Tuesday, December 27, 2011

369: The Brain and The Mystery of Consciousness

According to John Searle in his book "The Mystery of Consciousness" (1997), it seems that the greatest single philosophical obstacle to getting a satisfactory account of consciousness is

our continued acceptance of a set of obsolete categories, and an accompanying set of presuppositions that we have inherited from our religious and philosophical tradition.

We start off with the mistaken assumption that the notions of "mental" and "physical," of "dualism" and "monism," of "materialism" and "idealism" are clear and respectable notions as they stand,and that the issues have to be posed and resolved in these traditional terms.

We also suppose that the notion of scientific reduction - by which complex phenomena can be explained by, and in some cases eliminated in favor of, the basic mechanisms that make them work - is clear and presents few difficulties.

We then notice that consciousness, our ordinary states of sentience and awareness when we are awake, as well as our states of dreaming when we are asleep, seem very peculiar when we compare them with such "physical" phenomena as molecules or mountains.

Compared to mountains and molecules, consciousness seems "mysterious," "ethereal," even "mystical."

Consciousness does not seem to be "physical" in the way that other features of the brain, such as neuron firings, are physical.

Nor does it seem to be reducible to physical processes by the usual sorts of scientific analyses that have worked for such physical properties as heat and solidity.

Many philosophers believe that if you grant real existence to consciousness you will be forced to some version of "dualism,"

the view that there are two metaphysically different kinds of phenomena in the universe, the mental and the physical.

Indeed for many authors, the very definition of dualism implies that if you accept, in addition to such "physical" phenomena as mountains, "mental" phenomena such as pains, you are a dualist.

But dualism as traditionally conceived seems a hopeless theory because, having made a strict distinction between the mental and the physical, it cannot then make the relation of the two intelligible.

It seems that to accept dualism is to give up the entire scientific worldview that we have spent nearly four centuries to attain. So, what are we to do?

So far John Searle, who thus outlines the program, that lays ahead of us.

There still are philosophers, who accept dualism as the real solution of the problem of consciousness. One great name here is David J. Chalmers.

But in contemporary philosophy the most common move is to insist that materialism must be right and that we must eliminate consciousness by reducing it to something else.

Favorite candidates for the phenomena to which consciousness must be reduced are brain states described in purely "physical" terms and computer programs.

Searle takes an interesting position in relation to the pragmatic and deliberate choice I made for materialism and possibly a kind of reductionism.

A good example of this reductionism is the discussion about free will. Some neuroscientists deny the existence of free will, because certain brain states are ahead of our consciousness of these states.

Before I am conscious of wanting to move my arm, there has taken place already certain brain activity, which indicates motor action.

Ok, let me assume Searle's view as leading principle for the last stage of our quest:

"consciousness is a natural, biological phenomenon. It is as much a part of our biological life as digestion, growth, or photosynthesis."

And to conclude this lecture and this year,I have granted myself with a nice Christmas holiday, which means that my next lecture will be Tuesday, January 3, 2012. ^_^

The Discussion

[13:22] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): yay!
[13:22] herman Bergson: Thank you all..... ㋡
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:23] Mistyowl Warrhol: A conscious act? :-)
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: it sure have been an interesting year
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:23] neret Emor: thanks for the lecture, herman
[13:23] herman Bergson: my pleasure neret
[13:23] Farv Hallison: I don't do photosynthesis myself
[13:23] herman Bergson: If you have any questions left...
[13:23] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ LOL ♥
[13:23] herman Bergson: the floor is yours
[13:23] Mick Nerido: Nice summation
[13:23] Clerisse Beeswing: wow end of year already
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:23] Lizzy Pleides: Thank you fot all the wonderful lessons this year Herman
[13:24] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): jan 3 nice
[13:24] Clerisse Beeswing: you have been so great professor and everyone else too
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:24] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): we have a lot to think about during christmas holiday
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: been really nice this
[13:24] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): Yes-ah!
[13:24] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): oh this is always an interesting class
[13:24] herman Bergson: blushes a little...
[13:24] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): WaaaHaHAhahAHA! AhhhhHAhahhAHhahHAH! haha!
[13:24] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): for years now
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: hehehe
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: ideed
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: very nice
[13:25] herman Bergson: We reached the 5th year of our lectures and crossed the border of 300 too
[13:25] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): Yes-ah!
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: and got a good insight in everything
[13:25] Clerisse Beeswing: ohhh my gosh
[13:25] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): I think i have been to about 270??
[13:25] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): more or less
[13:25] Clerisse Beeswing: our brains might explode from some much thinking
[13:25] Mistyowl Warrhol: Nice, wish I hadn't missed the others.. but looking forward to future ones :-)
[13:25] herman Bergson: at least Gemma!
[13:25] Lizzy Pleides: hreman has been at all of them
[13:25] neret Emor: same here, mistyowl
[13:25] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): i just say i know that the more classes the more questions come up and allso the same ones all the time
[13:26] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): over and over
[13:26] herman Bergson: that is a good thing Gemma....
[13:26] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): the more we learn the less we understand
[13:26] Mistyowl Warrhol: Isnt that the purpose, not to teach what we know, but to lead us to learn more?
[13:26] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): end of next year you have even more questions gemma:)
[13:26] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ LOL ♥
[13:26] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): and the farther we get from graduating
[13:26] herman Bergson: I wouldnt say that Gemma....
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: hahahahahaa
[13:26] herman Bergson: I think you begin to see more and more nuances...
[13:26] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): that is true
[13:26] Clerisse Beeswing: lol nope I will never graduate from learning
[13:27] neret Emor: me neither xD
[13:27] DOMINATRIX Babii: life is one long lesson
[13:27] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): nor me:)
[13:27] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): the backbone of our class is behind us on the wall
[13:27] Clerisse Beeswing: very true dominatrix
[13:27] neret Emor: the lesson finish just in the grave
[13:27] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): we always go back to them
[13:27] herman Bergson: it may cause a feeling of knowing less and less...but in fact you see much more...
[13:27] Lizzy Pleides: true herman
[13:27] neret Emor: very true
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: and the more you see the more new questions come up
[13:28] herman Bergson: It shows you that you can't settle such questions with funny one-liners
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: but in general you know more and more
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: but that in turn raises new questions and so on
[13:28] herman Bergson: Oh I feel lost now and then myself....
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: guess that is how it it
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: is
[13:28] Lizzy Pleides: the more you know the more you doubt
[13:29] herman Bergson: looking at all the literature I have....
[13:29] Sybyle Perdide: if the number of question grows proportional to what we see more, its hard to see anything
[13:29] herman Bergson: I would look at it that way, Sybyle....
[13:29] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): we will see Sybylle..herman will leed us..
[13:29] neret Emor: but is the same along humanity history, we leanr and make lot of mistakes and its like each answer take u to the new question
[13:29] Farv Hallison: All the trees obscure my view of the forrest.
[13:30] herman Bergson: Just take my appoach of this philosophical problem....
[13:30] neret Emor: and curiousity makes us very special
[13:30] bergfrau Apfelbaum: sorry:-( but i have to much lag today. happy holidays Class! :-)))
[13:30] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): speaking of trees again
[13:30] herman Bergson: of course I have no clear cut answers...
[13:30] Mick Nerido: Thanks time for me to go
[13:30] DOMINATRIX Babii: and some people never learn from the mistakes in history :)
[13:30] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ok bergie
[13:30] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): you too
[13:30] Mistyowl Warrhol: One has to know enough to be able to ask questions, the more they learn the more and deeper the questions.
[13:30] herman Bergson: but I make a pragmatic decision....
[13:30] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): /merry
[13:30] neret Emor: very true :D
[13:30] bergfrau Apfelbaum: **** YODEL **** HOLLA REI DULI JÖ *** YODEL ***
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:30] herman Bergson: and then I put my view to the test
[13:30] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ⁂•:._.:•⁂MERRY CHRISTMAS⁂•:._.:•⁂
[13:30] Clerisse Beeswing: Best of holidays to all
[13:31] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): i have to go..have a merry Christmas or Saturnalia:)))
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: same to you ㋡
[13:31] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): Bye, Bye ㋡
[13:31] neret Emor: merry christmas gemma
[13:31] herman Bergson: Not to get my view confirmed....but to get my view tested
[13:31] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): beertje
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: cu beertje
[13:31] DOMINATRIX Babii: have a lovely holiday everybody:)
[13:31] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:31] Clerisse Beeswing: May we keep learning into the next and next new year
[13:31] Sybyle Perdide: as you do, Beertje
[13:31] Lizzy Pleides: same to you Beertje
[13:31] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): Yes-ah!
[13:31] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): we will
[13:31] Nitro Fireguard: ·Bye Bertje
[13:31] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): bye bye
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:31] Clerisse Beeswing: Thanks professor
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: looking forward to it
[13:31] neret Emor: mery crhistmas beertje
[13:31] herman Bergson: Well...Qwark isnt online. I guess I have a merry crowd here now....
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: hugs beertje
[13:31] Nitro Fireguard: I have to go too
[13:31] Mistyowl Warrhol: Bye Beertje :-) hugs
[13:32] herman Bergson: So....I all wish you the happiest holidays...!
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: bye then Notro
[13:32] neret Emor: marry xmas as well, nitro :)
[[13:32] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:32] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): herman
[13:32] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ㋡
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: tnx Herman ㋡
[13:32] Nitro Fireguard smiles
[[13:32] Bejiita Imako: \o/
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: || Hoooo!
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: / \
[13:32] Nitro Fireguard: thank you
[[13:32] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): i hope we will see you dancing over the holidays one day
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: have a good christmas and new year Herman
[[13:32] Bejiita Imako: and cu after that next year
[13:32] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): Yes-ah!
[13:32] herman Bergson: Have yourself a merry little Xmas and a happy New Year ^_^
[13:32] DOMINATRIX Babii: see you in 2012 :)
[13:32] neret Emor: see u soon bejiita
[13:33] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): if i cannot make the 3rd will be there on the 5th
[13:33] Nitro Fireguard: Happy christmas to all the philosophers
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: ok cu all
[13:33] herman Bergson: thank you all for your participation!
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: really nice
[13:33] Sybyle Perdide: thanks for take us with you, Herman
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: ok bye then
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:34] herman Bergson: Bye Bejiita
[13:34] neret Emor: bye bejiita
[13:34] Mistyowl Warrhol: and my outfit is Beertje's christmas one from her store :-)
[13:34] DOMINATRIX Babii: bye bejiita:)
[13:34] Sybyle Perdide: bye Bejita
[13:34] Farv Hallison: good bye all you lovely philosophers.
[13:34] Sybyle Perdide: bye Farv
[13:34] neret Emor: bye farv, have a nice xmas
[13:35] herman Bergson: Bye Farv..have a good time!
[13:35] Mistyowl Warrhol: If I dont see anyone before.. TC, be safe and healthy, have a happy holiday season.. and warm New Year.
[13:35] Sybyle Perdide: good holidays to you, Herman
[13:35] Sybyle Perdide: and we will meet again in 2012
[13:35] Sybyle Perdide: : )
[13:35] Sybyle Perdide: I am curious
[13:36] Lizzy Pleides: yes have wonderful holidays Herman and all others
[13:36] herman Bergson: Will be an interesting 2012 Sybyle...
[13:36] Sybyle Perdide: I am sure
[13:36] neret Emor: see u the next class
[13:36] Sybyle Perdide: enjoy your holidays
[13:36] herman Bergson: ok neret :-)

