Monday, November 16, 2009

2D Consciousness?

Life has a way of keeping me from getting bored. The last several months have been, shall we say, interesting, in the Chinese Curse sense. In any case, I have been making progress on the book, and I'm soon going to have to decide whether to pursue publishing it, or putting it out as a podcast, or ... I don't know.

In the meantime, I've written up some of the ideas I've been mulling over for a while now, having to do with the possibility of uploading a mind into a computer. The link is here:

Consciousness and 2D Computation: a Curious Conundrum

The take-away is that it is possible to set up a scenario that blurs the distinction between performing a computation and using the results of a computation, in a way that raises some troubling questions I haven't been able to answer satisfactorily for myself. The thought experiment itself combines a number of ideas that have been out there for a while in the AI and philosophy of mind communities, though perhaps in a slightly novel way. I ran it past some smart folks at the recent Singularity Summit, all of whom indicated that they wanted to think about it further before responding to it, which told me that it must be, as I say, at least slightly novel.

I'm very interested in feedback on these ideas.