## brain in a vat

A forum for good logic/math puzzles.

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SerialClergyman
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 4:03 pm UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that it could be the most advanced intelligence in the world with the most advanced database and computing power - but it also MUST have the ability to write data and access it again. Otherwise the simple way to decieve it is 'How's the weather? What did I just ask then?'

Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:32 pm UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

someone mentioned telling three stories, one is a joke, ask each opponent to tell you which is the joke. How about this: ask the two other players to tell you a story or a joke. If that doesn't work, ask them to explain why the joke is funny.

Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:11 pm UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

Goldstein wrote:What you've all failed to notice in this thread is that ponzerelli is a machine. "Good," it's thinking, "Good..."

lmao.

BlackSails
Posts: 5315
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:48 am UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

There is no way. Here is a proof.

There are a finite number of questions you can ask the computer. The programmer loads into the computer a lookup table for all these questions. (Assume questions are a function of not only the words in the question, but all previous questions as well, ie, identically worded questions are still unique).

The computer takes your question, looks up the appropriate response and outputs it after an appropriate delay.

Kalathalan
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:06 am UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

Spoiler:
What if you link both to a comedic video (perhaps a comedic TV episode -- in digital form, of course) and ask them to identify any parts they found amusing? A human would likely comment not only on funny dialogue, but also on humorous facial expressions and actions.

An advanced AI might be able to convert speech to text and then parse the text for humor, but it would have an extremely difficult time identifying and analyzing unspoken humor.

BlackSails
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### Re: brain in a vat

Kalathalan wrote:An advanced AI might be able to convert speech to text and then parse the text for humor, but it would have an extremely difficult time identifying and analyzing unspoken humor

Why?

Aetius
Posts: 1099
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:23 am UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

Spoiler:
"How many ears did Lou Gehrig's bat have?"

If the answer comes back "2," or "Lou Gehrig did not own a bat," it's AI.

atomic17
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:05 pm UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

okay, i think i found a way to fool the ai. we cannot trick the ai into revealing itself, so we must take advantage of quirks in the human brain. for example, lets have a look at your eyesight. just off the center of the retina where the sharpest image is formed is a spot called the blind spot, because it is where the nerves and blood vessels pass through, thus no light sensitive nerves form there. you dont see it because its not where you focus and your powerful brain reassembles the image with information from the other eye. if you were to close one eye and fixate a paper with 2 dots on either side and approach the paper slowly, theoretically one of the dots will dissapear. obviously, we cannot ask the ai to look at a sheet of paper with two dots. so instead we use another 2 quirks:
Spoiler:
a computer recognizes the word "to" because it is spelt T-O. if i wrote it O-T the computer would not recognise it. studies have shone, however, that humans do not read the word left to right, but rather the first and last letter, then all the other letters. thusly, as long as all the letters are there and the first and last letter are unaltered, "window" can be written "wdoniw and you can still tell what i meant to say. a computer, however will not. we can accentuate the problem with a word using a good amount of vowels and similar letters, then asking for the definition. the ai will look it up, find no match for the garbled word, and give up. it cannot use an anagram program because you dont give a context and used a word with numerous common anagrams (ex: what does aanmargs mean??). the ai will bug, and either reveal itself or simply say it doesnt know. keep using similar word until it becomes clear which msn window is a human and which isnt

Spoiler:
another, less reliabel meathode is the way the human brain processes the word "of" . it doesnt, at least not properly. simply use a sentence with several "of"s and several other "f" s in it and ask how many letter f's there are. the computr should get it, the human, unless he is near genuis, probably wont. less reliable but works on weak ai easily.

zug
Posts: 902
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:05 am UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

Spoiler:
Ask it what a hot dog tastes like.
Velifer wrote:Go to the top of a tower, drop a heavy weight and a photon, observe when they hit the ground.

BlackSails
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:48 am UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

atomic17 wrote:okay, i think i found a way to fool the ai. we cannot trick the ai into revealing itself, so we must take advantage of quirks in the human brain. for example, lets have a look at your eyesight. just off the center of the retina where the sharpest image is formed is a spot called the blind spot, because it is where the nerves and blood vessels pass through, thus no light sensitive nerves form there. you dont see it because its not where you focus and your powerful brain reassembles the image with information from the other eye. if you were to close one eye and fixate a paper with 2 dots on either side and approach the paper slowly, theoretically one of the dots will dissapear. obviously, we cannot ask the ai to look at a sheet of paper with two dots. so instead we use another 2 quirks:

And what do you do if the computer has a full human brain running in simulation?

