Aeon: "AIs should have the same ethical protections as animals"

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cloud...@gmail.com

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Apr 26, 2019, 9:33:31 AM4/26/19
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AIs should have the same ethical protections as animals

John Basl is assistant professor of philosophy at Northeastern University in Boston


...

A puzzle and difficulty arises here because the scientific study of consciousness has not reached a consensus about what consciousness is, and how we can tell whether or not it is present. On some views – ‘liberal’ views – for consciousness to exist requires nothing but a certain type of well-organised information-processing, such as a flexible informational model of the system in relation to objects in its environment, with guided attentional capacities and long-term action-planning. We might be on the verge of creating such systems already. On other views – ‘conservative’ views – consciousness might require very specific biological features, such as a brain very much like a mammal brain in its low-level structural details: in which case we are nowhere near creating artificial consciousness.

It is unclear which type of view is correct or whether some other explanation will in the end prevail. However, if a liberal view is correct, we might soon be creating many subhuman AIs who will deserve ethical protection. There lies the moral risk.

Discussions of ‘AI risk’ normally focus on the risks that new AI technologies might pose to us humans, such as taking over the world and destroying us, or at least gumming up our banking system. Much less discussed is the ethical risk we pose to the AIs, through our possible mistreatment of them.

...

 

My 'conservative' view: information processing (alone) does not achieve experience (consciousness) processing.




Cosmin Visan

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Apr 26, 2019, 9:54:32 AM4/26/19
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Also my plush rabbit toy should have the same rights. Freedom for all the objects in the world!

Bruno Marchal

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Apr 29, 2019, 8:27:26 AM4/29/19
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On 26 Apr 2019, at 15:33, cloud...@gmail.com wrote:



AIs should have the same ethical protections as animals

John Basl is assistant professor of philosophy at Northeastern University in Boston


...

A puzzle and difficulty arises here because the scientific study of consciousness has not reached a consensus about what consciousness is, and how we can tell whether or not it is present. On some views – ‘liberal’ views – for consciousness to exist requires nothing but a certain type of well-organised information-processing, such as a flexible informational model of the system in relation to objects in its environment, with guided attentional capacities and long-term action-planning. We might be on the verge of creating such systems already. On other views – ‘conservative’ views – consciousness might require very specific biological features, such as a brain very much like a mammal brain in its low-level structural details: in which case we are nowhere near creating artificial consciousness.

It is unclear which type of view is correct or whether some other explanation will in the end prevail. However, if a liberal view is correct, we might soon be creating many subhuman AIs who will deserve ethical protection. There lies the moral risk.

Discussions of ‘AI risk’ normally focus on the risks that new AI technologies might pose to us humans, such as taking over the world and destroying us, or at least gumming up our banking system. Much less discussed is the ethical risk we pose to the AIs, through our possible mistreatment of them.

The humans are still the main threat for the human. The idea to give human right to AI does not make music sense. It is part of the work of the AI to learn to defend themselves. We can be open mind, and listen, but defending their right can only threat the human right, I would say. In the theology of the machine, it can be proved that hell is paved with the good intentions … (amazingly enough, and accepting some definitions, of course).

 

My 'conservative' view: information processing (alone) does not achieve experience (consciousness) processing.

Mechanism makes you right on this, although it can depend how information processing is defined. Consciousness is not in the processing, but in truth, or in the semantic related to that processing,. The processing itself by is only a relative concept, where consciousness is an absolute thing. 

Bruno





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Cosmin Visan

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Apr 29, 2019, 8:34:56 AM4/29/19
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There is no definition for such a thing. It is just a non-sensical concept. It's as if stepping in the mud and saying: "Look! The mud information processed the shape of my foot! The mud is so intelligent! He must have rights!!!"

cloud...@gmail.com

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Apr 29, 2019, 9:16:49 AM4/29/19
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On Monday, April 29, 2019 at 7:27:26 AM UTC-5, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 26 Apr 2019, at 15:33, cloud...@gmail.com wrote:



AIs should have the same ethical protections as animals

John Basl is assistant professor of philosophy at Northeastern University in Boston


...

A puzzle and difficulty arises here because the scientific study of consciousness has not reached a consensus about what consciousness is, and how we can tell whether or not it is present. On some views – ‘liberal’ views – for consciousness to exist requires nothing but a certain type of well-organised information-processing, such as a flexible informational model of the system in relation to objects in its environment, with guided attentional capacities and long-term action-planning. We might be on the verge of creating such systems already. On other views – ‘conservative’ views – consciousness might require very specific biological features, such as a brain very much like a mammal brain in its low-level structural details: in which case we are nowhere near creating artificial consciousness.

It is unclear which type of view is correct or whether some other explanation will in the end prevail. However, if a liberal view is correct, we might soon be creating many subhuman AIs who will deserve ethical protection. There lies the moral risk.

Discussions of ‘AI risk’ normally focus on the risks that new AI technologies might pose to us humans, such as taking over the world and destroying us, or at least gumming up our banking system. Much less discussed is the ethical risk we pose to the AIs, through our possible mistreatment of them.

The humans are still the main threat for the human. The idea to give human right to AI does not make music sense. It is part of the work of the AI to learn to defend themselves. We can be open mind, and listen, but defending their right can only threat the human right, I would say. In the theology of the machine, it can be proved that hell is paved with the good intentions … (amazingly enough, and accepting some definitions, of course).

 

My 'conservative' view: information processing (alone) does not achieve experience (consciousness) processing.

Mechanism makes you right on this, although it can depend how information processing is defined. Consciousness is not in the processing, but in truth, or in the semantic related to that processing,. The processing itself by is only a relative concept, where consciousness is an absolute thing. 

Bruno


On "Consciousness is not in the processing, but in truth, or in the semantic related to that processing, ..." I address in the next article:


But my mode of thinking is that of an engineer, not a truth-seeker.

