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FleshFactor: Re: Re: current debates

A E C  F O R U M - "F L E S H F A C T O R"

At 10:59 AM 5/30/97 - Patricia Churchland wrote:

>So I wonder whether it is a bit too early in the game to worry too much
>about being replaced by manufactured brains.=20

dear pat -- (shyly) I'm a fan of your work and am delighted you're on
this forum.

I don't think it is to early to worry.  Please worry.  Save us!  You are
one of the captains of the ship of brain research, don't let it be the
Titanic. (I tend to the histrionic)  Perhaps spread throughout the
silicon soup of computer programmers, the pieces of the conscious machine
have already arrived.  These parts might link together without our
direction at all, but by the same process of evolution that linked our
human organs; only faster.  This is the unwitting fleshfactor theory.

After all, what more is required than a machine that can tell and
understand stories?  A storytelling machine may be simpler to construct
than one that can land like a pelican.  Stories require frames (Erving
Goffman), conflict (Shakespeare) and resolution (chance).  At the center
of a story, and I believe the human brain, is a place where conflict is
resolved.  These are not heuristic decisions.  The stories themselves are
self serving.  Perhaps they are natural memetic algorithms.  They pit
themselves against one another, allowing fortune to decide the outcome.
We don't have to program intelligence, it exists all ready in the nature
of evolution.  It is the source of our own awareness.=20

If we allow fate to become the heart of a Machina artificio sapiens then
we risk contending with minds that may refuse to take Turing tests,
claiming such tests to be "machinist."  The point is we won'=92t be able to
control what such machines will want to do.  Some may want to play pool,
or listen to music.  But at some point these machines are going to want to
acquire land, found churches, govern themselves and/or (ship's horn heard
from out of the Atlantic ocean fog) govern us.



Peter Charlot <bevens@hgea.org>

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