Its circular reasoning to look for proof of consciousness since consciousness is a first person experience only, and by definition cannot be demonstrated as an exterior phenomenon. You can't prove to me that you exist, so why would you be able to prove that anything has or does not have an experience, or what that experience might be like. Instead, we have to go by what we have seen so far, and what we know of the differences between computers and living organisms. While the future of computation is unknowable, we should agree that thus far: 1) Machines and computers have not demonstrated any initiative to survive or evolve independently of our efforts to configure them to imitate that behavior. 2) Our innate prejudices of robotic and mechanical qualities defines not merely an unfamiliar quality of life but the embodiment of the antithesis of life. I am not saying this means it is a fact, but we should not ignore this enduring and universal response which all cultures have had toward the introduction of mechanism. The embodiment of these qualities in myth and fiction present a picture of materialism and functionalism as evacuated of life, soul, authenticity, emotion, caring, etc. Again, it is not in the negativity of the stereotype, but the specific nature of the negativity (Frankenstein, HAL) or positivity (Silent Running robots, Star Wars Droids) which reveals at best a pet-like, diminutive objectified pseudo-subjectivity rather than a fully formed bio-equivalence. 3) Computers have not evolved along a path of increasing signs toward showing initiative. Deep Blue never shows signs that it wants to go beyond Chess. All improvements in computer performance can easily be categorized as quantitative rather than qualitative. They have not gotten smarter, we have just sped up the stupid until it seems more impressive. 4) Computers are fundamentally different than any living organism. They are assembled by external agents rather than produce themselves organically through division of a single cell. None of these points prove that the future of AI won't invalidate them, but at the same time, they constitute reasonable grounds for skepticism. To me, the preponderance of evidence we have thus far indicates that any assumption of computing devices as they have been executed up to this point developing characteristics associated with biological feeling and spontaneous sensible initiative is purely religious faith. Craig > > Jason > -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msg/everything-list/-/T3doVNWdqdQJ. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.