Telmo Menezes

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Apr 29, 2019, 9:19:26 AM4/29/19
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I would say that engineering is a form of truth-seeking.

Telmo.

Cosmin Visan

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Apr 29, 2019, 9:50:30 AM4/29/19
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Semantics means meaning, and meaning is something that exists in consciousness. You cannot use that for any "programming".

cloud...@gmail.com

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Apr 29, 2019, 2:54:47 PM4/29/19
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Now that is something programming language theorists would not agree with:


In programming language theorysemantics is the field concerned with the ... study of the meaning of programming languages

@philipthrift

Brent Meeker

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Apr 29, 2019, 3:02:21 PM4/29/19
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On 4/29/2019 5:27 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
On 26 Apr 2019, at 15:33, cloud...@gmail.com wrote:



AIs should have the same ethical protections as animals

John Basl is assistant professor of philosophy at Northeastern University in Boston


...

A puzzle and difficulty arises here because the scientific study of consciousness has not reached a consensus about what consciousness is, and how we can tell whether or not it is present. On some views ??? ???liberal??? views ??? for consciousness to exist requires nothing but a certain type of well-organised information-processing, such as a flexible informational model of the system in relation to objects in its environment, with guided attentional capacities and long-term action-planning. We might be on the verge of creating such systems already. On other views ??? ???conservative??? views ??? consciousness might require very specific biological features, such as a brain very much like a mammal brain in its low-level structural details: in which case we are nowhere near creating artificial consciousness.

It is unclear which type of view is correct or whether some other explanation will in the end prevail. However, if a liberal view is correct, we might soon be creating many subhuman AIs who will deserve ethical protection. There lies the moral risk.

Discussions of ???AI risk??? normally focus on the risks that new AI technologies might pose to us humans, such as taking over the world and destroying us, or at least gumming up our banking system. Much less discussed is the ethical risk we pose to the AIs, through our possible mistreatment of them.

The humans are still the main threat for the human. The idea to give human right to AI does not make music sense. It is part of the work of the AI to learn to defend themselves. We can be open mind, and listen, but defending their right can only threat the human right, I would say. In the theology of the machine, it can be proved that hell is paved with the good intentions ??? (amazingly enough, and accepting some definitions, of course).

A right is some action that society agrees both to not interfere with and to protect against interference.Humans give to other humans the rights they want for themselves, so it is a reciprocal agreement.The problem with extending this to AI is that AI are easily distinguished and so there must be some commonality to be the basis for reciprocity.It's like the problem of racism.?? It was easy to deprived blacks of rights so long as they were seen a distinct.?? So what do we have in common with AI's?Intelligence.Do we have any values, like empathy, love of children, need for companionship...in common?I think it depends on the AI.

Brent


??

My 'conservative' view: information processing (alone) does not achieve experience (consciousness) processing.

Mechanism makes you right on this, although it can depend how information processing is defined. Consciousness is not in the processing, but in truth, or in the semantic related to that processing,. The processing itself by is only a relative concept, where consciousness is an absolute thing.??

Bruno





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Cosmin Visan

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Apr 30, 2019, 3:15:41 AM4/30/19
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Well... if you want to do words-play, you can word-play all day long as you want. I see that AI believers are experts in words playing. They endow their toy with all the human capacities in the world and they awe at their live object. Their little puppy is alive, intelligent, smart, beautiful, can play Chess, can colonize the entire galaxy, lol. Probably too much loneliness and lack of genuine human interactions.

cloud...@gmail.com

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Apr 30, 2019, 7:02:10 AM4/30/19
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It's simply  distinguishing informational/physical semantics from experimental/psychical semantics.

- @philipthrift

Brent Meeker

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Apr 30, 2019, 6:06:54 PM4/30/19
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And I see that you have no rational response to any criticism.?? Only "It doesn't exist" and unsupported assertions about what can't be true.

Brent


On 4/30/2019 12:15 AM, 'Cosmin Visan' via Everything List wrote:
Well... if you want to do words-play, you can word-play all day long as you want. I see that AI believers are experts in words playing. They endow their toy with all the human capacities in the world and they awe at their live object. Their little puppy is alive, intelligent, smart, beautiful, can play Chess, can colonize the entire galaxy, lol. Probably too much loneliness and lack of genuine human interactions.



On Monday, 29 April 2019 21:54:47 UTC+3, cloud...@gmail.com wrote:

Now that is something programming language theorists would not agree with:


In??programming language theory,??semantics??is the field concerned with the ... study of the meaning of??programming languages.??

@philipthrift

Cosmin Visan

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May 1, 2019, 2:21:40 AM5/1/19
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Sure I have lots of rational responses. But you have to be intelligent to understand them. Otherwise, what can you say to people that believe objects can become alive just by writing a line of code ?


On Wednesday, 1 May 2019 01:06:54 UTC+3, Brent wrote:
And I see that you have no rational response to any criticism.?? Only "It doesn't exist" and unsupported assertions about what can't be true.

Brent

On 4/30/2019 12:15 AM, 'Cosmin Visan' via Everything List wrote:
Well... if you want to do words-play, you can word-play all day long as you want. I see that AI believers are experts in words playing. They endow their toy with all the human capacities in the world and they awe at their live object. Their little puppy is alive, intelligent, smart, beautiful, can play Chess, can colonize the entire galaxy, lol. Probably too much loneliness and lack of genuine human interactions.



On Monday, 29 April 2019 21:54:47 UTC+3, cloud...@gmail.com wrote:

Now that is something programming language theorists would not agree with:


In??programming language theory,??semantics??is the field concerned with the ... study of the meaning of??programming languages.??

@philipthrift

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Bruno Marchal

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May 1, 2019, 5:11:16 AM5/1/19
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On 29 Apr 2019, at 14:34, 'Cosmin Visan' via Everything List <everyth...@googlegroups.com> wrote:

There is no definition for such a thing.

Of “information processing”? 

