[ExI] Digital Consciousness .

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Sun Apr 28 03:55:26 UTC 2013

On Sat, Apr 27, 2013 at 11:08 PM, Stathis Papaioannou
<stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:

> As I have explained, it is not fading qualia as such that is the problem.
> Qualia would fade and disappear with progressive brain damage. The problem
> is fading qualia that you cannot notice and that bring about no change in
> behaviour.

### Well, this unnoticeable loss of qualia never happened to me ("I"
would have noticed, I am good at feeling my own qualia) but it could
be a daily occurrence to billions of humans. However, since all of
them seem to be able to interact well with me, whether they
unnoticeably (to me and to them) lose their qualia or not, I would be
inclined to see it as a minor problem, if any.

You may notice the above is tongue-in-cheek but the point I am trying
to get across is actually serious. Why would anybody care about
something that by definition is completely unconnected to to anything
in our lives? (which consist of subjective existence and "objective"
behavior, objective in the sense of being the subject of other beings
perceptions and thinking)


> The more serious problem, however, is what it would mean if your qualia can
> fade and disappear without you noticing. Your visual cortex could be
> replaced with an artificial one you would declare that you could see
> normally, describe scenes normally, watch films and are laugh at the funny
> parts and be scared at the scary parts. Essentially, this would mean qualia
> do not exist, as they make neither a subjective or objective difference.
> Would you be happy with that conclusion?

### Describing a scene always involves referring to different qualia
("red" riding hood, "cute" chick), so if you truthfully describe a
movie fed through a mechanical device that replaced your visual
processing centers, then you, a combination of the mechanical and the
neuronal, are experiencing qualia.


> Even weirder would be if your behaviour was unchanged but you did notice
> your qualia had changed. You would desperately be trying to tell everyone
> you were blind but your vocal cords would not obey you, and you would
> observe helplessly as they said everything was fine and describe perfectly
> things you could not see. Would you be happy with that conclusion?

### Now, this situation would require non-equivalent substitution of
parts of your mind, and therefore would not be a valid consideration
in this context.


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