[ExI] Digital Consciousness

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sat May 4 02:59:51 UTC 2013

On Sat, May 4, 2013 at 12:34 PM, Gordon <gts_2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> 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.

But the simulated people can drive cars over the real bridges if they
control physical robots as our brain controls our body. It is a
technical problem to simulate the brain and a further technical
problem to interface the simulated brain with artificial muscles and
sensors, but once you solve the problem you would have fully
functional androids, which I guess you would claim are zombies. But it
can be shown that if it is possible to replicate the behaviour of the
brain then it is also possible (in fact, it follows necessarily) to
replicate the consciousness.

> 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.

And simulated consciousness is just as good as real consciousness,
otherwise we would be able to replace brain components with artificial
parts and end up with partial zombies.

> 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.

And who assigns the meaning to our own physically based brains?

Stathis Papaioannou

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