RE: Interpretations, subjectivity

From: Higgo James <>
Date: Fri, 9 Jul 1999 10:06:08 +0100

I think almost everyone on this list would disagree wit the statement,
"Passing the Turing Test is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a
consciousness". The idea that a machine that passes the test could be
outwitted by another conscious entity simply displays lack of knowledge of
the definition of the Turing test.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Hans Moravec []
> Sent: Thursday, July 08, 1999 10:50 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: Interpretations, subjectivity
> SLP <>:
> > Passing the Turing Test is a necessary but not sufficient condition
> > for a consciousness. A sufficiently responsive mechanism, but lacking
> > self-awareness with qualia, could "outwit" any possible Turning test.
> > A proper definition of consciousness must await our understanding its
> > physical and computational basis.
> ...
> > Talking about "interpretations" and "consciousness" ( or "subjectivity")
> > at this point therefore seems wholly premature.
> NOT !!!!
> I intensely disagree with these (common, philosophically orthodox)
> statements, having resolved the issue self-consistently to my own
> satisfaction. My resolution makes the existence of subjective
> experience an attribution, always. It is very easy and natural to
> make the attribution to any Turing-test passer from the outside. The
> attribution maps an abstract model of thoughts, feelings and beliefs
> onto the behavior. Subjective awareness of existence and of self
> are found in that abstraction, and nowhere else.
> Our own personal subjective life is such an abstraction, which we
> map upon ourselves (working within the abstraction!), and nothing
> else. Our brain and body connects that abstraction to the physical
> world in a standard way, so "we" are able to interact with one
> another physically, and pass each other's Turing tests, for instance
> by discussing our thoughts, feelings and beliefs.
> This makes our own self-awareness a circular object: its causes
> only exist when we already admit to its existence.
> But isn't a tenet of the larger discussion that existence itself
> a similarly circular business: universes exist because beings
> within them perceive them. But those beings exist only if
> you admit the existence of the universes that contain them.
> Works for me.
Received on Fri Jul 09 1999 - 02:07:45 PDT

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