Re: Some comments

From: <>
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 10:35:14 -0700

Gilles HENRI <> writes:
> >If my brain can be simulated on a computer, it can provide me with a
> >simulated environment as well. Does that count as "the environment"
> >for your purposes? Or do you need to go outside the computer for that?
> >
> >Hal
> I think I already answered this question. A given machine can only simulate
> a world much simpler than itself - obviously it cannot simulate itself.
> With your brain you are not able to think of every people in detail: you
> can only have very crude approximations of them. So you cannot emulate a
> "whole society" (obviously computer games are much simpler than the real
> life!)
> A computer could compute a simple approximation of the real environment,
> but not an environment including this computer itself. So the world it
> would generate would be a (very) simplified version of our world, in other
> words another world, lacking in particular this computer itself! And the
> "you" you would try to simulate would also be an oversimplified version of
> you, that you would probably refuse to consider as a "perfect copy" of you.

Even if we stipulate that a computer cannot simulate itself, and cannot
simulate the whole universe which contains it, it would not follow that
it could not simulate me.

I am not in interaction with the entire universe. For one thing, due to
speed of light limitations, nearby stars may have exploded, and I am not
aware of them.

More prosaically, I don't know what is going on on the other side of the
Earth, or even outside the walls of this room.

If I spent some time reading a book in a small, enclosed room, I would
still be conscious. Wouldn't it be possible to design a computer which
could perfectly simulate me during that time interval?

Received on Mon May 10 1999 - 10:43:17 PDT

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