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Old 05-20-2019, 01:58 PM
begbert2 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 13,582
Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
Well, that's not quite what I claimed (but I try to make the argument more clearly below). However, you're already conceding the most important element of my stance---that you need an external agency to fix what a system computes. Let's investigate where that leads.
The conversation has ranged pretty far, but suffice to say that my biggest problem is one of terms. Specifically you are using lots of terms that don't mean the same thing to me that they appear to mean to you. It seems entirely possible that these are terms of art that are well understood within the discipline but that I, the layman, have never encountered. Of course the heavy use of such terms without defining or explaining them ensures that I'm staying a layman.

Take "external agency". As far as I know I never said anything about an external agency. I'm saying that the cognitive calculation itself understands the symbols it uses, and that the way it processes those symbols is largely or wholly deterministic based on the state of the cognitive process itself at that moment in time.

And that fact means that you can copy a cognition even if you don't have any idea how it works, simply by ensuring that your copy has the same cognitive calculation operating on comparable hardware with an identical copy of the 'symbols'. You may not have any idea what those symbols you just copied over mean, but the copy of the cognitive process knows what to do with them, because it's an identical copy of the original cognitive process that knows what to do with them.

It's worth noting that it doesn't matter how the cognition works - so long as you accurately copy the cognition process and memory state, the copy will 'work'. You have to copy the whole cognition process and memory state, of course - if the person in question has a soul and you forget to copy the soul then your copy will fail to operate properly to the degree the soul was necessary for operation. But as long as you copy all the parts and memory correctly you're all good.

You do seem to be very interested in talking about reverse-engineering the cognition and the difficulties in doing so, and while that's certainly an interesting topic, this thread is specifically about copying cognition. And you don't have to understand how something works to copy it, as long as you know enough to not fail to copy over something important.