Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Is Consciousness Computable?

A new paper by Daegene Song titled, "Non-Computability of
Consciousness" (PDF format), suggests consciousness may not be a
computable process. The paper is heavy on math and light on explanation
but it appears there is an assumption in the proof that consciousness is
a quantum phenomenon. Based on his assumptions, the author believes he
has proved a limited case in which this theorized quantum consciousness
is not computable. But
he allows that a more complete
mathematically analysis may produce different results. Even if he is
correct, the phenomenon in question
is fully representable on a quantum computer, so all is not lost for
those who hope to build conscious machines. The connection between
consciousness and quantum phenomena has been proposed before, notably by
Penrose, but with very little evidence so far to back up the idea.
Their reasoning appears to be, as Philosopher David Chalmers has noted,
that "consciousness is mysterious and quantum mechanics is mysterious,
so maybe the two mysteries have a common source".

Source: http://www.netchain.com

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