On Wednesday, October 2, 2013 3:15:01 PM UTC+10, Brent wrote:
> On 10/1/2013 9:56 PM, Pierz wrote: 
> > Yes, I understand that to be Chalmer's main point. Although, if the 
> qualia can be 
> > different, it does present issues - how much and in what way can it 
> vary? 
> Yes, that's a question that interests me because I want to be able to 
> build intelligent 
> machines and so I need to know what qualia they will have, if any.  I 
> think it will depend 
> on their sensors and on their values/goals.  If I build a very intelligent 
> Mars Rover, 
> capable of learning and reasoning, with a goal of discovering whether 
> there was once life 
> on Mars; then I expect it will experience pleasure in finding evidence 
> regarding this.   
> But no matter how smart I make it, it won't experience lust. 
> "Reasoning" being what exactly? The ability to circumnavigate an obstacle 
for instance? There are no "rewards" in an algorithm. There are just paths 
which do or don't get followed depending on inputs. Sure, the argument that 
there must be qualia in a sufficiently sophisticated computer seems 
compelling. But the argument that there can't be seems equally so. As a 
programmer I have zero expectation that the computer I am programming will 
feel pleasure or suffering. It's just as happy to throw an exception as it 
is to complete its assigned task. *I* am the one who experiences pain when 
it hits an error! I just can't conceive of the magical point at which the 
computer goes from total indifference to giving a damn. That's the point 
Craig keeps pushing and which I agree with. Something is missing from our 

> > I'm curious what the literature has to say about that. And if 
> functionalism means 
> > reproducing more than the mere functional output of a system, if it 
> potentially means 
> > replication down to the elementary particles and possibly their quantum 
> entanglements, 
> > then duplication becomes impossible, not merely technically but in 
> principle. That seems 
> > against the whole point of functionalism - as the idea of "function" is 
> reduced to 
> > something almost meaningless. 
> I think functionalism must be confined to the classical functions, 
> discounting the quantum 
> level effects.  But it must include some behavior that is almost entirely 
> internal - e.g. 
> planning, imagining.  Excluding quantum entanglements isn't arbitrary; 
> there cannot have 
> been any evolution of goals and values based on quantum entanglement 
> (beyond the 
> statistical effects that produce decoherence and quasi-classical 
> behavior). 
> But what do "planning" and "imagining" mean except their functional 
outputs? It shouldn't matter to you how the planning occurs - it's an 
"implementation detail" in development speak. Your argument may be valid 
regarding quantum entanglement, but it is still an argument based on what 
"seems to make sense" rather than on genuine understanding of the 
relationship between functions and their putative qualia. 

> Brent 

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