PHIL/AI Humongous Lookup Table

John K Clark (
Wed, 12 Feb 1997 22:11:47 -0800 (PST)


On Wed, 12 Feb 1997 Max More <> Wrote:

>For me, the Turing Test can only be an indicator, as you say. It
>really doesn't contain any theory of intelligence

I agree that the Turing Test is not a theory of intelligence but it is a sure
fire test for it, if somebody acts intelligently then they are certainly
intelligent. There could be debate over whether a given act, such as writing
a post, is intelligent or not, in fact it's one of the main topics of this
list, but once you grant that an act is intelligent then the thing doing that
intelligent act must be intelligent, end of story.

Things are not quite as clear cut as far as consciousness is concerned, but
I still think The Turing Test is a good, but not perfect, test for
consciousness. Evolution is concerned only with our external actions, with
our intelligence, not with out consciousness, however important it may be
to us. If you could have intelligence without consciousness then I don't see
why Evolution would have ever bothered to give us consciousness in the first

Certainly in daily life ever one of us assumes that The Turing Test works
for consciousness, nobody this side of a loony bin really thinks they are
the only conscious being in the Universe, but I grant you that it has never
been proven to be false.

>The Turing Test was proposed in the days of behaviorism. It may be
>the best we can do for now, but eventually we'll have a convincing
>theory of intelligence and awareness.

Someday we will have one excellent theory of intelligence, but as for
consciousness, well..., we'll have lots of them. I don't see how it would
ever be possible to prove that one of those many theories was right and the
others were wrong, because the only consciousness you could experiment on
is the only one you know for sure to exist, your own, and that's not enough.

Perhaps only a mind that is exactly like mine can be conscious, other minds
may be intelligent but have no more internal feelings than a rock. In my
heart I'm convinced that is not true and I'm convinced that you can't have
intelligence without consciousness, but I'll never be able to prove it.

John K Clark

Version: 2.6.i