[ExI] Semiotics and Computability

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Mon Feb 15 09:43:57 UTC 2010

On 15 February 2010 12:25, Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- On Sat, 2/13/10, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>> The watch performs the function of telling the time just
>> fine. It simulates a sundial or hour glass in this respect. However,
>> when a human tells the time there are thousands of extra nuances
>> which a watch just doesn't have. So the watch tells the time, but
>> it doesn't understand the concept of of time. Comparing a watch with a
>> human is like comparing a nematode with a human, only more so.
> I compare my watch to a computer, not to a human. My digital watch has intelligence in the same sense as does my digital computer, and in the same sense as does the most powerful digital computer conceivable.
> I think you want me to believe that my watch has a small amount of consciousness by virtue of it having a small amount of intelligence. But I don't think that makes even a small amount of sense. It seems to me that my watch has no consciousness whatsoever, and that to say otherwise is to conflate science with science-fiction.

If you don't have a problem with a continuous increase in intelligence
and consciousness between a nematode and a human, then why do you have
a problem with a continuous increase in intelligence and consciousness
between a watch and an AI of the future?

>> What would you say to the non-organic alien visitors who make the case
>> that since a nematode is not conscious, neither can a human be
>> conscious, since basically a human is just a more complex nematode?
> You beg the question of non-organic consciousness. As far as we know, "non-organic alien visitors" amounts to a completely meaningless concept.


> As for nematodes, I have no idea whether their primitive nervous systems support what I mean by consciousness. I doubt it but I don't know. I classify them in the gray area between unconscious amoebas and conscious humans.

At some point, either gradually or abruptly, consciousness will happen
in the transition from nematode to human or watch to AI.

Stathis Papaioannou

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