2008.12.31 19:00 - Computers & Sentience

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    ((** This discussion thread mainly deals with issues of the possibilities of self-awareness and sentience by computers and as side issues deals with the moral implications: 1) if that is the case about computers, 2) the same issue regarding species other than Homo Sapient, and 3) why none of us can pass the Turing Test. **)) (Just kidding, I think, about the third.)

    Geo Netizen: Hi Rajah

    Rajah Yalin: hello geo :)

    Rajah Yalin: hi adelene

    Geo Netizen smiles at Ade

    Adelene Dawner: So I found something interesting, in doing my dailies today... http://www.overcomingbias.com/2008/12/a-new-day.html

    ((** Ade provided this link as a sample but meant the broader topic better represented by the root link http://www.overcomingbias.com/  particularly, I think, the Meta-Human thread. **))

    Geo Netizen: How is everyone's New Year so far?

    Rajah Yalin: New Year feels like last year so far

    Geo Netizen chuckles

    Geo Netizen: I hope it is better though

    Adelene Dawner: Two more hours, here. But I have high hopes for it. ^.^

    Geo Netizen: wonders is Ade knows there’s a mouse hitching a ride

    Rajah Yalin: its only been almost 14 hours though :)

    Adelene Dawner: Ya, I'm aware of him, Geo. He's cute, so he can stay. Helps that he can read, too. *pokes the mouse* Read us something, Squee.

    Squee: I can not tell you who God is, or what God is. But I am not concerned about that because neither can any one else.  All I can really tell you is how I've experienced God.

    Geo Netizen: Ahhh …. a philosopher mouse :)

    Adelene Dawner: ^.^

    Geo Netizen: Still 5 minuets till …. suppose we should wait to do any heavy lifting

    Adelene Dawner shrugs.

    Rajah Yalin puts weights down

    Geo Netizen chuckles

    Adelene Dawner: hm... I'm going to afk for a minute... should be back before the hour.

    Geo Netizen nods

    Rajah Yalin: computer just made some strange beepy noise...

    Rajah Yalin puzzled

    Geo Netizen: Hmmmm .... usually not a good thing

    Geo Netizen Cranks up Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Rajah Yalin: I think he/she/heshe/it is frustrated with me, been on a lot these last 2 days

    Geo Netizen: A computer on overtime …. can be expensive, all that time and a half

    Rajah Yalin: could use the hours, me being away the last month and a half :D

    Pema Pera is Online

    Geo Netizen: I see Pema just logged on ... hope he will be able to join us

    Rajah Yalin: yes he has a way of keeping my attention span on topic ....

    Geo Netizen: The rest of us can wander about a bit :)

    Rajah Yalin: speak of the devil

    Geo Netizen: Hi Pema

    Rajah Yalin: hello Pema

    Pema Pera: Hi Adelene and Geo and Rajah!

    Geo Netizen: Ade mentioned earlier that she had a topic for tonight but she is afk at the moment

    Rajah Yalin: happy New Year

    Pema Pera: happy new year to you too, Rajah

    Pema Pera: and happy old year to Geo and Ade

    Geo Netizen: Yes you are well into the new year already Pema

    Pema Pera: oh yes, past noon

    Pema Pera: Hi Pila!

    Rajah Yalin: its just turned 2:00PM here a few minutes ago

    Rajah Yalin: hi Pila

    Pema Pera: You will be the last one to receive the new year

    Pila Mulligan: greetings from 2008 (still)

    Geo Netizen: Hi Pila

    Pema Pera: :)

    Rajah Yalin: I think I'm the fourth person to see the sunrise :P

    Pema Pera: yes

    Adelene Dawner: Hi all ^.^

    Geo Netizen: Ahh ... Ade's back

    Rajah Yalin: hi again Adelene :)

    Pila Mulligan: hi Adelene

    Adelene Dawner found something interesting as she did her dailies today: http://www.overcomingbias.com/2008/12/a-new-day.html

    ((** see inserted note a little above this **))

    Geo Netizen fires up the browser

    Geo Netizen: No old things for a whole day … could be a challenge

    Pema Pera: not brushing teeth -- or perhaps with a new tooth brush?

