Re: computer pain

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Mon, 01 Jan 2007 14:50:51 -0800

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>> Pain is limited on both ends: on the input by damage to the physical
>> circuitry and on the response by the possible range of response.
> Responses in the brain are limited by several mechanisms, such as
> exhaustion of neurotransmitter stores at synapses, negative feedback
> mechanisms such as downregulation of receptors, and, I suppose, the
> total numbers of neurons that can be stimulated. That would not be a
> problem in a simulation, if you were not concerned with modelling the
> behaviour of a real brain. Just as you could build a structure 100km
> tall as easily as one 100m tall by altering a few parameters in an
> engineering program, so it should be possible to create unimaginable
> pain or pleasure in a conscious AI program by changing a few parameters.

I don't think so. It's one thing to identify functional equivalents as 'pain' and 'pleasure'; it's something else to claim they have the same scaling. I can't think of anyway to establish an invariant scaling that would apply equally to biological, evolve creatures and to robots.

Brent Meeker

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Received on Mon Jan 01 2007 - 17:51:22 PST

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