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December 19, 2010


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This sounds like a really interesting paper. I can't seem to get hold of it at the moment,but when I do I'll be interested to see if the author thinks there is a difference between a computer system which has been programmed to outwardly appear like it has the listed characteristics and one which somehow 'develops' them. I guess I'm thinking about some sort of difference between living an inauthentic versus authentic life. Such a difference may not, of course, exist, but I'll be interested to read this author's views. Whether such a distinction can be made might have an impact on those entities that we would want to assign legal status and legal protections to.

I'll also be interested to see if the author discusses the Turing test and whether he thinks it is relevant for identifying the characteristics that he is after. It may be, of course, that the Turing test is not relevant. It is controversial and does seem to set the bar for intelligence quite high. And if we are to use this as some sort of bar for artificial computers, then we might well ask why it ought not to be used for human computers.

Thanks, Muireann - having just skimmed the paper myself, I'm not sure if he addresses those things, but I know Larry Solum does, especially with respect to John Searle's Chinese room, in this paper: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1108671.

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