Re: 3 "Real" Conscious Machines

From: Richard Loosemore (
Date: Wed Jan 18 2006 - 06:28:23 MST

Woody Long wrote:

> Yes, for a machine to be conscious, it must (at least) understand
> (receive/process) language inputs, in the same way as human level
> consciousness understands (receives/processes) these language inputs.

This discussion about your claim has become confused: you can claim (a)
that your system is at or above the human level of intelligence, or (b)
that it is "conscious".

We don't agree on what "consciousness" is, but we DO seem to agree (most
of us) that if you simply show that your system is intelligent, that is
NOT a proof that it is conscious.

As several people have pointed out, there is no such thing as a "Searle
Test", and the Turing Test was originally just a thought experiment; it
was not supposed to be a test that actually tested for anything.

What I am interested in is WHETHER YOUR SYSTEM IS INTELLIGENT. I would
like to know if you think it is going to talk (with a voice?) in such a
way that it clearly knows what it is talking about.

To ensure that you don't cheat, I propose the following test.

I will ask your machine several questions. These will be designed to
stretch it to the limits of its cognitive powers. The first set of
questions I will give you now, so your machine has time to prepare.
Others must be answered in real time, and they will be of a similar
character as these.

1) Give an introduction to Heim's theory of quantum gravity, in
sufficient detail to allow a Physics graduate to understand it.

2) You are living in a hovel in northern England some time in the Dark
Ages, and when you open your door and look outside one morning, you hear
a fragment of a T.S. Eliot poem come to you (suitably translated into
your vernacular) through a time warp. You smile with recognition.
Explain why you smiled, what you heard and what the context is.

3) Might Igor Stravinsky have had any opinion on the subject of motor
scooters? Why?

When the remaining questions are asked in real time, your machine will
be required to respond in any human language that is currently spoken by
more than 1 million people. I will specify which language, but I will
give only one second's notice of the language.


Richard Loosemore.

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