Re: Uploading

Hara Ra (
Fri, 18 Jul 1997 05:46:11 -0700 wrote:
> > 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.

See my other posting on this. Photons may have hidden variables and know
they exist, but I don't know that. This is a kind of "Copenhagen"
approach to consciousness. If something cannot be tested, the simplest
assumption is that it does not exist. Communication is essential for
testability here. I suppose souls are conscious too, but I don't know
how to establish either souls or their awareness, as their very
definition include ineffability, which to me translates as "nyaah nyaah
nyaay, this is real and you can't say otherwise". Really useful, you

> 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?

Show me something better! The thing that the TT has is that it limits
the kind of communication to separate out factors such as what the
participants look like, and that said communication is linguistic. BTW,
all digital communication can be seen as linguistic.

> 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
> consciousness.
An important point. Consciousness is indeed defined by how we see it!

> I agree that we need a definition of consciousness, but this is far from it.
As I said, let's hear better ones. I like simplicity, self reference and
TESTABILITY to be part of such definitions.

> 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
> universe.
Condition 2.
> *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
> emotion.
Condition 1.

BTW - anybody figured out how to derive "soul" from my definition...
have fun!

| Hara Ra <> |
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