The Turing Test for Consciousness

From the discusion on the everything-list:

http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list/t/4c12841ff0dd1ff0

14.01.2012 18:12 John Clark: “To do any one of the things you suggest would require intelligence, and indeed there is some evidence that in general social animals tend to have a larger brain than similar species that are not social. But at any rate we both seem to agree that Evolution can only see behavior, so consciousness must be a byproduct of some sort of complex behavior. Thus the Turing Test must be valid not only for intelligence but for consciousness too.”

14.01.2012 19:15: “How would you generalize the Turing Test for consciousness?”

14.01.2012 19:56 Stephen P. King: “Perhaps we can generalize the Turing test by insisting on questions that would require for their answer computational resources in excess of that would be available to a computer + power suply in a small room. Think of the Berkenstein bound http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bekenstein_bound…. But the Turing Test is a bit of an oxymoron because it is impossible to prove the existence of something that is solely 1p. There is no 3p of consciousness. I recall Leibniz’ discussion http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/leibniz-mind/ of this…”

14.01.2012 09:13: There are experiments that demonstrate that a monkey has conscious experience, see for example a short description

http://blog.rudnyi.ru/2011/08/monkey-have-conscious-visual-perception.html

Hence, how would you generalize the Turing test to check if a monkey has consciousness?

It well might be that between mind and consciousness there is no 1 to 1 relationship. For example let us take people with Alzheimer’s disease in the advanced phase (from Wikipedia)

“During this last stage of AD, the person is completely dependent upon caregivers.[25] Language is reduced to simple phrases or even single words, eventually leading to complete loss of speech.[25][29] Despite the loss of verbal language abilities, people can often understand and return emotional signals.[25] Although aggressiveness can still be present, extreme apathy and exhaustion are much more common results.[25] People with AD will ultimately not be able to perform even the simplest tasks without assistance.[25] Muscle mass and mobility deteriorate to the point where they are bedridden, and they lose the ability to feed themselves.[25] AD is a terminal illness, with the cause of death typically being an external factor, such as infection of pressure ulcers or pneumonia, not the disease itself.[25]”

What about the Turing test for a person in that state to check if he still has consciousness?


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