[ExI] Digital Consciousness

Gordon gts_2000 at yahoo.com
Sat May 4 02:34:56 UTC 2013

spike <spike at rainier66.com> wrote:

> Gordon has made several excellent points recently and opened my mind to a

> branch of AI I hadn't sufficiently pondered.  I just disagree with the
> notion that a brain cannot be simulated, if that is what he is arguing.

Thanks. But that is not what I am arguing. 

The basic problem as I see it, and as Anders pointed out and with which I agree, is that consciousness does not translate through the levels. 

Someone here (Ben?) argued that we can simulate non-digital things like bridges on computers and that nobody finds that a problem. Well, the problem is that we cannot drive our cars over those simulated bridges. And the simulated people in those Sim Cities cannot drive their simulated cars over our real bridges, either. "Bridgeness" does not translate through the levels.

We might find it possible to create the appearance of consciousness on a digital computer, but it will still only be simulated consciousness. Simulations are, after all, only simulations. They are not the thing simulated, except in the special case of real things that are already digital, e.g., software and digital photographs. In those special cases, we don't call them simulations. We rightly call them copies.

If you believe the world itself is intrinsically digital, (and not merely describable in digital terms), then I think you have good reason to believe in strong AI and uploading.  As for me, I see no reason to believe the world is intrinsically digital. With respect to this part of the world that we call the brain, we do not discover computational states within the physics. We assign them to the physics.

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