On 3/7/2013 3:01 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:



On Thursday, March 7, 2013 5:45:14 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote:

    On 3/7/2013 2:21 PM, Stephen P. King wrote:
    On 3/7/2013 12:04 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
    If you have ever worked with Terminal Servers, RDP, Citrix Metaframe, or 
the like
    (and that's what I have been doing professionally every day for the last 14
    years), you will understand the idea of a Thin Client architecture. Thin 
clients
    are as old as computing, and some of you remember as I do, devices like 
acoustic
    couplers where you can attach a telephone handset to a telephone cradle, so 
that
    the mouth ends of the handset and the earpiece ends could squeal to each 
other. In
    this way, you could, with nothing but a keyboard and a printer, use your 
telephone
    to allow you access to a mainframe computer at some university.

    The relevance here is that the client end is thin computationally. It passes
    nothing but keystrokes and printer instructions back and forth as acoustic 
codes.

    This is what an mp3 file does as well. It passes nothing but binary 
instructions
    that can be used by an audio device to vibrate. Without a person's ear 
there to be
    vibrated, this entire event is described by linear processes where one 
physical
    record is converted into another physical record. Nothing is encoded or 
decoded,
    experienced or appreciated. There is no sound.

    Think about those old plastic headphones in elementary school that just had 
hollow
    plastic tubes as connectors - a system like that generates sound from the 
start,
    and the headphones are simply funnels for our ears. That's a different 
thing from
    an electronic device which produces sound only in the earbuds.

    All of these discussions about semiotics, free will, consciousness, 
AI...all come
    down to understanding the Thin Client. The Thin Client is Searle's Chinese 
Room in
    actual fact. You can log into a massive server from some mobile device and 
use it
    like a glove, but that doesn't mean that the glove is intelligent. We know 
that we
    can transmit only mouseclicks and keystrokes across the pipe and that it 
works
    without having to have some sophisticated computing environment (i.e. 
qualia) get
    communicated. The Thin Client exposes Comp as misguided because it shows 
that
    instructions can indeed exist as purely instrumental forms and require none 
of the
    semantic experiences which we enjoy. No matter how much you use the thin 
client,
    it never needs to get any thicker. It's just a glove and a window.

--
    Hi Craig,

        Excellent post! You have nailed computational immaterialism where it 
really
    hurts. Computations cannot see, per the Turing neo-Platonists, any hardward 
at all.
    This is their view of computational universality. But here in the thing, it 
is the
    reason why they have a 'body problem'. For a Platonistic Machine, there is 
no
    hardware or physical world at all. So, why do I have the persistent 
illusion that I
    am in a body and interacting with another computation via its body?

        The physical delusion is the thin client, to use your words and 
discussion.


    I'm fairly sure Bruno will point out that a delusion is a thought and so is
    immaterial.  You have an immaterial experience fo being in a body.

    But the analogy of the thin client is thin indeed.  In the example of the 
Mars rover
    it corresponds to looking a computer bus and saying, "See there are just 
bits being
    transmitted over this wire, therefore this Mars rover can't have qualia."  
It's
    nothing-buttery spread thin.


Why? What's your argument other than you don't like it? Of course the Mars rover has no qualia.

That's your careful reasoning?

The thin client metaphor is exactly why. All that are being transmitted are the sets of data that the software is trained to recognize. The rover could spit out a thin client mini-rover that is just a camera on wheels and the rover could steer it remotely. Would the mini-rover have qualia now too, as an eyeball on a wheel?

No, it's the autonomous system rover+minirover that would have qualia.


    Meantime the Mars rover and Watson continue to exhibit intelligence of the 
same kind
    you would associate with qualia if exhibted by a human being, or even by a 
dog.


That shouldn't be surprising. Mannequins resemble human bodies standing still remarkably well.

More reasoning?


      You have no argument, just wetware racism.


I'm the one laying out a carefully reasoned example. You are the one responding with empty accusations. It doesn't seem like my position is the one closer to racism.

No you're the one with the double standard. If it acts intelligent and it's wetware, it is intelligent. If it acts intelligent and its hardware it can't be intelligent. If you have any other critereon, any conceivable empirical evidence, that would convince you that an intelligent acting entity made of hardware in intelligent I'd like to hear it. It there is none, then it's mere prejudice.

Brent


Craig


    Brent

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