Re: Dreaming On

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 11:11:32 +1000

2009/8/22 Brent Meeker <>:

> That's an interesting question and one that I think relates to the
> importance of context.  A scan of your brain would capture all the
> information in the Shannon/Boltzman sense, i.e. it would determine which
> of the possible configurations and processes were realized.  However,
> those concerned about the "hard problem", will point out that this
> misses the fact that the information represents or "means" something.
> To know the meaning of the information would require knowledge of the
> world in which the brain acts and perceives, including a lot of
> evolutionary history.  Image scanning the brain of an alien found  in a
> crash at Roswell.  Without knowledge of how he acts and the evolutionary
> history of his species it would be essentially impossible to guess the
> meaning of the patterns in his brain.  My point is that it is not just
> computation that is consciousness or cognition, but computation with
> meaning, which means within a certain context of action.

You wouldn't be able to guess what the alien is thinking by scanning
his brain, but you could then run a simulation, exposing it to various
environmental stimuli, and it should behave the same way as the
original brain (if weak AI is true) and have the same experiences as
the original brain (if strong AI is true).

Stathis Papaioannou
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Received on Sun Aug 23 2009 - 11:11:32 PDT

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