June 25, 2003
Bodies and consciousness

On rereading the argument as presented in 'Small Pieces Loosely Joined', we find some evidence as to what Weinberger dislikes about the idea of 'patterns as consciousness' is that it does not account for our interaction with the real world: "Thinking, and thus knowledge, requires not only a brain but also a world and a body". But is anybody really saying otherwise? Surely nobody is imagining that the Kurzweil simulator does not receive input from the external world, or produce output into that world. In fact the way in which it relates input to output is exactly what we use to gauge its intelligence. It is part of the experimental setup.
And of course this input and output means the machine is not an identical performative copy of Kurzweil. Its camera eyes view the world from a different position for instance, but we should be able to reason about consciousness of this machine regardless.
In fact this observation provides us with the next attack on 'The Chinese Room'. It is the entire system claims of consciousness and/or intelligence is being made about, including the mapping to the external world. So Searle's conclusion that the Searle genie in the bottle does not know Chinese even if the Chinese room as a whole is capable of chinese translation can be true without anything having been said about strong AI.

Posted by Claus at June 25, 2003 09:24 AM
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