Sunday, July 04, 2010

Free Will - More On Consciousness As A Modeling Engine

Here is the post from Scot Adams Blog: http://dilbert.com/blog/entry/selfprogramming

Excellent, and it fits in with the idea that I like, that consciousness is what emerges from a motile organism's need and ability to predict the future so it can negotiate its environment successfully.

The more complex and 'self-referential' such a modeling capability is the more we say that the organism is intelligent. Given this scale then an organism that models it's sensory inputs with the result of what Scott Adams calls reprogramming and mood changing is said to have a higher intelligence.

The whole idea of what "Free Will" is then becomes, just, an artifact of this way of conceptualizing consciousness.

All organisms that have the capability of modeling their sensory inputs in order to negotiate their future environment have free will. Free will is defined as the process of negotiating their environment based on what the sensory inputs are and the model's output is.

Given a sufficiently complex self referential system that is doing the modeling and subsequent environmental negotiation all the attributes of free will are covered.