On Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 1:53 PM, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
> Science advances in small steps that often depend on technology.  I think
> the next 'hard' question that has some chance of being answered is, what
> information processes are necessary and sufficient  to produce human-like
> conscious behavior.

Does the word "conscious" really fit there?  So there is the question
of how to implement a physical system that can be interpreted as
producing human-like behavior.

And then there is the further question of whether the production of
this behavior is accompanied by "consciousness".

I can configure physical systems in such a way that to me it
represents something.  For instance I can write software to run on a
physical computer that produces outputs that to me represent "game
characters" or something.  With sufficiently clever software, I may
interpret the outputs of the computer to be "behavior" that is more or
less "human-like".

But my interpretation may be doing all the work here.  I may be
deluding myself into believing that there is consciousness associated
with the actions of the physical system I call a computer...when in
fact there is no such thing there.  The appearance of "conscious
behavior" in the computer could be an illusion.  Probably it would be.


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