Re: Uploading
Sun, 13 Jul 1997 12:19:43 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 97-07-13 09:48:16 EDT, Hara Ra wrote:

> Definition: Consciousness
> A system is conscious if:
> 1. It is capable of lingusitic communication (it can talk)
> 2. It can discuss its own existence (it knows it exists)

No. A conscious machine does not need to communicate in such a way, would
you say that someone who cannot speak and hear is not conscious? Surely
seeing and feeling are enough to know you exist. Even if I never tell anyone
i'm conscious I an still conscious.

> The second condition is the tough one, of course. Let me propose a
> Turing style test by saying that a human using a teletype could not
> distinguish between a human (or other system presumed to be known as
> conscious) and the system under test, with the discussion limited to the
> topics we usually consider to be "about consciousness". If that is too
> general, how about "experience of existence".

The last thing the world need is more 'Turing style' tests. Do you really
think the Turing test is a good way to detect machine intelligence? Any
discussions we have with something so different what not be anything like
talking to a human. In the same way, many different forms of consciousness
exist and they are all so different that such a test would not prove
consciousness, it would only prove similar lines of thought sorrounding

I agree that we need a definition of consciousness, but this is far from it.

I think there are two things we are talking about in these posts.

*Being aware - the very idea that I am conscious and I am looking out at the

*How I relate the physical to the abstract (that which exists in my mind) -
How I see blue.. how you see blue, and how we relate seeing that colour to