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

368: The Brain and Consciousness

Today we have reached a milestone in our quest of the Mystery of the brain. After dozens of attempts to formulate a theory of the mind, from dualism to connectionism, we have reached the point of no return.


"This era is at once the most exciting and the most frustrating for the study of consciousness in my intellectual lifetime:

exciting because consciousness has again become respectable, indeed almost central, as a subject of investigation in philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, and even neuroscience;

frustrating because the whole subject is still plagued with mistakes and errors I thought had been long exposed.", says John Searle (1932 - …) in the Preface of "The Mystery of consciousness (1997).

As a pragmatic choice I started our quest with the assumption that the mind and consciousness are a product of the brain.

Neuroscience has proven that a number of mysterious experiences, like experiencing the presence of an invisible entity or person near to you,

or voices in our head, or flashes of revelations, or the appearance of the holy Virgin, or out-of-body and near - death experiences are all tricks that the brain plays on us.

For consciousness we need at least three crucial parts of the brain: the cortex, the thalamus and the white matter, in which are embedded all neural connections between cortex and thalamus.

The thalamus (from Greek θάλαμος = room, chamber) is a midline paired symmetrical structure within the brains of vertebrates, including humans.

It is situated between the cerebral cortex and midbrain, both in terms of location and neurological connections. Its function includes relaying sensation, spatial sense, and motor signals to the cerebral cortex, along with the regulation of consciousness, sleep, and alertness.

Any damage to one of these parts affects the state of consciousness of a person.

A stroke that damages the right brain, for instance, can make the person loose consciousness of the left side of his body or left spacial consciousness.

When you approach such a person from the left he doesn't notice you at all, from the right he does. Such a person eats only the food on the right half of his plate. Turn it 180 degrees and he can eat the left half.

Coma is another source of information on how to understand the relation between brain and consciousness.

The brainstem controls all functions which are vital to survive, respiration, heartbeat, body temperature and so on. As its name suggests, it is positioned below the cortex.

When the cortex gets damaged, we may loose consciousness, but the brainstem continues to perform its duties. Consequently we stay alive, but unconscious.

Of course there are many more medical examples, but my main point here is, that brain and consciousness are inextricably linked

and that the final stage of our quest is to learn to understand how a bunch of general purpose molecules in a certain configuration can give birth to the mind and consciousness.

