[ExI] The digital nature of brains

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Fri Feb 5 14:42:09 UTC 2010

On 6 February 2010 01:18, Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- On Fri, 2/5/10, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> True or false, Stathis:
>>> When a program running on a digital computer associates
>>> a sense-datum (say, an image of an object taken with its
>>> web-cam) with the appropriate word-symbol, the system
>>> running that program has now by virtue of that association
>>> grounded the word-symbol and now has [conscious]
>>> understanding of the meaning of that word-symbol.
>> Does an amoeba have an understanding of "food" when it
>> makes an association between the relevant chemotactic signals
> No, ameobas have nothing I mean by consciousness.
> Is my statement above true or false, Stathis? I added the word "conscious" to make me meaning even more clear.
> I ask you these T/F questions to try find out exactly what you think.

False, as it is for the amoeba doing the same thing. To have human
level consciousness and understanding it has to have human level
intelligence! You seem to dismiss this obvious point for computers,
yet you're not nearly so generous with bestowing consciousness on
non-human organisms as consistency would require.

Stathis Papaioannou

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