On 04 Oct 2011, at 23:14, Brian Tenneson wrote:

Hmm... Unfortunately there are several terms there I don't understand.
Digital brain.  What's a brain?  I ask because I'm betting it doesn't
mean a pile of gray and white matter.

Suppose that you have a brain disease, and you doctor propose to you an artificial brain, and he does not hide that this mean he will copy your brain state at the level of the molecules, processed by a computer. he adds that you can choose between a mac or a pc. Comp assumes that there is a level such that you can survive in the usual clinical sense with such a digital brain like you can already survive with an artificial pump at the place of the heart.



Then you mention artificial brain.  That's different from digital?

Well, it could be for those studying an analog version of comp. But unless the analog system use actual infinities, it will be emulable by a digital machine. The redundancy of the brains and its evolution pleads for the idea that the brain is indeed digitally emulable.



Is
digital more nonphysical than artificial?

Not a priori, at all. Sellable computers are digital and physical. Today the non physical universal machines are still free, and can be found in books or on the net. You might find a lot by looking toward yourself, but the study of computer science can accelerate that discovery a lot.

Bruno





On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 7:31 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

On 04 Oct 2011, at 05:33, Brian Tenneson wrote:

From page 17
"It is my contention that the only way out of this dilemma is to deny the initial assumption that a classical computer running a particular program
can
generate conscious awareness in the first place."

What about the possibility of allowing for a "large number" of conscious
moments that would, in a limit of some sort, approximate continuous,
conscious awareness? In my mind, I liken the comparison to that of a radioactive substance and half-life decay formulas. In truth, there are
finitely many atoms decaying but the half-life decay formulas never
acknowledge that at some point the predicted mass of what's left measures less than one atom. So I'm talking about a massive number of calculated conscious moments so that for all intents and purposes, continuous conscious
awareness is the observed result.

Earlier on page 17...
"its program must
only generate a finite sequence of conscious moments."

I think I agree with you. I think that such a view is the only compatible
with Digital Mechanism, but also with QM (without collapse).

Consciousness is never generated by the "running of a particular computer". If we can survive with a digital brain, this is related to the fact that we already "belong" to an infinity of computations, and the artificial brain just preserve that infinity, in a way such that I can survive in my usual
normal (Gaussian) neighborhoods.

Bruno




http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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