X-Message-Number: 7944
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 21:19:01 -0500
From: Ralph Dratman <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet digest

>"Atoms are not conscious. Interacting atoms are
>therefore not conscious. Humans are interacting atoms.
>Humans therefore are not conscious." A human, in fact, is a
>system consisting of about 10^28 interacting atoms, a large
>number. That many interacting atoms clearly *can* exhibit
>consciousness. So, I rather suspect, can a sufficiently large
>system that "just manipulates symbols."

If the system that "just manipulates symbols" is not reasonably soft and
warm, I will personally never be entirely convinced that it is "conscious".
On the other hand, if it is soft and warm and seems friendly, I might
become rather more pliable and easily convinced than is entirely logical.

I don't know if everyone is aware that in recent public Turing tests, many
of the testers were convinced that programs along the lines of "Eliza" were
real people! Even more chilling, perhaps, is the fact that a few testers
thought that some of the genuine people were computer programs.

Ralph Dratman

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