Of course there are definition, even formalised in arithmetic. To be clear, by information I ALWAYS use Shannon 3p definition. It is not the mundane usage, which often put the meaning of the information in the definition, which is reasonable, but confusing when we address the mind-body issue.

By information processing, I mean mainly “computation”, which means sequence of expression related through some universal system (universal in the mathematical sense of Church, Turing, etc.).




It is just a non-sensical concept. It's as if stepping in the mud and saying: "Look! The mud information processed the shape of my foot! The mud is so intelligent! He must have rights!!!”


Not at, all. Those will be defined by the notion of first person, and eventually, be related to machine through the mechanist hypothesis, and also the self-rerefntial discourse, including silence, of the universal machine.

Bruno





On Monday, 29 April 2019 15:27:26 UTC+3, Bruno Marchal wrote:
 it can depend how information processing is defined.


Bruno Marchal

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May 1, 2019, 5:15:37 AM5/1/19
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On 29 Apr 2019, at 15:50, 'Cosmin Visan' via Everything List <everyth...@googlegroups.com> wrote:

Semantics means meaning, and meaning is something that exists in consciousness.

No problem with this.



You cannot use that for any "programming”.


But computer science is in a large part the study between the relation between program and their semantics. The machine which relate the two is the universal machine. If my computer was unable to associate some semantic to a program, this mail would never been sent to you.

Bruno




On Monday, 29 April 2019 16:16:49 UTC+3, cloud...@gmail.com wrote:

On "Consciousness is not in the processing, but in truth, or in the semantic related to that processing, ..." I address in the next article:


But my mode of thinking is that of an engineer, not a truth-seeker.


Cosmin Visan

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May 1, 2019, 6:10:32 AM5/1/19
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There are different ways of arriving at the shape of my foot in the mud:

1) I step in the mud.

2) I make a super-duper complicated AI that does pattern recognition and plays Chess and make him sculpt the shape of my foot in the mud.

3) I personally using my own consciousness sculpt the shape of my foot.

Based on the belief that "behavior is everything" that lots of people have, since the result in all the 3 cases is identical, it means that the mud itself is intelligent since he can process the shape of my foot exactly as the super-duper AI and exactly as me personally. And since people name option 2) as computation and claim that since the result is the same in all cases, it means that all 3 cases are computations. So stepping in the mud is computation. QED


On Wednesday, 1 May 2019 12:11:16 UTC+3, Bruno Marchal wrote:
It is just a non-sensical concept. It's as if stepping in the mud and saying: "Look! The mud information processed the shape of my foot! The mud is so intelligent! He must have rights!!!”

Not at, all. Those will be defined by the notion of first person, and eventually, be related to machine through the mechanist hypothesis, and also the self-rerefntial discourse, including silence, of the universal machine.

Bruno





On Monday, 29 April 2019 15:27:26 UTC+3, Bruno Marchal wrote:
 it can depend how information processing is defined.


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Cosmin Visan

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May 1, 2019, 6:16:21 AM5/1/19
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On Wednesday, 1 May 2019 12:15:37 UTC+3, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 29 Apr 2019, at 15:50, 'Cosmin Visan' via Everything List <everyth...@googlegroups.com> wrote:

Semantics means meaning, and meaning is something that exists in consciousness.

No problem with this.



You cannot use that for any "programming”.


But computer science is in a large part the study between the relation between program and their semantics. The machine which relate the two is the universal machine. If my computer was unable to associate some semantic to a program, this mail would never been sent to you.

Bruno


First you say that you have no problem with "semantics" meaning "meaning in consciousness" and 1 second later you talk about computers having semantics. What am I missing ?

John Clark

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May 1, 2019, 10:07:47 AM5/1/19
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On Fri, Apr 26, 2019 at 9:33 AM <cloud...@gmail.com> wrote:

> AIs should have the same ethical protections as animals

I would maintain that question is of no practical importance whatsoever because AI's won't need our protection. The important question is the one a AI might ask himself:  Should I give humans the same ethical protection that I give to other AI's?

 John K Clark

 

Bruno Marchal

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May 1, 2019, 12:41:14 PM5/1/19
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On 1 May 2019, at 12:16, 'Cosmin Visan' via Everything List <everyth...@googlegroups.com> wrote:



On Wednesday, 1 May 2019 12:15:37 UTC+3, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 29 Apr 2019, at 15:50, 'Cosmin Visan' via Everything List <everyth...@googlegroups.com> wrote:

Semantics means meaning, and meaning is something that exists in consciousness.

No problem with this.



You cannot use that for any "programming”.


But computer science is in a large part the study between the relation between program and their semantics. The machine which relate the two is the universal machine. If my computer was unable to associate some semantic to a program, this mail would never been sent to you.

Bruno


First you say that you have no problem with "semantics" meaning "meaning in consciousness”

OK. (Without making the technical nuances needed to make this entirely clear), but meaning and consciousness are deeply related, and quasi-identifiable if we take some precaution.




and 1 second later you talk about computers having semantics. What am I missing ?


That a computer can be conscious. To be sure, usually, we can build semantic for simple programs, and the computer is everything but a simple machine, so the semantic associated to a universal computer is infinitely complex, and accessible in direct way by the person associated with the computer, but in a way which it cannot communicate or prove to another. Yet, it can communicate part of it, and he can prove that it cannot prove it to another. By introspection, you can verify this on yourself, and this explain in part why people are confused with the term consciousness, because it involves the undefinable meaning of … meaning.

Bruno

Brent Meeker

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May 1, 2019, 12:44:26 PM5/1/19
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On 5/1/2019 2:15 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 29 Apr 2019, at 15:50, 'Cosmin Visan' via Everything List <everyth...@googlegroups.com> wrote:

Semantics means meaning, and meaning is something that exists in consciousness.

No problem with this.



You cannot use that for any "programming”.


But computer science is in a large part the study between the relation between program and their semantics. The machine which relate the two is the universal machine. If my computer was unable to associate some semantic to a program, this mail would never been sent to you.

