On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 2:58 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

> Just to be clear, I'm interested in a slightly different question which
> relative to Stathis might be phrased as "function of what?"  If we look at
> the whole person/robot we talk about behavior, which I think is enough to
> establish some kind of consciousness, but not necessarily to map each
> instance of a behavior to a specific conscious thought.  People can be
> thinking different things while performing the same act.  So unless we
> specify "same behavior" to mean "same input/output for all possible input
> sequences" there is room for same behavior and different consciousness.  And
> this same kind of analysis applies to subsets of the brain as well as to the
> whole person.  So in Stathis example of  replacing half the brain with a
> super AI module which has the same input/output relation with the body and
> the other half of the brain, it is not at all clear to me that the person's
> consciousness is unchanged.  Stathis relies on it being *reported* as
> unchanged because the speech center is in the other half, but where is the
> "consciousness center"?  It may be that we're over-idealizing the isolation
> of the brain.  If the super AI half were perfectly isolated except for those
> input/output channels which we are hypothesizing to be perfectly emulating
> the dumb brain then Stathis argument would show that what ever change in
> consciousness might be inside the super AI side it would be undetectable.
>  But in fact the super AI side cannot be perfectly isolated to those
> channels, even aside from quantum entanglement there are thermal
> perturbations and radioactivity.  This means that the super AI will produce
> different behavior because it will respond differently under these
> perturbations.  This different behavior will evince its different
> consciousness.

There will be a certain level of engineering tolerance in brain
replacement since there is a level of tolerance in the normal brain.
We might not notice a change despite a significant physical change
such as thousands of neurons dying.

> So in saying 'yes' to the doctor you should either be ready to assume some
> difference in consciousness or suppose that the substitution level may
> encompass a significant part of the Milky Way down to the fundamental
> particle level.

I'd be happy if the new brain didn't change my consciousness any more
than getting through a normal day would.

Stathis Papaioannou

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