[ExI] Is the brain a digital computer?

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Thu Feb 25 22:49:19 UTC 2010

On 26 February 2010 01:20, Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> In any case, if it isn't possible to make weak AI brain components that
>> would mean that these components utilise non-computable physics, which
>> you keep insisting is not true.
> I think you make a fundamental mistake when you assign so much significance to the question of the computability of brain physics, or to the question of the computability of physics in general.
> Unlike observer-independent objects like mountains and planets, computations are always observer-relative. They exist only relative to the mind of some observer who does the computations.
> At the most basic level, this explains why it makes no sense to think of the brain as a computer. If the brain really equals a computer then it needs an observer/user, which leads to the homunculus fallacy.

I'm not asking whether the brain is a computer. I'm asking whether it
is possible to reproduce the externally observable behaviour of the
brain or brain components with a computer that has appropriate sensors
and effectors. It is logically possible that the brain is not a
computer, but its behaviour can still be copied by a computer; or
indeed by another device, being neither brain nor computer. There is
then the further question of whether copying the behaviour would also
necessarily result in copying of the consciousness. I think it would,
since otherwise it would be possible to make partial zombies, which
you agree are absurd.

Stathis Papaioannou

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list