Which illustrates that meaning is a relation to environments and actions.

Brent

Cosmin Visan

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May 1, 2019, 1:13:27 PM5/1/19
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How is a computer conscious ? Magic ? Are you even aware of the Chinese Room argument ? Are you even aware of what the phenomenon of Understanding is about ? Are you aware that consciousnesses work by Understanding ? Namely bringing new qualia into existence out of nothing ? Are you aware that a computer is just a collection of billiard balls banking into each others ? Are you aware that consciousness is a unified entity, while "computer" is not ? And so on. It seems to me that you have no understanding of consciousness whatsoever. You just randomly play with concepts and live under the impression that you talk about consciousness, when in fact since you have no understanding whatsoever of even elementary phenomenological facts, you are actually talking about anything but consciousness ? For example, are you aware that time is just a quale in consciousness, so there being no "physical time" ? If there is no physical time, you computer becomes once more what it always been: a fantasy.

I would really like you to answer all of the above questions, to see for yourself your own ignorance regarding consciousness.

John Clark

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May 1, 2019, 1:34:25 PM5/1/19
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On Wed, May 1, 2019 at 1:13 PM 'Cosmin Visan'  <everyth...@googlegroups.com> wrote:

> How is a computer conscious ?

The same way I am and perhaps you are.

>  Are you even aware of the Chinese Room argument ?

Yes, the silliest thought exparament in the history of the world, the only thing it proves is that Searle is a very bad philosopher.  

 John K Clark 

Brent Meeker

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May 1, 2019, 1:45:54 PM5/1/19
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What ethics attempt to do is to allow an interacting social group to realize their individual values to the greatest degree possible by some measure, even though they have some conflicting values.  The problem with AI's is they may have very different values, not only from humans, but also from one another.  For example, humans value companionship of other humans.  This is a big evolutionary advantage and appears in other social animals.  But there's no reason that an AI, say built as a Mars Rover, would be provided with a desire for the companionship of another Mars Rover.  In fact we'd want them to explore independently and would provide that as a hard-wired value the way evolution provides us with a hard-wired value for sex.

In some ways this may make the problem of AI ethics easier, they may have values that don't conflict with each other  or with humans.  An AI may not care if it's turned off for a year or scrapped for parts.  But also it may not care if it has to eliminate the human race to achieve it's values.

Brent

Quentin Anciaux

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May 1, 2019, 3:02:12 PM5/1/19
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Le mer. 1 mai 2019 à 18:13, 'Cosmin Visan' via Everything List <everyth...@googlegroups.com> a écrit :
How is a computer conscious ? Magic ? Are you even aware of the Chinese Room argument ?

Yes, and how is the chinese room not conscious ? Because you have to associate it either to the dumb person acting as processor or the rules ? The chinese room as a whole information processing unit is conscious. If you ask it, it will tell you so... Prove it is not.

Quentin

Terren Suydam

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May 1, 2019, 3:34:40 PM5/1/19
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I would argue for "pancyberpsychism" (I'm no good at naming - is there a name for that already?) which is to say that there it is something it is like to do information processing of any kind. However, the quality of the consciousness involved in that processing is related to its dynamics. So banging on a rock involves a primitive form of information processing, as vibrations ripple through the rock - there it is something it is like for that rock to be banged on. For ongoing consciousness, some sort of feedback loop must be involved. A thermostat would be a primitive example of this, or a simple oscillating electric circuit. The main idea is that consciousness is associated with cybernetic organization and has nothing to do with substrate, which might be material or virtual. 

In the Chinese Room example the cybernetic characteristics of the thought experiment lack any true feedback mechanism. This is the case with most instances of software as we know it - e.g. traditional chess engines. There is something it is like to be them, but it's not anything we would recognize in terms of ongoing subjective awareness. One could argue that operation systems (including Mars Rovers) embody the cybernetic dynamics necessary for ongoing experience, but I'd guess that what it's like to be an operating system would be pretty alien. 

With biological brains, it's all about feedback and recursivity. Small insects with rudimentary nervous systems are totally recursive, feeding sensory data in and processing it continuously. So insect consciousness is much closer to our own than ordinary Von-Neumann architecture data-processing.

As nervous systems get more complex, feeding in more data and processing data in much more sophisticated ways, the consciousness involved would likewise be experienced in a richer way.

Humans, with our intricate conceptual, language-based self-models, achieve true self-consciousness. The self-model is a quantum leap forward, giving us the ability to say "I am". The ego gets a bad rap but it's responsible for our ability to notice ourselves and live within and create ongoing narratives about what we are, in relation to what we aren't.  This explains why ego-dissolving psychedelics lead to such profound changes in consciousness.

Terren

Quentin Anciaux

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May 1, 2019, 3:42:07 PM5/1/19
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Map lookup is a valid implementation for any program you can conceive, albeit a very ineffective one... The chinese room is such implementation... And as much as my parts are not me, i'm not the sum of my parts...

Quentin

John Clark

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May 1, 2019, 4:39:03 PM5/1/19
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Searle's Chinese Room thought experiment is not just wrong it's STUPID. I say this because it has 3 colossal flaws, just one would render it stupid and 3 render it stupidity cubed:

1) It assumes that a small part of a system has all the properties of the entire system.

2) It assumes that slowing down consciousness would not make things strange and that strange things can not exist. Yes it's strange that a room considered as a whole can be conscious, but it would also be strange if the grey goo inside your head was slowed down by a factor of a hundred thousand million billion trillion.

3) This is the stupidest reason of the lot. Searle wants to prove that mechanical things may behave intelligently but only humans can be conscious. Searle starts by showing successfully that the Chinese Room does indeed behave intelligently, but then he concludes that no consciousness was involved in the operation of that intelligent room. How does he reach that conclusion? I will tell you. 

