JREF Homepage Swift Blog Events Calendar $1 Million Paranormal Challenge The Amaz!ng Meeting Useful Links Support Us
James Randi Educational Foundation JREF Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   JREF Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology
Click Here To Donate

Notices


Welcome to the JREF Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.

Tags A.I. , artificial intelligence , consciousness

View Poll Results: Is consciousness physical or metaphysical?
Consciousness is a kind of data processing and the brain is a machine that can be replicated in other substrates, such as general purpose computers. 81 86.17%
Consciousness requires a second substance outside the physical material world, currently undetectable by scientific instruments 3 3.19%
On Planet X, unconscious biological beings have perfected conscious machines 10 10.64%
Voters: 94. You may not vote on this poll

Closed Thread
Old 17th April 2012, 11:15 PM   #81
Modified
Illuminator
 
Modified's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 4,586
Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
I am going to respond to this in a way you seem to prefer…

1- I was responding to the post that claimed that


Notice the emphasis on “Any computer” and “any possible system”.
2- It is in fact quite an applicable comparison....even though you do not see why… see steps 3 to 9 for an explanation

3- Do you think that there is something WOO about solar systems and galaxies?

4- So why are they not replicable in a computer?

5- Is it something metaphysical about suns that we cannot replicate them in laptop simulations?

6- Or is it perhaps you do think that one day we might be able to simulate a fusion reactor inside some silicon running some code?

7- Are you able to conceive of why a computer is unable to replicate a fusion reaction?

8- If your answer to step 7 is yes.... then good... can you therefore comprehend that maybe there are things that might also make it not applicable for a computer to replicate consciousness due to limitations that despite YOU being incapable of comprehending might nevertheless be quite an obstacle?

9- Can you see how it is a false dichotomy to claim that either one believes that fusion reactions should be theoretically replicable in computers or else he must be a woo bagger?
A sufficiently detailed simulation of galaxy behaves as a galaxy within the simulation. A sufficiently detailed simulation of a fusion reaction behaves as a fusion reaction within the simulation. Something that behaves consciously within a simulation is conscious in my book; just as a chip-level simulated calculator is still a calculator, even though I must push simulated buttons with a mouse instead of real buttons with my fingers and read the results on a computer screen instead of an LCD display.
Modified is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 11:22 PM   #82
keyfeatures
Critical Thinker
 
keyfeatures's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: My head
Posts: 436
Originally Posted by Mr. Scott View Post
Robots smell to us like metal, plastic, grease, and phenolic circuit boards

That's sensory, not computational. I'm talking about quantum computers. There's no evidence for them in nerve cells.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation suggests that quantum events underlie signalling. Whether these are only significant when manifesting at a macro level, or whether we've only been able to observe them as such, I don't know.
keyfeatures is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 11:55 PM   #83
keyfeatures
Critical Thinker
 
keyfeatures's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: My head
Posts: 436
Originally Posted by case#46cw39 View Post
Does Our Brain Really Create Consciousness? physicist Peter Russell http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-..._b_873595.html
Wow, what an unbelievably bad article. Ridiculous dualism, bizarre analogies, and to top it off the classic "no one would listen to Galileo either". This may explain it.
keyfeatures is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 12:10 AM   #84
!Kaggen
Illuminator
 
!Kaggen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 3,734
Originally Posted by quarky View Post
Here's 2 problems I have:

A. There is a tendency amongst we humans to lump things into cozy categories. if someone (like me, for example) tosses out a conjecture in a discussion about something that is poorly understood, we are apt to be labeled. It hasn't happened in this thread, particularly, but it is very common. I find that tendency to be fundamentally non-scientific.

B. What i call 'arrogance', for lack of a better word, is a proclivity amongst the skeptical to focus on the fantastic; i.e., creating artificial consciousness before we know what consciousness is; discuss interstellar space travel before we know what's under the Antarctic ice cap or at the bottom of the ocean. I find that trend to be disturbing, or at least intellectually lethargic.

When i was in college, it was thought that biology was more or less done; we'd discovered all the species on the planet. Now, we have new kingdoms.
Lovelock and Penrose aren't the enemies. They are both quite brilliant, actually.
Their speculations are reasonable, regardless of their validity.

