[ExI] Digital Consciousness .

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Mon Apr 29 23:36:29 UTC 2013

On Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 8:53 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> It's synonymous with "experience". Do you disbelieve in that as well?

I don't disbelieve.  I mostly just avoid discussing it.

I had a dialog go through my head this morning that reminded me of
something Hofstadter would write:

"Do you like cake?" asked the baker.
"I'm not sure, what is cake?" asked the tortoise.
"Surely in all your years you've eaten cake"
"Perhaps I have, what is it made of?"
"Carrot cake is made with carrots, chocolate cake is made with chocolate"
"So cake is named after the ingredients?"
"Not always.  Sponge cake is not made of sponges, nor is red velvet
cake made of red velvet"
"I am still confused, what is cake?"

That made me realize the concept of qualia isn't actually a thing that
can be touched.  It can be understood from many examples, like the
"redness of red" or whatever other explanation is offered.  However,
the agreement of understanding is usually problematic because language
does a poor job of succinctly expressing internal states in an
objective way.  So instead we go 20 rounds of proposition,
confirmation, re-proposition, re-confirmation.

"Do you like cheeseburgers?"
"Oh yes, they're very tasty"
"Do you enjoy them with ketchup?"
"Very much, we have a great deal in common"
"Yeah, I like my cheeseburgers with salt"
"Well that's weird, I don't put salt on mine"
"Don't you like when they're deep fried in fresh oil?"
"What?  No, you don't deep fry cheeseburgers"
"Oh... that's how they make them at my local diner"
"Seriously?  it's weird to deep fry beef"
"Beef?  That's disgusting!  Cheeseburgers are made of potato"
"French Fies are made out of potato... and are served with Cheeseburgers"
"Oh, I use a different word for that sandwich that comes with my Cheeseburgers"

If the above conversation ended after the 4th line, there would be no
indication that the two speakers were not discussing the same concept.
 It takes much more "this is not that" to achieve consensus on the
meaning of terms.

This is also a difficult problem to solve teaching machines to
interact with us.  From where does the meaning of terms come?

So I've used many words already and still haven't conveyed much about
qualia.  I propose I've done no better or worse than average.  :)

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