Searle assumes that mechanical things may behave intelligently but only humans can be conscious, and it is perfectly true that the little man is not aware of what's going on, therefore Searle concludes that consciousness was not involved in that intelligence. Searle assumes that if consciousness of Chinese exists anywhere in that room it can only be in the human and since the human is not conscious of Chinese he concludes consciousness was not involved. And by assuming the very thing he wants to prove he has only succeeded in proving that he's an idiot.

And now let me tell you about Clark's Chinese Room: You are a professor of Chinese Literature and are in a room with me and the great Chinese Philosopher and Poet Laozi. Laozi writes something in his native language on a paper and hands it to me. I walk 10 feet and give it to you. You read the paper and are impressed with the wisdom of the message and the beauty of its language. Now I tell you that I don't know a word of Chinese; can you find any deep philosophical  implications from that fact? I believe Clark's Chinese Room is every bit as profound as Searle's Chinese Room. Not very.

John K clark

Brent Meeker

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May 1, 2019, 6:48:47 PM5/1/19
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On 5/1/2019 12:34 PM, Terren Suydam wrote:

I would argue for "pancyberpsychism" (I'm no good at naming - is there a name for that already?) which is to say that there it is something it is like to do information processing of any kind. However, the quality of the consciousness involved in that processing is related to its dynamics. So banging on a rock involves a primitive form of information processing, as vibrations ripple through the rock - there it is something it is like for that rock to be banged on. For ongoing consciousness, some sort of feedback loop must be involved. A thermostat would be a primitive example of this, or a simple oscillating electric circuit. The main idea is that consciousness is associated with cybernetic organization and has nothing to do with substrate, which might be material or virtual. 

In the Chinese Room example the cybernetic characteristics of the thought experiment lack any true feedback mechanism. This is the case with most instances of software as we know it - e.g. traditional chess engines. There is something it is like to be them, but it's not anything we would recognize in terms of ongoing subjective awareness. One could argue that operation systems (including Mars Rovers) embody the cybernetic dynamics necessary for ongoing experience, but I'd guess that what it's like to be an operating system would be pretty alien.

Yes, that's one of the things I find interesting about AI.  Human-like consciousness requires learning from memory, prediction and planning.  This means internal simulation of prospective actions.  But even within those conditions there could be a lot of variations.  For example, human memory involves a lot confabulation, as shown by many experiments.  This obviously conserves memory since only key things are actually stored in a narrative and a lot of a memory is reconstructed.   An AI Mars Rover wouldn't necessarily work this way.  Electronic memories can be much bigger and still have reasonable access times.  So an AI might simply have everything recorded.  So what would it be like to an AI Mars Rover with many more kinds of sensory systems and eidetic memory?

Brent


With biological brains, it's all about feedback and recursivity. Small insects with rudimentary nervous systems are totally recursive, feeding sensory data in and processing it continuously. So insect consciousness is much closer to our own than ordinary Von-Neumann architecture data-processing.

As nervous systems get more complex, feeding in more data and processing data in much more sophisticated ways, the consciousness involved would likewise be experienced in a richer way.

Humans, with our intricate conceptual, language-based self-models, achieve true self-consciousness. The self-model is a quantum leap forward, giving us the ability to say "I am". The ego gets a bad rap but it's responsible for our ability to notice ourselves and live within and create ongoing narratives about what we are, in relation to what we aren't.  This explains why ego-dissolving psychedelics lead to such profound changes in consciousness.

Terren

On Wed, May 1, 2019 at 3:02 PM Quentin Anciaux <allc...@gmail.com> wrote:


Le mer. 1 mai 2019 à 18:13, 'Cosmin Visan' via Everything List <everyth...@googlegroups.com> a écrit :
How is a computer conscious ? Magic ? Are you even aware of the Chinese Room argument ?

Yes, and how is the chinese room not conscious ? Because you have to associate it either to the dumb person acting as processor or the rules ? The chinese room as a whole information processing unit is conscious. If you ask it, it will tell you so... Prove it is not.

Quentin

cloud...@gmail.com

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I would say that one could have a Jupiter planet-sized network of Intel® Core™ processors + whatever distributed program running on it, and it will not be conscious. 

It is not composed of the kind of matter needed for consciousness, which could include biochemical alternatives.


@philipthrift

 

John Clark

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On Wed, May 1, 2019 at 7:24 PM <cloud...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I would say that one could have a Jupiter planet-sized network of Intel® Core™ processors + whatever distributed program running on it, and it will not be conscious. It is not composed of the kind of matter needed for consciousness, which could include biochemical alternatives.

Your theory, which you offer without a single particle of evidence, is that dry and hard things can be intelligent and even super intelligent but only wet and squishy things can be conscious. My theory, which has exactly as much supporting evidence as your theory, is that only people with a size 13 shoe size are conscious. Guess what my shoe size is.  

John K Clark


Brent Meeker

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On 5/1/2019 4:24 PM, cloud...@gmail.com wrote:
> I would say that one could have a Jupiter planet-sized network of
> Intel® Core™ processors + whatever distributed program running on it,
> and it will not be conscious.

Based on what?  Human hubris?

Brent

cloud...@gmail.com

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A racist is [via Google definition] "a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another".

I'm not that, but I do think that different types of matter have different capabilities (as materials scientists do).

I am a materialist.


reconceptualize “the terms of social theory, such that the social is seen as a part of, rather than distinct from, the natural, an undertaking that requires a rethinking of the natural too.” In this newly monist view, the proper response to the threat of biological determinism — the claim that biology is destiny or that our fate lies in our genes — is not to reject the natural sciences and assert the primacy of the social, nor indeed to treat the world as text, but rather to grasp the inseparability of the “bio” and the “social,” as captured in the word “biosocial.” In place of a linguistic process of representing the world, the new materialism proposes “mattering” as the generative process through which matter comes into being. 

Material stuff — bodies, tools, objects — are understood as imbued with vitality and dynamic force. 

