On Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 11:43 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote

>>> Even if it could [ tell the difference between a audio and a video
>>> file] that would only represent a more advanced file analysis function, not
>>> any kind of audio or video sensitivity.
>> >> Please explain the difference between the two.
> > In the former, the computer can read up the file and pick up some bytes
> which can tell it which applications would be likely to open it. In the
> latter, the computer could actually see or hear the file

You have no way of knowing if I can actually see or hear, all you know is
that I behave as if I do. It's exactly precisely the same situation with a
smart computer.

> > It's like a computer could be programmed to choose a healthy entree on a
> menu, but it can't actually eat the meal and tell you whether it was any
> good.

Are you now saying that a digestive system is linked to consciousness?

>> You're saying that if there was no audio or video properties in the file
> > Meaning that there are no pictures or sounds within the file, yes. The
> file is only a pattern of countable switch positions, like a piano roll.

A electronic cochlear implant that enables deaf people to hear produces no
sound, all it makes is lots of zeros and ones. The same thing is true of
the experimental artificial eye.

> A player piano has no awareness of music,

It must be grand being a "hard problem" theorist because it's the easiest
job in the world bar none, no matter how smart something is you just say
"yeah but it's not conscious" and there is no way anybody can prove you

> The computer can't tell if its audio or video no matter what. It can only
> tell what application might be associated with opening that file.

As there are zero empirical differences between those two things HOW THE

> it's not an audio or video file. Not literally or physically. A file is
> just a source of generic binary instructions.

And that's all a cochlear implant produces and yet the deaf report those
generic binary instructions give them the qualia of sound. If you believe
that the deaf reported truthfully ( do you?) why wouldn't you believe a
computer if it said the same thing? But maybe the deaf person is lying too,
of course we could tell a story to a deaf person with a cochlear implant
and they could correctly answer questions about it but that's just behavior
and were talking about qualia and
deafness does not make you incapable of lying. Or maybe they think they
experience the qualia of sound but its nothing like the grand and glorious
thing you experience. Or maybe Mozart would say you think you have
experienced the qualia of sound but it's nothing at all like the wonderful
thing he has. All this is pointless time wasting speculation because none
of it can ever be proved or disproved.

> >> It's like saying you can't tell if a book is written in English if
>> there are no English words in it!
> > No, it's like saying that you can tell if a book is written in Japanese
> even if you don't speak Japanese.

Maybe you can but I can't, I couldn't tell if it was Chinese or Korean or
just a bunch of squiggles made up by a graphics designer yesterday.

> translating language from one generic code into another are mechanical
> processes which can be easily programmed.

No, translating languages is extremely difficult and until about 5 years
ago computer translations were so bad that the only reason to do it is the
belly laugh you'd get out of it. Back in the computer Precambrian of 2007
or 2008 the consensus was that computers couldn't make good translations
unless they had some understanding of what was being said, I think they
were right, and computers make dramatically better translations now than
they did in 2007.

> > It's funny, sometimes ideas which can't be proved wrong are that way
> because they are actually right.

Don't be so modest, your ideas about consciousness are twice as good as
that, not only can they never be proven wron they can never be proven right

> > People with a hard left-brained approach are not going to be able to
> look at consciousness independently of forms and functions

I understand as well as you do that there is such a thing as consciousness,
but I also understand that because it has no observable consequences
obsessing over it is a complete waste of time if your goal is to obtain
some understanding of how the world works. So when you make rubber stamp
comments like "a computer can never know X" or "a computer can never feel
Y", comments that you simply decree without evidence, comments you have no
way of knowing, comments neither you nor anybody else can ever prove or
disprove even if the machine behaves as if it knows and feels those things
then I respond with rubber stamp comments of my own.

  John K Clark

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