    Adelene Dawner: or in a new pattern.

    Geo Netizen: Yes ... sound like variations on old themes ok

    Pema Pera is much relieved

    Geo Netizen: Would hate to have to skip all meals :)

    Pila Mulligan: :)

    Pema Pera: not on New Year's day

    Pila Mulligan: have 'tweens like Hobbits instead of breakfast lunch dinner, maybe?

    Adelene Dawner: or just browse all day. Or *not* browse all day, in my case.

    Geo Netizen chuckles

    Pema Pera: :-)

    Geo Netizen: Sounds like exploring using a random walk type approach

    Rajah Yalin: better get to turning my computer off ;O

    Geo Netizen: making more noises?

    Adelene Dawner: Good luck with it, Rajah.

    Rajah Yalin: no it would be something new for me :P

    Adelene Dawner: ah ^.^

    Geo Netizen: Oo

    Rajah Yalin: it stopped sounding like a robot though at least

    Adelene Dawner doesn't think she can remember the last time she went a full 24 hours without using a computer, if you count Little Buddy.

    Geo Netizen: Hmmm … no computer, no books …. just being

    Adelene Dawner looks horrified.

    Rajah Yalin: what about the house? :O

    Geo Netizen: Let’s see … I could write using paper and pencil … haven’t done that in a long time

    Geo Netizen wonders if he could find a pencil

    Adelene Dawner: (We are deviating from the spirit of the exercise... that's ok, but I know Elizer's memescape well enough to know that this wasn't actually intended as a cue to do uncomfortable things.)

    Rajah Yalin: not like i was going to cook chicken or anything

    Geo Netizen chuckles

    Geo Netizen: The word 'daydream' is used ...

    Rajah Yalin: >_>

    Geo Netizen: We record these conversations and post them on Wiki

    Geo Netizen turns up the air circulator

    Pila Mulligan: sometimes there are intervals of silence

    Squee: Change need not unbalance you; life's not a static object, after all. It's a process.

    Rajah Yalin: hi Fefonz

    Geo Netizen: Hi Fefonz

    Fefonz Quan: Hi everyone :)

    Pila Mulligan: hi Fefonz

    Pema Pera: Hi there Fef!

    Adelene Dawner: ^.^

    Geo Netizen: I see Ade, the idea is new, different and -interesting- things

    Adelene Dawner: Yes. ^.^

    Geo Netizen: Quote "After a couple of days, I return hugely refreshed, creative potential flowing."

    Geo Netizen: So Ade, what completely new thing are you going to do?

    Fefonz Quan: (Hi Pema!)

    Adelene Dawner: Well, move to a new state, for one. ^.^

    Pema Pera: (hi Fefonz)

    Pema Pera: (I greeted you as "Fef" already :-)

    Fefonz Quan: (and i answered in delay... afk for a while :)

    Geo Netizen: that’s fairly new lol

    Pema Pera: ( :-) )

    Pema Pera: how about moving into the next moment ?

    Rajah Yalin: I figure it must not be 'completely' new if I already know about it

    Adelene Dawner pokes Pema.

    Fefonz Quan: a new state of mind, Ade? :)

    Adelene Dawner: One hopes. ^.^

    Pema Pera retains his balance

    Geo Netizen: But “there is nothing new under the sun” as one author put it

    Adelene Dawner: The meetup already showed me I'm really really ready for a fresh start... I've never been as good as I'd like to be at really ignoring people's expectations, and that's gotten uncomfortably limiting, here.

    Pema Pera: nothing especially new -- and so everything can be new

    Geo Netizen: A variation on Rajah's comment I think

    Pema Pera: nothing is especially holy -- so all is holy

    Adelene Dawner grins at Pema.

