On 07 Oct 2011, at 01:59, Brian Tenneson wrote:

Thanks Bruno for patiently explaining things.

It's interesting that you bring up computer science as I am doing a
career change right now and am going into computer science.  I
eventually want to work in brain simulation.  A lot of the ideas in
this group are relevant.

Thanks.



From the paper, I'll quote again (mainly for myself when I look back
at this message)
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."

If the author is correct that would seem to drive a nail in the coffin
for the digital generation of conscious awareness though in some way
that might not prove that brain simulation is impossible.

Yes. the expression is ambiguous.



Perhaps
brain simulation would occur in such a way that the simulation is
never consciously self-aware but if that were the case, how good is
that simulation??

That would lead to zombie. Still, I don't believe any particular implementation of a computation "generates awareness" by itself (neither in a physical universe, nor in a immaterial arithmetical dovetailing). Awareness needs all implementation of all computations, as it follows from the step 8 in UDA.

When I say yes to the doctor, I might survive in the usual sense, but this does not mean that the artificial brain generates my consciousness (which is more an heaven kind of object). but the artificial brain, if well done enough, might make it possible for my mind (existing only in hevan) to continue to manisfest itself here (on earth), like my brain seems to already be able to do. It is a subtle point, but if our bodies are machine, we provably have an independent soul, and machines (silicon or carbon based) just makes it possible fro a soul to manifest itself with respect to other souls with reasonable probabilities.



If my doctor wanted to replace my brain with an artificial brain, I
think I'd be scared out of my mind if LINUX wasn't an option hehe...
Thanks Bruno.

All right, but then everyone can get "your code source", and your fist person indeterminacy might grow a lot. Expect to find your self in the nightmarish fantasy of your neighbors. Be careful :)






I know this might seem like a naive observation but the Bolshoi
universe simulation recently done on a supercomputer at UC Santa Cruz
in California produced some images of an early universe that had an
uncanny resemblance to the human brain.

It is the filamentous web of cluster of galaxies, using information from Hubble and COBE, I think. It is very impressive and shows how big the physical cosmos is.

I think that comp implies that the cosmos is infinite. The cosmos is the border of an infinite universal mind, and an infinity of computations plays some role. But this is hard to prove, because comp can also collapse, from the first person views, or renormalize, many infinities. The cosmos is a priori infinite, but some weird computational phenomenon collapsing infinities are hard to avoid especially before we understand better why the 'white rabbits' are so rare in our neighborhoods.


It gives me hope that it is
possible to simulate a brain on a classical computer.  Perhaps the
details would involve highly complex neural networks;

Don't forget the glial cells. They are 20 times more numerous than neurons, and we know that they don't not only communicate (by chemical waves instead of ionic electricity) between themselves, but they do communicate with the neurons also (this plays a role notably in the chronic pains). They might be needed for the conscious background.



the hope would
be to rival the complexity of an actual brain.

Good luck. It will be easier to copy highly "plastic" brain (like baby's brain) and let them organize themselves that to actually copy an adult brain, which contains tremendous amount of distributed information.



Here is a link that includes video
http://hipacc.ucsc.edu/Bolshoi/

It is beautiful.
Have you look to this nice video (by SpaceRip):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEQouX5U0fc

Ah, but you can find impressive filamentous structure in the Mandelbrot set too, and even without digging deep:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9G6uO7ZHtK8



(Then of course we might get into some ethical quandaries regarding
the personhood of a simulated brain such as can we run any experiment
on it that we feel like running... is simulated suffering ethically
equivalent to actual suffering... and that sort of thing.)

With comp, simulated suffering is the same as suffering, and should be forbidden, unless someone accept it for its own brain, and this before doing the copy. (Like I think you have the right to kill or even torture yourself, as far as you are not making other suffering). The very complex case, is when artificial sexual dolls, like it already exists in Japan, will fight for their right. They are programmed to fake suffering, so we will meet the complex zombie border there ... Some "intelligent" (conscious) machines will be descendent of zombie toys.

Bruno





On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 11:04 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

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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