On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 1:42 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> You are convinced that computers and other machines
>> don't have consciousness, but you can't say what test you will apply
>> to them and see them fail.
> I'm convinced of that because I understand why there is no reason why they
> would have consciousness... there is no 'they' there. Computers are not born
> in a single moment through cell fertilization, they are assembled by people.
> Computers have to be programmed to do absolutely everything, they have no
> capacity to make sense of anything which is not explicitly defined. This is
> the polar opposite of living organisms which are general purpose entities
> who explore and adapt when they can, on their own, for their own internally
> generated motives. Computers lack that completely. We use objects to compute
> for us, but those objects are not actually computing themselves, just as
> these letters don't actually mean anything for themselves.

Why would being generated in a single moment through cell
fertilization have any bearing on consciousness? Why would something
created by someone else not have consciousness? Why would something
lacking internally generated motives (which does not apply to
computers any more than to people) lack consciousness? To make these
claims you would have to show either that they are necessarily true or
present empirical evidence in their support, and you have done

>> So if, in future, robots live among us for years and are accepted by
>> most people as conscious, does that mean they are conscious? This is
>> essentially a form of the Turing test.
> I don't think that will happen unless they aren't robots. The whole point is
> that the degree to which an organism is conscious is inversely proportionate
> to the degree that the organism is 100% controllable. That's the purpose of
> intelligence - to advance your own agenda rather than to be overpowered by
> your environment. So if something is a robot, it will never be accepted by
> anyone as conscious, and if something is conscious it will never be useful
> to anyone as a robot - it would in fact be a slave.

You don't think it would happen, but would you be prepared to say that
if a robot did pass the test, as tough as you want to make it, it
would be conscious?

Stathis Papaioannou

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