Hi Craig (and all),

Now that I have a better understanding of your ideas, I would like to
confront you with a thought experiment. Some of the stuff you say
looks completely esoteric to me, so I imagine there are three
possibilities: either you are significantly more intelligent than me
or you're a bit crazy, or both. I'm not joking, I don't know.

But I would like to focus on sensory participation as the fundamental
stuff of reality and your claim that strong AI is impossible because
the machines we build are just Frankensteins, in a sense. If I
understand correctly, you still believe these machines have sensory
participation just because they exist, but not in the sense that they
could emulate our human experiences. They have the sensory
participation level of the stuff they're made of and nothing else.
Right?

So let's talk about seeds.

We now know how a human being grows from a seed that we pretty much
understand. We might not be able to model all the complexity involved
in networks of gene expression, protein folding and so on, but we
understand the building blocks. We understand them to a point where we
can actually engineer the outcome to a degree. It is now 2013 and we
are, in a sense, living in the future.

So we can now take a fertilised egg and tweak it somehow. When done
successfully, a human being will grow out of it. Doing this with human
eggs is considered unethical, but I believe it is technically
possible. So a human being grows out of this egg. Is he/she normal?

What if someone actually designs the entire DNA string and grows a
human being out of it? Still normal?

What if we simulate the growth of the organism from a string of
virtual DNA and then just assemble the outcome at some stage? Still
normal?

What if now we do away with DNA altogether and use some other Turing
complete self-modifying system?

What if we never build the outcome but just let it live inside a
simulation? We can even visit this simulation with appropriate
hardware: http://www.oculusvr.com/. What now?

In your view, at what point does this break? And why?

Best,
Telmo.

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