    Pema Pera: sorry, was commenting on Geo's last

    Pema Pera: yes, Adelene, meetings can trigger new orientations

    Pema Pera: here and in RL

    Adelene Dawner: mmhmm

    Geo Netizen: the difficulty can be that new paths can be walked in old ways if we’re not careful

    Adelene Dawner: Yup

    Pema Pera: yes, so we need reminders . . . many of them

    Geo Netizen: Perhaps every 15 minutes :)

    Adelene Dawner: It's easier to walk a new path in a new way than an old path in a new way.

    Pema Pera: at least :-)

    Geo Netizen nods

    Pema Pera: yes, or take a step off the path, new or old, to the side

    Adelene Dawner: Even if the 'new way' is the important part. :)

    Pema Pera: get muddy feet :)

    Adelene Dawner: And make a new new path, Pem. ^.^

    Geo Netizen: Hi Jason

    Geo Netizen: Muddy feet are sometimes essential

    jason Pooley: hi Geo

    Rajah Yalin: hi Jason

    Pema Pera: yes, and yes

    Pema Pera: Hi Jason!

    jason Pooley: Hi Rajah

    jason Pooley: Hi Pema

    jason Pooley: Hi everyone, lol

    Pema Pera: :-)

    Pema Pera: have you been here before, Jason?

    Pila Mulligan: hello Jas

    Geo Netizen Pema has faster fingers

    Pema Pera: :)

    Pema Pera: Jason, feel free to join us! We get together a few times a day to chat about the nature of reality, and everything else, and we have a wiki http://playasbeing.wik.is/ -- we record our conversations there. Do you mind being included in our blogs?

    jason Pooley: Hi, I've read the notecard, thks.

    Pema Pera: thank you!

    Pema Pera: We're an informal bunch, just make yourself comfortable

    Pema Pera: well, I have to get going

    Adelene Dawner: cya, Pem.

    Pema Pera: nice meeting you all, and see you soon again!

    Geo Netizen: We’re current discussing an entry on http://www.overcomingbias.com/2008/12/a-new-day.html

    Rajah Yalin: take care pema

    Pila Mulligan: bye Pema

    Fefonz Quan: See you Pema! Happy new year!

    Geo Netizen nods towards Pema

    Geo Netizen: Part of the overcomingbias blog seems to be about overcoming fear of -new-

    Adelene Dawner: mmm... indirectly. More like, you're unlikely to find most of their topics interesting if you're afraid of new things.

    Geo Netizen: At least breaking out of the comfort of the routine

    Fefonz Quan: now i've read it, very refreshing!

    Fefonz Quan: i've tried some of that, but one at a time, not all new in one day

    Adelene Dawner: Have you read any of the other entries, Geo? The one we're discussing is not a good indication of the blog as a whole, really.

    Geo Netizen: No .... haven't had time to tree-walk

    Adelene Dawner: Ah. It's mostly AI theory, Tran humanism, singularity theory, that kind of thing, with a focus on the practical mechanics... one of the most interesting recurring themes is 'after the singularity, when most everything can be done by computers and humans don't have to work, how we will keep from being bored?'

    Adelene Dawner: Fun theory is an interesting topic. ^.^

    Geo Netizen nods

    Geo Netizen: does presume that computers will eventually be able to do everything a human can do

    Geo Netizen: Several old Star Trek episodes dealt with that issue

    Geo Netizen: the conclusion was always that human irrationality would always provide creativity that computers cannot duplicate.

    Fefonz Quan: it's an odd notion, cause i thought at least some of the people are doing something that won't ne the same with others (even peope) do them,

    Fefonz Quan: like poets, artists etc.

    Adelene Dawner: Yes - the real question is, will that come before or after we have enough ethics theory in place to make it safe for superhuman computers to exist? Consider how hard it is to even explain what 'human' and 'alive' mean, to computers... much less anything more abstract, like 'good/evil' or 'happy'...

