Re: The implementation problem

From: Gilles HENRI <>
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 10:19:49 +0100

À (At) 15:33 -0500 23/01/99, Jacques M Mallah écrivait (wrote) :
> No. If you rearrange the order, you change the information, just
>like you would change the information of a string if you rearrange it.
>Also, if you rearrange the connections, you change the causal
>relationships that also define a computation. Your 'new implementation'
>would be totally different from the old computation.

> Also, there is no such thing as input or output. These concepts
>only apply when you predesignate one part of the universe as 'the system'
>and the rest as 'the environment'. It is an artificial distinction,
>not known to nature.
Ok, this has to be refined. I agree with the last proposition. But this
holds also for "brains", "consciouness", "computers", "measurements", and
so on...So let us assume that we have conventionally adopted a distinction
between a "system" and its environment", and that we are looking for an
definition of when the system can be considered as "conscious" in the sense
that we apply commonly to a human brain (does anybody have a better

What I mean is that this property cannot be defined by considering only an
abstract computation, string , and other mathematical object. The point is
that the sense that we commonly adopt for the word "consciousness" is not
directly related to some objective complexity, but rather to the adequation
of mental objects to the outer world. The complexity is only a requirement
for that adequation to be correct. Of course it is in principle possible to
simulate adequately a brain by a computation, but this computation will
take its meaning only with the help of a relevant "mapping" to an actual
brain. I defy anybody to look at a list of 10^(what you want) digits 0 or 1
and to say : "oh, that's a brain of somebody dreaming of (put here your
favorite actress)". But that could be in principle possible by inspecting
the state of a all neural cells and recognize those neurons that react to
pretty images and so on. However this mapping requires also the knowledge
of the connections to I/O devices, that are our only way to know the world.

Received on Mon Jan 25 1999 - 01:22:22 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:06 PST