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Old 12-30-2017, 04:39 PM
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wolfpup is offline
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Originally Posted by SamuelA View Post
You want to focus on philosophical musings about how an algorithm can "perceive" or be "aware". I do not care about that, I don't pretend to understand it, either.
It has nothing to do with "philosophical ruminations". You're totally not getting it and continuing to spew amusing bullshit. Fodor, who you sneeringly dismiss as just a "philosopher" that I'm "parroting" because you don't like (and don't understand) what he's saying, was one of the foundational theorists of modern cognitive science -- not merely a "philosopher" but a proponent of some of the most important concrete theories about how the mind works.

The operative principle is that some mental processes appear to be computational -- that is, syntactic operations on symbolic representations called propositional representations -- while many others are not. How we process mental images is a classic case where there the evidence is at least somewhat contradictory. There is very, very much about how the mind works that we currently don't understand. You, OTOH, are trying to argue that not only are all mental processes computational, but the brain itself is a computer, because ... signals! It therefore follows in your simple brain that, obviously, a digital computer can emulate the human mind. Many serious theorists doubt this, but even if it were true, it doesn't actually tell us how the brain works.

My own belief stems from the functionalist view of cognition -- that mental states are defined by what they do rather than how they are instantiated, and so I believe that a digital computer with suitable software will eventually be indistinguishable from the human brain and greatly exceed its capabilities in most respects. But it will achieve these goals in vastly different ways. The brain is not a computer and this hypothetical computer will not be a brain, even though both can think, just like -- as I said in a different thread on the same subject -- a Boeing 747 is not a sparrow, even though both can fly. Your argument about "signals" and noise etc. is an argument from ignorance, apparently stemming from a few things that you may know a little about but revealing many things that you apparently know nothing at all about.