The Discussion

[13:18] herman Bergson: Thank you....
[13:18] herman Bergson: To answer Farv....
[13:18] herman Bergson: subconsciousness is a psychological term
[13:19] herman Bergson: while consciousness as meant here is a neurological or biological term
[13:19] Teleo Aeon: what is it to be considered (conscious) of something ?
[13:19] herman Bergson: in that sense subconsciousness and consciousness here are hardly related to each other
[13:20] Lizzy Pleides: there is no location for subconsciousness?
[13:20] herman Bergson: there is no location for subconscious nor consciousness.
[13:21] herman Bergson: To be conscious of something....
[13:21] herman Bergson: there are two things in the organism....
[13:21] herman Bergson: a consciousness of the environment with which it interacts and an awareness of the self
[13:21] Teleo Aeon: so this is a proposed consciousness, which is the kind of being counscious of being aware ?
[13:22] Teleo Aeon: or just a mechanism of consciousness
[13:22] Teleo Aeon: or for
[13:22] herman Bergson: not sure what you mean Teleo... ㋡
[13:24] Teleo Aeon: well one could argue that being conscious of being aware, might be different in humans, in the sense that we are actually constantly thinking about outcomes and causes and effect... but we are aware of that AND aware of being aware
[13:24] herman Bergson: I see.....
[13:25] herman Bergson: On the one hand we have self awareness....
[13:25] Teleo Aeon: what the actual biological mechanism underlying that is.. is maybe a search in a different respect, to consciousness
[13:25] herman Bergson: and yes you can play the game of being awere that you are aware of that you are aware of that you are a wre...
[13:25] herman Bergson: ad infinitum....
[13:26] Mick Nerido: We are conscious beings means that matter has that potential...
[13:26] herman Bergson: on the other hand....consciousness is just one word....but it refers to a number of mental states...not to just one state....
[13:26] Teleo Aeon: yeah.. which is I guess, the primary reason that often makes me wonder if it is anything actual at all.. as a phenomena.. or we just end up thinking we are sure, it must be. :)
[13:26] herman Bergson: in future lectures we'll look into the analysis of the concept of consciousness
[13:27] Teleo Aeon: sounds interesting :)
[13:27] Mick Nerido: It's a state of mind?
[13:27] herman Bergson: I mean ..consciousness....itis about our memories....
[13:27] Farv Hallison: one way of being aware is to have a bunch of sentence fragments we can sort through to figure out what to say... Is there anything else?
[13:28] herman Bergson: but also about our awareness of our ideas, our desires, drives....and so on
[13:28] herman Bergson: So there is a lot to tell about the concept itself already
[13:28] Lizzy Pleides: is it alllow is it allowed to say that brain works with facts and consciousness with feelings, ... and both interact
[13:28] Lizzy Pleides: ?
[13:29] herman Bergson: if you want a straight answer LIzzy.....
[13:29] Mick Nerido: I think of it like a 3 way bulb the brightest setting is consciousness the lower settings unconscious thought
[13:29] herman Bergson: I would not allow such a manner of speaking
[13:29] herman Bergson: because you make the brian an agent and consciousness two....as if we are split in two...
[13:29] herman Bergson: that cant be correct
[13:29] herman Bergson: Besides that....
[13:30] herman Bergson: the brain causes, generates, is the origin of th emind and consciousness
[13:30] herman Bergson: the brain is the material thing....actually just molecules....
[13:31] herman Bergson: How can that generate what we experience as consciousness....that is the big question
[13:31] Sybyle Perdide: so consciousness is a special function of the brian beside the working with facts, and supervising this?
[13:31] Sybyle Perdide: in a special way
[13:31] Teleo Aeon: the more I think about it.. the more I buy into the emergent propertys, position
[13:32] herman Bergson: that is a better way of stating it it Sybyle, but in stead of brain I would use the word mind
[13:32] Sybyle Perdide: okay
[13:32] herman Bergson: in fact...the word brain only refers to that grey matter that is in your skull
[13:33] Sybyle Perdide: got it
[13:33] Sybyle Perdide: : )
[13:33] herman Bergson: as such it isn't an acting entity...
[13:33] Sybyle Perdide: oh it continues
[13:33] herman Bergson: however, as I said before....that brain generates our consciousness....that is the mystery
[13:33] Sybyle Perdide: but we start the next big arc within it
[13:33] Sybyle Perdide: ups
[13:34] Sybyle Perdide: sorry
[13:36] Teleo Aeon: they must mean, the point where an organism becomes aware I guess ? or is it limited to humans as being the only species ascribed with consciousness
[13:36] herman Bergson: Well...today we have opened the final chapter of the philosophy of mind....
[13:36] herman Bergson: Oh no Teloe......
[13:36] herman Bergson: a number of animals have some kind of self awareness
[13:37] herman Bergson: Dolphins, elephants, chimps...they all showed to recognize themselves in a mirror....
[13:37] herman Bergson: even a bird…don't know the english name did so
[13:37] DOMINATRIX Babii: is consciousness not programmed into our mind by what we observe and learn as we grow up?
[13:38] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): rico
[13:38] Farv Hallison: What is the evidence that anyone else or any other animal is conscious?
[13:38] herman Bergson: consciousness and self awareness is not s specific human ability
[13:38] Teleo Aeon: nods.. well in an important sense, I ascribe most creatures to be conscious in a central and important sense... but I think humans are a special case... so there are other problems with that then
[13:38] herman Bergson: yes indeed Teleo....
[13:38] herman Bergson: there is a difference in degree of consciousness
[13:39] Teleo Aeon: thats why I tend to often prefer awareness I suppose.
[13:39] Teleo Aeon: as a differentiator between what I'd call consciously human
[13:40] herman Bergson: I don't think you can uphold that 100%
[13:40] herman Bergson: Indeed an insect reacts to it environment....
[13:40] Farv Hallison: WE have visual and language images, even smell.
[13:40] herman Bergson: so you could assume a kind of consciousness there....
[13:40] DOMINATRIX Babii: all animals have those senses
[13:40] herman Bergson: but that is far away from our level.....
[13:41] herman Bergson: but self awareness is a special feature of us....
[13:41] herman Bergson: but as of some animals....not all, far from that
[13:41] herman Bergson: but some animals are self aware....
[13:41] herman Bergson: so we are not unique in that sense
[13:41] Farv Hallison: we have the ability to deside whether to react to a sense datum.
[13:41] DOMINATRIX Babii: when animals preen...is that not a form of self awareness?
[13:42] herman Bergson: preen?
[13:42] Teleo Aeon: good point DOM
[13:42] herman Bergson: don't know the word...I am sorry ㋡
[13:42] Sybyle Perdide: its may be too much mechanical
[13:43] Lizzy Pleides: clean themselves
[13:43] herman Bergson: Yes Farv…we do not necessarily behave according instincs
[13:43] Teleo Aeon: well maybe that points to self awareness as a more instictual level than one would normally consider.. perfectly possible I gues
[13:43] Teleo Aeon: DOM
[13:43] DOMINATRIX Babii: yes
[13:43] Farv Hallison: preen is like when a girl fluffs her hair so you notive her.
[13:44] herman Bergson: Ahh..I see....
[13:44] herman Bergson: among humans it can be a culturally determined behavior
[13:44] herman Bergson: for animals it is just instinct
[13:45] Sybyle Perdide: so the difference is, that we can decide if we do so?
[13:45] Lizzy Pleides: it seems to be dependent of brain structure, an amoeba surely hasn't a consciousness
[13:45] Sybyle Perdide: and react against all rules?
[13:45] herman Bergson: They do it to survive.....not to look pretty ㋡
[13:45] Teleo Aeon: the advertising agencies might argue with you about that herm. :)
[13:45] Sybyle Perdide: we do look pretty to survive too
[13:45] Sybyle Perdide: after darwin
[13:46] Sybyle Perdide: or better according to
[13:46] herman Bergson: smiles
[13:46] DOMINATRIX Babii: a peacock raises its tail to attract a female...
[13:46] Sybyle Perdide: yess
[13:46] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): we cán survive ugly...
[13:46] Sybyle Perdide: thats why we can decide how to act#
[13:46] druth Vlodovic: not if we want kids
[13:46] herman Bergson: yes....ugly men exist and have a wife
[13:46] DOMINATRIX Babii: lol
[13:46] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): yes...true
[13:46] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): if they have money...
[13:46] Mick Nerido: Seeing your reflection in a mirror is conciousnes
[13:47] Teleo Aeon: and I've seen the other way round too
[13:47] Lizzy Pleides: but maybe they are intelligent
[13:47] Teleo Aeon: it's just the media doesn't seem to like to show those pictures :p
[13:47] herman Bergson: true Teleo
[13:47] Sybyle Perdide: beatuy means not automatically attractivity
[13:47] Sybyle Perdide: and vice versa
[13:47] druth Vlodovic: but if they preen doesn't that imply that they can imagine how they look to another creature?
[13:48] herman Bergson: Well...I notice that you are conscious of a lot of things ^_^
[13:48] herman Bergson: This means that we have a lot to discuss in coming lectures:)
[13:48] Teleo Aeon: you should see these amaizing constructed gardens the Bird of PAradise makes for it's mating ritual... pretty outstanding
[13:48] herman Bergson: Thank you all for you participation....
[13:48] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): we never stop to discuss here:)
[13:48] Teleo Aeon: thanks herm
[13:48] herman Bergson: I know the solution Beertje
[13:49] herman Bergson: CLASS DISMISSED ㋡
[13:49] Sybyle Perdide: great Herman.. you led us well
[13:49] Lizzy Pleides: brilliant Herman, Thank you!
[13:49] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): smiles..
[13:49] DOMINATRIX Babii: thank you herman :)
[[13:49] herman Bergson: Druth , are you there?
[13:50] Farv Hallison: Thank you professor Bergson
[13:50] druth Vlodovic: somewhere :)
[13:50] herman Bergson: I see a clould behind Beertje even without a name tag
[13:50] Farv Hallison: hello druth
[13:50] herman Bergson: Must be you Druth
[13:51] Farv Hallison: you look like a cloud druth.
[13:51] Lizzy Pleides: can a cloud have consciousness?
[13:51] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): you can see Druth now?
[13:51] herman Bergson: no...
[13:51] druth Vlodovic: ah, I didn't realize I was so well hidden, old computer
[13:51] Farv Hallison paid you L$100.
[13:51] Guestboook van tipjar stand: Farv Hallison donated L$100. Thank you very much, it is much appreciated!
[13:51] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): i can only see here head
[13:52] Farv Hallison: You still look pretty, druth.
[13:52] Teleo Aeon: thanks :)
[13:52] CONNIE Eichel: great class, i was a bit lost in IMs :)
[13:52] druth Vlodovic: that's al I brought, saves bandwidth
[13:52] CONNIE Eichel paid you L$50.
[13:52] Guestboook van tipjar stand: CONNIE Eichel donated L$50. Thank you very much, it is much appreciated!
[13:52] DOMINATRIX Babii: it was wonderful...thank you so much :)
[13:52] herman Bergson: My pleasure Domi
[13:53] CONNIE Eichel: great class, as always :)
[13:53] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman..it was great
[13:53] herman Bergson: thank you CONNIE ㋡
[13:53] CONNIE Eichel: :)
[13:53] CONNIE Eichel: time to go... till next time, kisses :)
[13:53] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): sorry about your floor..
[13:53] Sybyle Perdide: bye Connie
[13:53] herman Bergson: Bye CONNIE
[13:53] Farv Hallison: kiddrd CONNIOE
[13:53] CONNIE Eichel: bye bye :)
[13:54] Lizzy Pleides: Good byee Herman
[13:54] Lizzy Pleides: bye conny
[13:54] herman Bergson: Bye Lizzy
[13:54] Sybyle Perdide: good bye Herman, FArv
[13:54] druth Vlodovic: bye herman, thank you
[13:54] Sybyle Perdide: druth
[13:54] herman Bergson: You have your name tag now druth
[13:55] druth Vlodovic: I see it
[13:55] herman Bergson: try Ctr + Alt + R
[13:56] druth Vlodovic: I'm off to a pseudo-buddhist thing now, I don't know if you are interested in such things
[13:56] druth Vlodovic: you're welcome to come if you are
[13:56] herman Bergson: I was there once with you...
[13:57] druth Vlodovic: what did you think?
[13:57] herman Bergson: the meditation place
[13:57] druth Vlodovic: related
[13:57] herman Bergson: not really ㋡
[13:57] druth Vlodovic: ok :)
[13:57] druth Vlodovic: I hope I can make it on time next time
[13:58] druth Vlodovic: see you then
[13:58] herman Bergson: take care druth
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Friday, December 9, 2011

367: The Connectionist Brain

A last look at the mind as a computer. In the previous lecture we discussed the Computational Theory of Mind, the theory also known as computationalism.

The basic idea is, of course, that a computer apparently seems to operate exactly like the brain and thence the computationalists focused on the reasoning capability of the mind.

Allow me to oversimplify, for this can become very technical otherwise. The computationalists saw the mind as using a kind of language of thought with its own rules and syntax.

However, there were others who had a closer look at the brain itself. What they saw was not some logic machine, but networks of neurons and synapses. Whole networks of them.

In the picure behind me you see a schematic representation of a neural network. As I said , I simplify, but you could read it as such. When you look at all the lines you may understand why this theory is called connectionism.

You get a multitude of input, this is evaluated in that 'hidden layer' and leads to an output. Example: the sonar of a submarine tries to identify mines underwater.

The sonar receives a sound (Is if from a rock or a mine?), a spectrum of frequencies. All the nodes in the hidden layer have learnt what frequency what mean and all hidden layer nodes inform the output nodes about their findings.

And when you take all these output data together you get the answer: "Sorry guys, that is a rock." Such a neural network doesn't know that by itself. You tell it, these are the frequencies, you receive when it is a mine, That has to be your output.

It gets an sonar input to practice with. It knows to what output it should lead and then it starts adjusting the settings in the hidden layer in such a way that it finally obtains the desired output.

It may sound like a simple process but it isn't. To "teach" a neural network (I mean a computer), it can needs hundreds of thousands of trails for learning a simple task. It learns by trail and error.

Is that similar to the mind? We sometimes only need a few trails to learn new things. Young children seem to master new words every two hours, where a neural network needs millions of trails.

