On 1/14/2014 9:32 AM, Edgar L. Owen wrote:
Brent,

Again, you are making the mistake of thinking consciousness is some single state that things either have or don't have. There is actually a continuous non-linear spectrum from a thermostat through a mars rover through all biological organisms to a human and possibly beyond. Each of these has an awareness (I call it Xperience) defined strictly in terms of its actual structure and how that works. All Xperience is simply alteration of the forms of something in computational interaction with other forms, so properly speaking every event in the universe is an Xperience so in that sense everything is the universe has some form of what could be called proto-consciousness.

Where you want to define 'actual consciousness' on this spectrum is pretty much an arbitrary definition. However it is defined, consciousness is simply the same old generic Xperience which is fundamental to computational reality. Normally consciousness is defined to denote some level of self-descriptive Xperience, in the sense that there are internal computational forms that tell an organism what it is Xperiencing and what its state is and how it is changing.

So a character in a video game could know things and could even be self conscious - contrary to your previous dismissal.

Brent


So the answer to your questions is pretty much a matter of how consciousness is defined. In all cases it's not any soul or ghost in the machine added to a machine, biological or otherwise, but the operational consequences of the structure of that machine, and its nature is strictly determined by the operation of those actual structures.

Edgar



On Monday, January 13, 2014 11:09:29 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote:

    On 1/13/2014 6:47 PM, Edgar L. Owen wrote:
    > Brent,
    >
    > For God's sakes, the "characters in a video game'" don't know anything. 
They are
    > completely fictional characters. You seem to have lost all touch with 
reality in your
    > zeal to find something to criticize. I can't believe we are actually 
having this
    > discussion... Do you also believe ghosts, trolls and fairies "know 
things"?

    Do you believe computations can realize beings that know things (it's a 
consequence of
    your theory if I'm not mistaken).  What does it take to "know things"?  You 
never
    answered
    my question as to what it would take to make a conscious robot.  You evaded 
it by
    saying
    "conscious" wasn't well defined.  And I agree that there are levels and 
kinds of
    consciousness.  But choose one or two - what would it take to make a robot 
that had
    that
    kind of consciousness.  What would it take for a robot "know things"?  Does 
the Mars
    Rover
    know things?  anything?

    Brent

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