On Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 7:11 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

>  On 12/14/2011 2:09 PM, Joseph Knight wrote:
>
>
>
> On Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 1:51 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
>
>>  On 12/14/2011 10:40 AM, Joseph Knight wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>> On Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 11:32 PM, Kim Jones <kimjo...@ozemail.com.au>wrote:
>>
>>> Any chance someone might précis for me/us dummies out here in maybe 3
>>> sentences what Tim Maudlin's argument is? Nothing too heavy - just a quick
>>> refresher.
>>>
>>>   I'll try, but with a few more than 3 sentences. Suppose the
>> consciousness of a machine can be said to supervene on the running of some
>> program X. We can have a machine run the program but only running a
>> constant program Y that gives the same output as X for one given input. In
>> other words, it cannot "handle" counterfactual inputs because it is just a
>> constant program that does the same thing no matter what. Surely such a
>> machine is not conscious. It would be like, if I decided "I will answer A B
>> D B D D C A C..." in response to the Chemistry test I am about to run off
>> and take, and happened to get them all correct, I wouldn't really know
>> Chemistry, right?
>>
>>
>>  But I think Russell has reasonably questioned this.  You say X wouldn't
>> know chemistry.  But that's a matter of intelligence, not necessarily
>> consciousness.  We already know that computers can be intelligent, and
>> there's nothing mysterious about intelligence "supervening" on machines.
>> Intelligence includes returning appropriate outputs for many different
>> inputs.  But does consciousness?
>>
>
>  I was really just using my Chemistry test as an imperfect analogy to the
> machine running Y being conscious (or not), so it doesn't affect the rest
> of the argument. But I see your point. Would you argue that a constant
> program (giving the same output no matter the input) can be conscious in
> principle?
>
>
> I don't think something can be conscious in the human sense unless it is
> intelligent.  The question is can something be intelligent without being
> conscious.
>

I have always assumed so. Maybe it is unjustified, but I see no compelling
reason why intelligence implies consciousness. There are strong reasons to
believe the two are correlated though, because I agree that consciousness
probably implies high intelligence.


> I incline to not, but I'm not sure.  I think the interesting point is that
> there tends to be a unjustified slip from consciousness to intelligence in
> some arguments.
>

Agreed; I have encountered this many times in discussions like this. I
prefer to leave intelligence out of it entirely, because I don't think
there is any real controversy over whether intelligent entities can be
built with 1s and 0s. In fact, they already have.


> In particular the "323" argument implicitly assumes that
> not-intelligent=>not-conscious.
>

I am still unsure of the 323 argument, could you or someone explain?


>
> Brent
>
>  Maudlin assumes that such a program cannot be conscious, in his words,
> "it would make a mockery of the computational theory of mind." I am
> agnostic. In my opinion the Filmed Graph argument is more convincing than
> Maudlin, because with Maudlin one can still fall back to the position
> "consciousness can in principle supervene on a constant program".
>
>  (For those interested, here is the article 
> itself<http://www.finney.org/%7Ehal/maudlin.pdf>
> )
>
>
>>
>> Brent
>>
>>
>>
>>  So consciousness doesn't supervene on Y. But Maudlin (basically) shows
>> that you can just add some additional parts to the machine that handle the
>> counterfactuals as needed. These extra parts don't actually do anything,
>> but their "presence" means the machine now could exactly emulate program X,
>> i.e., is conscious. So a computationalist is forced to assert that the
>> machine's consciousness supervenes on the presence of these extra parts,
>> which in fact perform no computations at all.
>>
>>  I think what Russell said about this earlier, i.e., in a multiverse the
>> extra parts are doing things, so consciousness then appears at the scale of
>> the multiverse -- is fascinating. But I am out of time. Hope this helped. I
>> would recommend reading the original paper for the details.
>>
>>   --
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-- 
Joseph Knight

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