Human arrogance is a curse. The study of cetaceans, for instance, was nearly crushed by our knowledge of whaling. There was scant curiosity concerning other large brained mammals on this planet, except in matters of killing them. It took a grass roots movement to keep some whales around long enough to learn about them. And we still know almost nothing about wild whale behavior. We're barely curious. We're far more curious about new weapons. So i sing Kumbaya, I guess, while marveling at the species die-off as we hold tightly to the crown of creation, with little regard for any potential contenders.
Ah... don't get all sentimental on us quarky :-)

We know you love the soil, quarks and bicycles but whales is a new one. :-)

You may have feelings about the matter, but since these feelings are qualia they don't actually have an objective status. We can only objectively evaluate your expression of these feelings(your behavior) and all other "behavior" and not the feelings themselves. And based on this decide that your feelings on the matter are objectively relevant or not.This is no joke. It is apparently the objective scientific approach to justify saying that humans do "crazy irrational things" like save whales even though there is no objective rational reason to do it, its called heterophenomenologyWP.
Surprise surprise it's a word coined by our friend Mr consciousness explained, D.Dennett.
Of course as you pointed out the reason to save whales only becomes apparent after they were saved.
So no problem it was possible to come up with an objective reason eventually.
And it is now possible to simulate a world on a general purpose computer with objective rational reasons to save the whales.
What is obviously missing is that the real world does not wait for and is not dependent on our invented mathematical models/simulations based on historical data.
We as humans cannot wait either.
We have and will continue to survive because of our ability to act on our irrational subjective qualia in realtime(ala Westprog).

After the fact we learn about the correctness of our abilities and we accumulate objective data. The question remains as to the success of how we have used this data. In simulations it proves successful however in the real world the debate rages on. Evidence suggest that we have evolved qualia to give us the tools to survive in reality in realtime. There are certainly downsides to this ability, like all things have there upsides and their downsides. However the fact that we have survived so far suggest this ability has more upsides than downsides.
Their is a recent trend to dismiss as illusionary and ignore qualia and only focus on a recent development in human evolution, the rational thought which enables us to create virtual worlds based on predictable historical data were survival can be logically programmed.
The fact is we may not survive to enjoy the fruits of this experiment of living in a virtual world free from unpredictability since we remain completely and precariously dependent on the real unpredictable world.

It's ironic ain't it?

These discussions always remind me of Frank Tipler's book "The Physics of Immortality". The biggest challenge faced to achieve this ideal was dodging asteroid fields with a 4 square kilometer solar sail needed to reach the speeds required to colonies the universe fast enough before it started contracting to make it contract unevenly and in this way allow a supermachine sufficient space-time to have and infinite amount of thoughts thus giving the "impression" of immortality. I always laugh when I remember his ideas and then I get serious when I remember his appendices were these ideas were painstakingly mathematically proven.
Of course he was using historical data and since we now have more data we can conclude contraction is not going to happen and Franks logic is rubbish.
Apart from the practical difficulty of dodging asteroids with a very large mirror!!!!

Empirical evidence does not lie.
Talking theory based on historical data is the easy part.

Oh and my last comment is on those chess and jeopardy computers everyone is so impressed with.
I was never impressed with chess or any factual re-call game even when humans were good at them.
Get me a robot that can survive in the real world for 70 000 years without help from humans and I will start paying attention.
__________________
"Anyway, why is a finely-engineered machine of wire and silicon less likely to be conscious than two pounds of warm meat?" Pixy Misa
"We live in a world of more and more information and less and less meaning" Jean Baudrillard
http://bokashiworld.wordpress.com/
!Kaggen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 12:12 AM   #85
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Whithin earshot of the North Sea
Posts: 17,424
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
I think there may be another option:

"Consciousness is a kind of data processing and the brain is a machine that can be in principle replicated in other substrates, but general purpose computers are just not made of the right stuff."
I think that is the same as option #1, with the proviso that current general purpose computers are not adequate for the task.

I voted #1, on the premise that a computer will probably some day be built which is adequate for the task.

Quote:
The idea that we could make a computer conscious may be as fanciful as thinking we can make trees conscious or that we can make lobsters achieve human-level consciousness.
No, that is something different. Trees and lobsters have the computational equipment they have (meaning zero and very little, respectively), and that is certainly not adequate for the task.

Quote:
I think that sometimes people elide the idea that there is nothing non-physical about consciousness with the idea that consciousness can be easily replicated out of any old junk. But that might not be true.
No, the idea that old junk can do it is ridiculous, but the basic position that a computer capable of consciousness can be constructed does not imply that one has been constructed, or is possible with current technology.

Hans
__________________
Don't. Just don't.
MRC_Hans is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 01:22 AM   #86
lupus_in_fabula
Graduate Poster
 
lupus_in_fabula's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,217
Originally Posted by Mr. Scott
It's like Pigliucci's assertion that consciousness is like photosynthesis, in that a computer could simulate photosynthesis, but it would fail to produce real sugar. Likewise, a computer that simulates consciousness would fail to produce real consciousness.
Quote:
What, therefore, is the output of consciousness, the substance it produces, and what evidence is there that it's real?
Originally Posted by Leumas
When you figure that out please go inform the scores of scientists working on the subject and don't forget to collect your Nobel Prize on the way.

In the meantime, please don’t let your incapacity to think of answers other than the ones you are able to think of drive you to precipitous fictive speculations.

BUT ABOVE ALL…. more importantly….STOP INSULTING people who disagree with you by attributing to them woo beliefs just because they do not have the same FAITH as you do in your FICTIVE SPECULATIONS about creating Pinocchios.

