On Sep 13, 3:23 pm, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On 9/13/2011 12:00 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> > It's easy to assume that it helps, just as it's easy for me to assume
> > that we have free will. If we don't need our conscious mind to make
> > decisions, then we certainly don't need the fantasyland associated
> > with our conscious minds to help with that process. Think of building
> > a robot that walks around and looks for food and avoids danger. Why
> > would it help to construct some kind of Cartesian theater inside of
> > it? Functionally, there is no reasonable explanation for perception or
> > experience, especially if you believe in determinism.
> It would help, even be essential, to the robot learning for it to remember 
> things.  But
> not just everything.  It needs to remember important things, like what it was 
> doing just
> before it fell down the stairs.  So you design it to continually construct a 
> narrative
> history and if something important happens you tuck that piece of narrative 
> history into a
> database for future reference by associative memory ('near stairs'?  don't 
> back up).  This
> memory consists of connected words learned by the speech/hearing module and 
> images.  For
> efficiency you use these same modules for associative construction of the 
> narrative memory
> and for recall.  Hence part of the same processing is used for recall and 
> cogitation as
> well as perception and learning.  That's why thinking has similarity to 
> perception, i.e.
> sitting in a Cartesian theater.

Oh, I agree that there is a functional advantage to perception, it's
just not sufficient to explain the existence of it. Our immune system
needs to learn to remember things too. It may very well have a
narrative history of pathogens and strategic options, but there is no
compelling reason to assume that there is a theatrical presentation
going on which is comparable to our Cartesian theater. Not only would
such a thing be unnecessary and probably detrimental as far as
computational overhead, but there really is no plausible raw material
for this perception to be manifested through. It would be much easier
to just make the robot construct omniscient telepathy than to somehow
conjure an unprecedented thing like feeling or color out of
mathematical function.


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