Thursday, December 22, 2005

Newcomb's Paradox and Conscious Machines

Newcomb's paradox seems to be nothing more than a paradox about free will in deterministic systems. There is however another way to look at this paradox. Suppose that the ''highly superior being from another part of the galaxy'' uses a computer to simulate the laws of physics to calculate the future. This can, of course, only work if we can ignore quantum effects or if quantum mechanics is just an approximation of a deterministic theory of everything.

The being can thus only predict your future actions by simulating you in a computer. If our consciousness is only caused by computation, then this means that the simulation performed by the being will cause you to experience the simulated reality. So, when you stand in front of the two boxes you cannot tell if you are in the real world or in the simulated world.

To defeat the being you must choose the closed box in the simulated world and both boxes in the real world. So, you need to know in which of the two realities you are. If the boxes are in a room you could try to put a small marking on a wall of the room. If the being calls you into the room to make your choice and you don't see the marking, you must be in the simulated world. You should then choose only the closed box. But now another problem arises. If you know that you are in the simulated reality, why would you care about your real world copy?

2 Comments:

Blogger QUASAR9 said...

Well yeah if you can play god, or pull all the chics, or do whatever your fancy is in the simulated world, why go back to the 'real' world and all its limits, imperfections and inconveniences.

I guess they would have that dilemma in the simulator on the starship enterprise. But it turns out the starship enterprise is only a stage with actors, and the actors follow their script. hmmm

Does that mean it was in her script to turn me down last night?

I wish the cript writer would not only make them all succumb to my charms, but groan in ecstacy to further massage my ego. for example. lol!
or
whatever other fantasy/possibility

Wed Jun 14, 06:33:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You wrongly assume that the purpose of the game is to defeat you. There is clearly stated that "If the Predictor predicts that both boxes will be taken, then box B will contain nothing. If the Predictor predicts that only box B will be taken, then box B will contain $1,000,000." So, if you'll take only box B, there WILL be one million inside.

Sun Apr 06, 09:58:00 AM PDT  

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