On Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 9:29 AM, Roger <rclo...@verizon.net> wrote:
> Hi John Clark
> 1) I can experiencre redness (a qualitative property) while computers
> all they can know are 0s and 1s.
This statement suggests to me that you are not familiar with the levels of
abstraction that are common in computer programming. Your statement is
equivalent to saying: "The human brain can't tell good wine from bad, it is
made of atoms, and all atoms are aware of are inter-atomic forces." It
ignores the cell structures, the inter-neuronal connections, the large
scale structures of the brain. All the neurons know are 1's and 0's (are
my neighbors firing or not?) yet the very complex large scale structures of
neurons can be aware of much more intricate patterns. The same is true of
computer programs. A computer program might be able to tell if a picture
is of a man or woman, this certainly requires more than just knowing 1's
While at its most fundamental level, a computer program manipulates and
compares 1's and 0's, you can build any system on top of this. Consider
that redness does not course its way down your optic nerve. All your
brain receives is a digital flickering of electrical pulses from nerve
cells, not unlike a Morse code sent down a telegraph wire. At some level
of description, the input of redness to your brain is nothing but 0's and
Google's self driving cars know to stop at a red light and go on green.
Can you be so certain that these cars cannot see some kind of difference
between red and green? Even though the experience might be quite different
from our experience of it, the car (if it had reflection and intelligence)
might similarly struggle to explain how red is different from green, or how
it can know they are fundamentally different.
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