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Robots, Consciousness, and Life

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  • Alan Fay
    Brace yourselves for a paradigm shift. The human mind might be more than what some of us regard it. A Caltech researcher thinks he may have discovered human
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 30, 2001

      Brace yourselves for a paradigm shift.  The human mind might be more
      than what some of us regard it.
      A Caltech researcher thinks he may have discovered human consciousness
      to be independent of the brain.
      "The brain itself is made up of cells, like all the body's organs, and is not really capable of producing the subjective phenomenon of thought that people have, he said"
       
      So cognition and consciousness are not the same, eh?  Interesting...
      I do know this:  "Only living beings can possess values."  I have needs.
      I have wants.  Some things I need more than others.  Some things
      I need every day, others I can go for years without.  My values change
      as time goes by. 
       
      I don't know this:  "Only living beings can possess consciousness." Is
      this true or not?  Well, obviously a robot that changes direction when
      it bumps into a wall is --- to some degree, at least--"conscious" of its
      surroundings.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  I'm not certain.
       
      However this does not mean that robots cannot be extremely adaptable
      and flexible and useful in our lives, as well as interesting and entertaining.
      Collision avoidance and navigation algorithms might not be consciousness,
      but they certainly are helpful in aiding the robot to accomplish its tasks.
       
       
      --- Alan Fay
      --- EarthLink: It's your Internet.
       

    • Alan King
      ... What a load of bunk. As a test why not let s stick a small probe into your brain, and start randomly killing small groups of cells. It will have a
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 1, 2001
        > Brace yourselves for a paradigm shift. The human mind might be more
        > than what some of us regard it.
        > A Caltech researcher thinks he may have discovered human consciousness
        > to be independent of the brain.
        > http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010629/sc/life_consciousness_dc_1.html
        > "The brain itself is made up of cells, like all the body's organs, and
        > is not really capable of producing the subjective phenomenon of
        > thought that people have, he said"

        What a load of bunk. As a test why not let's stick a small probe into
        your brain, and start randomly killing small groups of cells. It will
        have a measurable effect on your ablility to think, regardless of how
        much you or anyone else says or wants to believe your consciousness
        isn't tied directly to your brain..


        >
        > So cognition and consciousness are not the same, eh? Interesting...
        > I do know this: "Only living beings can possess values." I have
        > needs.
        > I have wants. Some things I need more than others. Some things
        > I need every day, others I can go for years without. My values change
        > as time goes by.

        You don't know any such thing. Rules of logic dictate that you can't
        prove something is impossible, only that it is possible once achieved.
        Just because you don't know how to build a thinking feeling robot right
        now doesn't mean diddly as to whether or not it's possible, it is only
        proof of a lack of knowledge of how to do so. Just like everyone else
        in the world, you don't have enough legitimate basis to draw any broad
        conclusions against it at all. And if you look closely at how many
        things how many people have said were impossible throughout history, and
        how often time and future knowledge have proved them wrong, it'd be
        foolish to place bets against it considering the complexity of the
        problem with only 20 years of research with reasonably modern tools
        against it, IF you can call the computers 20 years ago 'reasonably
        modern'. I'd set the half-life around 2,000-10,000 years from now. If
        it hasn't been done by then, THEN it would start becoming reasonable to
        bet against it. You still couldn't say it's impossible, just that no
        one has done it in thousands of years of trying. You can NEVER know
        it's impossible, only that it hasn't been done.

        The simple fact that your brain is a finite thing, with a finite number
        of cells with a finite number of connections, with a finite number of
        states or at least a finite range of operation if truly analog, is a
        screamingly obvious clue that the people betting for it will likely win
        in the long run. Our brains and minds are noticably superior to
        computers at the moment, but they are far too limited in scope and power
        to think of them as infinite and unmodelable. They just don't qualify
        for either of those terms, no matter how much people want to believe
        they do.


        Wow lol after actually reading that link. ``When you damage the brain
        or lose some of the aspects of mind or
        personality, that doesn't necessarily mean the mind is being
        produced by the
        brain. All it shows is that the apparatus is damaged,'' Parnia
        said, adding that
        further research might reveal the existence of a soul.

        And absolutely nothing in that article necessarily means that any of the
        conclusions reached are correct either. There's a specific area in the
        brain that ties to 'sense of self', and when it isn't working properly
        people feel 'outside their body'. And every case of this is just as
        easily explained that that area shuts down fast, while other parts of
        the brain can function on some level for quite some time. And these
        things are known and provable, not some metaphysical junk.

        Hmm let's stop your brain for a day or two then we'll start you back up
        again, then I'll listen to what you say about being dead.. Hmm can't do
        that? Well that's a heck of an indicator that these people weren't
        fully dead either, since we've never been able to start someone up when
        we knew they were good and dead. If you want to believe in 'clinically
        dead' then you might as well bring back Santa and the Tooth Fairy too.

        And where did this news come from? Yahoo news? Isn't that the place
        that makes money on getting you to click the link, not how accurate or
        worth while the news is? Just think, they made some fraction of a penny
        off of you reading that. Not that all the other news outlets won't
        report it too, they can make money off that piece of doo too.. If
        they'd only file it in the entertainment section where it belongs,
        instead of under science, then at least it'd be reasonably accurate
        reporting.

        And look at the odds. Maybe 7 out of 63, maybe only 4. That's 56
        people out of 63 that ought to party hard on Saturday nights..
      • Party of Citizens
        ... That is one of the oldest philosophical-theological debates around. Is the world 100% objective; 100% subjective; or both? If it is both, which is
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 1, 2001
          On Sat, 30 Jun 2001, Alan Fay wrote:

          > Brace yourselves for a paradigm shift. The human mind might be
          > more
          > than what some of us regard it.
          > A Caltech researcher thinks he may have discovered human consciousness
          > to be independent of the brain.
          >
          > http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010629/sc/life_consciousness_dc_1.html

          That is one of the oldest philosophical-theological debates around. Is the
          world 100% objective; 100% subjective; or both? If it is both, which is
          primary...subjectivity or objectivity? If the Caltech guy has proven
          this, he will be famous. And he should qualify for James Randi's million
          dollar "Psychic Challenge" prize. But I wonder...would a transmigrating
          consciousness be able to "possess" any robot it wanted? More X Files.
          FWP
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