X-Message-Number: 11912
Date: Mon, 07 Jun 1999 01:15:39 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: :interacting Tome

Brook Norton, #11900 wrote

>Subject: : conciousness, interacting tome
>Mike Perry wrote:
>>The Book could simulate many conscious beings who may be interacting, but
>does that allow *you* to interact?<
>Sure it does.  It simulates you and so calculates your every conversation
>and responds correctly (thru some kind of robot that acts out the tome

Do you mean that the Book simulates *every possible* conversation you could
have, and similarly, every possible conversation of others?

>So a Turing Tome (with robot) could respond correctly in a
>conversation with you.  I should note though that it isn't really reacting
>to *you*, as you speak *now*.... rather when the Tome was created with all
>the correct initial conditions input, it calculated what you would be doing
>at any future time frame and responds to these calculations.... rather than
>say having sensors that read your activity real time.

To me, behavior is unpredictable--no Turing machine is going to make the
correct guesses that would exactly match your responses, *unless* it
exhaustively covers all alternate possibilities. That's a lot of
possibilities, needless to say, but in priniciple possible. (Maybe the
quantum computer would open some more feasible approaches.) It (the Turing
machine, again) might also back down from this and just attempt a
"representative"--one possible interaction. In any case, the process you
describe of animating the robot with the Tome is a kind of activity that
does mirror conscious behavior, thus to me does open the possibility that it
actually implements conscious behavior. If you can't interact directly,
though, you would lose one intuitive "tie-in" with a persona generated in
the machine. But remembering that this is a thought experiment, and
something far more complex than any real process we have ever automated, I
would say that consciousness and feeling might appear, even in a system
whose behavior is predetermined.

Mike Perry

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