Advocats of connectionism often emphasize that digital computers are poor at perceptual recognition but amazingly good at mathematical tasks and data crunching.

In other words,whilst connectionist networks are good at what we are good at and bad at what we are bad at, digital computers are bad at what we are good at and good at what we are bad at!

This is taken as evidence for connectionism and against the computational theory of mind . A nice try, but there are still so many problems left, that I think, that computers are just simplistic representations of some of our functions of the mind.

Take for instance rationality, logic. For example, there is a causal relationship between my thought (mental state) that Mr. X is dumb and my thought that someone is dumb.

The first thought caused the second, and there is a rational relationship between'Mr. X is dumb' and 'Someone is dumb'. Matter of simple logic.

Take this argument, for example: If Joann dyes her hair, John will laugh. Joann dyed her hair, therefore John laughed. A valid reasoning.

Now this one; If Joann dyes her hair, John will laugh. Joann did not dye her hair. John did not laugh. Hold on, not true, John did laugh. Oh sorry. Yes because Joann suggested to dye her hair. Therefore an invalid reasoning.

We need not much training to understand this simple logic. An experiment by Bechtel and Abrahamsen in 1991showed that a neural network could discover the difference between a valid and invalid reasoning.

However, we need to proceed with caution. To begin with, the neural network needed over half a million training trials to obtain an accuracy of only 76 percent.

Even with a further two million training trials the network was still only 84 percent accurate. This is hardly a triumphant result.

My conclusion? Despite all exciting futuristic science fiction computers from HAL to Data, never expect to find a mind in your computer, as the machine is defined as it is now.

The Discussion

[13:31] herman Bergson: Thank you.... ㋡
[13:31] Lizzy Pleides: Thank you Herman!
[13:31] herman Bergson: The floor is yours..
[[13:32] herman Bergson: I guess you all have to reset? ㋡
[13:33] Mistyowl Warrhol: LOL, resetting process starting.
[13:33] Sybyle Perdide: maybe overloaded
[13:33] Lizzy Pleides: yes it was a lot of information
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: reebooting my saiyan drives
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: but i think i got the most
[13:33] herman Bergson: take your time to reread it...
[13:34] herman Bergson: we'll wait a few minutes
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: seems fairly logical, that even after so many tries it cant get better results
[13:34] Mick Nerido: I have to go rescue a bird
[13:34] Mick Nerido: Bye
[13:34] Sybyle Perdide: may I ask..
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: the computer just program itself and then fiollows this new instructions but still don't understand what its actually doing
[13:34] herman Bergson: ok Mick
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: like we do
[13:34] Mistyowl Warrhol: So we have the best computers already.. and the best brains?
[13:35] Lizzy Pleides: both can improve i guess
[13:35] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): we have the best computers till now...they are going to be better and better..
[13:35] Sybyle Perdide: you told us, a digital system is not good enough for a
[13:35] herman Bergson: Our brains are better than computers....or better..our mind is
[13:36] herman Bergson: There was the believe to create artificial intelligence...
[13:36] Sybyle Perdide: the trails
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: yes cause we understand what we are doing, computers are much faster but they cant understand at all what they do and thus "training " a computer is very hard
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: cause as i said it cant understand at all what it actually does
[13:37] herman Bergson: and to some extend it was achieved...but not in the way our mind works, but how computers work
[13:37] Mistyowl Warrhol: Maybe what I mean is ...our brains and computers are basic.. It is how we learn to use them in the future that will be improved.
[13:37] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): why do we want a computer that works like our brain?
[13:37] herman Bergson: and what these AI computers do LOOKs like how our mind works...
[13:37] Lizzy Pleides: the computer is a tool i think
[13:38] Sybyle Perdide: good question Beertje
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:38] herman Bergson: but only in limited areas
[13:38] herman Bergson: Ok Beertje...
[13:38] Mistyowl Warrhol: I think our goal should be a melding of brain and computer.. When our brains can effect a computer directly.. and get feed back from the computer.
[13:38] herman Bergson: What we want is to understand the mind....
[13:39] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): yes..but why do we want a computer that works like our brain?
[13:39] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): what is the use of that?
[13:39] herman Bergson: when we can recreate in a computer what a mind does....it leads to some understanding
[13:39] Mistyowl Warrhol: Not like a computer, but with a computer.
[13:40] herman Bergson: well...to take it into absurdum....
[13:40] Mistyowl Warrhol: Example, computer for stroke patients. in which the eye looks at the screen and makes changes.
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: a yes and you blink to click
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: i've seen a such one
[13:40] herman Bergson: if we create a computer that can take over all our htinking....we could go on vacation....
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: haha but how fun would that be after a while
[13:41] Mistyowl Warrhol: We would not need a keyboard, just our brain to operate one.
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:41] herman Bergson: in a way that is the basic idea behind those movies
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: aaa
[13:41] herman Bergson: cyborgs...
[13:41] herman Bergson: the ones with Schwarzengegger...
[13:41] herman Bergson: ah
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: but remember how hard it is to even make a computer operate on speech
[13:41] Mistyowl Warrhol: Naww, I want one to work along side my brain..
[13:41] herman Bergson: Terminator
[13:41] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): i don't want such a computer..i'd rather think for myself
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: i saw they did it successfully in 84 even
[13:42] herman Bergson: Yes Beertje..that is the battle in Terminator...
[13:42] Sybyle Perdide: our mind is not rational all the time, so a computer who had a mind, would be so too?
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: but still i cant get my machine to understand much of what i say with different programs
[13:42] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): never seen the Terminator
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: and now its 2011
[13:42] herman Bergson: Good point Sybyle....
[13:42] Sybyle Perdide: and if so, a computer is a logical working machine.. so it would get into trouble with itself
[13:42] Sybyle Perdide: and would never be able to be like us
[13:42] herman Bergson: that is the quintessential point of my doubts about all beliefs in Artificial intelligence
[13:43] Mistyowl Warrhol: well, then it is like our brains.. our brains get into trouble all the time.
[13:43] Mistyowl Warrhol: Ok, mine does anyway.
[13:44] Lizzy Pleides: some people don't have that, lol
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: hahaha
[13:44] herman Bergson: It is interesting to see how cognitive scinece canmodel parts of our mind into computer models..
[13:44] herman Bergson: but it is only a small part of the mind
[13:44] Mistyowl Warrhol: But think of a computer, that could work with a brain, helping paraplegics to walk again.. People with brain damage to relearn..
[13:45] herman Bergson: what about desires, expectations, feelings, emotions, needs, despair?
[13:45] herman Bergson: In fact...Artificial intelligence already gives us a clue...
[13:45] Sybyle Perdide: oh goddess, I have enough despair for my own
[13:45] herman Bergson: computers are related to intelligent behavior..
[13:46] herman Bergson: and indeed...computers can display intelligent behavior
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: a computer can be made to act as if it feels when given an input but still it stritly then only follows dumb instructions exactly how it should respond
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: only what we have told it
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: and it cant understand or feel them
[13:46] herman Bergson: no...
[13:47] herman Bergson: Our next station is the phenomenon of consciousness....
[13:47] herman Bergson: a mental state not a ingle computer has achieved except in Science fiction movies
[13:48] herman Bergson: That is the hard part for all theories of mind....
[13:48] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): the hard part is yet to come..?
[13:48] herman Bergson: oh yes Beertje....
[13:48] Mistyowl Warrhol: yes, staying conscious :-)
[13:48] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): omg..
[13:48] herman Bergson: smiles
[13:49] herman Bergson: Mick is trying to save a bird while he looks like a dead bird himself :-)
[13:49] herman Bergson: We have seen all attempts to formulate a thery of mind now
[13:49] Mistyowl Warrhol: Mick is unconscious on here so he can be consious in RL
[13:50] herman Bergson: from dualism to connectionism...
[13:50] herman Bergson: and all can't explain consciousness...
[13:50] herman Bergson: the first person experience we have of our selves
[13:51] herman Bergson: That will be our final chapter of this project
[13:52] herman Bergson: the quintessential question is: Are we our brain?
[13:52] Qwark Allen: ::::::::: * E * X * C * E * L * L * E * N * T * ::::::::::
[13:52] Lizzy Pleides: and if we are not, ... what are we?
[13:52] herman Bergson: or is the mind something more than just the working of the brain
[13:53] Qwark Allen: i think we answer that question weeks ago
[13:53] herman Bergson: Yes Lizzy...indeed
[13:53] Mistyowl Warrhol: Or is the mind physical or something else. The brain being a vessel.
[13:53] herman Bergson: In what way Qwark?
[13:53] Qwark Allen: that our mind is our brain
[13:53] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): wb Mick
[13:53] herman Bergson: yes..but in what way...
[13:54] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): is the bird saved?
[13:54] Qwark Allen: when the brain is damaged, there is no mind
[13:54] herman Bergson: true...
[13:54] Qwark Allen: look at alzheimer patients
[13:54] Mick Nerido: No some people scared it away
[13:54] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): is that really true?
[13:54] Qwark Allen: they die completely oblivious to what is around them
[13:54] herman Bergson: yes ..all true Qwark
[13:54] Lizzy Pleides: alzheimer, No. they still have a personality
[13:54] Qwark Allen: they even don`t know how to eat
[13:54] Mistyowl Warrhol: The data is there, just the brain can not reach it to process it.
[13:55] Qwark Allen: in the last stages, they lost all capacities
[13:55] Qwark Allen: all
[13:55] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): but they still have a mind
[13:55] Mistyowl Warrhol: Can we teach the rest of the brain to take over control for damaged parts..
[13:55] Qwark Allen: the moments of lucid are so rare, that at a point there are no more lucid ones
[13:55] Mistyowl Warrhol: That is possible in small children.
[13:55] herman Bergson: yes Qwark...
[13:56] Qwark Allen: to see that , we are our brain, we got to see, the ones with damaged brain
[13:56] herman Bergson: and the only cause is the breakdown of the brain...
[13:56] herman Bergson: they even can point at the proteins that cause it..or the lack of those
[13:56] Qwark Allen: in alzheimer, the neurons are substituted by aluminum plates
[13:57] Qwark Allen: heehhe in a joke, we can say, in the end we can recycle them
[13:57] Lizzy Pleides: when there is an interaction between the brain and another structure and the brain don't work anymore
[13:57] herman Bergson: And Beertje said..they still have a mind....
[13:57] herman Bergson: and that is true too
[13:58] Qwark Allen: i have to go, was really nice lecture herman, one more step to realize what are we, and where are we going
[13:58] Mistyowl Warrhol: Just need to find a way to get around the block.
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes ㋡
[13:58] herman Bergson: yes Qwark...
[13:58] Lizzy Pleides: TC Qwark
[13:58] Sybyle Perdide: bye Qwark
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: really great once again
[13:58] Mistyowl Warrhol: TC Qwark.. Tell Gemma hi and give her a hug plz
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:58] Qwark Allen: i think in the end, we`ll be half human, half computer
[13:58] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:58] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: hahah ok
[13:59] Qwark Allen: ok hun
[13:59] Bejiita Imako: cyborgs
[13:59] herman Bergson: Resistance is futile..........
[13:59] Qwark Allen: something like that
[13:59] Qwark Allen: ¸¸.☆´ ¯¨☆.¸¸`☆** **☆´ ¸¸.☆¨¯`☆ H E R MA N ☆´ ¯¨☆.¸¸`☆** **☆´ ¸¸.☆¨¯`
[13:59] Qwark Allen: ahahahh lol
[13:59] Bejiita Imako: hehe was just thinking about the BORG
[13:59] Bejiita Imako: you will be assimilated, resistance is futile!
[13:59] Mistyowl Warrhol: I just want to see through the universe..
[13:59] herman Bergson: We all belong in the hyve..
[13:59] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[14:00] herman Bergson: But there is one problem....
[14:00] herman Bergson: philosophically...
[14:00] herman Bergson: also with the BORG...
[14:00] Bejiita Imako: but the borg seems to be more machines then intelligent beings
[14:00] herman Bergson: They had that Queen..she had a MIND of her own????!!!!!!!
[14:00] Mistyowl Warrhol: NO comment !!!!
[14:00] herman Bergson: so why was HER mind different from the borg mind???
[14:01] herman Bergson: How could that be?
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: and 7 of 9 too
[14:01] herman Bergson: She had a mind filled with desires and goals
[14:01] Mistyowl Warrhol: She was a woman.. and her mind was more complex for them to grasp..
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: ah
[14:01] herman Bergson: no...7 of 9 was just released from the bog and regained her human mind
[14:02] Bejiita Imako: aa yes she readapted to her usual self
[14:02] Bejiita Imako: thats how it was
[14:02] herman Bergson: yes ..
[14:02] Bejiita Imako: all borg implants was removed sort of
[14:02] Bejiita Imako: so she became human again
[14:02] Bejiita Imako: human
[14:02] herman Bergson: The philosophical problem is the Queen of the Borg Hyve...
[14:02] Bejiita Imako: cause in the beginning she wasn't cooperative at all
[14:03] Bejiita Imako: aaa the collective mind
[14:03] herman Bergson: She was as human as every individual human mind
[14:03] Bejiita Imako: and the queen like the master cpu with the borg as slave machines or clients
[14:03] Bejiita Imako: all thinking like a grid
[14:04] herman Bergson: no Bejiita..that queen had a will of her own...and the hyve just had to follow her will
[14:04] Bejiita Imako: yes she has but the rest are like one big mind taking instructions from her
[14:04] Mistyowl Warrhol: She took in input and reprocessed it out.
[14:05] Bejiita Imako: its a bit like the LHC grid at cern, takes instructions from an operator
[14:05] Bejiita Imako: then use millions of computers to act like one big supercomputer
[14:05] Bejiita Imako: a collective mind
[14:05] Mistyowl Warrhol: Ok, bit my tongue long enough.. The rest were just not wired the same.
[14:06] herman Bergson: Again Bejiita.....the philosophical problem in the Borg issue is that that Queen had an individual mind....where did it come from ..where was it going to?
[14:06] Bejiita Imako: aa indeed
[14:06] herman Bergson: ok...
[14:07] herman Bergson: Resistance is futile..next class is nextThursday.
[14:07] herman Bergson: class dismissed
[14:07] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[14:07] herman Bergson: and Thank you all :-)
[14:07] Bejiita Imako: this is awesome
[14:07] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[14:07] Bejiita Imako: thx herman
[14:07] Sybyle Perdide: it was really great, Herman
[14:07] Mistyowl Warrhol: Very good class. much to think about.. Ty human, Herman
[14:07] Rodney Handrick: thanks Herman
[14:07] herman Bergson: thank you Sybyle ㋡
[14:07] Bejiita Imako: o time for Qs party
[14:08] Bejiita Imako: co soon all
[14:08] Bejiita Imako: hugs
[14:08] Bejiita Imako: cu
[14:08] herman Bergson: have fun Bejiita
[14:08] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[14:08] Bejiita Imako: i will
[14:08] Mistyowl Warrhol: yes, just got my tp, but need to do something first.
[14:08] Mick Nerido: Thanks Herman
[14:08] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman:)
[14:08] Mick Nerido: I will read this later
[14:08] herman Bergson: did you save the bird Mick?
[14:09] Mick Nerido: It go away
[14:09] Sybyle Perdide: bye Misty
[14:09] Mick Nerido: Maybe tomorrow it will come back
[14:10] herman Bergson: Bye Misty...
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366: The Brain and Artificial Intelligence