atomic17
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:05 pm UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

BlackSails wrote:
atomic17 wrote:okay, i think i found a way to fool the ai. we cannot trick the ai into revealing itself, so we must take advantage of quirks in the human brain. for example, lets have a look at your eyesight. just off the center of the retina where the sharpest image is formed is a spot called the blind spot, because it is where the nerves and blood vessels pass through, thus no light sensitive nerves form there. you dont see it because its not where you focus and your powerful brain reassembles the image with information from the other eye. if you were to close one eye and fixate a paper with 2 dots on either side and approach the paper slowly, theoretically one of the dots will dissapear. obviously, we cannot ask the ai to look at a sheet of paper with two dots. so instead we use another 2 quirks:

And what do you do if the computer has a full human brain running in simulation?

thats just it; your brain is reading the documents and comparing the word to its own mental dictionary, in its own quirky way. for a computer to reproduce that it needs to run an anagram program, and without context cant decide what resulting word is the right one, causing it to hang.

d0nk3y_k0n9
Posts: 97
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 4:27 pm UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

atomic17 wrote:
BlackSails wrote:
atomic17 wrote:okay, i think i found a way to fool the ai. we cannot trick the ai into revealing itself, so we must take advantage of quirks in the human brain. for example, lets have a look at your eyesight. just off the center of the retina where the sharpest image is formed is a spot called the blind spot, because it is where the nerves and blood vessels pass through, thus no light sensitive nerves form there. you dont see it because its not where you focus and your powerful brain reassembles the image with information from the other eye. if you were to close one eye and fixate a paper with 2 dots on either side and approach the paper slowly, theoretically one of the dots will dissapear. obviously, we cannot ask the ai to look at a sheet of paper with two dots. so instead we use another 2 quirks:

And what do you do if the computer has a full human brain running in simulation?

thats just it; your brain is reading the documents and comparing the word to its own mental dictionary, in its own quirky way. for a computer to reproduce that it needs to run an anagram program, and without context cant decide what resulting word is the right one, causing it to hang.

You're missing the point. If we program a computer to perfectly simulate the human brain, then if the human brain is capable of reading words written in that way, so it the computer.

Muffinman42
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:33 pm UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

Surely if this is a highly advanced AI then it must think like a human so you couldent tell the diffrence.
Thought you could give it a logic problem and time how long it takes, a human can maul over it for days an AI wouldent.
A picture might be one way of catching it.
Bad spelling might also get it, many words are close and so a miss-spelling that would be overlooked by a human might not be by an AI.
If its an advanced AI it would have a good memory, a human on the over hand might have a worse on, so you would write down a random combination of numbers, type them and then ask about them after a while.
But the AI could chose to fake the fact it dosent remember since a human wouldent remember.

The problem is the AI is copying how a human would act and so it is a human mind.

BlackSails
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### Re: brain in a vat

Muffinman42 wrote:Surely if this is a highly advanced AI then it must think like a human so you couldent tell the diffrence.
Thought you could give it a logic problem and time how long it takes, a human can maul over it for days an AI wouldent.

The computer can simply add in a delay before it responds.

neoliminal
Posts: 626
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:39 pm UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

There was no time limit given so:

Spoiler:
Keep up the conversations until one falls asleep or needs to use the bathroom or one dies.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0073YYXRC
Read My Book. Cost less than coffee. Will probably keep you awake longer.
[hint, scary!]

quintopia
Posts: 2906
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Location: atlanta, ga

### Re: brain in a vat

BlackSails wrote:There is no way. Here is a proof.

There are a finite number of questions you can ask the computer. The programmer loads into the computer a lookup table for all these questions. (Assume questions are a function of not only the words in the question, but all previous questions as well, ie, identically worded questions are still unique).

The computer takes your question, looks up the appropriate response and outputs it after an appropriate delay.

You're right that there is no way but your proof is not sound. In particular, the same argument I stated above applies. The finite set you describe above is so large that any computer would take a very very long time just to do even an efficient table lookup. Adding a suitable delay is unnecessary, because you can already identify the computer by the fact that it always takes forever to respond.

A more acceptable proof would be: The human brain is a computer. It doesn't matter whether it is implemented in hardware or wetware. Hence, the only difference between a human brain and a human brain implemented in hardware is that the latter is "artificial". . .another person rather than a natural process put it there. Since this difference does not affect its behavior, the two are indistinguishable for the purpose of a Turing Test.

BlackSails
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### Re: brain in a vat

quintopia wrote:
The computer takes your question, looks up the appropriate response and outputs it after an appropriate delay.

