[ExI] Digital Consciousness

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Tue May 7 10:20:52 UTC 2013

On Tue, May 07, 2013 at 02:52:44AM -0700, Gordon wrote:
> Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
> >>I am myself a programmer, by the way (C++). I can make computers do interesting things that appear conscious, but I don't suppose I could ever write a program that would make a computer actually >> conscious. That would require magic, like the magic that made Pinocchio come alive. What would the code look like? How do I write a "become conscious" function?
> > This is an argument from ignorance: I can't do this, hence nobody else can.
> > Here's the code: http://www.neuron.yale.edu/neuron/download/getstd
> How wonderful. Someone wrote some code that simulated a neuron. I've actually already done something like that (I just a few hours ago wrote about it to a fellow extrope in private email).
> I don't pretend that my code actually caused my computer to have conscious experience. 

I don't know what a conscious experience is, but I do expect that a successful
emulation of an organism + environment does reproduce everything relevant
about that system.

> My digital computer is just an ordinary mechanical machine, not fundamentally different from my watch. My watch tells me the time, but I think it has no idea what time it is. Do you think it does?

Do you think a mechanical simulation of a tourbillon watch can't tell time?
Of course it does.

And I suspect that https://www.sciencemag.org/content/338/6111/1202.full
could actually tell time.

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