On 10/3/2013 4:53 PM, Pierz wrote:


On Thursday, October 3, 2013 4:59:17 AM UTC+10, Brent wrote:

    On 10/1/2013 11:49 PM, Pierz wrote:


    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
    understanding.

    What's missing is you're considering a computer, not a robot.  As robot has 
to have
    values and goals in order to act and react in the world.  It has complex 
systems and
    subsystems that may have conflicting subgoals, and in order to learn from 
experience
    it keeps a narrative history about what it considers significant events.  
At that
    level it may have the consciousness of a mouse.  If it's a social robot, 
one that
    needs to cooperate and compete in a society of other persons, then it will 
need a
    self-image and model of other people.  In that case it's quite reasonable 
to suppose
    it also has qualia.

Really? You believe that a robot can experience qualia but a computer can't? Well that just makes no sense at all. A robot is a computer with peripherals. When I write the code to represent its "self image", I will probably write a class called "Self". But once compiled, the name of the class will be just another string of bits, and only the programmer will understand that it is supposed to represent the position, attitude and other states of the physical robot.

But does the robot understand the class; i.e. does it use it in it's planning and modeling of actions, in learning, does it reason about itself. Sure it's not enough to just label something self - it has to be something represented just as the robot represents the world in order to interact successfully.

Do the peripherals need to be real or can they just be simulated?

They can be simulated if they only have to interact with a simulated world.

Brent

Does a brain in a Futurama-style jar lose its qualia because it's now a computer not a robot? Come on.


        > 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.

    You can ask a person about plans and imaginings, and speech in response is 
an action.

    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.

But I suspect that there is no understanding that would satisfy Craig as "genuine". Do we have a "genuine" understanding of electrodynamics? of computation? What we
    have is the ability to manipulate them for our purposes.  So when we can 
make an
    intelligent robot that interacts with people AS IF it experiences qualia 
and we can
    manipulate and anticipate that behavior, then we'll have just as genuine an
    understanding of qualia as we do of electrodynamics.

Well if my daughter has a doll that cries until it's picked up - i.e., it acts AS IF it had qualia - do we have a genuine understanding of qualia?

I think that's a chimera. What do you think a "genuine understanding of qualia" would be like. How would it be more than the ability to engineer the behavior of a robot so that it exhibited the intelligent and emotional behavior similar to that of humans?

Brent

I just fail to comprehend the boundary between that obviously false scenario and a more sophisticated robot in which the qualia are supposed to be real. I have no answer, but I find it hard to believe that even computationalist true believers such as yourself don't secretly find this problem just a little bit puzzling too.

    Brent

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