RE: Objective versus subjective reality: which is primary?

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Thu Jul 21 2005 - 09:11:14 MDT

> Does conscious experience emerge from complex patterns or the
> execution of certain algorithms? Maybe... Perhaps even probably.

Actually, I don't think this formulation is exactly right...

Clearly, human conscious experience emerges from complex patterns of the
execution of certain algorithms -- the question is in what sense are the
algorithms *alone* sufficient to produce the conscious experience

more on this later though, I have some more practical things to attend to
right now ;-)

> But we don't know that and "not knowing" is the position we
> should take when encoding the initial reasoning algorithms of the seed AI.

Mitch Porter raised an amusing possibility a while back. Suppose that
qualia are somehow tied into quantum dynamics, but that intelligent behavior
is achievable with or without qualia, e.g. through qualia-free AI programs
running on classical computers. Then by creating superhuman AI's and having
them annihilate us, we would effectively be annihilating experience from the
universe in favor of non-aware intelligent processes ;-p

Really though I think that is the wrong way of thinking about the issue
(funny as it is) -- but I'll save my new thoughts on "the right way of
thinking about it" for a long and systematic post tonight or (more likely)

-- Ben

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