[ExI] Is the brain a digital computer?

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Thu Feb 25 14:05:16 UTC 2010

On 26 February 2010 00:39, Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- On Wed, 2/24/10, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Could you please clarify that your definition of weak AI is
>> that it behaves exactly like strong AI according to the strong AI's
>> with which it interacts?
> I define weak AI as capable of passing the Turing test but having no subjective mental states. Strong AI also passes the TT, of course, and has subjective states.
> And yes weak AI would fool strong AI in the TT, just it fools humans with "strong I".
>> Can you at least see why it looks like you are contradicting yourself?
> You contradicted yourself when you wrote as you did yesterday of "functionally identical but unconscious" brain components. This is why I wrote that making such a thing would be like trying to draw a square triangle. You took my comment wrongly to mean that I deny the possibility of weak AI.

I have been at pains to say that the brain component is functionally
identical from the point of view of its external behaviour. You would
then be able to drop it into the brain and the remaining biological
part would have to function normally also, including in its case any
consciousness it might normally generate. There would be no need for a
surgeon to make further alterations to the brain: in fact, if this was
done the brain would *stop* functioning normally. This isn't something
anyone would dispute, no matter what their position on computer
consciousness. It's just an obvious fact that follows from the
definition of the terms. The only way around it would be if there was
some miraculous intervention.

> You claim to deny the possibility of weak AI, or claim that weak AI = strong AI. That seems to me incoherent.

It may seem coherent to speak of an intelligent entity without
consciousness, since we understand what the words mean, but on closer
inspection it turns out to be logically impossible, at least if the
artificial brain follows the architecture of the biological brain.

Stathis Papaioannou

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