On Wednesday, September 26, 2012 3:37:09 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:
>  On 9/26/2012 12:19 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote: 
> On Wednesday, September 26, 2012 2:35:27 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote: 
>>  An interesting paper which comports with my idea that "the problem of 
>> consciousness" will be "solved" by engineering.� Or John Clark's point 
>> that consciousness is easy, intelligence is hard. 
> Consciousness is easy if you already have consciousness. It is impossible 
> if you don't. Intelligence is hard if you already have consciousness, but 
> it is impossible if you don't. 
> So are you now contending that intelligent machines *must be* conscious� 
> and that therefore there are no intelligent machines?

I am saying that consciousness is a prerequisite for developing 
intelligence. If you are conscious and intelligent, you can record 
intelligent functions and automate their playback in an intelligent way in 
physical media which support that level of control (not fog, not live 
hamsters...computers need reliable discrete bits that change or don't 
change unless they are supposed to.)

What you call intelligent machines I would call advanced automated 
services. They have no consciousness at all at the personal level, but in 
order to function, those services must be supported by consciousness on the 
sub-personal (molecular-electronic correlate) level. Our personal sense and 
motives are riding on top of the impersonal consequences of the 
sub-personal activities of the machine.

See if this diagram helps: 

There are qualitative distinctions on the right hand side, and quantitative 
distinctions of scale on the left. To create automated services, we exploit 
the impersonal side of lower levels to reflect back our own reconstructed 
depersonalized self image. An automaton. A meticulously crafted emptiness 
to serve our personal motives.

By conflating the left and right sides and flattening the levels, it 
becomes plausible to think of an exterior as the same thing as an interior 
or a collection of digits as a gestalt whole. All of these distinctions, 
however, require a conscious agent to provide sense, participation, and 
perspective to begin with - things which are qualitative, right-hand 
features and never impersonal left-hand functions.

>  Everything assumes that consciousness exists as a possibility in the 
> universe prior to the existence of the universe itself.
> I don't even know how to parse "everything assumes"?

Eh, yeah, that was maybe not such a good way to put it. I meant that every 
way that we can possibly think of to model the universe already takes for 
granted the assumption of the potential for consciousness. Without that 
assumption, there is no way to get from whatever we are starting with to 
where we are now.


> Brent

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