RE: Friendliness and blank-slate goal bootstrap

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Mon Oct 06 2003 - 07:31:33 MDT

Ah... qualia ... I look at these from two perspectives

Qualia are entities that live in the domain of subjective experience, rather
than in the domain of empirical science. I view subjective experience &
empirical science as two different approaches to the world, both valid and
both interesting -- but complementary, not fully unifiable. (Note that my
thinking on this has evolved considerably since I wrote "Unification of
Science and Spirit", which touches on these issues.)

However, qualia may be reflected within the domain of science, e.g. by using
tools from psychology. Develop questions to ask of any intelligent entity,
whose answers are intended to tell if the entity has the "qualia"
experience. Then look for structures and dynamics inside the intelligent
entity's physical implementation, correlating with the questionnaire

Of course, in perspective 2 (the scientific perspective), one never answers
the question whether the entity "*really* experiences qualia" because the
answer to that question lies in the experiential rather than scientific

-- Ben Goertzel

-----Original Message-----
From: []On Behalf Of Aaron McBride
Sent: Monday, October 06, 2003 1:39 AM
Subject: Re: Friendliness and blank-slate goal bootstrap

Metaqualia wrote:

>Does anyone else have an opinion?
Ok. I've been watching this thread, and it's failing to resolve for me.
I keep hearing this word "qualia", but I don't think it can possibly
mean the same thing to me as it does to you. You say:

><clip>But remember, I have qualia, and the AI probably won't (at least in
the beginning), <clip>
What is it this thing that you are talking about that you think you have
and that the AI wouldn't have?
The only way that qualia makes sense to me is as a generalization of
experience. Do you mean that AI won't have experiences, or that it won't
be able to generalize on them, or do you mean something totally different?

You said in your first email that "humans have what they call qualia,
they do not know what they are but they know that they should arise in a
sufficiently complex system" (sorry if I'm quoting out of context). Are
you saying that you don't even know what qualia are? If so, why spend so
much time talking about them? How do you even know if you have them?



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