[ExI] Chalmers

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Thu Dec 19 22:38:41 UTC 2019

On Thu, Dec 19, 2019 at 11:57 AM Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com>

*> Consciousness isn’t about functionality or intelligence,*

Then consciousness research is doomed to get precisely nowhere and is a
total waste of time. We can not directly detect consciousness in anybody
except for ourselves and the only reason we don't believe we are the only
conscious thing in the universe is because we see lots of other things that
behave intelligently.

* > Intelligent computer systems are abstracted away from physical
> qualities. *

Yes, and a good thing too because consciousness is about as abstract as you
can get.

> Any physical property can represent a 1, but only if you have a
> dictionary interpretation mechanism to get the one from that particular
> physical property.

And yet that 1 in the computer's memory can help it drive a car or diagnose
a disease or beat you at chess. So how is that any different from the way
you or I use 1, other than the fact that I know for certain I'm conscious
but only strongly suspect that you and the AI are?

> *> We, on the other hand represent information directly on physical
> qualities, like redness and greenness. *

What's with this "we" business? I have no reason to think that you're
conscious but an equally intelligently behaving computer is not.

> Stathis, from what I hear from you, you are saying that redness is not a
> physical quality and that greenness is not something physically different.
> Is that the really case?

I don't know about Stathis but I think for a AI redness would be physically
different from greenness and for the same reason a memory chip containing
the number 17 is physically different from a memory chip containing the
number 13. I'm assuming the AI is able to experience qualia and I think
that is a good bet, I also think it's a good bet you experience qualia too.
But the only thing in the universe that is known for certain to
experience it is me.

John K Clark
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