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How Would You Compare Yourself To A Computer?

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Posted by Paul R. Martin on May 3, 2001 17:07:18 UTC

Hi Alex,

Let's say that someone built a robot as you described, and that it could fool everyone who interacted with it into thinking that it was a real human.

Now suppose you burned your hand and that robot also burned it's hand. You both would jerk your hand back and you both would make convincing pained expressions on your faces.

Do you think there would be any difference in what you would feel as a result of that burn and what the robot would 'feel'?

I know you want me to define the term 'feel'. I suspect that you must have burned yourself at one time or another, so my definition of 'feel' is the experience which you called pain or hurt when you burned yourself.

I cannot define 'feel' for the robot because I don't think the robot could experience feelings. That is why I put the term in apostrophes for the robot. My question to you, then, is do you think the robot could feel pain in the same way you do?

Warm regards,

Paul

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