[ExI] Qualia are incommensurate

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Wed Jul 10 05:49:26 UTC 2019

While perusing the other qualia thread, it occurred to me that qualia
experienced by different neural networks are incommensurate, even when the
networks process the same inputs and produce the same outputs.

There is for all practical considerations an infinity of ways to wire up a
visual system reliably capable of parsing an image and assigning measures
of reflectance (colors) to various parts of the image. Each of these
networks uses synaptic connections which are in detail completely different
from other networks, and yet all the networks would agree on the colors of
any specific image. There is objective agreement between networks but
trying to simply mash together any two networks into a single one would
completely break them, since the precise synaptic circuits are completely

If the networks have a subjective experience, it is thus created by
completely different circuits. If qualia are a function of such circuits'
performing some physical actions, then the differences between the
circuits' structures should produce different qualia in each network, even
when looking at the same image and naming the same colors. I am not talking
about a network using another network's "red" qualia to code for its own
green outputs, but rather I think their qualia are completely
incommensurate, like speaking a completely different internal language.

I don't know if this notion was explored in the other qualia thread (TLDR).
I hope I am not retreading what's been said before.

I guess that a sophisticated understanding of neural network functioning at
the synapse level, and synapse-by-synapse manipulation of a network that
reports on its qualia might allow us to make some inroads into the qualia
question, over and above the arm-waving arguments we have now.

Once I am uploaded and take a bunch AI programming courses I'll do some
experiments on my neural structure, and report here on how it feels.

I expect it will be quite groovy.
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