On 02/02/11 23:54, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
On Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 9:35 AM, Colin Hales
<c.ha...@pgrad.unimelb.edu.au>  wrote:

This means we are hooked into the external world in ways that are not
present in the peripheral nerves. Looking at the (nerves pulses) signals, it
is impossible to tell if they are vision, smell, touch or anything else.
Those that think that a computer can add this extra bit of connectivity to
the external world, believe in comp/COMP. When you replace the brain with a
model of a brain using a computer, that "extra" bit, the connection with the
outside world we get from our qualia,...the qualia created by the brain
matter itself, is replaced by the qualia you get by 'being' the computer.

If you believe comp/COMP, then you believe that the computer's model -or -
the computer hardware itself -  somehow replaces the function of the qualia,
by analysing the sensory signalling, which is fundamentally degenerately
related to the external world. Only a human with qualia can, from sensory
signals, provide any sort of model for our 'computer-in-a-vat' that might
stand-in for an external world. Having done that, the world being explored
by our computer-in-a-vat is the world of the human model generated from the
sensory signals, not the world itself. When an encounter with the unknown
happens, then the unknown will be chacterized by a human model's response to
the unknown, not the (unknown) actual world. The extent to which these
things are different is the key.

Neuroscience is beginning to progress from NCC (Neural correlates of
consciousness) to EMCC (electromagnetic correlates of consciousness).
Researchers are slowly discovering that certain aspects of cognition and
behaviour correlate better with the LFP (local field potential/extracellular
field) than mere action potentials.

If the EM fields are the difference, then in replacing the fields of the
brain with the fields of the computer running a model...and your
qualia/cognition go with it.

So when you think of the 'input/output' relations for a computer, the
sensory signalling is only part of it. There is another complete set of
'input' relations, qualia, that together with the sensory signals, form our
real connection to the outside world. So the old black-box replacement idea
is right - but only if the black box has a whole other set of 'input'
signals, from the qualia. The only way you can computationally replace these
signals is to already know everything about the external world already. Your
alternative? Keep the qualia in your 'black box'. To me that means
generating the fields as well.

Don't get me wrong. Lots of really nifty AI can result from the
'computer-in-a-vat'. However, that's not what I am aiming at. I want AGI. G
for General.
Can the behaviour of the neurons including the electric fields be
simulated? For example, is it possible to model what will happen in
the brain (and what output will ultimately go to the muscles via
peripheral nerves) if a particular sequence of photons hits the
retina? If that is a theoretical impossibility then where exactly is
the non-computable physics, and what evidence do you have that it is

Surely, the 'worst', meaning most difficult, case scenario is simulation of the neural system at the cellular level? Which presumably must be both theoretically possible and work.

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