On 19.09.2012 00:57 meekerdb said the following:
On 9/17/2012 11:27 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
Do you mean that the meaning in a guided missile system happens
as by-product of its development by engineers?

To me, it seems that meaning that you have defined in Mars
Rovers is yet another theory of epiphenomenalism.

And your quote and question are yet another example of "nothing
buttery" and argument by incredulity.


I am not sure if I understand you. I am not saying that I am right
but I really do not understand you point. You say

"Consciousness and computation are given their meaning by their
effecting actions in the world."

and it seems that you imply that this could be applied for a robot
as well. My thought were that engineers who have design a robot
know everything how it is working.

But they don't a robot, even one as simple as a Mars Rover perceives
and acts on things the engineers don't know.  A more advanced robot
will also learn from experience and become as unpredictable as a
person from the engineer's standpoint.

Okay, let us take more advanced robots. I guess that

Dario Floreano and Claudio Mattiussi, Bio-Inspired Artificial Intelligence: Theories, Methods, and Technologies

should be perfect here. You will find in the book about learning in behavioral systems. Yet, the authors do not use the term consciousness at all. They even talk about intelligence just once

Conclusion, p. 585 : “A careful reader have noticed that we have not yet defined what intelligence is. This was done on purpose because intelligence has different meanings for different persons and in different situations. For example, some believe that intelligence is the ability to be creative; other think that it is the ability to make predictions; and others believe that intelligence exists only in the eye of the observer. In this book we have shown that biological and artificial intelligence manifests itself though multiple processes and mechanisms that interact at different spatial and temporal scales to produce emergent and functional behavior. The most important implication of the approaches presented here is that understanding and engineering intelligence does not reduce to replicating a mammalian brain in a computer but requires also capturing multiply types and levels of interactions, such as those between brains and bodies, individual and societies, learning and behavior, evolution and development, self-protection and self-repair, to mention a few”.

Hence, again let us imagine that a robot with artificial neural networks developed as described in the book can learn something indeed. In the book there are even examples in this respect. Yet, the engineers developing it have not even thought about consciousness. Hence, in my view, if consciousness happens to be in such a robot, then we could talk without a problem about epiphenomenalism. Why not?

I have seen a project where engineers at least talk about a module QUALIA


“MIND|CONSTRUCT is developing a ‘strong-AI engine’, a so called AI-mind, that can be used in (human-like) robotics, healthcare, aerospace sciences and every other area where ‘conscious’ man-machine interaction is of any importance.

The MIND|CONSTRUCT organization is the culmination of many years in AI-research and the so called ‘hard-problems’, and the application of elaborate experience in knowledge-management, for the design and development of a ‘strong-AI engine’.“

If consciousness happens here, then we could at least find that it was planned this way.



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