On 2/13/2012 12:05 PM, meekerdb wrote:
On 2/13/2012 8:24 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Feb 12, 8:09 pm, "Stephen P. King"<stephe...@charter.net>  wrote:

Hi Craig,

      Great post! Check this 


Thanks Stephen,

That's a great one. It does a better job saying what I'm trying to say
on this than I did.


"The symbol grounding problem does not seem to apply to us. Unlike a digital computer, we know what we are doing, for instance if I fill a hole by digging soil with a spade my mind contains the directedness of the loaded spade towards the hole as a real extension in time (see Time and conscious experience). It is this extension in time that allows me to know my own symbols.

Harnad (1990) shows that symbols can be grounded by association with real objects in the world but this demonstration only means that we can construct machines that work, not that the machines have any internal conscious experience."

It doesn't apply to us because we exist in an environment (where there are spades and soil). It doesn't apply to the Chinese room either, because there is a world outside the room in which Chinese is spoken and children are taught Chinese ostensively and by example.

This goes to my point that, in spite of ones feeling of separation, consciousness exists relative to an environmental context. The successful substitution of a silicon based AI module for part (or even all) of a brain depends on its interaction with the environment.

Hi Brent,

Your point does not counter Craig's point at all. It actually supports it! To actually implement digital substitution, we would have to not only match the functionally of the module internally but also match the interactions of that module with the environment. Silicon does not have the same chemical properties as carbon.... In effect, digital substitution requires that the laws of physics be alterable for the transformations implicit in functional equivalence. Digital substitution is not a local symmetry.



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