On Mon, Sep 3, 2012 at 11:30 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:

> On Monday, September 3, 2012 12:22:48 PM UTC-4, Jason wrote:
>> On Mon, Sep 3, 2012 at 9:28 AM, Roger Clough <rcl...@verizon.net> wrote:
>>>  Hi benjayk
>>> Computers have no intelligence --not a whit,  since intelligence
>>> requires
>>> ability to choose, choice requires awareness or Cs, which in term
>>> requires
>>> an aware subject. Thus only living entities can have ingtelligence.
>>> A bacterium thus has more intel;ligence than a computer,
>>> even the largest in the world.
>> Your proof is missing a step: showing why computers cannot have an aware
>> subject
>> Another problem is that your assumption that the ability to choose
>> requires consciousness means that deep blue (which chooses optimum chess
>> moves), and Watson (who chose categories and wagers in Jeopardy) are
>> conscious.  I don't dispute that they may be conscious, but if they are
>> that contradicts the objective of your proof.  If you still maintain that
>> they are not conscious, despite their ability to choose, then there must be
>> some error in your argument.
> 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.

I was not looking for a proof of consciousness.  I was merely pointing out
that according to Roger's definition of intelligence (the ability to
choose), computers should already be considered intelligent.  He further
claimed that the ability to choose required consciousness, so according to
his reasoning, this would further imply that computers are already
conscious.  I pointed out this was surprising given that he came to the
opposite conclusion.

> 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.
Would you consider it religious faith to believe that men could one day
build heavier than air flying machines in the 1800s?

We had the example of birds, which are heavier than air, yet can fly.  If a
bird'd body is fundamentally mechanical, then it stands to reason that
certain machines can fly.  Likewise, if the brain is fundamentally
mechanical (rather than magical) it also stands to reason that certain
machines can think.  This is not religious faith, unless you consider
disbelief in magic a form of religious faith.


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