So just to be clear: do you think there is any such thing as "output of consciousness" or not?
__________________
...Forever shall the wolf in me desire the sheep in you...
lupus_in_fabula is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 02:38 AM   #87
PixyMisa
Persnickety Insect
 
PixyMisa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Sunny Munuvia
Posts: 15,710
Originally Posted by quarky View Post
Whatever?

Its a jive topic.

I simply must fight the inevitable 'humans only' crap regarding awareness and or consciousness.
Sure, because that's nonsense. But what you are saying here:

Originally Posted by quarky View Post
Consciousness might be a background energy field that we tap into, like radio receivers. Perhaps it is carried by the Higgs Boson or the graviton.
Maybe it precedes matter altogether.
Is also nonsense. It's completely impossible.

Originally Posted by annnnoid View Post
Speak for yourself dude! I, for one, am a fully endowed member of the PIG faith (Pixy Is God). Tell this guy what's what Pixy. Conscious planets! Twaddle.
What are you blithering about, annnnoid?
__________________
Free blogs for skeptics... And everyone else. mee.nu
What, in the Holy Name of Gzortch, are you people doing?!?!!? - TGHO
PixyMisa is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 02:59 AM   #88
PixyMisa
Persnickety Insect
 
PixyMisa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Sunny Munuvia
Posts: 15,710
Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
I am going to respond to this in a way you seem to prefer…

1- I was responding to the post that claimed that
Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
Any, real or imagined. Computers are theoretically capable of simulating any possible system.
Notice the emphasis on “Any computer” and “any possible system”.
Yes. It is entirely correct.

Quote:
3- Do you think that there is something WOO about solar systems and galaxies?
Question is irrelevant.

Quote:
4- So why are they not replicable in a computer?
Why should they be?

Quote:
5- Is it something metaphysical about suns that we cannot replicate them in laptop simulations?
No.

Quote:
6- Or is it perhaps you do think that one day we might be able to simulate a fusion reactor inside some silicon running some code?
We can do that right now.

Quote:
7- Are you able to conceive of why a computer is unable to replicate a fusion reaction?
I have no words adequate to encompass the depth of your confusion.

Quote:
8- If your answer to step 7 is yes.... then good... can you therefore comprehend that maybe there are things that might also make it not applicable for a computer to replicate consciousness due to limitations that despite YOU being incapable of comprehending might nevertheless be quite an obstacle?
No. I'll further note that no-one who has raised such an objection has been able to do so coherently.

Quote:
9- Can you see how it is a false dichotomy to claim that either one believes that fusion reactions should be theoretically replicable in computers or else he must be a woo bagger?
See 7.
__________________
Free blogs for skeptics... And everyone else. mee.nu
What, in the Holy Name of Gzortch, are you people doing?!?!!? - TGHO
PixyMisa is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 03:49 AM   #89
punshhh
Illuminator
 
punshhh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Rural England
Posts: 4,814
Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
I have no words adequate to encompass the depth of your confusion.


No. I'll further note that no-one who has raised such an objection has been able to do so coherently.
Do you remember my initial objection?

You may be able to simulate consciousness, but have you actually created a new individual instance of consciousness? Or an elaborate puppet on a string?

All the justifications put forward for simulated consciousness are not addressing consciousness at all, but rather intelligence.

Are you now saying that intelligence beyond a certain point of complexity requires consciousness as a constituent part?
punshhh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 04:58 AM   #90
epepke
Philosopher
 
epepke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 8,316
Originally Posted by Mr. Scott View Post
Doesn't this come down to what emotions are programmed in?
That's part of the problem. Emotions seem to be required, in humans, to learn and categorize experiences.

However, it isn't what I'm getting at.

What I'm getting at is the idea that any system complex enough to be capable of consciousness is complex enough to get stuff wrong and have internal conflicts. Just consider the fact that conscious people do philosophy, and hardly any agreement exists there.

HAL's psychosis is explored (at least in Clarke's mind) as resulting from conflicting instructions: to be helpful, accurate, and informative, but also to conceal the purpose of the mission from the astronauts. Interesting idea. Maybe the bomb in Dark Star is a better exploration, with its focus on phenomenology, but I still have a bad taste in my mouth about how they ripped off the ending from Ray Bradbury.

What I'm getting at is this: Humans, who seem to be conscious, can do things that computers cannot, at least now. I don't know if they are related to emotions, but they may be related so similarly weird stuff, like empathy and self-awareness. It seems to me from a mathematical/logical perspective that self-awareness, which many people think is a sine qua non of consciousness, evolved as a means of multiplying intelligence. The ability to model something outside the brain in a similar way to modeling something inside the brain or the brain itself, including the whole mirror neuron thingie, seems to me a neat basis on which to build entire categories of learning and reasoning. Generalizing self-to-others and others-to-self is a powerful thing to do, and self-awareness may be a way to go about it.

