Re: Jaron Lanier Got Up My Shnoz on AI

From: John Clark (
Date: Sat Jan 19 2002 - 11:50:34 MST

J. R. Molloy <> Wrote:

>To make the point more clear: Interactive sentience confirms one's
> own sentience, so that one doesn't need to "guess" that one is sentient.

I have no idea what Interactive sentience could possibly mean and I
wouldn't be at all surprised if you didn't either. I can interact with your
body, your behavior and your intelligence but I can never interact
with your sentience.

>>I know for a fact that when I'm not conscious I'm not intelligent either

>Yes, but you only "know" that when you're awake. Obviously, when
>you're not awake, you can't know anything.

Huh? Are you arguing that I'm intelligent when asleep?

>Nothing needs to be thought of as "conscious." It's a
>useless hypothesis

Not useless at all, it helps us form a mental model of other human beings
and that helps us predict their behavior and that helps our genes get passed
on to the next generation. Every human being alive takes it as a given that
intelligent behavior equates with consciousness, including you, except when
you're arguing on the Extropian list that is; that's why you don't talk to people
about philosophy when they're asleep, you know you're unlikely to get a
very high-brow response.

>It was the insistence that intelligence somehow proves the existence
>of the useless hypothesis called "consciousness.

I most certainly never said "prove"! Perhaps I really am the only conscious
being in the universe but nobody, including you, could function in daily
life if they thought that, so even if it's false I must accept the axiom that if
something acts intelligently then it is conscious.

> You're stretching the argument to the point of ridiculousness, John.

Of course it's ridiculous! You quite wisely think that something that
produced the ASCII sequence that I have must be conscious, proving
my point that when push comes to shove even you believe in my
axiom of existence, everybody does, no exceptions this side of a
loony bin.

         John The Computational Automaton

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