X-Message-Number: 17949
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 07:57:18 -0500
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #17936 - #17948

Hi everyone!

Memory, consciousness, and desires all go together in our brains, and
can be separated in thought but not in any attempt to understand how
our brains actually work. One basic problem with work which looks
ONLY at machine intelligene is that it cannot alone produce an 
independent intelligent (or even stupid) robot. What is lacking is
not intelligence but the independent desires by which the robot
wants to do something with its intelligence.

If we have such desires, we will work out what WE want to remember
and what seems unimportant enough to forget. In that sense, intelligence
plays a role in memory. Moreover, if we decide what to do, we 
generally must do so among a very large range of POSSIBLE things to
do, large enough that our brain must have some special means to 
make such choices: and that is the beginning of consciousness.

As for work on machine intelligence, it's quite worthwhile not because
it (alone) could make an independent intelligent machine "like us"
in some general way, but specifically because it will help US do
intelligent things which otherwise we are not equipped to do. We
provide the MEMORY, CONSCIOUSNESS, and DESIRES which make us go
to our machines and tell them what we want to do. When we look at
machine intelligence we find lots of algorithms of varying generality;
the interest in such algorithms comes from US, not from the machine.
Without that interest the machine does nothing at all. Why should it?
It has no independent desires.

Do we want machines with independent desires? I see no reason to
see why we would. We already have many such machines (other human 
beings and even some other animals). More intelligence, however,
would certainly be useful in many cases... though again, as has
happened many times in the past, our desires can ask too much, or
contradictory things, and it turns out impossible to simply add
on more intelligence. We need to change our desires themselves,
something often hard to do (as immortalists we can certainly see

Yes, a lot more can be said on this topic, and I will do so later.
But this is a summary of what I think about looking both at how
brains actually work and at the various scientific studies of
"intelligence" and how it may work. You cannot get away from 
your memories and desires and act purely on intelligence, since
even the simplest ACTION requires both memories and desires.

		Best wishes and long long life to all,

			Thomas Donaldson

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