Like science is eager to discover the secret of life, so are the supporters of the Computational Theory of Mind eager to find artificial intelligence in their computer.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it.
AI textbooks define the field as "the study and design of intelligent agents" where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chances of success.

John McCarthy, who coined the term in 1956, defines it as "the science and engineering of making intelligent machines."

John Searle coined the difference between STRONG AI and WEAK AI. Weak AI is the kind of behavior of computers, as if they seem intelligent. Well, maybe you can say, that they behave intelligent…matter of definition, I would say.

Maybe you have tried to chat with Elbot or Eliza. They can give you the impression of being understanding and intelligent. However they aren't. They just shuffle symbols not understanding a single word you type.

Yet this weak artificial intelligence is used nowadays in many situation. It emulates, what our mind does. You even find it in modern cars with its sensors.

But from the 1950s on higher hopes were put on the development of strong artificial intelligence, From then on it was always "Just wait. The next generation of computers will me even more powerful. They will do the job!"

However, we still haven't reach that stage. Just a sidetrack, a thought….. when we succeed in making a mind appear in a computer, does that mean we are forbidden to ever turn it off again? Wouldn't turning it of be murder, the killing of an individual mind?

Well, don't worry, the Chinese Room argument, which I discussed in the previous lecture has shown the weak spot of strong artificial intelligence.

Computer programs are formal, meaning using only syntactical rules to manipulate data, symbols. Our mind, however, has content. Words are not just symbols to the mind. We ascribe meaning to these symbols .

Thus we have to conclude, that computer programs are not sufficient for nor identical with minds.

Strong AI researchers have attempted to program digital computers to understand simple stories. Well known research of that kind dates back to 1977.

For example, the computer might be expected to understand a simple story about eating in a restaurant. The computer is given three kinds of input:
1.The story.

2. Some general information about restaurants and the kinds of things that typically occur there. For example: people eat in restaurants; people order their food from waiters; people are usually required to pay for what they have ordered; and so on.Researchers in strong AI call this information a 'script'.

3. Some questions about the story.
lf the scientists have managed to program the computer properly then, according to strong AI,the computer will not merely answer the questions correctly, it will literally understand the story.

However, even when I would become a super expert in answering questions in Chinese by shuffling symbols according to syntactical rules, I never will understand the questions.

When we get the questions in English we are aware what the questions mean, while I am not aware of the meaning of the chinese symbols I handle.

And here we hit the most difficult issue of our long quest. We must conclude that the Chinese Room setup (shuffling symbols according rules) is insufficient for conscious awareness of the meaning of the questions.

Or stated in a more general way: computation is insufficient for consciousness. There is more to the mind than you can emulate with computer programs.

