[extropy-chat] Qualia Bet.

Alejandro Dubrovsky alito at organicrobot.com
Fri Nov 25 15:48:53 UTC 2005

On Fri, 2005-11-25 at 10:14 -0500, John K Clark wrote:
> "Alejandro Dubrovsky" <alito at organicrobot.com>
> >it [consciousness] could just be a side-effect of the brain's construction.
> I agree, it's a side-effect, it's is the only explanation of consciousness
> that is compatible with the fact that Random (effects without a cause)
> Mutation and Natural Selection produced us. That's why I think the Turing
> Test can detect consciousness not just intelligence.
I don't see how this follows.

> And even if I'm wrong about that I don't worry about it much because nobody
> will ever be able to prove me wrong.
(You really worry about being proven wrong?)
The only reason I worry about qualia (and I do worry sometimes) is due
to the upload issue (ie will our uploaded selves be conscious).

> > But we don't just rely on the Turing test.  We also rely on
> > knowing/believing that the construction of the surrounding
> > entities resembles our own.
> Then why don't you believe I'm conscious when I'm in a deep sleep, or even
> 60 seconds after my heart stopped beating forever? The construction of my
> brain would still be quite similar to yours. The reason is that if you
> administered the Turing Test on me at that moment I would receive the same
> score a rock would get.

I wrote we don't just rely on the Turing test, as in we take into
consideration other things that are not the Turing test, not that we
completely ignore the Turing test.
> And in fact in my case you don't even know if I have a biological brain, all
> you know about me is that in response to a string of ASCII characters I
> produced a different string of ASCII characters, but nevertheless I have a
> hunch deep in your gut you think I'm conscious.

Your hunch is almost correct, but I think it's higher than the gut.  I
think you have a biological brain because I've never met or heard of any
device that outputs ASCII like you do that isn't.  If, as I consider
highly likely, in the future silicon beasts start generating the same
style of ASCII output, then I'll probably start hunching differently, as
has happened already when instead of interacting in ASCII I interact in
chess piece movements.

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