This is a philosophical claim, but one that entails a political sensibility. And while materialism is a venerable school of thought, this conception of “mattering” seems, as I have suggested, very much of the moment.


@philipthrift

Brent Meeker

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May 2, 2019, 11:52:50 AM5/2/19
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On 5/2/2019 12:58 AM, cloud...@gmail.com wrote:


On Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 7:10:03 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote:


On 5/1/2019 4:24 PM, cloud...@gmail.com wrote:
> I would say that one could have a Jupiter planet-sized network of
> Intel® Core™ processors + whatever distributed program running on it,
> and it will not be conscious.

Based on what?  Human hubris?

Brent


A racist is [via Google definition] "a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another".

I'm not that, but I do think that different types of matter have different capabilities (as materials scientists do).

Is there a type that is different from quarks and leptons?


I am a materialist.

Except you imbue matter with properties that are undetectable.  You place emphasis on matter having experience, but that seems like a half-measure to me.  Why not go all the way and say that it has libertarian free will too.

Brent


reconceptualize “the terms of social theory, such that the social is seen as a part of, rather than distinct from, the natural, an undertaking that requires a rethinking of the natural too.” In this newly monist view, the proper response to the threat of biological determinism — the claim that biology is destiny or that our fate lies in our genes — is not to reject the natural sciences and assert the primacy of the social, nor indeed to treat the world as text, but rather to grasp the inseparability of the “bio” and the “social,” as captured in the word “biosocial.” In place of a linguistic process of representing the world, the new materialism proposes “mattering” as the generative process through which matter comes into being. 

Material stuff — bodies, tools, objects — are understood as imbued with vitality and dynamic force. 

This is a philosophical claim, but one that entails a political sensibility. And while materialism is a venerable school of thought, this conception of “mattering” seems, as I have suggested, very much of the moment.


@philipthrift

Bruno Marchal

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Practically yes, but “of course”, theoretically, when assuming mechanism, there is no “ontologically material” environment, just long and complex histories/computations. The plausible stable environment is given by the statistics on the infinitely many computations (realised in arithmetic) going through our states.

Bruno




Brent

Bruno Marchal

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May 2, 2019, 12:42:13 PM5/2/19
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On 1 May 2019, at 19:13, 'Cosmin Visan' via Everything List <everyth...@googlegroups.com> wrote:

How is a computer conscious ? Magic ? Are you even aware of the Chinese Room argument ?

Of course. I even wrote a paper on it, but then Hofstadter and Dennett have been quicker than me. Searle made a gross level confusion error, obligatory from his belief that it is the physical activity of the brain which makes consciousness. 

The computer, in the 3p sense is NOT conscious. Only a (first) person is conscious. The computer just delineate the flux of the consciousness. The brain just select the consciousness, which differentiate on all variants of it in all computations (which are realised in arithmetic).


Are you even aware of what the phenomenon of Understanding is about ?

That is too much vague to me.


Are you aware that consciousnesses work by Understanding ?

Depends on the definition involved.



Namely bringing new qualia into existence out of nothing ?

No. This I do not understand. Unless it is a sort of analogy perhaps?



Are you aware that a computer is just a collection of billiard balls banking into each others ?

Sure. Even a bunch of true arithmetical relations.



Are you aware that consciousness is a unified entity, while "computer" is not ?

Consciousness can be felt as unified, and can be unified in some sense, but I can hardly imagine a computer not being a unified notion, even if it has multiple parts. None are Turing universal, but the whole is.



And so on. It seems to me that you have no understanding of consciousness whatsoever. You just randomly play with concepts and live under the impression that you talk about consciousness, when in fact since you have no understanding whatsoever of even elementary phenomenological facts, you are actually talking about anything but consciousness ?

Not only I am aware of the phenomenology, but I explain in all details why computer, more exactly the person attached to the computer (and infinitely many other in arithmetic) get a phenomenology, and find it as mysterious as us, but get the “correct” (assuming mechanism) theory soon or later. My theory is not mine. I just expose the theory already given by the machine.



For example, are you aware that time is just a quale in consciousness, so there being no "physical time" ? If there is no physical time, you computer becomes once more what it always been: a fantasy.

There are many notion of time, and yes, most are explained by some mode of self-reference. The first-person (meta-described by the Theaetetus idea (the standard theory of knowledge by philosophers)) []p&p explains a notion of subjective duration, close to Goethe, Bergson and Brouwer, and the []p & <>t gives a plausible physical notion of time. But the “time” of the universal dovetailer is simply given by the successor operation on the natural numbers.





I would really like you to answer all of the above questions, to see for yourself your own ignorance regarding consciousness.

You are the ne who seem not having study my papers. It answers already all your questions, in all details.

Bruno




On Wednesday, 1 May 2019 19:41:14 UTC+3, Bruno Marchal wrote:


That a computer can be conscious.


Bruno Marchal

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On 1 May 2019, at 21:41, Quentin Anciaux <allc...@gmail.com> wrote:

Map lookup is a valid implementation for any program you can conceive, albeit a very ineffective one…

?

An implementation must be finite. For most programs, to implement them with a look up table would need an infinite look up table.

Bruno

Quentin Anciaux

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Any finite execution trace can be replaced by a finite lookup map. So it is always finite. So up to N steps you can implements with a finite lookup table. Unless you have an infinite execution you have to have an infinite lookup table...but you can approximate the execution with a finite lookup table up to N steps... To fill it, you have to execute a correct implementation in the first place. 


cloud...@gmail.com

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On Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 10:52:50 AM UTC-5, Brent wrote:


On 5/2/2019 12:58 AM, cloud...@gmail.com wrote:


On Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 7:10:03 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote:


On 5/1/2019 4:24 PM, cloud...@gmail.com wrote:
> I would say that one could have a Jupiter planet-sized network of
> Intel® Core™ processors + whatever distributed program running on it,
> and it will not be conscious.

