On Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 11:44 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I understand what you're saying, and indeed we can program machines to
> simulate learning - and that can be considered a form of learning in a
> broad sense of the word, but it is not learning from the inside out.
> The machine doesn't care if it learns. It's only going to learn what
> we program it to learn. It has no capacity to decide what it wants to
> learn for itself. There is a fundamental and unbridgeable chasm
> between something doing something because it wants to or needs to and
> something being programmed by an exterior source as a servant. I'm not
> being poetic or sentimental about this, I'm asserting an ontological-
> topological incompatibility.

It seems you are saying that it can only want to do something if it is
conscious, otherwise it only looks like it wants to do something. So
it goes back to proving that a machine can be conscious: if it can,
then whatever it does it wants to do, and if it tells you that it
cares about what it does and learns it is saying the truth.

> http://abject.ca/do-trees-communicate/
> It can give us a hint at how organisms symbiotically feel their
> environment to grow and protect themselves. This could be just the
> beginning of our understanding of sensorimotive entanglement. Our
> bodies have more bacteria in them than they do cells of their own. Our
> minds use exterior behaviors and events as part of their functioning,
> so that it's not clear that even an exact simulation of a brain by
> itself would have the same kind of experience that we do.
> Evolution is only a program in hindsight. It does not set out to do
> anything, it's just a record of what happens to have worked in the
> past. It's a teleonomy through which teleology is experienced. To
> generate a program teleologically, with foresight, the result is
> limited teleonomy... consequences.  I can write a book, but a book
> cannot write me. Even a really complicated electronic book that tries
> pattern combinations by the trillion. It will never find the color
> blue or the flavor of a plum. It won't guess what I remember from
> fifth grade.
> It might help to use the word 'organization' instead of machine. A
> computer program is an organization, as is the legal system of a
> nation or the assembly of a machine gun. We are more than an
> organization - we are an organization too, but of very specific and
> not necessarily transferable organisms made of specific and non-
> transferable substances. The organization by itself - etched in
> silicon or chiseled into ice, is meaningless. The substances and
> organisms by themselves are meaningless also (as far as simulating a
> person - they aren't meaningless to the organisms themselves). It
> takes the mutual coherence of essential and existential topologies to
> form a single conscious ontology.

Yes, it takes many parts assembled in a special way to produce
intelligence and consciousness. But there is no good reason to believe
that these parts must be organic.

Stathis Papaioannou

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