Sometimes, people express perplexity as to the nature of the problem. They do not see anything mysterious about consciousness, and do not understand in what way it is different from other neurological functions like, say, the regulation of breathing. Asked whether a computer could in principle be conscious, they answer, "why not?"A bit of a different view than that of Manuel Blum.
We are dumbfounded by this reaction, and can only conjecture that these people are themselves not conscious. To me, it is evident that no combination of silicon chips and wires could conceivably "experience" in the sense that I do. Consciousness involves something beyond the merely physical and mechanical.
The question whether an entity is CONSCS is a function of its algorithms, not the stuff (silicon or carbon) that implements those algorithms.Why are great scientists like Blum and Aumann taking on consciousness late in their careers? One of the many possible research questions Blum threw out in his talk:
What happens when an entity stops being an entity?So perhaps they study consciousness as a way to deal with their own mortality.