2010/1/12 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>:

> I know.  I'm trying to see what exactly is being assumed about the
> computation being "the same".  Is it the same Platonic algorithm?   Is it
> one that has the same steps as described in FORTRAN, but not those in LISP?
>  Is it just one that has the same input-output?  I think these are questions
> that have been bypassed in the "yes doctor" scenario.  Saying "yes" to the
> doctor seems unproblematic when you think of replacing a few neurons with
> artificial ones - all you care about is the input-output.  But then when you
> jump to replacing a whole brain maybe you care about the FORTRAN/LISP
> differences. Yet on this list there seems to be an assumption that you can
> just jump to the Platonic algorithm or even a Platonic computation that's
> independent of the algorithm.   Bruno pushes all this aside by referring to
> "at the appropriate level" and by doing all possible algorithms.  But I'm
> more interested in the question of what would I have to do to make a
> conscious AI.  Also, it is the assumption of a Platonic computation that
> allows one to slice it discretely into OMs.

Start by replacing neurons with artificial neurons which are driven by
a computer program and whose defining characteristic is that they copy
the I/O behaviour of biological neurons. The program has to model the
internal workings of a neuron down to a certain level. It may be that
the position and configuration of every molecule needs to be modelled,
or it may be that shortcuts such as a single parameter for the
permeability of ion channels in the cell membrane make no difference
to the final result. In any case, there are many possible programs
even if the same physical model of a neuron is used, and the same
basic program can be written in any language and implemented on any
computer: all that matters is that the artificial neuron works
properly. (As an aside, we don't need to worry about whether these
artificial neurons are zombies, since that would lead to absurd
conclusions about the nature of consciousness.) From the single neuron
we can progress to replacing the whole brain, the end result being a
computer program interacting with the outside world through sensors
and effectors. The program can be implemented in any way - any
language, any hardware - and the consciousness of the subject will
remain the same as long as the brain behaviour remains the same.

Stathis Papaioannou
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