Re: Chalmers on Computation

From: Terry, Mark (
Date: Thu Mar 02 2000 - 15:04:28 GMT

>Does a system that specifies a causal structure computationally, have
>that causal structure. Part of the causal structure, for example, of an
>airplane, is that it is able to lift of the ground and fly. Does a plane
>simulator that simulates its causal structure have the causal power to
>If so, then the same thing should work for the mind. But if not; if the
>simulation "specifies" the causal structure but doesn't actually "have"
>it, then that's another story.
>What do you think (and why?)

Clearly modelling the causal structure of a system computationally does
not mean the simulation HAS that causal structure, rather it uses the
causul structure to tell us about the ACTUAL system. However, I would
propose that this point doesn't matter when considering AI. We are trying
to model an abstract idea (what we have decided is "intelligence") in a
system, and as such a system which models an aeroplane does not need to be
able to fly, it just needs to be able to tell us what would happen to some
properties of the aeroplanes flight given some (input) conditions. In the
same way, a computational model of the mind which outputs instructions
such as "speak" or "move", as I belive it is reasonable to assume our
minds do, would be simulating intelligence without actually possessing it.
Is this not enough for the machine to do, certainly it would be expected
to pass the Turing test. To model a mind, the machine does not have to BE
the mind. This, I think, is the "artificial" part of AI.

Terry, Mark <>

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