On Thu, Feb 23, 2012 at 7:21 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On 2/23/2012 2:49 PM, Terren Suydam wrote:
> As wild or counter-intuitive as it may be though, it really has no
> consequences to speak of in the ordinary, mundane living of life. To
> paraphrase Eliezer Yudkowsky, "it has to add up to normal". On the
> other hand, once AGIs start to appear, or we begin to merge more
> explicitly with machines, then the theories become more important.
> Perhaps then comp will be made illegal, so as to constrain freedoms
> given to machines.  I could certainly see there being significant
> resistance to humans augmenting their brains with computers... maybe
> that would be illegal too, in the interest of control or keeping a
> level playing field. Is that what you mean?
> There will be legal and ethical questions about how we and machines should
> treat one another. Just being conscious won't mean much though.  As Jeremy
> Bentham said of animals, "It's not whether they can think, it's whether they
> can suffer."
> Brent

That brings up the interesting question of how you could explain which
conscious beings are capable of suffering and which ones aren't. I'm
sure some people would make the argument that anything we might call
conscious would be capable of suffering. One way or the other it would
seem to require a theory of consciousness in which the character of
experience can be mapped somehow to 3p processes.

For instance, pain I can make sense of in terms of what it feels like
for a being's structure to become "less organized" though I'm not sure
how to formalize that, and I'm not completely comfortable with that
characterization. However, the reverse idea that pleasure might be
what it feels like for one's structure to become "more organized"
seems like a stretch and hard to connect with the reality of, for
example, a nice massage.


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