Re: [sl4] Re: goals of AI... non physical components of mind != soul

From: Toby Weston (
Date: Wed Nov 25 2009 - 08:14:49 MST

I think that putative non physical components of mind/consciousness do not have to be synonymous with the concept of a soul.

for example:
We do not understand the mechanism of quantum entanglement or quantum decoherence.
Quantum computers work (may one day work) by exploiting features of quantum mechanics.
Things like entanglement, supersition, decoherence, the quantum Zeno effect etc are not physical, but are real.
It is conceivable that these quantum rules could be treated as primitives and combined to produce systems that "do things".

Just as physical levers and pulleys are combined to create physical machines.

Complex non physical "information machines" could be created by carefully arranging these primitives.

If (big if!) some aspect of the mind is such an "information machine" then it would be caused by the physical brain.
But the same "information machine" could also be caused by another configuration of matter.
It makes more sense in this case to talk about the "information machines" as non physical, but real, things rather than always specifying that they are emergent phenomena of the physical systems that cause them.

(Algorithms are similar "things" to "information machines" but "information machines" are more "real" because they are instantiated algorithms with the substrate being the rules of quantum mechanics).


On 25 Nov 2009, at 09:24, "John K Clark" <> wrote:

On Wed, 25 Nov 2009 "Matt Paul" <> said:

No I don't find it strange that there are aspects of existence that we
can't currently detect or measure.

And yet those mysterious aspects can be detected and explained by Matt
Paul. I find that strange but no stranger than what medieval theologians

I'm not an idiot and I'm not a fool

So you say, but extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

John K Clark

 John K Clark
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