Quentin Anciaux wrote:

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

    Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

        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
            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
        or it may be that shortcuts such as a single parameter for the
        permeability of ion channels in the cell membrane make no
        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
        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.

    You're asserting that neuron I/O replication is the "appropriate
    level" to make "brain behavior" the same; and I tend to agree that
    would be sufficient (though perhaps not necessary).  But that's
    preserving a particular algorithm; one more specific than the
    Platonic computation of its equivalence class.  I suppose a Turing
    machine could perform the same computation, but it would perform
    it very differently.  And I wonder how the Turing machine would
    manage perception.  The organs of perception would have their
    responses digitized into bit strings and these would be written to
    the TM on different tapes?  I think this illustrates my point
    that, while preservation of consciousness under the digital neuron
    substitution seems plausible, there is still another leap in
    substituting an abstract computation for the digital neurons.

    Also, such an AI brain would not permit slicing the computations
    into arbitrarily short time periods because there is communication
    time involved and neurons run asynchronously.

Yes you can, freeze the computation, dump memory... then load memory back, and defreeze. If the time inside the computation is an internal feature (a counter inside the program), the AI associated to the computation cannot notice anything if on the other hand the time inside of the computation is an input parameter from some external then it can notice... but I always can englobe the whole thing and feed that external time from another program or whatever.
That assumes that the AI brain is running synchronously, i.e. at a clock rate small compared to c/R where R is the radius of the brain. But I think the real brain runs asynchronously, so if the AI brain must do the simulation at a lower level to take account of transmission times, etc. and run at a much higher clock rate than do neurons. But is it then still "the same" computation?

The fact that you can disrupt a computation and restart it with some different parameters doesn't mean you can't restart it with *exactly* the same parameters as when you froze it.

That's arbitrarily excluding the physical steps in "freezing" and "starting" a computation, as though you can pick out the "real" computation as separate from the physical processes. Which is the same as assuming that consciousness attaches to the Platonic "real" computation and those extra physical steps somehow don't count as "computations".

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