[time 248] Re: [time 247] Re: [time 237] Direction of time or Free will

Ben Goertzel (ben@goertzel.org)
Sun, 18 Apr 1999 19:32:31 -0400

>> Your problem seems to be to understand the mechanism of humans'
>recognition or
>> machinery of consciousness. My position is that such knowledge could be
>> e.g., in constructing AI, and may be gotten in some future to the extent
>> the knowledge would suffice to make AI, but I think the same problem
>cannot be
>> a subject of science if we go down to the essential level of the problem,
>> to the level of the recognition that one cannot know oneself. I.e. even if
>> human could create AI creatures by their understanding of the _machinery_ of
>> recognition and/or consciousness, that understanding of the machinery could
>> not help us to understand ourselves more than the understanding of the
>> machinery.

This is not entirely quite accurately expressed, but I agree with the
spirit in which it was written.

My experience is that studying the machinery of mind and the embodiment in AI
~does~ help one to understand oneself. In my own life, inner spiritual
progress and
progress in understanding cognitive science and AI have gone hand in hand.

However, one is never led to a ~complete~ understanding of mind, there is
always a mystery
that remains, and this mystery is the essence of consciousness (mystery =
randomness from a subjective perspective, which is the only kind of
randomness that
exists in a finite universe)

We can understand a lot about how this mystery interacts with and
influences the more structured
part of the world, without understanding the mystery itself.

Here I am on much firmer ground than in physics ;)


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