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Posted by Aurino Souza on May 14, 2003 13:03:41 UTC

In computer lingo, that stands for "garbage in, garbage out". In philosophy it's called sophistry. We don't know if computers can behave like people. We know they can to some extent, as Harv pointed out, but we don't know if computers can behave exactly like people. The problem, as stated, is a pseudo-problem, a flight of fancy.

Never mind computers. A far more interesting and far more relevant problem is whether there is a "person" inside the skull of other people. Exactly how do you know that other people are conscious the way you are, when you cannot experience their consciousness? How do you know that your friends are conscious but your computer is not?

A piece of advice: don't dwell on those issues too much. There are no answers.

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