    Fefonz Quan: and sounds like they presume computer can be "human"

    Fefonz Quan: (on the way to super human)

    Fefonz Quan: and this is an axiom, not a fact proven

    Geo Netizen is listening to The Lark Ascending and wonders if a computer would ever be able to do that

    Adelene Dawner: It's not just possible, but probable... we're within a decade or two of having the capacity to scan a brain as it works and completely model all the parts electronically.

    Fefonz Quan: i disagree with that

    Pila Mulligan: but can electronics duplicate intuition

    Geo Netizen: I remember my AI classes back in the 70's ....

    Fefonz Quan: but you might have more data then me

    Geo Netizen: same prediction then :)

    Fefonz Quan: my point too :)

    Adelene Dawner: If it duplicates all the parts that generate intuition, certainly, Pila.

    Pila Mulligan: assuming intuition arises from the brain in a measurable manner :)

    Geo Netizen: But the brain is not just electric circuits

    Fefonz Quan: computer are so far from imitating the brain, that 2 decades seems like an extremely short time for such an achievement

    Pila Mulligan: I'm more likely to believe the ability to model te brain in two decades than to believe that a brain model will suffice to duplicate human awareness

    Adelene Dawner shrugs, chuckling. "I don't know all that much about it, I just have information from sources that appear to be reliable."

    Geo Netizen: And the number of potential interconnections is huge …. and interconnections are dynamic, constantly changing

    Adelene Dawner nods at Geo. "Yeah, that's been taken into account."

    Squee: Erasing yourself from someone's life is not as simple as walking out the door.

    Fefonz Quan: right, more like a hardware being changed all the time by the software running on it

    Geo Netizen: Neural nets have been investigated for several decades and

    Geo Netizen: and are still good at only specific subsets of tasks

    Fefonz Quan: nods

    Fefonz Quan: and even the notion that the brain works like a big neural net is argued now

    Geo Netizen: I will agree though Ade, it is hard to dismiss the possibility completely given enough time

    Geo Netizen: I'm confident I won't see it.

    Adelene Dawner is pretty confident she will. ^.^

    Geo Netizen: So by 2050 or so :)

    Fefonz Quan: but even if computer have enough power to do "humna" jobs - human jobs change all the time, so human might find different concerns

    Fefonz Quan: until 150 years ago, most of the population dealt with agriculture

    Geo Netizen: Humans are also changing see latest issue of Scientific American

    Geo Netizen: "What Will Become of Homo Sapiens?"

    ((** http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=the-future-of-man **))

    Fefonz Quan: "Homo virtualis" ? :)

    ((** Watch for this new term to appear in Nature soon :))  **))

    Adelene Dawner: Fefonz... if a computer can model a human brain 100%, and if such a model is all that's necessary for a computer to function in a humanlike way... a computer modeling a human brain would be able to do *anything* a human could do (within the limitations of its hardware, which would probably be *less* restrictive than our bodies), including adjust to new situations.

    Fefonz Quan: well, that might be correct Adelene, though our brain can't be modeled without the body embodiment

    Geo Netizen likes Fefonz phrase more as he thinks about it

    Adelene Dawner: True... I suspect that something equivalent could be set up pretty easily, though.

    Geo Netizen: Equivalent .... perhaps that captures part of the issue

    Fefonz Quan: i suspect not,and also i think for that simulation to takes place computer should have many powers of ten more resources

    Fefonz Quan: then today

    Prime Rib Roast Sandwich whispers: Ummm, Good Roast Beef!

    Geo Netizen: Yes ... several orders of magnitude I think

    Adelene Dawner: Sorry, I'm having trouble focusing, here.

    Fefonz Quan: maybe we are off' my point was that it sounds so far out that computer will be able to emulate human brain/functions in the visible future

    Fefonz Quan: (maybe biological computers will, bit that's a different story)

    Adelene Dawner: It's already being worked on... from what I hear, they've already got simple stuff working in that area, equivalent to 50 brain cells or so (slug or snail level)

    Geo Netizen: Again, I think its important to note that the connections are truly astronomical and very dynamic

    Geo Netizen: Also, chemistry as well as electric current is crucial

    Adelene Dawner: yep

    Fefonz Quan: in physics, you can calculate the motion of one and 2 bodies perfectly.

