Re: Please Re-read CAFAI

From: micah glasser (
Date: Thu Dec 15 2005 - 12:56:03 MST

I realize that my views probably differ from most of the people on this list
but, of course, its always good to hear a different perspective so long as
it is rational and cogent. My background and interests are primarily in
philosophy but I am also a student of cognitive science though I am quite
new to AI theory.
If materialistic reductionism is the correct model of reality (which is very
problematic) then the concept of emergence must mean that the system in
question is merely not fully understood. This conclusion, however, is
Whether or not qualia is a contingent phenomenon is precisely what is in
question so to dismiss the question based on what some think is to beg the
Point taken on evolution.
As to the argument that humans have consciousness therefor all GI must have
consciousness is equivalent to humans are based on DNA therefor all GI must
be based on DNA. This comparison is specious. I am starting from the
presupposition of functionalism. From this functionalism perspective one
would say that humans are based on an encoded set of instructions (the form
of those instructions is irrelevant) and I would say that if AGI is to be
built it will be based on an engineered set of instructions. So based on
this reasoning I am merely arguing that consciousness COULD have a
functional utility that would imply that any sufficiently intelligent system
might be consciousness. This possibility may turn out to be false but there
is no fallacy contained in the hypothesis.

> you're onto.
> From: "micah glasser" <>
> I can't really say I disagree with much you've said here. I guess my point
> was just that consciousness could turn out to be a necessary emergent
> property of any sufficiently intelligent system.
> Be very sceptical of "necessary emergent properties", they often are a
> sign
> that the system under study is poorly understood. Emergence is all too
> often
> a fancy word to signify "I don't know how the system is behaving and
> something weird is going on". In terms of substance, let us leave it at
> that, I don't think there's any substantive evidence for the thesis that
> no
> intelligence without the kind of sense of self we humans have is possible.
> That said, self-awareness is in many ways an illusion, much of it is
> trickery to give unity to our experience and such.
> You also said:
> To answer your question all that I mean by consciousness is the phenomenal
> awareness of qualia, and by self conscious the phenomenal awareness of a
> self. (I think Hume refutes himself on this point). Descartes's cogito is
> really the only place from which to begin a rational discussion in my
> opinion but this is off topic. The next issue I wish to address is your
> The existence, in a metaphysical sense, of qualia, is a hotly debated
> issue.
> I'd dare say the majority of the people on this list believe that qualia
> are
> a contingent manifestation of experience in some intelligent systems, and
> entirely reducible to informatics or physics.
> And:
> stipulation that evolution is an intelligent process. Evolution does not
> act
> according to a goal system which means that it is neither intelligent nor
> conscious. Of course if one believes in some sort of theism then one would
> say that evolution was exactly an intelligent process. I remain agnostic
> on
> this point because I don't believe the possibility can be ruled out. At
> any
> rate nature has only produced one entity that we know of with General
> Intelligence and that is man. Man is a conscious and self-aware being. So
> it
> is not to much of a stretch to suppose that consciousness and intelligence
> are related.
> Evolution is not intelligent[1], it is an optimization process. An
> optimization process can look a lot like intelligence, though. In fact,
> Dawkins said something to the effect that biology is the study of those
> natural machines that appear to have been designed, or something to that
> effect. The point is that human intelligence is not the only possible
> optimization process, and an optimization process can behave like a
> rational
> agent, can maximizeexpected utility. There's no reason to believe that
> optimization processes are in any manner self aware.
> As to the "we're the only intelligent things around and we're aware so
> probably intelligence implies awareness", one could equally say "we're the
> only intelligent things around and we're DNA-based so intelligence
> requires
> DNA". It is an insufficiently substantiated idea.
> 1: I'd argue that evolution doesn't sufficiently maximize expected utility
> to be considered intelligent.
> --David.

I swear upon the alter of God, eternal hostility to every form of tyranny
over the mind of man. - Thomas Jefferson

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:54 MDT