Re: Predictions by Kurzweil

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Fri Feb 25 2000 - 11:16:08 MST

> My prediction is that within the next 20 years we will finally
>discover what "spiritual" stuff or "qualia" (i.e. a red or
>salty... sensation) are. This will be the most important scientific
>discovery of all time and it will finally tell us what we, as
>"spiritual machines", are. Once we do this people will finally
>realize that trying to know if a machine really "feels" such
>"spiritual" things simply by observing external behavior as he
>describes can result in at best an "idle claim". When a machine
>finally says: "Oh *THATS* what salt tastes like" and we objectively
>know it isn't lying (i.e. just regurgitate this response from some
>"rich, complex, and subtle" abstract lookup table is a lie since it is
>not really feeling or knowing what a salty sensation is like.)
> Brent Allsop

have you licked an ice
cube recently? If so, could you taste the temperature? At the Yale School of
Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, volunteers are having their tongues
rapidly cooled to 20 degrees C and then warmed to 35 degrees C. And it seems
that in certain circumstances, temperatures can actually taste sweet or
sour... (If the ice cube didn't work for you - you can assume you are
insensitive to thermal saltiness).

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