    Geo Netizen nods

    Fefonz Quan: yet 4 - you can't

    Fefonz Quan: (and up)

    Fefonz Quan: and that's much more basic that human brains

    Geo Netizen: chaos theory

    Fefonz Quan: so jumping scales is not just a matter of quantity sometimes

    Geo Netizen nods

    Fefonz Quan: but even if you have such a computer with that enormous abilities - why should it bother doing only the human (boring) stuff?

    Adelene Dawner: Well, that's where the ethics comes in.

    Geo Netizen: Troutman’s Programming Law – If a test installation functions perfectly all subsequent systems will malfunction

    ((** Editor’s note: Geo’s attempt at levity failed completely! **))

    Adelene Dawner: One of the things I like about that blog is that the authors consider that a computer running a simulation of a human brain (& body, if relevant) *is* human, for ethical purposes, and don't think it's a very good idea to build one.

    Fefonz Quan: that's very interesting - i think it is totally wrong, but the key here is the definition of *is*

    Fefonz Quan: if i could run a simulation of nuclear explosion on a computer in your backyard, or put a real one there - "is* it the same?

    Adelene Dawner: 'for ethical purposes' is important, and past that it depends on how you define 'human'...

    Geo Netizen: A slightly different question: is it possible for computers to achieve sentience?

    Fefonz Quan: most of the ethical issues i can think of, are not those performed by words, but by actions

    Geo Netizen: That avoids the issue of equivalence and still raises many interesting questions

    Fefonz Quan: terminator 1/2/3, anyone?

    Fefonz Quan: :)

    Geo Netizen chuckles

    Adelene Dawner: Fefonz... if the computer-run simulation of a human brain can experience the world equivalently to how an original-style human brain can, how it it not ethically equivalent?

    Geo Netizen: Always been a popular topic in science fiction

    Fefonz Quan: for me i don't even know if you experience the world like me (nothing personal, Ade :))

    Fefonz Quan: is experiencing just a function of complexity?

    Adelene Dawner: I'm sure I don't, in several relevant ways. Most of autism is sensory, after all. But we're close enough that from an ethical standpoint we get the same protections (or, should), so why not a computer that's just as similar to us as we are to each other?

    Fefonz Quan: i don't know, and i think that connects to the big questions we explore here - what is consciousness?

    Fefonz Quan: why or how does it arise in me/others?

    Fefonz Quan: and as i said before - the computer is not SIMILAR - its SIMULATING

    Geo Netizen: Will computers ever achieve self-awareness?

    Fefonz Quan: if i know you well, i might be thought as you in a turing test, Ade

    Fefonz Quan: but that's doesn't make me feel like you

    Pila Mulligan: what is compassion in electronic terms?

    Fefonz Quan: i am running a good enough simulation of you behind the keyboard

    Adelene Dawner ahs, realizing that Fefonz has underestimated what she's talking about.

    Fefonz Quan: misunderstood might be more correct

    Adelene Dawner: Pila - good question - don't think we've yet cracked compassion, here. We've done a good job with 'love' though, such that I think I could explain it to a computer that already understood the concepts it's based on (like 'self')

    Adelene Dawner: Ok, Fefonz.

    Geo Netizen: Electrical circuits alone will never achieve equivalence to the brain

    Pila Mulligan: love has several flavors though Ade

    Geo Netizen: And if you construct the complexity of the brain .... you just constructed a brain

    Adelene Dawner: Exactly, Geo!

    Fefonz Quan: objection , slightly

    Geo Netizen: But if you have a biological brain

    Fefonz Quan: i agree if you construct it on the molecular level, not the (pseudo) functional neural function

    Geo Netizen: You just found a different way other than the old way by sex

    Fefonz Quan: where have all the fun go ? :)

    Geo Netizen: I suspect that it would be more correct to say grow than construct at such a level

    Adelene Dawner: Fefonz... they could simulate it on the molecular level. That's what I meant. Seriously 100% accurate, all parts represented, simulated from whatever level is necessary.

