Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
2010/1/11 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>:
It seems that you're saying the observer would notice that something
odd had happened if his program were paused and restarted in the way
described, but how is that possible when S1 and S2 are identical
whether generated continuously or discontinuously?
I think you're assuming what is to be proven, i.e. that S1 and S2 are a)
states of consciousness, i.e. thoughts or "observer moments" and b) are
successive and contiguous without overlap. Suppose that states of
consciousness have durations of 10msec (or 1e8 microstates of computation at
the appropriate level - I don't want to assume a transcendent continuous
time) and successive states overlap by 3msec. Then identifying some 10msec
period as state S2 is arbitrary and generating it will only be identical
with what the brain did for the middle 4msec (where there was no overlap
with) S1 or S3. But, ex hypothesi, 4msec isn't enough to constitute a OM.
S1 and S2 can be precisely delimited as machine states but only more
loosely as mental states. This is because, as you say, there may be a
thought that spans S1 and S2, and is therefore partly generated by M1
and partly by M2. I don't see this as an issue since even if the
computer was just doing arithmetic it could be broken up and
distributed across two machines and the final answer would still be
The answer would be the same, but the computation would not. So the
person with the AI brain might add up numbers the same, but have a
different conscious experience. Consider for example your conscious
experience at age six when asked to add 120 and 280 as compared to how
you do it now.
Similarly, if the subject in the virtual environment was
doing mental arithmetic he would still get the right answer despite
the physical discontinuity introduced mid-calculation, and how would
that be possible if the discontinuity caused a disruption in
Because addition, like most thought, is mostly unconscious?
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