On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 3:09 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On 5/2/2013 7:47 AM, Jason Resch wrote: > >> Would anyone here say that a conditional (e.g., "if/else") statement" (in >> some program) is conscious? >> > > I don't think so. We make if/else choices subconsciously all the time. > My introspection tells me that conscious thought is a kind of narrative > story I construct. I think the function of this is to condense my > experience for memory and future reference when I need to plan or predict > based on my past experience. If I were designing an intelligent Mars Rover > that had to learn to deal with a wide variety of problems which I cannot > anticipate, this sort of selective memory narrative would be one component > of it's learning. > > Of course there are different levels of consciousness. A Mars Rover needs > a conception of "self" as being in certain place, having completed certain > tasks, having certain capabilities, etc. But it doesn't need to consider > its status among peers or reflect on its own computational methods or its > ultimate end. > > Brent > > Brent, I think you may be reading my question in the wrong way. I didn't mean to equate your consciousness with that of every if/else decision you make, but rather ask something like, "What does the shortest possible program that is conscious look like?" I have trouble seeing why some short piece of code like: if (x > 0) then do y() else do z(); Is not conscious of some property of x (whether it is positive or negative), at least when the two different functions y() and z() cause the program to enter different states. I find it harder to justify the consciousness of a program that did not do any selection, distinction, or inspection. In most programming languages, this is done using a conditional statement, such as an "if statement", a "while statement" or a "switch statement". Jason > > >> I think such statements may form the atoms of consciousness, as they >> represent the point at which a program's behavior diverges based on the >> inspection of some information. >> >> Conditional statements are required for any kind of intelligent or >> responsive behavior, which might be why consciousness correlates with it. >> >> Jason >> > > -- > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups > "Everything List" group. > To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an > email to > everything-list+unsubscribe@**googlegroups.com<everything-list%2bunsubscr...@googlegroups.com> > . > To post to this group, send email to > everything-list@googlegroups.**com<firstname.lastname@example.org> > . > Visit this group at > http://groups.google.com/**group/everything-list?hl=en<http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en> > . > For more options, visit > https://groups.google.com/**groups/opt_out<https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out> > . > > > -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en. For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.