[ExI] Digital Consciousness

Ben Zaiboc bbenzai at yahoo.com
Sun May 5 10:12:23 UTC 2013

Gordon <gts_2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:

>Ben Zaiboc <bbenzai at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>Gordon, I have a question for you.
>> Do you agree or deny that a digital computer could, in principle, run a simulation that imitated,
>> in every way, a human mind, including referring to itself, reporting that it has internal states
>> like emotions, and displaying all the intelligence of a human mind?

>I'm inclined to agree, Ben. Some clever programmer will one day write a program that passes the Turing test. I might be fooled into thinking it is actually conscious.

Excellent.  That's good enough for me.  It goes way beyond the formal Turing Test of course, but the principle is the same.  

If an information-processing system is good enough to fool other people into thinking that it's a conscious mind, then it can probably fool itself too.  That's really all we can ask.  After all, we do it ourselves all the time, and nobody can truly answer the question "are other people really conscious?".  I don't suppose non-organic-machine minds that act exactly as though they were conscious will be any better at answering this question than we are.

Let's leave the metaphysics to the theologians.  I don't actually care if we have souls or not.  It makes no practical difference one way or the other.

Ben Zaiboc

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