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Are we that different from computers?

ib4walrus's picture

 In Tuesday's discussion, we talked about the difference between computers and humans.  I think it might be safe to say that most people believe the difference to be our concept of free will and the confinement that computers experience because they run accordingly to their program coding.  The computer outputs whatever the coding of its program tells it to.  However, what if we stretch this idea of a program in a broader sense?  What guides us in our actions, what we say and our behavior is due to our morals, principles, beliefs, etc.  We develop this code of ethics due to influences from out respective cultures, parents and other institutions (educational system, religion, etc).  In a way, we have been programmed by these influences to act and behave a certain way whether or not we like to admit it.  There are some of us who rebel against what they were brought up with which can be compared to rogue programs.  I understand that we all don't act uniformly if we were to be raised in the exact same conditions (while computers will usually do everything the same independent of which computer is being used), but in general we would most likely do similar things.  For now we do differ from computers because of this variation we all have due to our "free will" but I feel this is only because we ourselves don't exactly know how the human consciousness "works".  I believe if we discover the means of how a consciousness is created, it won't be long until synthetic consciousness follows that discovery.

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