Re: who's on 1st

From: Jacques M Mallah <>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 15:49:02 -0400

On Sun, 25 Apr 1999, Gilles HENRI wrote:
> But "COMP" is (if I understood it correctly)
> a stronger hypothesis: it is that at some finite level, you could reproduce
> or duplicate EXACTLY your conscious state, or at least you could simulate
> it "to an arbitrary degree of accuracy" (which is already somewhat
> different!) (James):

        I will not speak about "COMP" - it is not my term - but as far as
duplicating your conscious state, you can. The idea is that by
duplicating some computation, your conscious state would be duplicated,
since consciouness is just as aspect of certain computations.

> >that's necessary. I built an arificial neurone out of integrated circuits in
> >1984; I have no doubt that if I had enough of them I could simulate myself
> >to an arbitrary degree of accuracy. To deny this is to bring in sprit by
> >another name.
> >James

        James' claim is wrong. The brain is much more complicated that
that; there are chemical signals and many other connections of various
strengths. Neurons are not simple systems of transistors. The brain
could be simulated but only with a more complicated algorithm.

> Jacques, how do you define " If he is implementing the
> >same conscious computation as me?"

        See my web page for my ideas on what 'implementing' means.
Knowing which computations are conscious is another matter, but I use the
Turing test as a rough guideline within the restricted set of computations
that brains perform. (e.g. Huge look up tables could pass the Turing
test, but are not used by the brain.)

> If you think that you have built a neural network almost identical to
> yourself, you know that YOU have built A MACHINE. But what does YOUR
> MACHINE know?

        If computationalism is true, it knows and feels pretty much what
you know and feel.

> And if you succeed in building an intelligent
> machine (which IS possible in my opinion), this machine SHOULD know that it
> is a machine, and hence that it is not you, exactly for the same reason why
> you know that you are you, and not anybody else.

        That just depends on the view it has of the external world. You,
Giles, *could* be an artificial digital intelligence in a simultated
environment in a supercomputer, and you'd never know it if it's done well

                         - - - - - - -
              Jacques Mallah (
       Graduate Student / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate
"I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum
            My URL:
Received on Thu Apr 29 1999 - 12:55:53 PDT

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