Re: How would a computer know if it were conscious?

From: <>
Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2007 04:43:34 -0000

On Jun 5, 5:05 am, Brent Meeker <> wrote:
> Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

> > However, what would be wrong with a super AI that just had large amounts
> > of pattern recognition and symbolic reasoning intelligence, but no
> > emotions at all?
> Taken strictly, I think this idea is incoherent. Essential to intelligence is taking some things as more important than others. That's the difference between data collecting and theorizing. It is a fallacy to suppose that emotion can be divorced from reason - emotion is part of reason. An interesting example comes from attempts at mathematical AI. Theorem proving programs have been written and turned loose on axiom systems - but what results are a lot of theorems that mathematicians judge to be worthless and trivial.

Yeah. That's the difference between *reflective intelligence* and
ordinary *symbolic logic*+*pattern recognition*. I would say that
ordinary reason is a part of emotion. (or reflective intelligence
encompasses the other two types). But you're right, you can't divorce
conscious experience from reason. It's from conscious experience that
value judgements come.

> > Finally, the majority of evil in the world is not done by psychopaths,
> > but by "normal" people who are aware that they are causing hurt, may
> > feel guilty about causing hurt, but do it anyway because there is a
> > competing interest that outweighs the negative emotions.
> Or they may feel proud of their actions because they have supported those close to them against competition from those distant from them. To suppose that empathy and reflection can eliminate all competition for limited resources strikes me as pollyannish.
> Brent Meeker-

The human brain doesn't function as a fully reflective system. Too
much is hard-wired and not accessible to conscious experience. Our
brains simply don't function as a peroperly integrated system. Full
reflection would enable the ability to reach into our underlying
preferences and change them.

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Received on Tue Jun 05 2007 - 00:43:46 PDT

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