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

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 22:38:43 +1000

On Tue, Jun 05, 2007 at 03:50:09PM +1000, Colin Hales wrote:
> Hi Russel,
> > I don't see that you've made your point.
> > If you achieve this, you have created an artificial
> > creative process, a sort of holy grail of AI/ALife.
> Well? So what? Somebody has to do it. :-)
> The 'holy grail' terminology implies (subtext) that the creative process
> is some sort of magical unapproachable topic or is the exclusive domain of
> discipline X and that is not me.... beliefs I can't really buy into. I
> don't need anyone's permission to do what I do.

I never implied that. I'm surprised you inferred it. Holy grail just
means something everyone (in that field) is chasing after, so far

If you figure out a way to do it, good for you! Someone will do it one
day, I believe, otherwise I wouldn't be in the game either. But the
problem is damned subtle.

> > However, it seems far from obvious that consciousness should
> > be necessary.
> It is perfectly obvious! Do a scientific experiment on yourself. Close
> your eyes and then tell me you can do science as well. Qualia gone =
> Science GONE. For crying out loud - am I the only only that gets
> this?......Any other position that purports to be able to deliver anything
> like the functionality of a scientist without involving ALL the
> functionality (especially qualia) of a scientist must be based on
> assumptions - assumptions I do not make.

I gave a counter example, that of biological evolution. Either you
should demonstrate why you think biological evolution is uncreative,
or why it is conscious.

A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
UNSW SYDNEY 2052         
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Received on Tue Jun 05 2007 - 03:05:19 PDT

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