Based on what?  Human hubris?

Brent


A racist is [via Google definition] "a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another".

I'm not that, but I do think that different types of matter have different capabilities (as materials scientists do).

Is there a type that is different from quarks and leptons?



Apparently matter is not "reducible" to just the physics a couple of particles.

Phases  of matter is a mystery:



No one can say except via the certainty of fundamentalist religion that all of chemistry, biochemistry, biology, neurobiology can be reduced to the physics of a few particles.
 


I am a materialist.

Except you imbue matter with properties that are undetectable.  You place emphasis on matter having experience, but that seems like a half-measure to me.  Why not go all the way and say that it has libertarian free will too.

Brent

Consciousness itself - my 'self'  - is detected.

Galen Strawson (on free will):

"[T]he best way to try to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the free will debate, and of the reason why it is interminable, is to study the thing that keeps it going — our experience of freedom. Because this experience is something real, complex, and important, even if free will itself is not real. Because it may be that the experience of freedom is really all there is, so far as free will is concerned.* [footnote *] It may then be said that free will is real after all, because the reality of free will resides precisely in the reality of the experience of being free."

(on consciousness):
Consciousness Never Left

"... So there is no mystery of consciousness. What we do not understand, what we find a mystery [(that is, matter)], is how conscious experience can be simply a matter of goings-on in the brain. But this is not because we do not know what consciousness is. It is because we do not know how to relate the things we know about the brain, when we use the language of physics and neurophysiology, to the things we know about the brain simply in having conscious experience – whose nature we know simply in having it."

@philipthrift

Brent Meeker

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May 2, 2019, 6:37:26 PM5/2/19
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On 5/2/2019 11:39 AM, cloud...@gmail.com wrote:


On Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 10:52:50 AM UTC-5, Brent wrote:


On 5/2/2019 12:58 AM, cloud...@gmail.com wrote:


On Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 7:10:03 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote:


On 5/1/2019 4:24 PM, cloud...@gmail.com wrote:
> I would say that one could have a Jupiter planet-sized network of
> Intel® Core™ processors + whatever distributed program running on it,
> and it will not be conscious.

Based on what?  Human hubris?

Brent


A racist is [via Google definition] "a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another".

I'm not that, but I do think that different types of matter have different capabilities (as materials scientists do).

Is there a type that is different from quarks and leptons?



Apparently matter is not "reducible" to just the physics a couple of particles.

Then you're not a materialist.  You think there is matter plus something else, that everyone calls "mind", but you're going to call it "matter" and add it to everyone else's list of matter so you can still call yourself a materialist.



Phases  of matter is a mystery:



No one can say except via the certainty of fundamentalist religion that all of chemistry, biochemistry, biology, neurobiology can be reduced to the physics of a few particles.
 


I am a materialist.

Except you imbue matter with properties that are undetectable.  You place emphasis on matter having experience, but that seems like a half-measure to me.  Why not go all the way and say that it has libertarian free will too.

Brent

Consciousness itself - my 'self'  - is detected.

Galen Strawson (on free will):

"[T]he best way to try to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the free will debate, and of the reason why it is interminable, is to study the thing that keeps it going — our experience of freedom. Because this experience is something real, complex, and important, even if free will itself is not real. Because it may be that the experience of freedom is really all there is, so far as free will is concerned.* [footnote *] It may then be said that free will is real after all, because the reality of free will resides precisely in the reality of the experience of being free."

And the "experience of being free" consists entirely of your inability to reliabilty predict what you will do.

Brent


(on consciousness):
Consciousness Never Left

"... So there is no mystery of consciousness. What we do not understand, what we find a mystery [(that is, matter)], is how conscious experience can be simply a matter of goings-on in the brain. But this is not because we do not know what consciousness is. It is because we do not know how to relate the things we know about the brain, when we use the language of physics and neurophysiology, to the things we know about the brain simply in having conscious experience – whose nature we know simply in having it."

@philipthrift
 


reconceptualize “the terms of social theory, such that the social is seen as a part of, rather than distinct from, the natural, an undertaking that requires a rethinking of the natural too.” In this newly monist view, the proper response to the threat of biological determinism — the claim that biology is destiny or that our fate lies in our genes — is not to reject the natural sciences and assert the primacy of the social, nor indeed to treat the world as text, but rather to grasp the inseparability of the “bio” and the “social,” as captured in the word “biosocial.” In place of a linguistic process of representing the world, the new materialism proposes “mattering” as the generative process through which matter comes into being. 

Material stuff — bodies, tools, objects — are understood as imbued with vitality and dynamic force. 

This is a philosophical claim, but one that entails a political sensibility. And while materialism is a venerable school of thought, this conception of “mattering” seems, as I have suggested, very much of the moment.


@philipthrift


cloud...@gmail.com

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On Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 5:37:26 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote:


On 5/2/2019 11:39 AM, cloud...@gmail.com wrote:

Apparently matter is not "reducible" to just the physics a couple of particles.

Then you're not a materialist.  You think there is matter plus something else, that everyone calls "mind", but you're going to call it "matter" and add it to everyone else's list of matter so you can still call yourself a materialist.

Brent




But everything reducing to the physics of particles is thought of as physicalism (not materialism):

Physicalism and materialism  

Reductive physicalism...is normally assumed to be incompatible with panpsychism. Materialism, if held to be distinct from physicalism, is compatible with panpsychism insofar as mental properties are attributed to physical matter, which is the only basic substance.


[Wikipedia]

This is "hard-nosed materialism", or "real materialism" (Galen Strawson).

I am not a physicalist. I am a (real) materialist.


The mind+matter thing is perhaps the worst idea ever invented.


@philipthrift 
 

Brent Meeker

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On 5/2/2019 4:55 PM, cloud...@gmail.com wrote:


On Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 5:37:26 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote:


On 5/2/2019 11:39 AM, cloud...@gmail.com wrote:

Apparently matter is not "reducible" to just the physics a couple of particles.

