[ExI] Chalmers

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Thu Dec 19 22:58:02 UTC 2019

John, why do you require certainty?  That is not what science is, is it?
All science can ask is that a phenomenon is highly reliable.

Of course I have not, as I said, read the books and done a lot of thinking
about this, but........

Why couldn't you just imagine a study where a stimulus is presented to
someone and they give you a verbal description of it which aligns with
yours.  This means that both of you are conscious (among other things like
intactness of the visual and auditory systems and speech centers).  Repeat
with any ordinary stimulus, not some illusion, and you will get the same

Now do the same thing with an eeg showing that the subject is in stage 4
sleep.  No response.  Unconscious.  Completely reliable.

I am sure some of you will find that too simple and naive' and will
contradict it, but I would like to know just what is wrong with the above.
I do think you will tell me that an AI can do what a person can do, except
for the sleep study.  Well, I guess that means the AI is conscious.  A lot
of people won't be happy with that.

bill w

On Thu, Dec 19, 2019 at 4:44 PM John Clark via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

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