Re: 3 "Real" Conscious Machines [WAS Re: Singularity: A rock 'em, shock'em ending soon?]

From: Phil Goetz (
Date: Tue Jan 17 2006 - 18:42:44 MST

--- Robin Lee Powell <> wrote:

> On Tue, Jan 17, 2006 at 05:21:47PM -0500, Woody Long wrote:
> > Precisely. And that is why I have proposed the Searle Chinese Room
> > Test for machine consciousness. The CPU must "understand" the
> > incoming Chinese talk it is translating into English, and the
> > resulting English, in the same way humans do, where this is taken
> > to mean "as it is received by human level consciousness." Then
> > (and only then) it can be called for all intents and purposes a
> > conscious machine. This cannot be accomplished by a thermostat
> > consciousness, or primitive feedback loop, or by a Parakeet
> > consciousness, which can memorize and parrot responses to incoming
> > words, but has no actual understanding of their meaning. Only a
> > luman level machine consciousness can actually understand the
> > meaning like human level consciousness can, and so, we have an
> > authentic conscious machine. So this is the level of consciousness
> > I am talking about, and is true human level consciousness, called
> > machine consciousness (MC). So my first response to you: Do you
> > accept this general formulation and test for machine
> > consciousness?
> I'm not Loosemoore (sp?), but yes, I accept the Turing Test and its
> variants, including this one, as an acceptable test of conciousness.

This is not a variant of the Turing Test. The point of the
Turing Test was NOT to define a way to know if a computer
was intelligent. The point was that properties such as
intelligence are defined, observed, and ACKNOWLEDGED
-- OBSERVATIONALLY. The point was that there is no way
to know what "consciousness" should look like, or what
sort of circuit implements it, and so the best one can do
is say that if it acts like a person, it's a person.

What Searle was proposing - and what Woody is proposing -
is exactly the sort of meaningless non-test that Turing
was objecting to, where one looks at a system and tries
to determine, by intuition about its operation, whether
it is conscious. This is futile. Woody has not proposed
any test that can be carried out by a human.

- Phil

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