Some philosopher or scientist made an analogy of Mind versus Brain is related to Software versus Hardware. What was that about? If an A.I. computing system called P.A.L. has a self-sustaining operating system that manages and processes all its software could this be considered the Mind of the A.I. computing system P.A.L.?
I don't know if this is the same context as the philosopher you were reading, but that same comparison has been used often in the discussion of the Philosophy of Neuroscience, specifically as an argument for Anti-Reductionism. Reductionism is the belief that a complex phenomena, in this case the mind, can be scientifically reduced to simpler phenomena, such as neural interactions and ultimately cellular-molecular biology. The Anti-Reductionist argument you are referencing states that Reductionism is impossible in the case of the mind, because the fact that the "Software" of the mind could conceivably by created on multiple "Hardwares", organic brains like ours or silicon machines or numerous other theoretical "Mind machines". The argument goes that since the mind is multiply realizable, can be constructed with multiple methods, then clearly it can't be reduced to the interactions of one such method. In your example, P.A.L having a mind would prove that the mind cannot be reduced to neurons, because P.A.L has a mind but no neurons.
If you're interested, common counters to this argument are
- That the mind is not in fact multiply realizable, and anything not made of organic neurons is not a real mind.
- That being multiply realizable doesn't preclude reduction, because the mind could be divergent and reducible to more than one base set of laws (just like computer software).
- That this argument is absurd, because the implications are that any complex enough system, such as a bucket of water with billions of atoms, or a large country with billions of people interacting, could form a mind as well, which is inherently not true.