The Discussion

[13:25] herman Bergson: Thank you...
[13:25] Qwark Allen: ::::::::: * E * X * C * E * L * L * E * N * T * ::::::::::
[13:25] herman Bergson: If you have any questions...you have the floor
[13:25] Carmela Sandalwood: Seems to me you leave out an important aspect of consciousness: it is part of an environment
[13:25] Qwark Allen: at least with the technology of today
[13:26] herman Bergson: that is what they always say Qwark.. ㋡
[13:26] Mick Nerido: Is it theoretically possible for computer brains to be concious?
[13:26] herman Bergson: What do you mean by 'part of an environment, Camela?
[13:26] Qwark Allen: computers are around at few decades
[13:26] Carmela Sandalwood: The Chinese room is not reacting to an environment: it is only suffling symbols
[13:26] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): one question would we be able to turn it off?? i say no because it would not let us if it becomes conscious
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: yes another way to see it
[13:27] herman Bergson: It is reacting on the questions that come in...that is an environment
[13:27] Qwark Allen: and they will achieve our rate of of processing information in 25 years
[13:27] Carmela Sandalwood: so, suppose I say 'is there a flower in the garden?'...simply shuffling symbols can't answer that even if there is an algorithm
[13:27] Qwark Allen: lets see by then, what will be the question by then
[13:27] Carmela Sandalwood: there has to be sensory input
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: for us to understand what the computer puts out you must convert it to analog signals first
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: and that the computer can never understand it can justtunderstand 1 and 0
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: and 1 and 0 is as meaningless to us as the analog is to a computer
[13:28] Carmela Sandalwood: that's way too simplistic Bejiita
[13:28] herman Bergson: Wait....
[13:28] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): i do not think artificial intelligence will ever take over but it may come close!
[13:28] Carmela Sandalwood: neurons only 'understand' on and off
[13:28] herman Bergson: One issue at a time....
[13:28] herman Bergson: Furst Qwark....
[13:29] Qwark Allen: in the next decades we`ll have quantic computers, that have 1, 0 and also -1
[13:29] herman Bergson: even in 25 years the computer will not have changed Qwark...it is a syntactical machine....
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: hmm the question is how does our brain store information and do the brain have some sort of A7D D7A converter to put meaning to everything
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: or do we interpret it directly?
[13:29] herman Bergson: when there is a machine that generates consciousness it will not be called a computer....
[13:29] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): that makes sense
[13:30] Qwark Allen: when they decoded the language brain use for comunicate between neurons, and it`s not that diferent
[13:30] herman Bergson: Then the sensory input question of Camela...
[13:30] Carmela Sandalwood: well, we might call it a robot or artificial intelligence...or Robert
[13:30] Mistyowl Warrhol: But isn't the brain a computer? It processes data.
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: compuetr means calculator and thats what a computer does, averything is just binary math to a computer
[13:30] Qwark Allen: its between charged positively, or negatively
[13:30] Qwark Allen: like 0 and 1
[13:30] herman Bergson: I don't think that it makes much difference to the Chinese room argument...
[13:30] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ☆*¨¨*<♥*''*BEJIITA!!! *''*<♥:*¨¨*☆
[13:30] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): but with emotion and feeling
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: but we don't use mathematical formulas to listen to music
[13:30] herman Bergson: We just built a room with cameras and microphones and so on....
[13:30] Qwark Allen: in a way, when computers have the -1 in their language, maybe they will be ahead of us
[13:31] herman Bergson: the basic principle stays the same....
[13:31] Qwark Allen: cause they will have a state that we cannot have
[13:31] Carmela Sandalwood: Suppose your syntactical rules require that you look outside at times and based on what you see, there rules are different
[13:31] Qwark Allen: the minus one
[13:31] Mick Nerido: We are carbon based computers are sillicon based
[13:31] herman Bergson: yes like we have computer programs that can recognize faces
[13:31] Carmela Sandalwood: I don't see what happens in our brain as much different than what happens in a computer
[13:31] herman Bergson: The basic issue here is.....there is output form the computer...
[13:32] Qwark Allen: i think we are having a narcisist approach
[13:32] Qwark Allen: like we are the only ones
[13:32] herman Bergson: but this output does not imply that the computer has any understanding of what it is doing..
[13:32] Qwark Allen: but, i believe AI will come
[13:32] Carmela Sandalwood: 'understanding' is about reacting appropriately to an environment so that you maximize the chances of survival or meeting other goals
[13:32] Qwark Allen: with some capacities of us
[13:32] Carmela Sandalwood: how do you know I have understanding? how do I know you do?
[13:32] herman Bergson: whether it is recognizing faces, checking spelling, doing calculations...
[13:32] Qwark Allen: movies like blade runner will be like a vision of the future
[13:32] herman Bergson: it is all the same to it
[13:33] CONNIE Eichel whispers: thanks gemma :)
[13:33] herman Bergson: Yes Qwark....we love such fantasies
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: yes its just calculating binary math
[13:33] Carmela Sandalwood: and it is all the same to our neurons
[13:33] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): :-)
[13:33] Sybyle Perdide: you say, the difference is in understanding?
[13:33] Carmela Sandalwood: meaning doesn't exist at the neural level (or at the level of transistors)
[13:33] herman Bergson: I wouldnt say that Carmela...
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: and also as i said before a cpu can only understand some basic instructions, the compiler have to build the machine co with just these basic commands or the computer wont understand it
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: the x 86 instruction set
[13:34] herman Bergson: slow down Bejiita!! pla
[13:34] herman Bergson: plz
[13:34] Carmela Sandalwood: and a neuron only react to certain stimuli
[13:34] Carmela Sandalwood: so?
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:34] Mistyowl Warrhol: One difference between brain and computer, we calculate by also using emotional reactions learned over time.. using our 5 senses (6 according to some) Can we teach computers to use emotions?
[13:34] herman Bergson: there is one thing we still haven't discussed...and that is consciousness....
[13:35] Carmela Sandalwood: and those emotions are calculated by the brain to react
[13:35] herman Bergson: The awareness of our existence...
[13:35] Carmela Sandalwood: there are algorithms there also
[13:35] Carmela Sandalwood: awareness is an internal representation: data
[13:35] herman Bergson: Well that is one of those issues Misty...
[13:36] herman Bergson: What does that mean Carmela?
[13:36] Carmela Sandalwood: our self-awareness is simply an internal collection of data representing our internal state...it isn't perfect, but it exists and is ultimately binary in character
[13:36] herman Bergson: A second point is the fist person awareness...
[13:37] herman Bergson: Here we have a problem Carmela....
[13:37] herman Bergson: for there are no two mental states of self awareness alike in two different persons...
[13:37] Qwark Allen: ㋡ ˜*•. ˜”*°•.˜”*°• Helloooooo! •°*”˜.•°*”˜ .•*˜ ㋡
[13:37] Qwark Allen: Hey! HAO
[13:37] Carmela Sandalwood: of course not...the systems are different
[13:37] Carmela Sandalwood: so?
[13:37] herman Bergson: What it is like to be me...is a special mental stat for me....
[13:38] herman Bergson: nobody in the whole world has that....
[13:38] Carmela Sandalwood: I'm not so sure that the mental state of 'being you' will be forever limited to you
[13:38] Carmela Sandalwood: it may be possible to transfer that data in the future
[13:38] herman Bergson: so my mental state of "what it is like to be me?" has a special property no other mental state in the world has
[13:38] herman Bergson: except my own of course....
[13:39] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): :-)
[13:39] Carmela Sandalwood: the question is whether the data can be transfered and used by the recipient
[13:39] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): that horse is hungry
[13:39] herman Bergson: We have to answer the question how to understand this first person property
[[13:40] herman Bergson: well....we almost have seen all attempts to understand the mind....
[13:40] herman Bergson: soon we'll get to the issue of what makes the mind: consciousness
[13:41] Mistyowl Warrhol: Ok, if we each have our own thoughts, unique to us, where is that stored. If it is in tissue, does any of that transfer in situations of organ donations?
[13:41] herman Bergson: My conclusion of today is that I wouldn't bet on consciousness in machines
[13:41] Carmela Sandalwood: it might if you transferred brains, but not likely otherwise
[13:41] herman Bergson: That is a fascinating question Misty....
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: machines work way too different from us
[13:42] herman Bergson: Because the greek thought that the mind was in the heart....
[13:42] Hao Zaytsev: hehe
[13:42] herman Bergson: the Egyptians also didn't have a high esteem of the brain...they threw it away when mummifying a pharaoh…
[13:42] Mistyowl Warrhol: There are some cases in which ppl have seem to remember small data from someone that donated.. But that is a topic for another time :-)
[13:42] Carmela Sandalwood: so they were wrong...it happens
[13:43] Mick Nerido: There have be recent mouse brain experiments that shows memories could be transferred
[13:43] herman Bergson: Aristotle thought that the brain was an organ to cool the blood
[13:43] herman Bergson: Well....
[13:43] Carmela Sandalwood: Aristotle was also wrong about physics
[13:43] Mistyowl Warrhol: Some think the brain is something to play with :-)
[13:43] herman Bergson: We have the believe that the mind is (in) the brain....
[13:43] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ LOL ♥
[13:43] herman Bergson: In a way...as if the body doesn't play a part in it at all
[13:44] Carmela Sandalwood: yes, that is also simplistic Herman....the body is required for the sensory input at least
[13:44] herman Bergson: Some people believe that donor organs also contain something of the donating person....not just tissue
[13:45] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): i do'nt
[13:45] Mick Nerido: Frankinstein
[13:45] Sybyle Perdide: in a practical sense its true
[13:45] Carmela Sandalwood: I'd have to see the data...but that also doesn't make it non-mechanical
[13:45] Carmela Sandalwood: more specifically chemical
[13:45] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): we will never really agree on this :-)
[13:46] Mistyowl Warrhol: I think the biggest difference between brain and computers.. the brain is being bathe by chemicals from around the body which in turn effects how the brain responds. Whereas, the computer.. just uses data that was inputed, even though it can reassemble that data by design.
[13:46] herman Bergson: That isn't necessary Gemma....
[13:46] herman Bergson: as long as we keep thinking about it and questioning it..
[13:46] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): Yes-ah!
[13:46] Hao Zaytsev: aliens
[13:46] Carmela Sandalwood: MistyOwl: that may be, but even that can be represented by appropriate computing internals
[13:46] herman Bergson: Nice gus Hao.. ㋡
[13:46] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): herman it is time to put the christmas trees in the yard there
[13:47] Hao Zaytsev: hehe
[13:47] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): and snow
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: ah yes
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: really strange no snow here yet
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: and 7 deg warm outside now
[13:47] herman Bergson: Oh my ...so true Gemma.....
[13:47] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): 3 weeks till christmas
[13:47] herman Bergson: SO thank you all again for your interest and participation today
[13:47] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:47] herman Bergson: I have to dismiss the class
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: really interesting
[13:47] Hao Zaytsev: why is a horse on the floor?
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:48] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): no clue
[13:48] herman Bergson: Have to put up my Xmas tree to keep Gemma happy
[13:48] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): trees
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:48] Qwark Allen: .-)))
[13:48] Sybyle Perdide: thank you Herman..it was great
[13:48] Mistyowl Warrhol: Carmela, the chemical of the body are altered by changes in our enviroment and our emotional response to that. Cant we reproduce that mechically?
[13:48] Hao Zaytsev: damn
[13:48] Hao Zaytsev: nice trip
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: tis was really great and interesting
[13:48] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): Bye, Bye ㋡
[13:48] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): fir biw
[13:48] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): it was very interesting Herman, thank you
[13:48] CONNIE Eichel: bye gemma
[13:48] Carmela Sandalwood: Yes, among other ways, but changing the electrical or magnetic environment
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: well must head back now but cu soon again
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:49] Qwark Allen: ¸¸.☆´ ¯¨☆.¸¸`☆** **☆´ ¸¸.☆¨¯`☆ H E R MA N ☆´ ¯¨☆.¸¸`☆** **☆´ ¸¸.☆¨¯`
[13:49] Qwark Allen: ty
[13:49] Hao Zaytsev: im excited
[13:49] Qwark Allen: was very good as usual
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[13:49] Carmela Sandalwood: and that could even be in a feedback loop controlled by the CPU
[13:49] CONNIE Eichel: well, bye bye all, great class professor :)
[13:49] Carmela Sandalwood: TY Herman
[13:49] CONNIE Eichel winks
[13:49] herman Bergson whispers: thank you CONNIE
[13:50] CONNIE Eichel: :)
[13:50] Mistyowl Warrhol: Very interesting and fun. I have really enjoyed this and meeting everyone :-)
[13:50] herman Bergson: Nice, Misty ㋡
[13:50] herman Bergson: I do this now for more than 5 years
[13:50] Carmela Sandalwood: It is *very* interesting...thank you for doing it
[13:51] Carmela Sandalwood: while I may disagree, it is fun to think about it all
[13:51] herman Bergson: It would be a very dull class when everyone agreed with everyone
[13:51] Carmela Sandalwood: quite true
[13:52] Carmela Sandalwood: I think the problem is ultimately what 'understand' means...do we actually have anything but an operational definition?
[13:52] herman Bergson: The main goal of philosophy is not to get the right answers...
[13:52] herman Bergson: as you give an example Carmela...philosophy is about asking the right questions
[13:53] Carmela Sandalwood: *smiles*
[13:53] Mistyowl Warrhol: Or asking wrong questions, to get a different view?
[13:53] Carmela Sandalwood: and exploring the possible answers
[13:53] Mistyowl Warrhol: :-)
[13:53] herman Bergson: right...
[13:54] herman Bergson: When you take the Chinese Room argument for instance....
[13:54] Mistyowl Warrhol: Ok, I did try to be good and not overload everyone circuits LOL
[13:54] Carmela Sandalwood: it seems that often philosophy is about figuring out what the 'correct' definitions actually are
[13:54] herman Bergson: Look it up in the Internet Encyclopedia of pHilosophy....
[13:55] herman Bergson: Searle himself mentioned a number of more than 200 counter arguments to it..
[13:55] herman Bergson: Yet I think it is a pretty convincing argument that shows that computers can not be identical with our brain...
[13:56] herman Bergson: No semantics , no awareness, no consciousness....
[13:56] Carmela Sandalwood: and I think it misses some crucial aspects of both how computers work and how understanding happens
[13:56] Carmela Sandalwood: but semantics can be syntactical
[13:56] herman Bergson: Despite all science fiction computer minds
[13:56] Carmela Sandalwood: in an environment
[13:57] herman Bergson: no Carmela....
[13:57] Mistyowl Warrhol: But it is a fun idea to think about.. Computers gaining knowledge on their own.
[13:57] Carmela Sandalwood: My guess is that AI will happen when we program robots to change internal states appropriately
[13:57] herman Bergson: No computer will ever "know" the truth value of any complex symbol
[13:57] Carmela Sandalwood: why not? and why do we?
[13:58] herman Bergson: That is the big question indeed
[13:58] herman Bergson: Let's postpone the answer to further lectures ㋡
[13:58] Sybyle Perdide: oh
[13:58] Sybyle Perdide: the suspense was growing
[13:59] Carmela Sandalwood: *smiles*...sounds good
[13:59] Sybyle Perdide: and now that cliffhanger
[13:59] herman Bergson: Then I have time to set up my Chrismas tree and snow here ^_^
[13:59] Sybyle Perdide: laughs
[13:59] Sybyle Perdide: thats an argument
[13:59] Carmela Sandalwood: hopefully my schedule will be nice and I'll be able to attend
[13:59] herman Bergson: You are always welcome Carmela ㋡
[14:00] Carmela Sandalwood: as long as RL complies ;)
[14:00] Carmela Sandalwood: thank you for the discussion
[14:00] Sybyle Perdide: I wish you a nice evening
[14:00] Mistyowl Warrhol: Yes, the other part of the equation. RL !!!
[14:00] Sybyle Perdide: see you on tuesday :)
[14:00] herman Bergson: My pleasure Carmela ㋡

