Re: Fwd: Implementation/Relativity

From: Hans Moravec <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 19:56:02 -0400
> Earlier I think Hans said that one possible observer was the
> conscious entity himself. I am an observer of my own consciousness.
> My consciousness (or lack thereof) is subjective, and varies
> depending on the observer, but one of the observers is me.
> Does this mean that there is a special consciousness, which is that
> consciousness observed by the observer himself?

Under different interpretations, there are many such special internal
observers, all different and mostly unaware of each other, who
each see themselves implemented in the same body and brain. (Same as
for Putnam rocks or my sun creatures.)

What makes the usual "you" extra special out of all those is that it
is implemented in a way that allows the rest of us to communicate
with it easily.

> Does this self-interpretation have a privileged position, and if so
> could we choose to say that it is the "true" consciousness of Hans
> himself?

Because it is the communication that selects out the "true"
consciousness from the myriad alternatives, a Turing test
is the best way to identify it.

But different outside observers, who interpret your stuff in
different ways, won't necessarily register human-talk as meaningful.
They might instead achieve a meaningful conversation with one of
the other self-aware observers in a different interpretation of
your structure.
For them (as for itself) that other internal observer would be the
"true" you.

We see a hint of this when animals respond to our subconscious
emotions rather than our conscious beliefs and intentions.

There could even be observers that interpret your structure in
enough different ways to find several different consciousnesses
in you to talk to. They would find the notion of "true"
consciousness rather pointless.

i.e. which is the "true" consciousness is observer-relative.
Received on Thu Jul 29 1999 - 16:59:10 PDT

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