But with this power comes the expense of making inappropriate generalizations, and do you want your computer to do that? Probably not. I see these commercials with people talking to Siri on their iPhone, and I am absolutely certain that's what people want, and I'm also certain that the commercials are largely fake or rely only on cases where it happens to get it right.

I'm also certain that the requirements are way beyond what you can expect another human being to do. People spend a hell of a lot of time correcting misunderstandings. Just consider what I'm trying to explain now, because I don't think I was understood. People do this all the time but they put up with it because of other things about interpersonal relationships (which do have to do with emotion).

But people seldom study that. I've studied a lot of linguistics, and it constantly irritated me how structural linguists ignore almost all of verbal communication, living in some idealized la-la land that doesn't even come close to modeling what they write in linguistics books and papers.

So, the question is, would you want a computer that is only as good as another human being at understanding you? I'm guessing that the answer would be no, and that this would prevent people from actually thinking along the lines of making a conscious machine. Either it would be too irritating or too scary, and people would flip out before they sat down and wrote the code.
__________________
"It probably came from a sticky dark planet far, far away."
- Godzilla versus Hedora

"There's no evidence that the 9-11 attacks (whoever did them) were deliberately attacking civilians. On the contrary the targets appear to have been chosen as military."
-DavidByron
epepke is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 05:44 AM   #91
Farsight
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Poole, UK
Posts: 2,640
Punshhh: my brain is made out of fatty protein tissue, which is made up of molecules, which are made up of atoms, which are made up of protons neutrons and electrons. If I were to organise these protons neutrons and electrons in some other fashion to construct an "artificial" brain, then provided it adequately reflected the complexity and power of my own brain and operated in a similar fashion, then that artificial brain would be just as conscious as you or me. It might be just a puppet on a string, if that's what you want to call it. But what makes you think you're so different?
Farsight is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 06:08 AM   #92
megaresp
Muse
 
megaresp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: In me head
Posts: 592
Does consciousness even matter?

One of the posters above asked whether simulated consciousness is actual consciousness? Or is it merely a puppet on a stick?

It occurs to me the same question might be asked of us.

If a decision is made on a subconscious level, and the conscious mind is merely there to have us experience having made the decision, isn't our conscious mind also some sort of puppet on a stick?

Unless I've misunderstood something (not unlikely) recent research into consciousness found that using an MRI it was possible to predict a simply decision made by a person before s/he was aware of having made the choice.

So perhaps our own consciousness mind is similarly a puppet on a stick? Of course, something is still making that decision. I assume that at some fundamental level its nothing more than sophisticated chemistry.

If so, then an AI simulation of consciousness isn't out of the question.

What's more, I disagree with the poster who said we have to fully understand consciosness first. We might get there by accident. It has happened before.
__________________
I've been called a "Big Thinker", but curiously, only by people with a lisp.

Last edited by megaresp; 18th April 2012 at 06:14 AM.
megaresp is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 06:51 AM   #93
punshhh
Illuminator
 
punshhh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Rural England
Posts: 4,814
Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
Punshhh: my brain is made out of fatty protein tissue, which is made up of molecules, which are made up of atoms, which are made up of protons neutrons and electrons. If I were to organise these protons neutrons and electrons in some other fashion to construct an "artificial" brain, then provided it adequately reflected the complexity and power of my own brain and operated in a similar fashion, then that artificial brain would be just as conscious as you or me. It might be just a puppet on a string, if that's what you want to call it. But what makes you think you're so different?
You have described a replica brain, fine I agree it may be conscious. A simulation is not a replica of a brain, it is a projected image on a screen, which can be interpreted by a viewer. The projection may be of a replica brain, but that brain would be in another box or a different part of the box from the simulation projector, not on the screen.
punshhh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 06:52 AM   #94
punshhh
Illuminator
 
punshhh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Rural England
Posts: 4,814
Originally Posted by megaresp View Post
One of the posters above asked whether simulated consciousness is actual consciousness? Or is it merely a puppet on a stick?

It occurs to me the same question might be asked of us.

If a decision is made on a subconscious level, and the conscious mind is merely there to have us experience having made the decision, isn't our conscious mind also some sort of puppet on a stick?

Unless I've misunderstood something (not unlikely) recent research into consciousness found that using an MRI it was possible to predict a simply decision made by a person before s/he was aware of having made the choice.

So perhaps our own consciousness mind is similarly a puppet on a stick? Of course, something is still making that decision. I assume that at some fundamental level its nothing more than sophisticated chemistry.

If so, then an AI simulation of consciousness isn't out of the question.