You're right that there is no way but your proof is not sound. In particular, the same argument I stated above applies. The finite set you describe above is so large that any computer would take a very very long time just to do even an efficient table lookup. Adding a suitable delay is unnecessary, because you can already identify the computer by the fact that it always takes forever to respond.[/quote]

So its a really fast computer. Or your question gets asked to a trillion sub-computers, each of which searches its databse in parallel and says to the main computer "Here is the answer" or says "No, I do not have the answer"

j6m8
Posts: 47
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Contact:

### Re: brain in a vat

Hey, if you want to test out your ideas, head over to http://www.cleverbot.com/ ... From what I can tell, it's pretty sure it's a human.

Thootom
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:22 am UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

This is actually quite simple if you take it from other perspectives:
Spoiler:
Simply wait, A computer has no sense of time in the way we do. Assuming this AI works in a way similar to the "Chinese room" argument the computer is not able to realize what's happening, it will wait for some kind of post from you and reply in a human-like fashion. On the other end, the human will become growingly curios after a hour or two has passed and send you a message like "hello?". A perfect AI can not be defeated, but it does not THINK like a human, it simply waits for a sentence and replies like a human would.

I'm just getting into ToK but this seems like a valid way of figuring it out.

markfiend
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Location: UK (Leeds)

### Re: brain in a vat

Thootom wrote:A perfect AI [...] does not THINK like a human

[citation needed]
pronouns: he/him

BlackSails
Posts: 5315
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:48 am UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

Thootom wrote:This is actually quite simple if you take it from other perspectives:
Spoiler:
Simply wait, A computer has no sense of time in the way we do. Assuming this AI works in a way similar to the "Chinese room" argument the computer is not able to realize what's happening, it will wait for some kind of post from you and reply in a human-like fashion. On the other end, the human will become growingly curios after a hour or two has passed and send you a message like "hello?". A perfect AI can not be defeated, but it does not THINK like a human, it simply waits for a sentence and replies like a human would.

I'm just getting into ToK but this seems like a valid way of figuring it out.

Computers have internal clocks.

Muffinman42
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:33 pm UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

"clever"bot is soo stupid.

User: What are you?

Cleverbot: A man.

User: Are you a man.

Cleverbot: Didn't I just tell you I'm a woman?

if the AI is like this it should be easy.
specking in 1337 can also confuse it.
ask both if they can speck in binary, the computer will always say no to seem normal, a person would just search for a translator.

Kolko
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### Re: brain in a vat

BlackSails wrote:There is no way. Here is a proof.

There are a finite number of questions you can ask the computer. The programmer loads into the computer a lookup table for all these questions. (Assume questions are a function of not only the words in the question, but all previous questions as well, ie, identically worded questions are still unique).

The computer takes your question, looks up the appropriate response and outputs it after an appropriate delay.

You start from a false assumption. There are an infinite number of questions you can ask a computer
Very silly example since I can't come up with anything better.
• Are you a computer?
• What would you say if I asked you if you were a computer?
• What would you say if I asked you what you would say if you were a computer?
• What would you say if I asked you what you would say if I asked you what you would say if I asked you if you were a computer?
• Continue ad infinitum...

It is possible to keep adding to any question, so there exists an infinite number of questions
Environ 20% plus chouette.

BlackSails
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### Re: brain in a vat

Kolko wrote:[*]Continue ad infinitum...[/list]

You cant do that.

That is, only a finite number of questions of that type will make sense. Also, human beings such as yourself only exist for a finite time, which limits the number of strings you can output.
Last edited by BlackSails on Sun Sep 27, 2009 3:00 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

mr-mitch
Posts: 477
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### Re: brain in a vat

Kolko wrote:
BlackSails wrote:There is no way. Here is a proof.

There are a finite number of questions you can ask the computer. The programmer loads into the computer a lookup table for all these questions. (Assume questions are a function of not only the words in the question, but all previous questions as well, ie, identically worded questions are still unique).

The computer takes your question, looks up the appropriate response and outputs it after an appropriate delay.

You start from a false assumption. There are an infinite number of questions you can ask a computer
Very silly example since I can't come up with anything better.
• Are you a computer?
• What would you say if I asked you if you were a computer?
• What would you say if I asked you what you would say if you were a computer?
• What would you say if I asked you what you would say if I asked you what you would say if I asked you if you were a computer?
• Continue ad infinitum...

