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

From: <>
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2007 20:10:42 -0700

On Jun 6, 10:01 pm, "Stathis Papaioannou" <> wrote:

> I was not arguing that evolution is intelligent (although I suppose it
> depends on how you define intelligence), but rather that non-intelligent
> agents can have goals.

Well, actually I'd say that evolution does have a *limited*
intelligence. OK I agree that the system 'Evolution' has goals. But
according to my definition anything with a goal has some kind of
intelligence. This is only a quibble over deifnitions though, since
I'm now agreeing with you that 'systems' in general can have goals.
Any thing you call an 'Agent' has to have a goal almost my definition
in my view.

>We are the descendants of single-celled organisms,
> and although we are more intelligent than they were, we have kept the same
> top level goals: survive, feed, reproduce. Our brain and body are so
> thoroughly the slaves of the first replicators that even if we realise this
> we are unwilling, despite all our intelligence, to do anything about it.

Nope. You are confusing the goal of evolutions ('survive, feed,
reproduce') with human goals. Our goals as individuals are not the
goals of evolution. Evolution explains *why* we have the preferences
we do, but this does not mean that our goals are the goals of our
genes. (If they were, we would spend all our time donating to sperm
banks which would maximize the goals of evolution).

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Received on Wed Jun 06 2007 - 23:10:56 PDT

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