What's more, I disagree with the poster who said we have to fully understand consciosness first. We might get there by accident. It has happened before.
A conscious puppet on a stick. Sounds about right.
punshhh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 06:56 AM   #95
punshhh
Illuminator
 
punshhh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Rural England
Posts: 4,814
Originally Posted by keyfeatures View Post

I certainly think a robot is always likely to smell very different to a human.
Hi Key,

what is your position? or do you not have a position as yet?
punshhh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 07:04 AM   #96
Mr. Scott
Under the Amazing One's Wing
 
Mr. Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 2,550
Originally Posted by lupus_in_fabula View Post
So just to be clear: do you think there is any such thing as "output of consciousness" or not?
Q: How is a computer-simulated conscious brain NOT like computer-simulated photosynthesis?

A: The brain and a conscious computer both output the same thing: control signals for the body.

Computers routinely output control signals to animal and mechanical bodies. We can do this already.

Is there something else the brain outputs that machines could not?
__________________
"Why is the world so different from what we thought it was?" Ting-Ting, from the 2000 film Yi Yi.

Last edited by Mr. Scott; 18th April 2012 at 07:05 AM.
Mr. Scott is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 07:05 AM   #97
keyfeatures
Critical Thinker
 
keyfeatures's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: My head
Posts: 436
Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Hi Key,

what is your position? or do you not have a position as yet?

Consciousness - not defined enough to argue over. I'm inclined to consider it a notion akin to 'the soul'.

Humans / brains - purely physical / material, but it doesn't automatically follow that they could be recreated by intelligent design.
keyfeatures is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 07:11 AM   #98
punshhh
Illuminator
 
punshhh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Rural England
Posts: 4,814
Originally Posted by keyfeatures View Post
Consciousness - not defined enough to argue over. I'm inclined to consider it a notion akin to 'the soul'.
Yes the word soul does seem to refer to what is being discussed here.

Quote:
Humans / brains - purely physical / material, but it doesn't automatically follow that they could be recreated by intelligent design.
Quite, however I would not rush to say that all materials have as yet been detected.

Perhaps the word spirit refers to something.
punshhh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 07:15 AM   #99
Mr. Scott
Under the Amazing One's Wing
 
Mr. Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 2,550
Originally Posted by !Kaggen View Post
Oh and my last comment is on those chess and jeopardy computers everyone is so impressed with.
I was never impressed with chess or any factual re-call game even when humans were good at them.
Get me a robot that can survive in the real world for 70 000 years without help from humans and I will start paying attention.
I love that kind of goal post move. Why the 70,000 year figure?

!Kaggen, do you believe your working Bokashi bucket is conscious?
__________________
"Why is the world so different from what we thought it was?" Ting-Ting, from the 2000 film Yi Yi.
Mr. Scott is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 07:16 AM   #100
Roboramma
Philosopher
 
Roboramma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 7,687
Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
You have described a replica brain, fine I agree it may be conscious. A simulation is not a replica of a brain, it is a projected image on a screen, which can be interpreted by a viewer. The projection may be of a replica brain, but that brain would be in another box or a different part of the box from the simulation projector, not on the screen.
If the simulation is capable of doing the same things as a brain (ie. complex intelligence), then it is a "replica brain".
__________________
"... when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."
Isaac Asimov
Roboramma is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 07:29 AM   #101
Mr. Scott
Under the Amazing One's Wing
 
Mr. Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 2,550
Originally Posted by keyfeatures View Post
Consciousness - not defined enough to argue over. I'm inclined to consider it a notion akin to 'the soul'.
I think that's a key factor of some people's anti-computationalist positions. They are protecting their belief in their immortal souls. If they buy it that consciousness is just information processing in a physical brain, it takes away their faith in the afterlife.

I'm not suggesting EVERY anti-computationalist is letting protecting their faith in the afterlife drive their arguments, but it explains well the mean spirited tone in some of their postings.

I'm not as closed minded as I seem. I'm willing to consider evidence for the soul, if anyone could produce any.

If you think a soul is required for consciousness, then just say so, will you?
__________________
"Why is the world so different from what we thought it was?" Ting-Ting, from the 2000 film Yi Yi.

Last edited by Mr. Scott; 18th April 2012 at 07:30 AM.
Mr. Scott is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 07:41 AM   #102
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Whithin earshot of the North Sea
Posts: 17,424
Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Do you remember my initial objection?
I don't, sorry.

Quote:
You may be able to simulate consciousness, but have you actually created a new individual instance of consciousness? Or an elaborate puppet on a string?
How will you tell the difference? If your puppet acts exactly as if it is conscious, how can you claim it isn't?

Quote:
All the justifications put forward for simulated consciousness are not addressing consciousness at all, but rather intelligence.
How do you define the difference?

Quote:
Are you now saying that intelligence beyond a certain point of complexity requires consciousness as a constituent part?
I don't know what Pixy says, but I say they are two sides of the same coin; they are proportional. If we look at the intelligent creatures on this planet, it appears that the more intelligence, the more signs of consciousness.

Hans
__________________
Don't. Just don't.
MRC_Hans is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 07:41 AM   #103
!Kaggen
Illuminator
 
!Kaggen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 3,734
Originally Posted by Mr. Scott View Post
I love that kind of goal post move. Why the 70,000 year figure?

