On Feb 7, 8:15 pm, "L.W. Sterritt" <lannysterr...@comcast.net> wrote:
> A properly "trained" neural network does pattern recognition; why not pattern 
> creation?  I don't see artistic genius as requiring the notion of free will.  
> Scientific genius is just more pattern recognition, isn't it?

I don't know that neural networks do pattern recognition in a
meaningful way, I only understand that they do trivial pattern
matching. To create a something intentionally, you have to be able to
generate an authentic motive, which requires a whole other capability
than even understanding. You have to have an opinion and a personal
investment. You have to care.

>Inevitable result?  A neural network is a complex statistical processor (as 
>opposed to being tasked to sequentially process and execute).

It still arrives at a result as the inevitable consequence of
statistical parameters. It doesn't decide, it just eliminates the
possibilities which least match the given criteria. It processes in
parallel rather than only in series, but it's still an eliminative,
mechanical teleonomy rather than an imaginative, animistic teleology.

> The brain may be partitioned but it's all neurons.  Given stochastic 
> processes in the brain, not much is an inevitable result - just probable 
> results.

Awareness or even perception can't be understood in terms of neuronal
processes alone. That's only the form of our capacity for
consciousness, not the content. The content can drive the form as much
as the form determines the content. That's why describing the brain as
a computer is ultimately too reductionist to be useful.

>  "Invites our participation:"  To whom / what does "our" refer?

To us. The natural persons having this discussion. We exist as surely
as any neuron or tide pool or aurora borealis.

>  The networks in our heads are us, not something "we" posses.

That is true in a sense, but I think that the networks also can be
seen as the vehicle which defines our form but not our content, just
as the pages of a book and it's typefaces and letters are the vehicle
of the story but not the story itself. We possess our brain and body,
and they are characters in our life. It can be seen from the other
perspective as well, that we are processes of our brain and body, but
that is an indirect perception - a logical model based on a consensus
of facts. We cannot doubt the reality of the former, but we can doubt
it's veracity. We cannot doubt the veracity of the latter, but we can
doubt it's reality.

Craig

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