Can computers become conscious? Scott Aaronson replies to Roger Penrose

Scott Aaronson in Shtetl Optimized:

ScreenHunter_1998 Jun. 03 18.58A few weeks ago, I attended the Seven Pines Symposium on Fundamental Problems in Physics outside Minneapolis, where I had the honor of participating in a panel discussion with Sir Roger Penrose. The way it worked was, Penrose spoke for a half hour about his ideas about consciousness (Gödel, quantum gravity, microtubules, uncomputability, you know the drill), then I delivered a half-hour “response,” and then there was an hour of questions and discussion from the floor. Below, I’m sharing the prepared notes for my talk, as well as some very brief recollections about the discussion afterward. (Sorry, there’s no audio or video.) I unfortunately don’t have the text or transparencies for Penrose’s talk available to me, but—with one exception, which I touch on in my own talk—his talk very much followed the outlines of his famous books, The Emperor’s New Mind and Shadows of the Mind.

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