Re: Dennett: Making Conscious Robots

From: Kyriacou Elias (
Date: Tue May 01 2001 - 23:49:16 BST

>> It is unlikely, in my opinion, that anyone will ever make a robot that
>> is conscious in just the way we human beings are.

> Cove:
> I agree with this statement, but does this really matter? If we are
> using Turing's criterion as a guide then surely not. As long as the
> function of the robot is indistinguishable from that of its human
> counterpart, can we simply assume this is good enough to claim it is
> conscious.

You can not assume that it is good enough to claim it is conscious because
a robot that is indistinguishable from its human counterpart is still a
system that is defined by a set of rules, thus prohibiting it from ever
truly being conscious, since a conscious mind can be considered to be
caotic in its actions and decisions.

>> (1) Robots are purely material things and consciousness requires
>> immaterial mind-stuff.
>> (old-fashioned duality).

> Cove:
> This view appears to me to be pseudo-science. Dennett correctly argues
> that if supernatural forces had been accounted for explainable, causal
> principles, scientific knowledge would not be as sophisticated as it is.

I do not neccessarily agree with this view, because there is no evidence
to suggest that both the supernatural and scientific world cannot exist.
So far there has not been discovered any evidence that goes against each
of these approaches and thus, it is plausible to assume that they may

My opinion on MIT's Cog Robot is that it will never truly be a conscious
thing, despite all the expensive accessories that are attached to it to
make it resemble as closely as possible human behaviour.
The truth is that Cog can not figure new things out for itself unless it
is told how to by the programmers and also Cog never decides or chooses
what thing to do next or solve next without an instruction being given to
it. It does not have its own free, conscious choice.

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