Computationalism

  • computational theory of mind
  • mind is an information processing system
    • cognition and consciousness are forms of computation
    • the system "runs on" neural activity in the brain
  • various thoughts from Josha Bach:
    • Turing test is a test if people they are generally intelligent enough to understand themselves to pass the Turing test
    • children learn that they might do something they do not want to do - to do it they have to model themselves in the world (so they have to run artificial simulations)
    • general intelligence is being able to create generalizations (models) from patterns - some of them are so complex that the thing needs to be able to model itself in the environment (emergent self awareness)
    • mind is creating both the universe and the (story of) self - based on the inputs it's receiving (from retina for example) - you are the machine that thinks it's you
      • it simulates everything that it knows how to, including simulating a person
      • identity is a story that brain tells itself, there's no real me, each person has different simulation of me and I have one (or more) as well - self is an illusion made through Sequences of Static Snapshots
      • we suffer in our minds, and we can change our definition of suffering as well
  • tensions with computationalism
    • connectionism models at "low-level" (neurons), where computationalism models at "symbolic level"
    • connectionism focused on learning from stimuli (back-propagation in neural networks), where computationalism focuses on learning as "elaborating possibilities through symbolic processing"
  • also, brain writing the story (theory) of itself reminds me of Computationalism - to model complex situations it has to model itself inside of them
Szymon Kaliski © 2021
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