It is possible to keep adding to any question, so there exists an infinite number of questions

You could just program the AI to respond similar to a human. If you were a human, and you were being asked those questions, you wouldn't answer them, would you?

jestingrabbit
Factoids are just Datas that haven't grown up yet
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### Re: brain in a vat

BlackSails wrote:
Kolko wrote:[*]Continue ad infinitum...[/list]

You cant do that.

That is, only a finite number of questions of that type will make sense. Also, human beings such as yourself only exist for a finite time, which limits the number of strings you can output.

imo, all of those questions will make sense.

But if you're dealing with an actual chat environment there will be a limit to the number of characters allowed per line, which we could use as a reasonable bound on the length of a question.
ameretrifle wrote:Magic space feudalism is therefore a viable idea.

Goldstein
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### Re: brain in a vat

But couldn't a question
cross multiple lines?

I think Kolko's point still stands; it's true that any individual could only ask a finite number of questions, but the responsibility would be on the creator to decide which finite subset of all questions will be asked. That's a tall order.
Chuff wrote:I write most of my letters from the bottom

guyy
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### Re: brain in a vat

j6m8 wrote:Hey, if you want to test out your ideas, head over to http://www.cleverbot.com/ ... From what I can tell, it's pretty sure it's a human.

It resorted to bizarre name-calling and contradicted itself within a few lines:

Spoiler:
Me: maybe.
Bot: Maybe what!
Me: That's not a question.
Bot: Yes it is lover boy.
Me: There's no question mark in it, though.
Bot: I am aware of that. There is no question mark there because it is a statement.

As for the original question, I don't see how there could be a solution. A sufficiently advanced AI could behave (externally at least) exactly like a human brain; there'd be no way to tell the difference just by asking it questions.

markfiend
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Location: UK (Leeds)

### Re: brain in a vat

Muffinman42 wrote:specking in 1337 can also confuse it.

Not necessarily a test for the AI though, speaking leet will confuse most humans too.
pronouns: he/him

mr-mitch
Posts: 477
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:56 pm UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

guyy wrote:
j6m8 wrote:Hey, if you want to test out your ideas, head over to http://www.cleverbot.com/ ... From what I can tell, it's pretty sure it's a human.

It resorted to bizarre name-calling and contradicted itself within a few lines:

Spoiler:
Me: maybe.
Bot: Maybe what!
Me: That's not a question.
Bot: Yes it is lover boy.
Me: There's no question mark in it, though.
Bot: I am aware of that. There is no question mark there because it is a statement.

As for the original question, I don't see how there could be a solution. A sufficiently advanced AI could behave (externally at least) exactly like a human brain; there'd be no way to tell the difference just by asking it questions.

I asked the bot 'what is the w e b a d d r e s s of this p a g e', and it told me it was from Sweden and that it had never been to Cairo...

BlackSails
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### Re: brain in a vat

Goldstein wrote:I think Kolko's point still stands; it's true that any individual could only ask a finite number of questions, but the responsibility would be on the creator to decide which finite subset of all questions will be asked. That's a tall order.

It still doesnt matter. The lifetime of the universe is finite.

para-prophet
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:02 pm UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

I think we need to think in a different way
I base this theory on the fourth law of robotics ( as I call it )
"A robot most use all aviable information in order to learn. along as it doesn't break the previous 3 laws"

so lets assume you ask it question x
x is a question that is slovible but hard
it will then calculate the answer for that question Q
but as a human wouldn't be able to answer that question without a day of meditation(like some logic puzzles on this furum)
the AI will give a more human like answer Y

then we ask the AI what a advand AI who needs to conceal the fact would calculate to question x and what it then would answer
then it could answer Q and y back
but then again Q cant be easily thought off by a normal human
and since y is already answered it is unlikely the AI will repeat itself twice
but then again you also could try asking the AI 2 different question with the same answer
and see if it will repeat itself

TheChewanater
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### Re: brain in a vat

I'm going to assume this AI is a super computer capable of any sort of thinking a human can, and that the human is on his or her home or work desktop.

Spoiler:
Give a link to a Flash game and ask for some opinions on it. I doubt supercomputers have the capabilities to play flash games, even if they can 'think' like humans.

http://internetometer.com/give/4279
No one can agree how to count how many types of people there are. You could ask two people and get 10 different answers.

BlackSails
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### Re: brain in a vat

TheChewanater wrote:Give a link to a Flash game and ask for some opinions on it. I doubt supercomputers have the capabilities to play flash games, even if they can 'think' like humans.

Why?

d0nk3y_k0n9
Posts: 97
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 4:27 pm UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

TheChewanater wrote:Give a link to a Flash game and ask for some opinions on it. I doubt supercomputers have the capabilities to play flash games, even if they can 'think' like humans.