!Kaggen, do you believe your working Bokashi bucket is conscious?
Homo sapiens began to colonize the world from Africa around then.

No.
__________________
"Anyway, why is a finely-engineered machine of wire and silicon less likely to be conscious than two pounds of warm meat?" Pixy Misa
"We live in a world of more and more information and less and less meaning" Jean Baudrillard
http://bokashiworld.wordpress.com/
!Kaggen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 07:52 AM   #104
!Kaggen
Illuminator
 
!Kaggen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 3,734
Originally Posted by Mr. Scott View Post
I think that's a key factor of some people's anti-computationalist positions. They are protecting their belief in their immortal souls. If they buy it that consciousness is just information processing in a physical brain, it takes away their faith in the afterlife.

I'm not suggesting EVERY anti-computationalist is letting protecting their faith in the afterlife drive their arguments, but it explains well the mean spirited tone in some of their postings.

I'm not as closed minded as I seem. I'm willing to consider evidence for the soul, if anyone could produce any.

If you think a soul is required for consciousness, then just say so, will you?
What the heck is an anti-computationalist?

Define soul?
__________________
"Anyway, why is a finely-engineered machine of wire and silicon less likely to be conscious than two pounds of warm meat?" Pixy Misa
"We live in a world of more and more information and less and less meaning" Jean Baudrillard
http://bokashiworld.wordpress.com/
!Kaggen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 08:02 AM   #105
punshhh
Illuminator
 
punshhh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Rural England
Posts: 4,814
Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
If the simulation is capable of doing the same things as a brain (ie. complex intelligence), then it is a "replica brain".
And where is the complex intelligence? on the screen, in an attached camera lens or in a component attached somewhere round the back of the simulator marked "replica brain"?
Does it somehow dwell in all three?
Or is it located in a virtual world which is in no exact location in the physical world?
punshhh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 08:44 AM   #106
rocketdodger
Philosopher
 
rocketdodger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hyperion
Posts: 6,884
Originally Posted by epepke View Post
So, the question is, would you want a computer that is only as good as another human being at understanding you? I'm guessing that the answer would be no, and that this would prevent people from actually thinking along the lines of making a conscious machine.
Your argument sort of ignores the video game industry, though.

Are you aware of just how much cash is flowing through that industry these days?
rocketdodger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 09:15 AM   #107
Wowbagger
The Infinitely Prolonged
 
Wowbagger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Westchester County, NY (when not in space)
Posts: 14,617
Originally Posted by !Kaggen View Post
I see so mathematical models run on a computer are what we should judge AI progress by?
No, I expect to judge AI progress on how long it takes my pencil to spontaneously declare "I think therefore I am"!




Seriously: A.I. is a class of mathematical computer models. We can't simulate consciousness, yet. But, we can estimate the boundries of what they can achieve with other types of models.

We know from studying evolution, that the emergence of altruistic behavior is more fundamental than conciousness, not the other way around. So, we get to understand the circumstances by which altruism survives and thrives or dwindles and fails, without needing a truly conscious system to do it.

Our estimates could be wrong. Perhaps Strong A.I. would work so differently from natural intelligence, that some of these early models of altruism won't apply. But, it's unlikely.
__________________
WARNING: Phrases in this post may sound meaner than they were intended to be.

SkeptiCamp NYC: http://www.skepticampnyc.org/
An open conference on science and skepticism, where you could be a presenter!

By the way, my first name is NOT Bowerick!!!!

Last edited by Wowbagger; 18th April 2012 at 09:20 AM. Reason: fixed last paragraph
Wowbagger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 09:32 AM   #108
keyfeatures
Critical Thinker
 
keyfeatures's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: My head
Posts: 436
Originally Posted by punshhh View Post

Perhaps the word spirit refers to something.
I prefer sherry.
keyfeatures is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 10:01 AM   #109
punshhh
Illuminator
 
punshhh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Rural England
Posts: 4,814
Originally Posted by keyfeatures View Post
I prefer sherry.
So do I, an old Oloroso.
punshhh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 10:46 AM   #110
Modified
Illuminator
 
Modified's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 4,586
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
I think that is the same as option #1, with the proviso that current general purpose computers are not adequate for the task.

I voted #1, on the premise that a computer will probably some day be built which is adequate for the task.
I doubt there will be any change in what computers can do, only in processing speed and storage capacity. Even "quantum computing", if it ever becomes practical, will not change the functionality of computers. So your premise only makes sense if you think speed of operation is a necessary component of consciousness, enormous amounts of storage will be needed (more than is currently available), or some sort of data processing machine will be invented that can evaluate noncomputable functions.

I would say we could do it now if we knew how, it would require a lot of storage, and the result would be too slow to be of any interest.
Modified is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 11:21 AM   #111
Leumas
Master Poster
 
Leumas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,696
Originally Posted by Mr. Scott View Post
Q: How is a computer-simulated conscious brain NOT like computer-simulated photosynthesis?

