From: Phillip Huggan (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Jan 17 2006 - 14:17:39 MST
Careful with the term "neural networks", the human model is not being referred to here. IMO, our brains don't run software, it is all hardware. If we artificially create this hardware and it acts human, sure. Running on present computers consciousness is impossible. Running on a lego machine a chinese library or wooden abacuses, impossible.
The issue of life is irrelevant. Fire behaves like life. The 1970's computer game "life" exhibits creations that behave like life. It is an artificial and arbitrary designation. Consciousness is a very real process. I'm the materialist with the chemical reactions on my side of the argument here, despite my apparent insanity. You are the philosopher claiming electron flows can substitute for chemical reactions.
Mikko Särelä <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Neural networks are equivalent with Turing machines. Modern computers are
equivalent with Turing machines. Our brains run software that nobody thus
far has replicated with modern computers. Do you claim that if one did so,
the outcome would not act like a human mind and would not have
consciousness? (If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, what is
And yes, my answer to your question is yes.
A few decades ago biologists and philosophers had a big problem trying to
understand what life is. There were philosophical debates on life and what
it is. And there were people who were dead set that life could not happen
just because of some chemical reactions.
Nowadays we know better. Cells are self-replicating machines and basically
the whole concept of life is rather meaningless in scientific debate.
The materialists were right. It was the chemical reactions that cause
these small machines to have self-replicating and other properties.
Same goes, I believe, for consciousness. Because we do not yet understand
how that happens, we hold that as an important question, but it may be
that in the final analysis it is not. It is the algorithms that compute
and estimate good actions considering the input it has that are important.
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