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I Got Just A Little Confused In Your Argument, But Consider This

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Posted by Mark on October 17, 2001 22:10:14 UTC

You ask what separates "life" from inanimate matter, and then go on to say where do we draw the line between "life" and a "heap of organic material" (a plant or bacteria).

This inspired me to think about the possibility of a computer ever coming to "life". Afterall, if we define "life" to be simply the capability to reproduce, and a few qualities that can be attributed to plants even (adaptation, feeding, eventual decay)... then a computer can certainly be designed to meet the qualifications.

Reproductive robots with powerful microchips and imaging capabilities, along with the ability to distinguish between different odor molecules (smell and essentialy taste), and the ability to distinguish between different patterns of atmospheric vibrations (hearing), could be said to be "alive". But are they genuinely conscious? Hell... they can even be programed to fake the emotions of "love" and "happiness" or "anger" at the appropriate times.

Going along the same lines as above... how do I really know anybody else on this planet Earth is really conscious? Just because they all respond to electromagnetic disturbances and odors... doesn't necessarily qualify them for being "conscious".

None of these concepts are new, this I know. I've read parts of 2001 A Space Oddysey, and although I never saw the movie AI (Artificial Intelligence) I'm sure it incorporates some of this philosophy.

I challenge anybody in this forum to PROVE (or at least use powerfull logical argument) that they themself, are not the only person on the planet that is "conscious" . Is it posible to do this?

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