Toward a Science of Consciousness 1998
patrick at gryphon.psych.ox.ac.uk
Mon Apr 27 07:56:24 EST 1998
In article <6i1us6$qpi$1 at news.fsu.edu> jac at ibms48.scri.fsu.edu (Jim Carr) writes:
>tonmaas at xs4all.nl (Ton Maas) writes:
>} "Mdg" <Mdg at nospam.com> wrote:
>} >Leads me to a question I always wondered about, say we hit the point where
>} >we can actually map a human brain to a fine enough detail that we can
>} >simulate it's behavior on a computer. Will the simulation be conscious?
>} According to neurophysiologists Varela & Maturana consciousness is
>} restricted to autopoietic systems - which by definition produce their own
>} organization by an evolutionary process not unlike "tinkering". Seems like
>} the conscious computer will have to invent itself from scrap in order to
>} ever attain consciousness :-)
>patrick at gryphon.psych.ox.ac.uk (Patrick Juola) writes:
>>Unfortunately, this definition is immediately and trivially incorrect.
>>Individual humans do not evolve; evolution is a process restricted to
>>populations. An individual human (which I assume is conscious) is
>>largely a copy of prior humans -- and so a sufficiently detailed copy
>>of a human organism should also be conscious, by a similar process.
> Largely, but part of that "copy" is a brain that is a work in progress
> whose structure is not wholly dictated by genetics. Although not
> evolution in the strict sense of evolutionary biology, the brain
> does change and adapt. A 'sufficiently detailed copy' would have to
> include those rules that allow the 'tinkering' the previous posted
> noted was important.
But that's part of the "fine enough detail" described above. Hell,
Hebbian adaptation has been known about for at least fifty years;
the idea that neural architecture changes in fine details is the
central focus behind the modern "neural network" paradigm. So are you
suggesting that we've had conscious computers since 1986?
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