[ExI] Canonizer 2.0

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Tue Dec 25 16:58:00 UTC 2018

Good questions, John.  We need to be clearer about what exactly this
“solution to the so-called hard problem” described in the “Representational
Qualia Theory” camp that has so much expert consensus is and is not:


First off, many people think the “had problem” is many different things.
The specific “hard problem” we are dealing with in both of these
canonizer.com topics is just the “explanatory gap”.  How do you know what
it is like to be a bat, what did Mary learn, when she experienced red for
the first time even though she knew, abstractly, everything about red,
before she experienced it for the first time?  How do you “eff the
ineffable” and all that.  In my opinion, this is the only hard problem.
Everything else falls within what David Chalmers describes as easy
problems.  It’s surprising how so many people think the “hard problem” is
something completely different than the explanatory gap, or something
different than the qualitative nature of consciousness problem.

Second, this isn’t YET a solution to the hard problem.  It is theoretical a
meta approach to observing physics, in a new non-qualia-blind way (see the
above camp for a description of qualia blindness).  It is only a prediction
that if experimentalists stop being qualia blind, they will soon be able to
objectively detect if someone does or does not have something like red /
green qualia inversion.

In other words, what is required to bridge the explanatory gap, is to
discover which set of our abstract descriptions of physics in the brain
should be interpreted as a redness, and a greenness physical quality, and
so on.  Once an experimentalist does this, we will then be able to “eff the
ineffable” or bridge the explanatory gap.  In other words, the prediction
being made in the “Representational Qualia Theory” camp needs to be
verified by experimentalists, as the theory predicts is about to happen,
before it will be a real solution to the qualitative hard problem.

Does that help?

On Tue, Dec 25, 2018 at 9:29 AM William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com>

> coming up with a theory of consciousness is easy but coming up with a
> theory of intelligence is not.   John Clark
> Just what sort of theory do you want, John?  Any abstract entity like
> intelligence, love, hate, creativity, has to be dragged down to operational
> definitions involving measurable things.  For many years the operational
> definition of intelligence has been the scores on an intelligence test, and
> of course there are many different opinions as to what tests are
> appropriate, meaning in essence that people differ on just what
> intelligence is.
> The problem is that it is not anything.  Oh, it is reducible in theory to
> actions in the brain - neurons and hormones and who knows what from the
> glia.  So is love those actions as well, and every other thing you can
> think of.  But people have generally resisted reductionism in this area.
> Me too, until someone can find a use for it.
> Look up the word 'nice' and you will find a trail of very different
> meanings.  Just what meaning is correct?  All of them - at least they were
> true at the time a particular use occurred.
> Intelligence is that way too - it is whatever we want to mean by the
> word.  Most want to use it in a way that means one thing (usually
> determined by factor analysis).  Some want to call it several things which
> may intercorrelate to some extent.  The first idea usually wins out.
> Whatever it is, it is the most useful test in existence because it
> correlates with and thus predicts more things than any other test in
> existence.
> So - the best theory is the one which predicts more things in the 'real'
> world than any other, and the operational definition wins.  And nobody is
> really happy with that.  I can't understand it.
> bill w
> On Tue, Dec 25, 2018 at 9:29 AM John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Fri, Dec 21, 2018 at 12:08 PM Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> >  *we've launched Canonizer 2.0.*
>>> *My Partner Jim Bennett just put together this video:*
>>> https://vimeo.com/307590745
>> I notice that the third most popular topic on the Canonizer is "the hard
>> problem" (beaten only by theories of consciousness and God). Apparently
>> this too has something to do with consciousness but it would seem to me the
>> first order of business should be to state exactly what general sort of
>> evidence would be sufficient to consider the problem having been solved. I
>> think the evidence from biological Evolution is overwhelming that if you'd
>> solved the so called "easy problem" which deals with intelligence then
>> you've come as close to solving the "hard problem" as anybody is ever going
>> to get.
>> I also note there is no listing at all for "theories of intelligence"
>>  and I think I know why, coming up with a theory of consciousness is easy
>> but coming up with a theory of intelligence is not. It takes years of
>> study to become an expert in the field of AI but anyone can talk about
>> consciousness.
>> However I think the  Canonizer does a good job on specifying what
>> "friendly AI" means, in fact it's the best definition of it I've seen:
>> "*It means that the entity isn't blind to our interests. Notice that I
>> didn't say that the entity has our interests at heart, or that they are its
>> highest priority goal. Those might require intelligence with a human shape.
>> But an SI that was ignorant or uncaring of our interests could do us
>> enormous damage without intending it.*"
>>  John K Clark
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