Then you're not a materialist.  You think there is matter plus something else, that everyone calls "mind", but you're going to call it "matter" and add it to everyone else's list of matter so you can still call yourself a materialist.

Brent




But everything reducing to the physics of particles is thought of as physicalism (not materialism):

Physicalism and materialism  

Reductive physicalism...is normally assumed to be incompatible with panpsychism. Materialism, if held to be distinct from physicalism, is compatible with panpsychism insofar as mental properties


What mental properties?  intention?  reflection? remembering?  That's what I mean by saying attributing "experience" to matter is an unprincipled half-measure.

Brent

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May 3, 2019, 2:26:24 AM5/3/19
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Brains are matter, just as livers, legs, trees, tables, rocks, comets, planets, stars, cockroaches, galaxies, bacteria  .. are matter.

Brains produce intentions, reflections, remembrances, ... .

So (at least some) matter of the cosmos has psychical (mental) properties.

The body+mind idea, the idea that mind is something separate from body, is perhaps the worst idea ever invented.

@philipthrift

Terren Suydam

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May 3, 2019, 9:27:35 AM5/3/19
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One way to get around this is to hold that consciousness is associated with the way information is processed. This is substrate independent - the fact that a brain is physical is beside the point. You could implement a brain in software, and insofar as the same kinds of information processing occur, it would be conscious in the same kind of way.

I find this idea compelling because it makes the link between brains and consciousness without requiring matter, and provides a framework for understanding consciousnesses of other kinds of machines.  All that's required is to assume there is something it is like for computation to occur.

Terren

--

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The general response here is that there has never existed a program that has executed outside a computer. And computers are made of matter.

Now one can  generalize "computer": There were things like the abacus and slide rule, that executed "programs". Or one executes programs in the head (so to speak). But this is the brain,. Again, matter. Or one takes one's hand and a pencil or pen and executes a program on a piece of paper.  Again. all matter 

Now one can watch a movie (like 2001 with the HAL 9000)  or read a book of fiction where there is a program running on a some computer. But this is a fictional story.

One can imagine a program running on an imaginary computer, but this imagining is all done in the brain. Matter.

But give me an example of a program running in a "matter free" environment: No brains, hands, pencils, computers, abacuses, slide rules, around.

Is it like some ghost out on its own in some immaterial realm?


@philipthift

Terren Suydam

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What happened to "only brains can be conscious"? 

Are you familiar with virtual machines?  Machines simulated in software?

Brent Meeker

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I think that is right.  But when you consider some simplified cases, e.g. a computation written out on paper (or Bruno's movie graph) it becomes apparent that consciousness must ultimately refer to other things.  Much is made of "self-awareness" but this is usually just having an internal model of one's body, or social standing or some other model of the self.  It is not consciousness of consciousness...that is only a temporal reflection: "I was conscious just now."  In general terms we could say consciousness is awareness of the evironment, where that includes one's body.  Damasio identifies emotions as awareness of the bodies state.  The point is that the stuff of which we are aware and which we find agreement with other people's awareness is what we infer to be the physical world.  It might be possible to be conscious in some sense without a physical world, but it would be qualitatively different.

Brent

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All software that has ever run has run on computers made of materials and assembled in factories.

There is no spiritual/heavenly realm - as fat as I know - where software is running.

Can you show me such a place? Have you seen it?

@philipthrift

Terren Suydam

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On Fri, May 3, 2019 at 1:10 PM 'Brent Meeker' via Everything List <everyth...@googlegroups.com> wrote:
I think that is right.  But when you consider some simplified cases, e.g. a computation written out on paper (or Bruno's movie graph) it becomes apparent that consciousness must ultimately refer to other things. 

Right, the movie graph argument shows that consciousness doesn't supervene on physical computation. Nevertheless, the character of my consciousness still corresponds with the kind of cybernetic system implemented by e.g. my brain and body, as instantiated by the infinity of programs going through my state.
 
Much is made of "self-awareness" but this is usually just having an internal model of one's body, or social standing or some other model of the self.  It is not consciousness of consciousness...that is only a temporal reflection: "I was conscious just now." 

I see it a little differently. The self-model/ego is a higher-order construct that organizes the system in a holistic way. We take this for granted - it's the water we swim in - but our minds are radically re-organized as children by the taught narrative that we have an identity and this unitary identity is the cause of our behavior (when the evidence shows that we merely rationalize our behavior in terms of that narrative). Point being, the way the cybernetic system is organized takes a quantum leap in complexity as a result - and this is responsible for the subjective awareness of ourselves as people. 

In the dream state (except for lucid dreaming), our self-model is not energized - ongoing experience in dreams is not organized in terms of that narrative of being someone. When lucid dreaming begins, it is because we can say "I am dreaming", which is to say that the self-model becomes active. In that moment, the character of that dream consciousness changes dramatically.
 
In general terms we could say consciousness is awareness of the evironment, where that includes one's body.  Damasio identifies emotions as awareness of the bodies state.  The point is that the stuff of which we are aware and which we find agreement with other people's awareness is what we infer to be the physical world.  It might be possible to be conscious in some sense without a physical world, but it would be qualitatively different.

Yes. However, it's not clear what it would mean for a conscious agent to experience something that wasn't a "physical" world, even if the environment was completely virtual. The Matrix illustrates that nicely.

Terren

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Consciousness "executing" in an immaterial (nonphysical) realm is what Christians call Heaven. God made this place.

Mormons have a more material afterlife idea, I think.

@philipthrift

Terren Suydam

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You should check out Bruno's Universal-Dovetailer-Argument (UDA). It shows that inasmuch as you believe your brain could substituted by an artificial one, the physical world must therefore be generated by computation. If so, all computation exists in a timeless mathematical reality, and our experience of the world is an instantiation of some infinite subset of that computation. It's a view of the arithmetical world from the inside.

cloud...@gmail.com

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