[ExI] How not to make a thought experiment

John Clark jonkc at bellsouth.net
Sat Feb 20 18:33:30 UTC 2010

Swobe says that regardless of how intelligent it behaves, before we are justified in calling a machine conscious we must understand exactly how consciousness works. Swobe admits he has no understanding of consciousness but that hasn't stopped him from putting a whole bunch of stuff into the conscious or unconscious category. Why is he allowed to play from different rules than me, why the asymmetry?

It seems to me that if we want to investigate consciousness we should start with the only 2 things we know for sure about it:

1) Evolution produced consciousness at least once and almost certainly many billions of times.
2) If intelligence and consciousness were not inextricably linked Evolution would never have produced it.

From that I conclude that if you happen to run across a intelligent machine logically your default position should be that it is conscious rather than the reverse. 

 John K Clark  


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