On 9/13/2011 9:23 PM meekerdb said the following:
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.

I would agree that it would easy to obtain thinking provided that perception is there. This is though an open question, what does it mean perception by a robot. Does for example an automatic door perceive?


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