[ExI] Mental Phenomena

Ben Zaiboc ben at zaiboc.net
Sun Jan 19 13:47:31 UTC 2020

John Clark wrote

> On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 9:55 AM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat 
> <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org 
> <mailto:extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>> wrote:
>     > /it's possible that we could identify a specific pattern in the
>     large-scale networks, and show that it's necessary and sufficient
>     to produce the sensation of the colour 'strawberry'./
> I don't think that's possible at all, in fact I'd say it's a logical 
> impossibility. You might be able to show that a specific network 
> pattern in a human biological brain was *sufficient* to cause a mouth 
> to make a noise like "/I am experiencing the visual qualia I 
> experience when I look at a strawberry/", or cause a electronic 
> computer to print out the corresponding ASCII sequence when it is in 
> the corresponding network state. But how in the world could you ever 
> prove the man and the AI were experiencing the same visual qualia, or 
> even prove either of them were experiencing a qualia at all? And even 
> if you could somehow magically do that how could you prove it was 
> *necessary*, how could you prove that some other network state or even 
> something that had nothing to do with networks couldn't produce the 
> same thing? There are after all an infinite number of things that have 
> nothing to do with networks just as there are a infinite number of 
> things that do, so you can't try them all.
> People are spending way too much time worrying about Artificial 
> Consciousness, I say just concentrate on Artificial Intelligence, once 
> you have that you'll get consciousness for free; it is after all the 
> tactic that Evolution used and it produced you and me and I am a 
> conscious being, you probably are too although I can't prove it.

I agree with what you say, especially the last bit. I meant 'necessary' 
in the context of a human brain, not any system, and I'm assuming that 
hearing someone claiming they can see the colour strawberry-red is 
enough evidence that they can see it.

Proving that two separate brains (of whatever kind) are experiencing the 
same thing is of course impossible. That's not what I mean. I mean it 
should be possible to point to a specific thing in a specific beings 
brain and say that is what's causing their experience (or, rather, 
that's what 'their experience' *is*).

Ben Zaiboc

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