Re: on simply being an SAS (and UDA)

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 100 15:17:54 +1100 (EST)

> Russell Standish, <>, writes:
> > > >I then asked you whether by digital device, you meant a "Universal
> > > >Turing Machine". This is where I part company with you, as I suspect
> > > >that (1-)randomness has something to do with free will.
> Suppose a Turing Machine augmented with a true random number generator
> (quantum, or whatever) produced consciousness while one with only a
> pseudo random number generator (a deterministic, algorithmic, but
> largely unpredictable generator) did not.
> In cryptography we study pseudo RNGs which can be distinguished from
> true RNGs only if certain problems can be solved which are thought
> to be intractable. For exmaple, the Blum Blum Shub psuedo RNG can be
> distinguished from true randomness only if an extremely large number
> can be broken into its prime factors (the same problem underlying the
> well known RSA cryptosystem).
> It seems implausible that the ability to perform a calculation (factoring
> a sufficiently large prime) which is thought to take more computing
> power than is available in the universe would make the difference between
> consciousness and its absence.
> Hal

Not really - all you are really saying is that it would be impossible
to distinguish between a genuine concious entity, and one that merely
simulates it to a high level of fidelity, but is nevertheless not
conscious (ie a type of zombie).

Incidently, I'm harping on about genuine randomness and free-will. It
is not immediately obvious to me that free will is essential for
consciousness. My objection does not apply to conscious entities that
nevertheless do not have free will.

However, Bruno will have to convince me that my free will remains
intact before I get into one of his contraptions.


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 Jan 16 2000 - 20:15:40 PST

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