A: The brain and a conscious computer both output the same thing: control signals for the body.

Computers routinely output control signals to animal and mechanical bodies. We can do this already.

Is there something else the brain outputs that machines could not?



One day, when you figure out the answer to this question, you will look back at your mindset now and realize how childish and naive you were.

In the meantime I suggest you consider the words at minutes 52:15 to 52:30 in this video

Also ponder over these images

Relativity (Escher)



Dream Caused by the flight of a bee around a Pomegranate seconds before awakening (Dali)


Metamorphosis of Narcissus (Dali)



I also suggest you go to some library and read Shakespeare or Miguel De Cervantes or Robert Frost or Rudyard Kipling or Homer or even Sun Tsu.

I also suggest you familiarize yourself with some science history and read about Isaac Newton and Leibniz and Descartes and Einstein and Fourier and Laplace and Pascal and Freud.

You may even enjoy the writings of some philosophers like Voltaire and Diderot and Russell.

Moreover, you may want to go to some museum and reflect over some art like Da Vinci's or Escher’s or Michelangelo's or Dali's.

Finally you may want to have a nice night out in a good Comedy Club and enjoy some good old human humor instead of spending the night playing video games or watching Star Trek reruns.... maybe that might help.
__________________
"I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for his reputation if he didn't" - Jules Renard
"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty" - Thomas Jefferson
"It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled" - Mark Twain

Last edited by Leumas; 18th April 2012 at 12:38 PM.
Leumas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 11:28 AM   #112
Leumas
Master Poster
 
Leumas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,696
Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
Before this thread degenerates into more nonsensical armchair speculations from laymen
Check


Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
along with vitriolic hubristic defense of these conjectures by citing scifi fanfic
check


Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
along with adamant unwavering “monumentally simplistic” “operational definitions” that are “of no practical value”...
Check


Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
and before it gravitates towards hypotheses of how the characters in the Sims video game are conscious entities if only you could redefine reality to suit....
Check


Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
and before it settles down to wishful thinking and aspirations of some laymen for becoming Deos Ex Machinas....

Check



Wow.... and only 111 posts so far.
__________________
"I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for his reputation if he didn't" - Jules Renard
"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty" - Thomas Jefferson
"It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled" - Mark Twain
Leumas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 11:33 AM   #113
Leumas
Master Poster
 
Leumas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,696
Originally Posted by lupus_in_fabula View Post
So just to be clear: do you think there is any such thing as "output of consciousness" or not?


Define what that is.
__________________
"I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for his reputation if he didn't" - Jules Renard
"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty" - Thomas Jefferson
"It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled" - Mark Twain
Leumas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 11:46 AM   #114
rocketdodger
Philosopher
 
rocketdodger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hyperion
Posts: 6,884
Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
Define what that is.
Perhaps things like the drawings, paintings, and literature you referenced in a previous post?
rocketdodger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 11:52 AM   #115
rocketdodger
Philosopher
 
rocketdodger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hyperion
Posts: 6,884
Originally Posted by !Kaggen View Post
What the heck is an anti-computationalist?
In a strict sense, someone who holds that consciousness is not based on computation.

In a weaker sense, someone who holds that consciousness is not based entirely on computation.

I consider the latter a "weaker" sense because fundamentally it isn't possible for consciousness to be only partially based on computation, meaning people that think so just don't quite fully understand what computation entails. I don't know that there are many people with this position so it doesn't matter much, but I wanted to be clear.
rocketdodger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 11:57 AM   #116
Leumas
Master Poster
 
Leumas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,696
Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
We can do that right now.
So you PixyMisa are "right now" able to produce a FUSION REACTION in your computer?

In reply to this I think you said it best…. “I have no words adequate to encompass the depth of your confusion.”



Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
I have no words adequate to encompass the depth of your confusion.
I on the other hand have ONE WORD that is adequate to encompass the shallowness of your "monumentally simplistic" 'thinking' and the contemptibility of your arrogance.
__________________
"I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for his reputation if he didn't" - Jules Renard
"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty" - Thomas Jefferson
"It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled" - Mark Twain
Leumas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 12:10 PM   #117
lupus_in_fabula
Graduate Poster
 
lupus_in_fabula's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,217
Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
Define what that is.
Well, it’s not a matter of defining “it” since the question is whether there is anything in terms of output to define in the first place (other than processing itself).

More specifically: If the “output of consciousness” would be considered to be analogous to what sugar is to photosynthesis … is it even meaningful to speak about consciousness in such terms, as some kind of substance it produces?


Here’s the original quote again:
Originally Posted by Mr. Scott
It's like Pigliucci's assertion that consciousness is like photosynthesis, in that a computer could simulate photosynthesis, but it would fail to produce real sugar. Likewise, a computer that simulates consciousness would fail to produce real consciousness.