    Squee: One man's insanity is another man's vision.

    Adelene Dawner grins widely at Squee.

    Fefonz Quan: so - what geo said - it's a brain, we meet them everywhere today,

    Fefonz Quan: you just manufactured it in a much more difficult way

    Adelene Dawner: Yes, but hardware development is faster than evolution.

    Adelene Dawner: And there are people actively working on ways to make better brains.

    Fefonz Quan: right, so you are talking about something like genetic engineering that will improve brains

    Adelene Dawner: Part of the transhuman movement. ^.^

    Fefonz Quan: that's something else

    Geo Netizen: Augmentation is a different topic though

    Fefonz Quan: just lets not call it computers

    Adelene Dawner: There's a heck of a lot of grey area, Geo.

    Pila Mulligan: is that a pun?

    Fefonz Quan: a pun?

    Adelene Dawner: Fefonz - if the brain in question is running on silicon chips, then ya, computers are relevant.

    Geo Netizen thinks it is quite good

    Pila Mulligan: a lot of grey area

    Adelene Dawner: wasn't intended to be a pun, but, ^.^

    Fefonz Quan: if it is running on silicon chips - it's not equivalent on the molecular structure

    Adelene Dawner: no, no, Fefonz.

    Adelene Dawner: Computer-simulated on a molecular level - the computer would be simulating the molecules that make up the brain.

    Adelene Dawner: (if necessary. May not be.)

    Geo Netizen: Important parts of brain functions are non electrical

    Adelene Dawner: Yes - and that can be simulated on a molecular level if it's necessary. They may find a shortcut.

    Fefonz Quan: so for each molecule, you need a full description of it's features, position etc. and simulate it's connected forces to all other relevant molecules - which might be 100,000 or something

    Geo Netizen: may - that is an important word

    Fefonz Quan: and all that should run in parallel, in order to update all the minor changes each split of a second

    Geo Netizen: "A new study shows that a chemical naturally produced by the body helps improve motor skills after a stroke by stimulating undamaged nerve fibers to grow new connections in the brain and spinal cord. Researchers say that infusions of this chemical, called inosine, substantially improves brain function following strokes in rats."

    ((** http://www.ninds.nih.gov/news_and_ev...ke_inosine.htm **))

    Fefonz Quan: as a thought experiment - i can grasp it and move on (consciousness wise?)

    Geo Netizen: The dynamics of connections is very much non-electrical

    Adelene Dawner: As mentioned, I am slightly out of my own depth here... I know what I've read, and the sources seem trustworthy, but I didn't go chasing after why they believe what they do.

    Geo Netizen: As I said earlier Ade, I find I cannot dismiss the possibility your raise out of hand but the issues are, I believe, much more complex that many in the AI field have, from the beginning, believed.

    Adelene Dawner: I do know that the source in question is aware of neuroscience, and has a purposeful habit of looking critically at other people's AI plans - and the brute-force-simulation plan is not one he likes.

    Adelene Dawner: But he does think it's doable.

    Pila Mulligan: Pila needs to go before the year end -- aloha everyone :)

    Fefonz Quan: Happy New Year Pila!

    Geo Netizen: Happy New Year Pila

    Pila Mulligan: :)

    Pila Mulligan: Happy New Year

    Fefonz Quan: so if they somehow build a big brain - the ethical question is similar to augmented brains, is it?

    Fefonz Quan: or the consciousness issue is the core here?

    Geo Netizen: I have always greatly admired Marvin Minsky but he has been consistently overly optimistic about AI

    ((** http://web.media.mit.edu/~minsky/ **))

    Geo Netizen: And I find him to represent the field IMHO

    ((** IMHO: In My Humble Opinion **))

    Adelene Dawner: If they build a functional, humanlike brain, it'd be conscious by definition - that's part of 'humanlike'. And then the ethical issues are the same as for any other person.

