On 8/2/2011 5:26 PM, meekerdb wrote:
On 8/2/2011 2:08 PM, Stephen P. King wrote:
On 8/2/2011 4:04 PM, meekerdb wrote:
On 8/2/2011 12:43 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
So now you agree that a simulation of a brain at the molecular level
would suffice to produce consciousness (although of course it would
be much more efficient to actually use molecules instead of
computationally simulating them). This would be a good reason to
say 'no' to the doctor, since even though you could simulate the
molecules and their interactions, quantum randomness would prevent
you from controlling their interactions with the molecules in the
rest of your brain. Bruno's argument would still go through, but
the 'doctor' might have to replace not only your brain but a big
chunk of the universe with which it interacts. However, most people
who have read Tegmark's paper understand that the brain must be
essentially classical as a computer and so a simulation, even one of
molecules, could be quasi-classical, i.e. local.
On Aug 2, 2:06 pm, "Stephen P. King"<stephe...@charter.net> wrote:
The point is that there is a point where the best possible
computational simulation of a system is the system itself. The
it is impossible to create a model of a weather system that can
*all* of its future behavior does not equal to a proof that one
create an approximately accurate model of a weather system. One
trade off accuracy for feasibility.
I agree that's true, and by that definition, we can certainly make
cybernetic systems which can approximate the appearance of
consciousness in the eyes of most human clients of those systems for
the scope of their intended purpose. To get beyond that level of
accuracy, you may need to get down to the cellular, genetic, or
molecular level, in which case it's not really worth the trouble of
inventing life just to get a friendlier sounding voicemail.
I wonder if you would make a friendly wager with me about the
veracity of Tegmark's claims about the brain being "essentially
classical"? I bet $1 US (payable via Paypal) that he is dead wrong
*and* that the proof that the brain actively involves quantum
phenomena that are discounted by Tegmark will emerge within two
years. We already have evidence that the photosynthesis process in
plants involves quantum coherence, there is an experiment being
designed now to test the coherence in the retina of the human eye.
Those are not really to the point. Of course the brain involves
quantum processes and some of these involve coherence for short
times. But Tegmark argues that the times are too short to be relevant
to neural signaling and information processing. There's an implicit
assumption that neural activity is responsible for thought - that the
'doctor' could substitute at the neuron level. I think this is right
and it is supported by evolutionary considerations. We wouldn't want
an intelligent Mars Rover to make decisions based on quantum
randomness except in rare circumstance (like Buridan's ass) and it
wouldn't be evolutionarily advantageous for an organism on Earth. I'm
glad to accept your bet; except that I'm not sure how to resolve it.
It don't think finding something like the energy transfer involving
coherence in photosynthesis or photon detection is relevant.
No, my thought is that quantum coherence accounts for, among other
things, the way that sense data is continuously integrated into a
whole. This leads to a situation that Daniel C. Dennett calls the
"Cartesian Theater". Dennett's proof that it cannot exist because it
generates infinite regress of homunculi inside humonculi is flawed
because such infinities can only occur if each of the humonculi has
access to sufficient computational resources to generate the rest of
them. When we understand that computations require the utilization of
resources and do not occur 'for free' we see that the entire case
against situations that imply the possibility of infinite regress fails.
Quantum phenomena is NOT all about randomness. Frankly I would
really like to understand how that rubbish of an idea still is held in
seriously thinking people! There is not randomness in QM, there in only
the physical inability to predict exactly when some quantum event will
occur in advance. It is because QM system cannot be copied that makes it
impossible to predict their behavior in advance, not because of some
inherent randomness! Take the infamous radioactive atom in the
Schrodinger Cat box. Is its decay strictly a "random" phenomena? Not
really! QM says not one word about randomness, it only allows us to
calculate the half-life of said atom and that calculation is as good as
is possible given the fact that we cannot generate a simulation of that
atom and its environment and all of the interactions thereof in a way
that we can get predictions about its behavior in advance.
As to your post here. Craig's point is that the simulated brain,
even if simulated down to the molecular level, will only be a
simulation and 'think simulate thoughts'. If said simulated brain has
a consiousness it will be its own, not that some other brain.
Craig's position seems to be more a blur than a point. He has said
that only biological neurons can instantiate consciousness and only a
conscious being can act like a conscious being. That would imply that
a being with an artificial, e.g. silicon chip based, brain cannot act
like a conscious being.
You care completely failing to understand that Craig is not stuck
in the box of canned answers to questions about the kinds of things that
we discuss in this List. While I will quibble with the claim that
"biological neurons can instantiate consciousness" as I believe that
consciousness is not just a 'phenomena of carbon based chemistry', it is
obvious that 'only a conscious being can act like a conscious being",
that follows from the basic principle of Identity. A thing is itself and
it behaves as itself would. A trivial fact but one that gets ignored too
A consciousness can no more be copied than the state of a QM system.
That's the point in question. If Tegmark is right, it can.
Tegmark is wrong.
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