)* computer". *The
'another' points to similarity.*
 It also reverberates with Jason's "*WE*(??)" (Is this 'a person', a
homunculus, or what?)create a computer further *segregating* the 'fetish'
Bruno refers to from 'a computer'.
*I don't find it ambiguous: I find it undefined terms clashing in elusive
meanings.*

Another open spot is the 'conscious robot' that would not become conscious
even by copying someone's BRAIN (which is NOT conscious! - as said).
We still face the "I", the "ME" *UFO* (considered as 'self'') that DOES but
IS NOT. - And - is conscious. Whatever that may mean.

Then comes Brent with the reasonable question. I would add: what is
necessary for a 'computation in Platonia' to become a person? should it pee?
I feel the term Brent asked is still a select artifact ideation, APPLICABLE
(maybe) to non-computational domains to make it "a person" (whatever that
may be). It is still not "I", the conscious, thinking of it.
The 'conscious' ME is different from a computation with denied consciousness
- as I read.
Replacing the (non-conscious) brain with identical other parts does not
impart the missing conscious quality - unless the replacement IS conscious,
in which case it is NOT a replacement. It is a "exchange to...". - as Brent
correctly points to.  (Leaving open the term 'you - conscious' as a deus ex
machina quale-addition for the replacement).

Just looking through differently colored goggles.

John Mikes






On Sat, May 23, 2009 at 12:39 AM, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>wrote:

>
> Bruno Marchal wrote:
> > On 22 May 2009, at 18:25, Jason Resch wrote:
> >
> > ...
> >> Do you believe if we create a computer in this physical
> >> universe that it could be made conscious,
> >>
> >
> > But a computer is never conscious, nor is a brain. Only a person is
> > conscious, and a computer or a brain can only make it possible for a
> > person to be conscious relatively to another computer. So your
> > question is ambiguous.
> > It is not my brain which is conscious, it is me who is conscious.
>
> By "me" do you mean some computation in Platonia?  I'm wondering what
> are the implications of your theory for creating "artificial"
> consciousness.  Since comp starts with the assumption that replacing
> one's brain with functionally  identical units (at some level of detail)
> will make no discernable difference in your experience, it entails that
> a computer that functionally replaces your brain is conscious (conscious
> of being you in fact).  So if I want to build a conscious robot from
> scratch, not by copying someone's brain, what must I do?
>
> Brent
>
> >
>

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