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

From: Charles D Hixson (
Date: Fri Jan 20 2006 - 15:38:20 MST

On Wednesday 18 January 2006 08:24 am, Mikko Särelä wrote:
> On Tue, 17 Jan 2006, Daniel Radetsky wrote:
> > >...e way that a human is.
> >...s impossible, rather than nonexistent.
> Ah, but in science the burden of proof is on the side who claims a
> principle. So if you or Searle claim this method, you should also provide
> a method with which is can be tested. Until that is done, it should be
> considered untestable.
> And if testing it requires understanding consciousness, it cannot really
> help us understand consciousness, can it.

Ah. Well in that case I challenge you to demonstrate that YOU are conscious.
I.e., propose some test that I can use to demonstrate that you are conscious.
Certainly you can't demand that the machine be able to pass a test that you
can't pass in order to be shown as conscious?

I find the whole argument silly, but most especially the people who seem to be
demanding non-operational tests for "is it conscious"? Since nobody has ever
been shown to be a zombie, I think that the onus of proof should be on the
entity claiming that some other entity (which denies it) is, in fact, a
zombie. (I except here "robots" that have been instructed to lie, and claim
that they are conscious. Certainly <<10 print "I am conscious. "\n20 GO
TO 10">> isn't conscious, but it isn't a zombie, either.)

A lying zombie would, without having been so instructed, claim to be
conscious, but not really be conscious. Requirement for the proof that such
a thing exists should be more stringent than the requirements for proof that
an entity is conscious.

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