From Paul

Boing Boing post about the Story Contest09 Jun


Cory Doctorow over at Boing Boing was kind enough to post about the contest.

And then the most amazing metaphysical comments argument broke out.  Here’s a sample:

Ascribing gender to robots (that are not standard pleasure models on the off-world colonies) just seems odd.

“Valdis said:
“Noen – prove to us that *you* can feel.”

Pains and tickles and itches, feelings, have a first person ontology. So if I feel that I am in pain, then I *am* in pain. That I am conscious is not something that I can be mistaken about. To be conscious of being unconscious would mean being consciously unconscious. A plain contradiction and therefore not possible.

“Serious question, that.”

I appreciate the opportunity to refine my position. Thanks.

“That’s part of why Alan Turing devised the Turing Test the way he did – the question of “Can computers think/feel?” hits the same exact problem as *people* trying to prove they think/feel.”

The Turing test has been rendered useless. There is in fact a case where the Turing test cannot distinguish between an unthinking “AI” and a real intelligence. Searle’s Chinese Room refutes both strong AI (that computers can or ever could think) and it also provides a counter example to Turing’s test.

Do you really want to claim that chatbots, which are nothing more than databases, are living conscious beings? Do you really believe that it is possible in principle to put yourself onto your hard drive? If so, before you do, can I have your stuff?

“if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck”

Behaviorism was also refuted long ago (Chomsky). No one actually believes in the behaviorist program any more. While it may be useful in certain clinical settings it has become abundantly clear that it cannot fully explain human psychology nor could it possibly be the case that consciousness can be reduced to behavior only.

Simulated weather is not weather.”

My thoughts, exactly!





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