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

365: The Mind is a computer

Many people who work in the cognitive science and in the philosophy of mind think that the most exciting idea of the past generation, indeed of the past two thousand years, is that the mind is a computer program.

Specifically, the idea is that the mind is to the brain as a computer program is to the computer hardware. John Searle has baptized this view as "Strong Artificial Intelligence".

John Searle, born in 1932 and still alive and active, is noted for his contributions to the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and social philosophy and teached at Berkeley in 1959.

In the previous lecture we learnt that a computer is a symbol manipulating machine and in the real computers of today, the machine uses only the symbols "1" and "0".

When a computer has to solve a problem, it uses an algorithm. An algorithm is a systematic procedure for solving a problem in a finite number of steps.

This all is controlled by a set of rules. For example you can have the rule "If condition C , then do A", which could be in real "If complex symbol "1111" occurs, replace it by "0000".

Now suppose we put a computer with a specific program on subject X in an room and an expert on the subject X in another room.

Then we let experts outside the room type in questions on a console. Both, the computer and the man in the room, can answer the questions.

This test, named the Turing Test, claims, that if the experts, who ask the questions, cannot distinguish the behavior of the computer from that of a human, then the computer has the same cognitive abilities as a human.

It would mean that the computer is as good as the human expert on subject X. Or in other words, the computer does the same as the mind of the human expert, understanding the questions and answering them correctly.

This is odd. A computer is a symbol manipulation device according to a given set of rules. Whatever the symbols means, doesn't matter. If you use the proper algorithm you get the solution of any problem.

Is that how our mind works? Is it indeed like a computer program a symbol manipulating system? This question has raised a battle in the philosophy of mind due to the famous Chinese Room argument as formulated by John Searle.

It is like this: you sit in a room with a bunch of boxes in which you find cards with Chinese characters on them. You have no understanding of Chinese at all.

But you have a book with rules, telling you things like "when you receive symbol X and Y, then return as an answer symbol P from box 2"

Outside the room there are chinese speaking people who send you their questions. You use your book of rules and return the appropriate symbols, which show to be the correct answers.

It means, that you passed in principle the famous Turing test, but you would not thereby understand a single word of Chinese.

If you don't understand Chinese by using a book of rules and manipulating symbols, neither does any digital computer using its algorithm.

However, when asked a question in English, you do not get a set of complex symbols, nor do you look up a number of rules to manipulate them.

When I ask you whether the earth is flat or a sphere, you can give an answer, because the words 'earth', "flat' and "sphere' have a meaning. And your answer is based on empirical facts.

And that is what a computer never can achieve, adding meaning to the symbols it manipulates and in some respects that is one of its powers, to be absolutely mindless.

