Updating the hamiltonian problem

On the other hand, for the theory to work, it had better be the case that Φ is for “intuitively conscious” systems.

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Broadly speaking, what is it that a “mathematical theory of consciousness” is supposed to do?

The test of such a theory is whether it can produce results agreeing with “commonsense intuition”: for example, whether it can affirm, from first principles, that (most) humans are conscious; that dogs and horses are also conscious but less so; that rocks, livers, bacteria colonies, and existing digital computers are conscious (or are hardly conscious); and that a room full of people has no “mega-consciousness” over and above the consciousnesses of the individuals.

The reason it’s so important that the theory uphold “common sense” on these test cases is that, given the experimental inaccessibility of consciousness, -obvious cases, programming our computers to tell us exactly how much consciousness is present in octopi, fetuses, brain-damaged patients, and hypothetical AI bots.

Linked In Microsoft research alumni network group Microsoft researchers have received a myriad of prestigious national and international honors, including the ACM A. Turing Award, considered the highest distinction in computer science.

Recently, lots of people have been asking me what I think about IIT—no, not the Indian Institutes of Technology, but Integrated Information Theory, a widely-discussed “mathematical theory of consciousness” developed over the past decade by the neuroscientist Giulio Tononi.

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