[ExI] Do digital computers feel was Re: Is the wave function real?

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 14 17:43:22 UTC 2016

 "Do human beings other than me feel?".

​ John K Clark​

Ah yes, the solipsism question arises.

The answer, I think, is that you cannot know for sure that others are not
puppets or even alive in the sense that you are, so you have to infer.

You infer from emotional expressions that are universal (lists of those on
web).  A grin (not a fake smile, which is detectable) is universally known
and accepted as depicting a certain feeling.  Other expressions, including
body language, for pain, fear and so on are observable data you can infer
from rather reliably.

But what about all those sex scenes on soap operas?  Can these be acted out
and not experienced?  Yes, but......  It turns out that 'fake it till you
make it' has real meaning in the area of emotions.  Smiling really does
make you happier.  Listening to jokes with a pencil held in your teeth
prevents smiling and thus prevents some enjoyment that occurs without the
pencil (from journal studies).

Take that you AI people.  If you want an AI to experience feelings, you'll
have to provide them a body that reacts the way we do with all the feedback
mechanisms from body to brain we have.  It's just not enough to mimic the
brain activity.  Take out part of the loop and you deaden the emotion.
 (Yes, that applies to botox injections.)

To all those mechanists who thought that thinking was just subvocal speech,
you could temporarily paralyze the speech centers and see if they could
still think.

bill w

On Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 9:15 AM, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Dec 12, 2016  Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com> wrote:
> ​> ​
>> QM gurus are hereby invited to say more about the dimensionality of the
>> QM state space - does it allow for an infinite number of interactions as
>> time goes to infinity?
> ​I'm a pretty poor guru but I will say as its presently constituted QM
> says there are only a finite number of states that something can be in,
> however that may (or may not) be due to the fact that quantum theory
> doesn't include gravity. As it's presently constituted QM can't say what
> happens in places smaller than the Planck Length of 1.6*10^-35 meters or
> what changes during times shorter than the Planck Time of 5.4*10^-43
> seconds. Maybe QM can't say what happens when things get that small or time
> gets that short because there is nothing to say about them because space
> and time are quantized. Or maybe something does happen but QM doesn't know
> what is is because QM doesn't include gravity. There is no convincing
> experimental evidence that space or time is or is not grainy, and until we
> have a theory of everything it's hard to even make an educated guess.   ​
> ​> ​
>> I know, you actually have the opposite intuition, treating even
>> physically distinct minds as indiscernible, and you treat multiple similar
>> but physically separate minds as equal in value to a single mind. For me
>> this is a very surprising intuition.
> ​It wouldn't be surprising if you treated mind as an adjective and not a
> noun. Mind (an adjective) is what a brain (a noun) does; and I'll bet you
> think it ​intuitively obvious that 2 different racing cars (nouns) are
> both fast (an adjective).
> And in addition to the question asked in the title of this thread I'd like
> to ask another, "Do human beings other than me feel?".
> ​ John K Clark​
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