[ExI] Do digital computers feel?
stathisp at gmail.com
Thu Dec 22 03:24:43 UTC 2016
> On 22 Dec. 2016, at 10:19 am, Stuart LaForge <avant at sollegro.com> wrote:
> Stathis wrote:
> <That neurons are complicated is no argument against their computability. A valid such argument would involve a claim that neurons utilise non-computable physics.>
> FYI the originator of this question was Rafal and he hypothesized that if consciousness was the result of analog physics operating upon a real number continuum instead of discrete "chunks" of space-time, then neural activity, and therefore consciousness, might NOT be computable.
> And IMO, this is a valid concern, since on the continuum between any two floating point decimal numbers of any finite precision, there exists an uncountably infinite number of possible values most of which are not computable.
> One observes that human mathematicians like Cantor and Newton were able comprehend and manipulate those infinities in such a way as to make them tractable to analysis, a feat that I haven't seen a computer yet capable of.
> Furthermore, despite some string theories and quantum loop gravity postulating that space-time comes in very small discrete "chunks", to date our best experimental evidence has failed to confirm the existence of these chunks and instead seem to indicate the exact opposite, that space-time is continuous down to well below the Plank scale.
> Thus despite the vigorous hand-waving of some list members, this is still an open question of some importance to many on the list including myself.
If the brain's engineering tolerance was such that the trillionth decimal place in some parameter made a difference then the gravitational effect of a mosquito in the next town would cause a drastic disruption. A machine so lacking in robustness, whether made or evolved, could not work.
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