Re: on simply being an SAS

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 17:14:04 +1100 (EST)

> Russell Standish wrote:
> >Machines, however I'm reasonably comfortable that they should be
> >capable of universal computation. I'm slightly less comfortable in
> >assuming that they are consistent, but let's press on assuming that
> >this is a property of SASes.
> >
> >I guess what I'm trying to say, is that I think Bruno has his
> >arguments backwards. He starts off assuming a strict form of
> >computationalism, then demonstrates via the filmed graph argument that
> >this induces a form of computational indeterminism, requiring a many
> >worlds picture to resolve it.
> >
> >>From my perspective, the AUH is the base axiom, and from a AUH or MW
> >perspective one can see how counterfactuals and free will enter into a
> >deterministic universe, and why the filmed graph argument doesn't
> >apply. In particular, the free will issue shows how SASes differ from
> >Turing Machines.
> >
> >BTW - I do believe in a slightly more relaxed version of
> >computationalism. For example if your were to replace one of my
> >neurons by a machine that modelled that neuron sufficiently
> >accurately, I'm sure I would survive. Repeat the process, until no
> >more neurons were left, and I have undergone a replacement of my brain
> >(and survived), modulo the issue of ensuring that the chemico-hormonal
> >system is also modelled sufficiently well.
> >
> >With a bit more effort (and monstrous internet charges), one could
> >arrange for this replacement to happen at a distance, in effect
> >performing the teletransportation experiments Bruno describes in his thesis.
> >
> >I don't believe neurons are Turing emulable - in particular, neurons
> >are not perfectly deterministic.
> >
> >Some of Bruno's results hold for this more relaxed version of
> >computationalism. Unfortunately, I don't yet understand his arguments well
> >enough to know which ones.
> I am not sure I understand you.
> Are you saying that you can survive with artificial neurons, but
> not with artificial *digital* neurons?

You are probably being a little sloppy with the word digital
here. However, if we are talking about my substitution process I
mentioned above, then the neurons would most definitely have to be analogue.

> To believe in comp, it is not necessary that neurons are Turing
> emulable, only that there is a level such that the relevant working
> of the neurons are turing emulable.

And I'm saying that randomness is an essential component to the
operation of the brain. Randomness is not Turing emulable at any

Nevertheless, it may be possible for a Turing machine to "pass the
Turing test" without genuine randomness. Its not clear to me whether
this might lead to "zombies" as you call it.

> And it is not necessary to know the level. It is impossible to know
> the level, actually.
> Regards,
> Bruno

Dr. Russell Standish Director
High Performance Computing Support Unit,
University of NSW Phone 9385 6967
Sydney 2052 Fax 9385 6965
Room 2075, Red Centre
Received on Sun Dec 26 1999 - 22:10:36 PST

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