Consciousness and falsifiability

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Fri May 28 2004 - 05:39:47 MDT

> "The trouble is that consciousness theories are very easy to
> dream up...
> Theories that explain intelligence, on the other hand, are fiendishly
> difficult to come by and so are profoundly useful. I don't
> know for sure
> that intelligence always produces consciousness, but I do
> know that if you
> assume it does you'll never be disappointed."
> -- John K Clark
> It was good advice.
> --
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

My pattern-theory approach to consciousness has some in-principle
falsifiable consequences; for instance, that conscious agents will
report more intense conscious experience roughly when more
algorithmically-significant patterns are emerging in their "brains".

It suggests that this phenomenon will exist for humans and for AGI's as

So it's not true that all theories of consciousness are unfalsifiable.

Mine is falsifiable but only once we can measure the statics and
dynamics of brainstates in detail and run highly sophisticated pattern
recognition algorithms on this data. It is not surprising to me that
this kind of data would be needed to falsify consciousness theories, is

-- Ben G

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