    Fefonz Quan: well, some human act like they are not conscious sometimes :)

    Adelene Dawner chuckles.

    Geo Netizen: I can agree that an artificial intelligence, however created, if it was proven self-aware and sentient, then the issues you raise are definitely relevant

    Geo Netizen smiles

    Fefonz Quan: and the proof procedure will be...?

    Adelene Dawner: Tread carefully, Geo.

    Fefonz Quan: though i agree with what Geo said

    Geo Netizen: We still have trouble with that in regards to a few related species

    Adelene Dawner chuckles. "We still have trouble with that with regards to some humans."

    Geo Netizen: There are some serious indications that chimpanzees are self-aware

    Adelene Dawner: I have a friend who has had trouble passing the Turing test.

    Geo Netizen chuckles

    Adelene Dawner: Human friend, if I need to specify.

    Geo Netizen: But there’s still no consensus

    Geo Netizen: and the dolphin

    Fefonz Quan: so he should fail any computer stands vs. him :)

    Fefonz Quan: (for Ade)

    Adelene Dawner: That didn't parse, Fefonz... what?

    Geo Netizen thinks he sometimes fails the Turing test

    Fefonz Quan: if a human fails the test, we put him behind one curtain and a computer behind the other

    Geo Netizen: Squee has sounded more intelligent tonight :)

    Adelene Dawner chuckles at Geo.

    Fefonz Quan: sorry, i think i got confused myself...\

    Adelene Dawner: No worries.

    Fefonz Quan: i don't trust the Turing test anyway

    Geo Netizen: The guardian on watch will close the log at 9 SLT so he can get some sleep :)

    Fefonz Quan: :)

    Geo Netizen: I agree that it has serious limitations

    Adelene Dawner: My point was, we really don't know what 'self-aware' is, or 'sentient'... not well enough to accurately test, anyway. And it's pretty bad karma to assume someone's not sentient when they are, I'd say.

    Fefonz Quan: nods

    Geo Netizen: I agree that we can be too quick to judge

    Fefonz Quan: i thought we give it a try here (try to see what consciousness is)

    Fefonz Quan: (from the point of view of the conscious)

    Geo Netizen: I’m thinking interspecies ….. all people must be presumed sentient in my opinion

    Fefonz Quan: sure

    Adelene Dawner: how do you define 'people', Geo?

    Geo Netizen: Homo sapiens

    Adelene Dawner: how limited. ;)

    Fefonz Quan: and their close simulations :)

    Geo Netizen: but Ade remember what I said about the issue of other species

    Geo Netizen: that is we have been too quick to judge

    Adelene Dawner: I define 'people' as any creature with a brain... and I'm not sure about the ones without, and better safe than sorry.

    Adelene Dawner: Computers are also an 'uncertain' area.

    Geo Netizen: Hmmmm .... the slug?

    Adelene Dawner: mmhmm :)

    Geo Netizen: A bit broader that I'd go :)

    Fefonz Quan: let them all vote then :)

    Geo Netizen: 9:01

    Geo Netizen: vote tabled :))

    Adelene Dawner: It does lead to a bit of a different set of rules as to how people should be treated, but I haven't had any complaints, even from the human people. :)

    Geo Netizen: A very stimulating discussion …. thanks for bringing it up Ade

    Adelene Dawner: ^.^

    Fefonz Quan: yes, thanks

    Fefonz Quan: and hope you enjoy the new year

    Geo Netizen: I have to go and will probably not get any further discussion on the log

    Fefonz Quan: Geo & Adelene

    Adelene Dawner: you too, Fefonz.

    Adelene Dawner: ok, Geo. G'night, and happy New Year.

    Geo Netizen: Goodnight Ade and Good day Fefonz

    Geo Netizen: Happy New Years

    Fefonz Quan: well you got me, Geo :)

    ((** Editor’s note: Geo has no idea what that last comment was about because he definitely felt more gotten than the reverse. A final fun link (to me anyway): http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/profiles.htm  **))

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