Hi Brent,

On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 1:48 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On 4/29/2013 2:18 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:
>>
>> On Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 8:04 PM, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> On Mon, Apr 22, 2013  Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>>> I also believe that some isolated tribes assume everything is
>>>>> conscious.
>>>
>>>
>>> If they're right then that certainly solves the consciousness problem and
>>> we
>>> can move on to solving the REALLY hard problem, figuring out why some
>>> things
>>> behave intelligently.
>>
>> I don't really understand why you insist that intelligence is a harder
>> problem than consciousness.
>
>
> I think John's point is that it's easy to theorize about the "hard problem"
> of consciousness because the problem isn't even well defined and there's no
> way to test the theories because consciousness is taken to be a
> first-person-only phenomenon by definition.  On the other hand it is pretty
> easy to test intelligence - we do it all the time.  But creating
> intelligence is a "hard" problem.

I understand the point, I just find that there's something rather
puritanical about this view. Tweaking a computer program to perform a
task well is "hard" and "real work", laying in an isolation tank
trying to observe yourself from inside is silly. I enjoy both kinds of
activities, by the way :) I think both are hard and rewarding in a
sense.

>
>> I think we have very solid hypothesis on
>> why some things behave intelligently, you explained it yourself. The
>> problem becomes easier if we reject meaning, and accept that evolution
>> is just a mindless process of complexification.
>>
>> In any case, through a modern combination of computer science,
>> neuroscience and biology, we know a lot about intelligence. We know
>> nothing about consciousness (scientifically, that is -- I know a lot
>> about my own consciousness).
>
>
> Maybe because (scientifically) there's nothing to know.

Yes. But there are other forms of inquiry. They just won't get you a
Nobel prize or a fat research grant.

> What would
> constitute a solution to the "hard problem" that could be tested?  I think
> the best we will be able to do is to understand human brains to the point
> that we can manipulate thoughts and emotions as reported by subjects and we
> can make AI robots that behave like humans and whose "character" we can
> design as desired.  When we've done that we'll "bet" (as Bruno would say)
> that we've solved the problem.

This last step is the one that I revolt against. I am all for AI
robots that behave like humans -- or better yet, do all of the nasty
work for us. Or that appear emotional enough to provide companionship
to lonely people. All of this is great. But why bet that we solved the
consciousness problem then? I don't see how the two things are
related. The reason this is forced down our throats is that it is now
blasphemy to suggest that Science is not the be-all and end-all of
intelectual inquiry. It is possible to love and practice Science and
reject this sort of dogma at the same time.

Telmo.

> Brent
>
>
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