You take diazepam and you calm down. You drink double scotch and … We can alter our phycological state at will. Are these altered states our experiences? It’s hard to say – No. We know a bit about bio-chemistry regulations and accept that all induced experiences are ours. It does not matter how far the alternation goes and there are many other ways to shape our state of mind. Nothing new or surprising so far, isn’t it?
The point is that advancing our knowledge about what gives us our experiences is slowly but certainly being deconstructed. At some point, probably with the help of AI, we will get to the bottom of this. There is no conceivable reason not to. A model which can predict our experiences in any thinkable situation is not as far as you’d like to think. Is the model of my consciousness conscious itself? Functionally speaking, what’s the difference? Well, mine is made out of meat, and I need to protect its importance, aka ego. Being a good model, so the model “feels” the same. There is no way out of this except we declare some mystical qualia, some inexplicable essence of my experiences. As long as I can keep the concept of mythical consciousness in public discourse I can claim my privileged status and there is nothing to convince me otherwise.
Let me offer you a thought experiment one may say is an advanced version of the Turing test. Imagine that after significant advancements in neurology and computer science we are able to replace parts of the brain with functional equivalents made of “not-brain tissue”. These brain artificial parts (BAP) could be widely different in size and functionality. The question now is: where is the threshold above which we will consider the person to be legally different. What about replacing most of, or the whole brain? Will we need to enforce a declaration of BAP in order to legally decide if this is the same person or not? Our mind and our consciousness physically and functionally will be deconstructed, understood and modeled, that is the way of our evolution and adaptation.