Just off the top of my head I can think of at least two easy ways that the computer can beat this.

Spoiler:
1) Read reviews of said flash game, combine them together, and summarize them.

2) Open a separate chat window to a random person (whom, by checking the IP first, it knows isn't the person asking it questions) and ask them to play the game give it an opinion. Report said opinion as its own.

TheChewanater
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Location: lol why am I still wearing a Santa suit?

### Re: brain in a vat

d0nk3y_k0n9 wrote:
TheChewanater wrote:Give a link to a Flash game and ask for some opinions on it. I doubt supercomputers have the capabilities to play flash games, even if they can 'think' like humans.

Just off the top of my head I can think of at least two easy ways that the computer can beat this.

Spoiler:
1) Read reviews of said flash game, combine them together, and summarize them.

2) Open a separate chat window to a random person (whom, by checking the IP first, it knows isn't the person asking it questions) and ask them to play the game give it an opinion. Report said opinion as its own.

Spoiler:
1) Not if its some really obscure game on Newgrounds. (You can give them instructions on how to find it).

2) That's cheating! If it can communicate with a person, the whole game is pointless.

http://internetometer.com/give/4279
No one can agree how to count how many types of people there are. You could ask two people and get 10 different answers.

zaratustra
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:48 pm UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

Some tests that AIs as we currently understand them have problems with:

Natural language processing: Ask the subject to rephrase a sentence you write with a different verb.

Visual processing: "If I take two triangles and put one over the other but inverted, what shape do I see?"

Personal and outside knowledge: "What were you doing when the planes hit the twin towers?" "What did you eat for breakfast yesterday?"

Learning: "What did I ask you last?"

Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:26 pm UTC

### Re: brain in a vat

In Descartes' formulation of the Method of Doubt, he was being decieved by a hypothetical evil genius*, who was able to mislead him in every way possible. Here, it seems that there are two real evil genii, and they're not trying to deceive you about the whole of reality, only something specific (their nature). I'm going to assume that the AI is actually similar to an evil genius, in that it will mislead you about everything, including its identity. This is not the same as saying that it will lie at every opportunity, because you might get wise to that. Rather, using whatever it knows about you, the AI will answer in such a way that it thinks you will be lead further from the truth about anything you ask it.

This might be a viable strategy chosen by the AI to use in preserving its identity, and I think it allows you to use its intention to mislead against it. The alternative is answering as it thinks a human would answer. As other responses have shown, it seems that that behaviour wouldn't be detecable.

Spoiler:
Assume that the AI will always choose the response that is most likely to keep its identity secret. To defeat it, you must choose a question that will be answered in a particular way only if the respondent is going for maximum deceit.

You could try asking "Should I try to determine whether you are the AI?". The human might answer yes or no; it seems like the AI must answer no. Really, how the AI answers depends on what it thinks the motivation for the question is. If it thinks that you really will give up it will answer no, if it suspects a trick it will answer yes. The escalating bluff-double-bluff is probably only solveable if you find a way to metaphorically poison both cups.

Descartes realised that however deceitful the evil genius was, it could not deceive him about his own existence, because there would still have to be a "him" to decieve. You could ask the AI "Do I exist?", to which it would have to answer "No". The human could answer any way. If you then asked "What would the other say if I were to ask her 'Do I exist?'", then the human could answer either way. The AI, being as misleading as possible, would want to give the answer that an AI would actually give, "No". Depending on how the human responds, this may or may not work. You could try repeating the questions until one respondent says "Yes" to either.

TL;DR: Suppose that the AI is not necessarily trying to act like a human, but is trying to mislead you as much as possible. Ask it a question that a human and someone trying to deceive you would answer differently. What question this could be remains to be determined.

It's quite possible that this wouldn't work, but I thought it might be interesting to try a Descartes-inspired solution

* Or evil demon, depending on the translation.

BlackSails
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### Re: brain in a vat

It wouldnt work. The computer only wants to conceal its existance. If it does that by lying, it will lie. If it can do it by telling the truth, it can tell the truth. If it can do it by flipping a coin, it will flip a coin.

TheChewanater
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### Re: brain in a vat

I guess you could

Spoiler:
tell each of them to unplug their computer. This is assuming that the IM client will have a different notification for someone leaving the chatroom and a connection being lost, and that the supercomputer cannot unplug itself. Anything it does to 'leave' would be recognized as leaving, but the human would have a lost connection.

http://internetometer.com/give/4279
No one can agree how to count how many types of people there are. You could ask two people and get 10 different answers.