Toward a Science of Consciousness 1998

modlin at concentric.net modlin at concentric.net
Fri Apr 24 13:36:43 EST 1998


In <6hqj4a$pt5 at ux.cs.niu.edu>, rickert at cs.niu.edu (Neil Rickert) writes:

  [responding to my attempts to distinguish "computation" from the 
   input/output activities which supply data for computation]

>Perhaps the reason I keep posting that I disagree, is that I
>disagree.

Ok Neil.  Please.  What is it that you disagree with?   
What is your definition of computation?

Under your rules, is a Turing machine capable of computation?

Under your definitions,  if I load a program and some data into a PC, 
and start the program running, can the PC compute some function of that 
data without using any further I/O?

I do understand that you consider interfaces with the outside world to 
be much more important to cognition than any computation which may be 
involved.  But I also thought that you agreed that somehow there was
some computation involved in figuring out what to do with the data you
get through sensors, and deciding what other information to go looking
for, and all that sort of stuff.

I've seen you tell others that it didn't matter whether the interior 
processing was done with neural nets or an analog computer or a digital 
computer, that all of them could do the same things.

When I say just that, you tell me you disagree, and get sarcastic about 
it.  Why?

Can you explain?  Help me out here?

Bill Modlin





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