What, therefore, is the output of consciousness, the substance it produces, and what evidence is there that it's real?
__________________
...Forever shall the wolf in me desire the sheep in you...
lupus_in_fabula is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 12:16 PM   #118
case#46cw39
Muse
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 609
State of the Art April 2012. Must see to be up to speed on this topic. ... "arrogance" checked ... check


BBC Horizon: The Hunt For AI
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the JREF. The JREF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
__________________
LET'S START SAVING TAX MONEY AND GAINING TAX REVENUES! END THE BS POT WAR!

Last edited by case#46cw39; 18th April 2012 at 12:50 PM.
case#46cw39 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 12:20 PM   #119
Leumas
Master Poster
 
Leumas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,696
Originally Posted by punshhh View Post
Originally Posted by keyfeatures View Post
I prefer sherry.
So do I, an old Oloroso.

A glass of Tawny Port for me old chap...what?

__________________
"I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for his reputation if he didn't" - Jules Renard
"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty" - Thomas Jefferson
"It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled" - Mark Twain
Leumas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 18th April 2012, 12:33 PM   #120
Leumas
Master Poster
 
Leumas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,696
Originally Posted by lupus_in_fabula View Post
Well, it’s not a matter of defining “it” since the question is whether there is anything in terms of output to define in the first place (other than processing itself).

More specifically: If the “output of consciousness” would be considered to be analogous to what sugar is to photosynthesis … is it even meaningful to speak about consciousness in such terms, as some kind of substance it produces?


Here’s the original quote again:


Maybe Rocketdodger has a better definition
Originally Posted by rocketdodger View Post
Perhaps things like the drawings, paintings, and literature you referenced in a previous post?
(I added the link)


What Pinocchio is able to produce this "output"?

Originally Posted by Rudyard Kipling
The Betrothed
"You must choose between me and your cigar."
________________________________________

Open the old cigar-box, get me a Cuba stout,
For things are running crossways, and Maggie and I are out.

We quarrelled about Havanas--we fought o'er a good cheroot,
And I knew she is exacting, and she says I am a brute.

Open the old cigar-box--let me consider a space;
In the soft blue veil of the vapour musing on Maggie's face.

Maggie is pretty to look at--Maggie's a loving lass,
But the prettiest cheeks must wrinkle, the truest of loves must pass.

There's peace in a Larranaga, there's calm in a Henry Clay;
But the best cigar in an hour is finished and thrown away--

Thrown away for another as perfect and ripe and brown--
But I could not throw away Maggie for fear o' the talk o' the town!

Maggie, my wife at fifty--grey and dour and old--
With never another Maggie to purchase for love or gold!

And the light of Days that have Been the dark of the Days that Are,
And Love's torch stinking and stale, like the butt of a dead cigar--

The butt of a dead cigar you are bound to keep in your pocket--
With never a new one to light tho' it's charred and black to the socket!

Open the old cigar-box--let me consider a while.
Here is a mild Manila--there is a wifely smile.

Which is the better portion--bondage bought with a ring,
Or a harem of dusky beauties, fifty tied in a string?

Counsellors cunning and silent--comforters true and tried,
And never a one of the fifty to sneer at a rival bride?

Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close,

This will the fifty give me, asking nought in return,
With only a Suttee's passion--to do their duty and burn.

This will the fifty give me. When they are spent and dead,
Five times other fifties shall be my servants instead.

The furrows of far-off Java, the isles of the Spanish Main,
When they hear my harem is empty will send me my brides again.

I will take no heed to their raiment, nor food for their mouths withal,
So long as the gulls are nesting, so long as the showers fall.

I will scent 'em with best vanilla, with tea will I temper their hides,
And the Moor and the Mormon shall envy who read of the tale of my brides.

For Maggie has written a letter to give me my choice between
The wee little whimpering Love and the great god Nick o' Teen.

And I have been servant of Love for barely a twelvemonth clear,
But I have been Priest of Cabanas a matter of seven year;

And the gloom of my bachelor days is flecked with the cheery light
Of stumps that I burned to Friendship and Pleasure and Work and Fight.

And I turn my eyes to the future that Maggie and I must prove,
But the only light on the marshes is the Will-o'-the-Wisp of Love.

Will it see me safe through my journey or leave me bogged in the mire?
Since a puff of tobacco can cloud it, shall I follow the fitful fire?

Open the old cigar-box--let me consider anew--
Old friends, and who is Maggie that I should abandon you?

A million surplus Maggies are willing to bear the yoke;
And a woman is only a woman, but a good Cigar is a Smoke.

Light me another Cuba--I hold to my first-sworn vows.
If Maggie will have no rival, I'll have no Maggie for Spouse!
__________________
"I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for his reputation if he didn't" - Jules Renard
"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty" - Thomas Jefferson
"It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled" - Mark Twain
Leumas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Closed Thread

JREF Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:03 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2001-2013, James Randi Educational Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.