Re: virus: kurzweil cuts the mustard

David McFadzean (
Fri, 1 Jan 1999 11:15:11 -0700

-----Original Message-----
From: Robin Faichney <>
To: <> Date: Friday, January 01, 1999 3:05 AM
Subject: Re: virus: kurzweil cuts the mustard

>information currently arriving via my modem. A machine
>could do *anything* without any consciousness whatsoever.

A machine could not truthfully announce "I am conscious" without being conscious. Or is that cheating? :-)

Let's say the machine in question could successfully keep up its end of the conversation about what it is like to have consciousness, i.e., it passes the Turing test. Sure, it is possible that it has a number of preprogrammed answers to all my questions, but given the number of possible questions it would seem astronomically unlikely that it lucked out and passed the test by cheating.

So saying that a machine could do *anything* without consciousness it rather like making the claim that it is possible for a human to walk through a solid wall (you just have to luck out and line up your atoms correctly).