Re: sentience (was: Re: ECON The Abolition Of Work)

Damien Broderick (
Wed, 06 May 1998 12:00:56 +0000

At 11:34 AM 5/5/98 -0700, Hal wrote of my comment:

>> it could be that reflexive self-awareness is an
>> incidental computational by-product of very complex brained bodies
>> responding in complex ways (understanding, assessing, planning etc) to a
>> complex environment

>>implies that a relatively
>simple computer program, say CYC with its thousands of interrelated
>facts about the world, would be conscious to some degree. Such a
>program is far from being able to pass the Turing test

I don't know the details of CYC's code, but I had the impression that it's
basically just a big filing cabinet with links. Bodies with brains *have a
stake* in what they're doing with all that information they are processing.
The brain is *minding* the body. I think some of Edelman's (and Brooks')
bottom-up learners, with values gained or set from interactions with the
Real, offer better hope of emergent consciousness - but then again I
haven't heard any shouts of glee from their labs lately.

Damien Broderick