Bruno and others,

Perhaps more progress can be made by avoiding self referential problems and viewing this issue mechanistically. Where I start: Haim Sompolinsky, "Statistical Mechanics of Neural Networks," Physics Today (December 1988). He discussed "emergent computational properties of large highly connected networks of simple neuron-like processors," HP has recently succeeded in making titanium dioxide "memristors" which behave very like the synapses in our brains, i.e. the memristor's resistance at any time depends upon the last signal passing through it. Work is underway to make brain-like computers with these devices; see Wei Lu, Nano letters, DOI:10.1021/nl904092h. It seems that there is a growing consensus that conscious machines will be built, and perhaps with the new Turing test proposed by Koch and Tonini, their consciousness may be verified. Then we can measure properties that are now speculative. I guess I'm in the QM camp that believes that what you can measure is what you can know.

William



On Mar 18, 2010, at 1:44 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:


On 17 Mar 2010, at 19:12, Brent Meeker wrote:

On 3/17/2010 10:01 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:


On 17 Mar 2010, at 13:47, HZ wrote:

I'm quite confused about the state of zombieness. If the requirement
for zombiehood is that it doesn't understand anything at all but it
behaves as if it does what makes us not zombies? How do we not we are not? But more importantly, are there known cases of zombies? Perhaps a
silly question because it might be just a thought experiment but if
so, I wonder on what evidence one is so freely speaking about,
specially when connected to cognition for which we now (should) know more. The questions seem related because either we don't know whether we are zombies or one can solve the problem of zombie identification.
I guess I'm new in the zombieness business.



I know I am conscious, and I can doubt all content of my consciousness, except this one, that I am conscious.
I cannot prove that I am conscious, neither to some others.

Dolls and sculptures are, with respect to what they represent, if human in appearance sort of zombie. Tomorrow, we may be able to put in a museum an artificial machine imitating a humans which is sleeping, in a way that we may be confused and believe it is a dreaming human being ...

The notion of zombie makes sense (logical sense). Its existence may depend on the choice of theory. With the axiom of comp, a counterfactually correct relation between numbers define the channel through which consciousness flows (select the consistent extensions). So with comp we could argue that as far as we are bodies, we are zombies, but from our first person perspective we never are.


But leaving the zombie definition and identification apart, I think
current science would/should see no difference between consciousness
and cognition, the former is an emergent property of the latter,


I would have said the contrary:

consciousness -> sensibility -> emotion -> cognition -> language - > recognition -> self-consciousness -> ...

(and: number -> universal number -> consciousness -> ...)

Something like that, follows, I argue, from the assumption that we are Turing emulable at some (necessarily unknown) level of description.

and
just as there are levels of cognition there are levels of
consciousness. Between the human being and other animals there is a
wide gradation of levels, it is not that any other animal lacks of
'qualia'. Perhaps there is an upper level defined by computational
limits and as such once reached that limit one just remains there, but
consciousness seems to depend on the complexity of the brain (size,
convolutions or whatever provides the full power) but not disconnected to cognition. In this view only damaging the cognitive capacities of a
person would damage its 'qualia', while its 'qualia' could not get
damaged but by damaging the brain which will likewise damage the
cognitive capabilities. In other words, there seems to be no
cognition/consciousness duality as long as there is no brain/mind one. The use of the term 'qualia' here looks like a remake of the mind/ body
problem.


Qualia is the part of the mind consisting in the directly apprehensible subjective experience. Typical examples are pain, seeing red, smell, feeling something, ... It is roughly the non transitive part of cognition.

The question here is not the question of the existence of degrees of consciousness, but the existence of a link between a possible variation of consciousness in presence of non causal perturbation during a particular run of a brain or a machine.

If big blue wins a chess tournament without having used the register 344, no doubt big blue would have win in case the register 344 would have been broken.

Not with probability 1.0, because given QM the game might have (and in other worlds did) gone differently and required register 344.

Correct but irrelevant. We don't assume QM at the start, and if you use QM, you have to reason on the QM normal words to make the point relevant. Or you assume QM-comp, and not comp. It is physicalism. And you beg the point, which is that comp -> QM-comp. (assuming QM is correct on the "physical world").




Some people seems to believe that if big blue was conscious in the first case, it could loose consciousness in the second case. I don't think this is tenable when we assume that we are Turing emulable.

But the world is only Turing emulable if it is deterministic and it's only deterministic if "everything" happens as in MWI QM.

Newton mechanics is a counter-example. You lost me. I don't know in which theory you reason.

Also, arithmetical truth is "deterministic" although only a tiny part of it is computable. Consciousness, matter are higher order notion, some nameable (by numbers), some not. Most, by comp, are not computable. Computable things can have non computable qualities. By incompleteness, this is a very general phenomenon.

The full first order arithmetical "Noûs", that first order G*, is Pi_1 complete *in* the oracle of Arithmetical Truth. It means that even with an oracle capable of answering any sigma_i or pi_i questions, some intellectual truth about machine our numbers remain de type Pi_i difficult! The first order G is Pi_2-complete. Quite above the computable, which is the Sigma_1 complete. The mystery with comp is why does the appearance seems computable, given the radical first person indeterminacy which occurs at some level.

The whole many coupling consciousness/realities arises through the attempt of a swarm of numbers to understand themselves. At least I show why it has to be like that once we say "yes" to the doctor.

Is it so astonishing? It explains where the laws of physics come from, and why it hurts. It is just more near Pythagorus, Plato, Plotinus than Aristotle.

A physicalist who, like *some* radical atheist, makes physicalism a given of science illustrates a lack of rigor in ontology or theology.

Scientists does not know, and will never (publicly) know. (As scientist).

But if you believe you are Post-Church-Turing emulable, then you have to believe that 0, the successor, addition and multiplication are enough to explain why eventually universal numbers believe in e, i, pi, 24, and in some relatively winning universal numbers (like probably modular functors, quantum topologies, non commutative geometry). And why it hurts. Thanks to the Gödel-Solovay gap between proof (G) and truth (G*), which is inherited by the intensional variants of the logics of self-reference, we get a theory of quanta *and* of the qualia.

It is math, of course.

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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