Re: Sentience

From: John Clark (
Date: Sun Dec 17 2000 - 09:06:57 MST

 Steve Nichols <> Wrote:

>but thermostats are just switches that kick in at a given threshold


>the whole point is that it can't "make its decision"

Then the thermostat is broken, time to get a new one.

> A digital switch does not have an "internal state"


> Well, they would fail the Turing test for starters.

If something passes the Turing Test that means it's intelligent and therefore
probably conscious. However, if something fails the Turing Test we have learned
nothing about it's intelligence. The subject might for example be smart as hell but simply
refuse to cooperate and remain silent, or it might not know the language you're using,
or it might be deliberately acting stupid so you'll underestimate it.

> You have rather foolishly missed the whole point that ANALOG is the
> abbreviation of "analogous to infinite-state"

Please give me an analog to infinity.

> Are you actually claiming the Turing machines exhibit phasic transients?


>Cite evidence please

No. Since a Turing machine can display any behavior except pure randomness
I refuse to justify specific examples.

>I have done away with mere "black box" conjecture!

Well perhaps you have, but not by what you've said on this list.
All I've seen you do is change the name of a black box.

>in practice you cannot be a solipsist and meaningfully engage with others
>and operate in the world.

At last, something I can agree with you about.

> Do you still deny "consciousness"?

You must have me confused with somebody else, I've never denied consciousness.

     John K Clark

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