The Discussion

[13:23] herman Bergson: Thank you ㋡
[13:23] Sybyle Perdide: great
[13:23] Sybyle Perdide: as alway
[13:23] Sybyle Perdide: s
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:23] Farv Hallison: Thank you, herman.
[13:24] herman Bergson: Conclusion....computers never can have a mind
[13:24] agnos: Thanks
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: ed thats how it is, everyone who have written a computer program can see that
[13:24] Farv Hallison: But both stories sidestep the issue of defining what the mind is.
[13:24] herman Bergson: no Farv...
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: simple things like playing music requires the computer to for each sequence of the song do a complex series of instructions every time and loop millions of times per second the same instruction over and over
[13:25] herman Bergson: A mind does more than a computer does...
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: it can never learn it by itself
[13:25] Elle (ellenilli.lavendel) is Offline
[13:25] herman Bergson: a computer only shuffles symbols around according a bunch of rules
[13:25] herman Bergson: a mind ads meaning to symbol....a mind has content
[13:25] agnos: But we seemed to have developed into having a mind
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: its like if we would never learn the notes but always have a paper to look at
[13:25] Farv Hallison: The rule might generate new computer programs.
[13:26] Mistyowl Warrhol is Online
[13:26] Farv Hallison: a dictionary can add meaning to words.
[13:26] herman Bergson: maybe..but they do the same as all computer programs…shuffle symbols around without any understanding
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: yes indeed
[13:27] herman Bergson: Yes..that is what we did with our mind
[13:27] herman Bergson: Just look how crude the translators work....even the best....
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: a computer cpu is just a bunch of millions of small sort of light switches that opens and closes in a specific way to the program code
[13:27] Farv Hallison: well, a computer could have a dictionary of meanings and even make new entries
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: because the cpu is designed in hardware so that a specific sequence of 1 and 0 will cause those switches to flip
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: its nothing more than that
[13:28] herman Bergson:a computer can have a database, Farv..but We have to fill it
[13:28] Sybyle Perdide: may I play advocata diaboli?
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: the compiler that translate the c or basic code must have knowledge about the basic construction of the cpu
[13:28] herman Bergson: sure Sybyle
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: thats how you program in assembler
[13:29] CONNIE Eichel: ^^
[13:29] Sybyle Perdide: the problem of the computer is, that the rules are only on a single dimension
[13:29] herman Bergson: hold on Bejiita....plz ㋡
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: then you must know registers address locations and everything about the basic hardware to communicate with the machine
[13:29] netty Keng is Offline
[13:29] Sybyle Perdide: the human pc has many layers of rules
[13:29] Sybyle Perdide: smelling, looking, feeling and so on
[13:29] Farv Hallison: I like the smelling
[13:29] bergfrau Apfelbaum is Online
[13:29] herman Bergson: Oh yes....I even left that feature our on purpose...
[13:30] Lizzy Pleides: our brain influences sympaticus and parasympaticus, it influences if you feel well or not, how can a computer feel well?, can he feel anger fear or love?
[13:30] Farv Hallison: The computer could have a chemical lab that acts like a nose.
[13:30] herman Bergson: No Farv....
[13:30] herman Bergson: unfortunately not...
[13:31] herman Bergson: the chemical lab produces only data as in put which are just symbols for the computer
[13:31] herman Bergson: then it has its algorithm to analyze the data
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:31] Netty Crystal is Online
[13:31] herman Bergson: you find such computers to analyze gasses for instance in many laboratories
[13:32] herman Bergson: But the machine has no understanding at all of the meaning of its output
[13:32] herman Bergson: It is our mind that adds the semantics to the charts and numbers
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: and basically a computer have only a specific set of fixed instructions it can understand, the compiler in for example c must translate the c code to these basic commands and thats all the commands the cpu will ever understand untill a new model arrives with more instruction sets
[13:33] Sybyle Perdide: but we don't know either, why an how we react on chemical signs
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: tats why a computer can never at least not as they work now feel or sense
[13:33] Sybyle Perdide: we just started to analyze it
[13:34] herman Bergson: Well the idea of a sensory computer with understanding of its sense experiences is a Science Fiction idea
[13:34] herman Bergson: Take Data form Startrek for instance...
[13:35] herman Bergson: The funny thing with him was that he could play Bach on a cello, but couldn't put feeling in it
[13:35] Farv Hallison: good point. I can't put feeling into it either.
[13:36] herman Bergson: So the scenario writers stayed close to the symbol shuffling of a computer
[13:36] herman Bergson: Data had a brother Farv.....
[13:36] herman Bergson: Looks curiously at Farv
[13:36] Farv Hallison: oh?
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: star trek data?
[13:36] herman Bergson: Yes
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: yes he had a brother
[13:36] herman Bergson: But that brother was the bad guy is one of the episodes
[13:36] Janette Shim is Offline
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: who was kind of evil programmed i think
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:37] Farv Hallison: Could the brother play with feeling?
[13:37] herman Bergson: Well....
[13:37] herman Bergson: that is a good question Farv....for that brother really wanted evil....
[13:37] Farv Hallison: Can you be evil without having evil feelings?
[13:37] herman Bergson: which is an emotional choice
[13:38] herman Bergson: It is always fun to see how in SF they have to struggle with a computer with a mind...
[13:38] herman Bergson: especially when the thing gets its own feelings and ideas
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: and thats also a thing, can you make a computer program so that it for some unforeseen reason turn against you like in terminator
[13:39] herman Bergson: That is way beyond what a computer really is and will be in the future
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: i don't think so cause then you must have deliberateley programmed it to kill you and who does that?
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: a computer only does what you tell it to
[13:40] Farv Hallison: well, the computer might control the power grid and give itself more power when it feel is it circuits slowing down.
[13:40] Joann Innovia (kimkiddy) is Offline
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: even if you can make a computer program take in data from outside and "learn" i dont' think that a machine that is made for good suddenly by external input could go berserk
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: and kill you
[13:40] herman Bergson: Yes Farv...that is what it in SF movies always does....
[13:41] herman Bergson: but it only can do so when programmed that way....
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:41] herman Bergson: Greatest fun is always when they in a movie never get the idea to simply pull the plug
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: hehe yes, thats rule nr one
[13:42] herman Bergson: weird thing is then when you approach the plug and outlet the computer attacks you :-)
[13:42] Farv Hallison: 2001 pulled the plug.
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: ALL machines no matter what it is should have an emergency stop or a mean to cut the power as soon it loose control
[13:42] herman Bergson: True Farv..indeed......he removes all those red objects one by one..
[13:43] Farv Hallison: but the computer might be running our life control system, so we can't shut it down.
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: but well i may bee hard to get to the plug of the opier machine if it chases you around the office meanwhile
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: copying
[13:43] herman Bergson: lol Good one FArv...
[13:43] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): aardlekschakelaar:)
[13:43] herman Bergson: When we pull the plug here SL ceases to exist and we all are gone....:-((
[13:44] CONNIE Eichel: yes :/
[13:44] herman Bergson: So, we are defenseless against our computers!!!!!
[13:44] Farv Hallison: yes, the police might pull the plug if we start to demonstrate.
[13:44] herman Bergson: We are all trapped inhere!!!!!
[13:44] CONNIE Eichel: hehe
[13:44] Farv Hallison: We are trapped in the Matrix/
[13:44] herman Bergson: Yeah..Let's OCCUPY SL !!!!!
[13:45] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): lol
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: well we still exist as code but the code need an active cpu to run so you can say we are like viruses in sl, a virus ( biological) needs a living host, its just a bunch of dna as our avatars just is code that need a powered on cpu and memory to operate on
[13:45] herman Bergson: Well...thank you all for your participation again...
[13:45] Lizzy Pleides: thanks to YOU herman
[13:45] Farv Hallison: this has been great fun.
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: yeah
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: really nice
[13:45] Sybyle Perdide: yes
[13:45] Guestboook van tipjar stand: Lizzy Pleides donated L$50. Thank you very much, it is much appreciated!
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: \o/
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: || Hoooo!
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: / \
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:46] herman Bergson: a painful observation that we are trappe din here and cant pull the plug unless we want to kill ourselves...
[[13:46] Farv Hallison: ㋡
[13:46] herman Bergson: I hope you all can live with that ㋡
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: but behind the avatar is still a real person who control it
[13:46] CONNIE Eichel: hehe
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: my avatar doesn't do anything my rl self don't tell it to
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: its operator
[13:46] herman Bergson: That real person might survive then Bejiita...
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: its an interesting thought for sure
[13:47] herman Bergson: Thank you all and dont be afraid of thinking computers..they dont exist
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: just machines
[13:47] CONNIE Eichel: :)
[13:47] Farv Hallison: I wont do anything my tail wouldn't do.
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: and machines only do what you tell them, unless some dangerous bug is in the code
[13:48] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ㋡
[13:48] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): *•.¸'*•.¸ ♥ ¸.•*´¸.•*
[13:48] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): Goed Gedaan Jochie!!
[13:48] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): .•*♥¨`• BRAVO!!!! •¨`♥*•.
[13:48] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): ¸.•*`¸.•*´ ♥ `*•.¸`*•.¸
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: and that bug is then telling the machine to do wring things
[13:48] Farv Hallison: All code has bugs
[13:48] Lizzy Pleides: clap clap clap...wohooooooo!
[13:48] CONNIE Eichel: great class, as always :)
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: Hooo!!!
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: Hoooo!
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: yeah
[13:48] herman Bergson: smiles
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: liked it a slot
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: ok cu all
[13:48] herman Bergson: thank you ㋡
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: lot
[13:49] Farv Hallison: bye Bejita
[13:49] Sybyle Perdide: bye Bejita
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: cu soon
[13:49] CONNIE Eichel: bye bye, see you next class :)
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:49] herman Bergson whispers: Bye CONNIE
[13:49] Lizzy Pleides: Tc Connie
[13:49] Farv Hallison: bye Connie
[13:49] Sybyle Perdide: ciao Connie
[13:49] CONNIE Eichel: bye :)

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