Mindless thought experiments (a critique of machine intelligence)

Abstract
Since there isn't a computer that seems conscious at this time, the idea of machine consciousness is supported by thought experiments. Here's one old chestnut: "What if you replaced your neurons one by one with neuron sized and shaped substitutes made of silicon chips that perfectly mimicked the chemical and electric functions of the originals? If you just replaced one single neuron, surely you'd feel the same. As you proceed, as more and more neurons are replaced, you'd stay conscious. Why wouldn't you still be conscious at the end of the process, when you'd reside in a brain shaped glob of silicon? And why couldn't the resulting replacement brain have been manufactured by some other means?"
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