On Aug 9, 10:40 am, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.

It doesn't have to be 'conscious' to want to do something, it's just
the more elaborate the range of things it can want to do that we can
relate to, the more we consider it like us. Every physical thing
'wants' to do things, it's just that inorganic matter isn't capable of
wanting to survive.

>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.

All a machine can be 'conscious' of is what the material it's made of
allows it to be conscious of. If I tell you over a walkie talkie 'I am
a walkie talkie and I care about what I do' does that mean the walkie
talkie is conscious?

> 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.

Unless intelligence as we understand it (or can relate to it in
others) is the direct consequence of the experience of trying to
survive as a living organism. Which I think it obviously is - hence
the lack of intelligent stalactites in caves.

Craig

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