Re: Qualia again

jeff nordahl (
Thu, 09 Dec 1999 22:00:50 PST

>I wonder what will happen when I can link the output of one person's V4
>to all the places my V4 sends connections to.

I would also enjoy this connection, especially to my girlfriend while having intercourse. Then I could know if she's faking her orgasms (joke) It would be mutual masturbation and highly educational about opposite gender experience (qualia.)

Will I then get to experience
>someone else's sensation of red? My brother is color deficient (true, it's
>problem of sensory detection more than processing), but I would be
>to know what he perceives. And what about true variations in perception,
>like synesthesia. I am forced to believe that qualia exists because I
>experience it. I suspect that someday we will be able to reproduce it, and
>then change it. Once we are able to do those things, we will likely be on
>the road to understanding it. As for whether AI's will have qualia if we
>don't specifically design for it (say, by mimicking the structure of our
>perceptural cortex), I couldn't say. It might emerge, or it might not.
>Believe it or not, I still think AI's can be intelligent, self-aware, and
>deserving of rights without having qualia per se. Qualia is a fascinating
>phenomenon, but not the yardstick by which I judge personhood. Perhaps
>will experience pure abstract consciousness, with awareness but no
>perception. I'm still looking into the topic.

AI's without qualia will be strictly driven to achieve tasks successfully and efficiently. Get from point A to point B in the quickest time. They will be our slaves and will have no objection to it because without qualia they cannot be rewarded or punished for their activities, thus will be indifferent.

Qualia to me seems to be the experiencing of our own neuro-chemical reactions (programmed and learned) that are launched by various perceprions. For example: when I see bright orange, I feel excitement which can be associated with adrenalin. In nature, instinct has pre-programmed that orange things are often dangerous, poisonous fish, fire, etc. So my initial qualia for orange is a rush or reflex of temporary danger (adrenalin excretion). Upon later inspection I may detect that the orange object is a pumpkin. The bright orange got my attention through danger association, but now the orange pumpkin launches a warm festive memory of Thanksgiving with my family. The danger qualia has now subsided and transformed into a dopamine excretion of pleasure while I remenisce about my safe loving family. etc.etc. The same qualias can be applied to sounds and associated instincts and memories (rattlesnake rattles and pounding drums). It seems to me that qualia is the rebounding reactions of instinct and memory with their associated chemical reward and punishment (safety and danger) sensations.

Thus, AI's will only achieve qualia if we can devise a means to reward and punish them / scare them or make them feel secure. How to do this is a mystery to me, would rationing out electricity as treats like we do with fish when training dolphins be a motivator?

Also, what would we use AI's for anyway? For comradery or as slaves (labor.) If you want an AI buddy to chat with, give it qualia. If you want an AI slave, qualia is the last thing you'd want included in the programming. Qualia is a distraction to getting the job done!!!

>Glen Finney

Jeff Nordahl

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