Thoughts on "Artificial Intelligence and Consciousness"

in #steemstem2 years ago (edited)

Continuing from the previous article where I mentioned “The processing of information, starting from learning (what we call reasoning) is a basic capacity of the human mind.” Nevertheless it is not intrinsically linked to its essence. The subjective perception of reality is the basis of what we know as consciousness.

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Free will, common sense, ingenuity, creativity and feelings are the attributes that actually define the human being. All of them are derived from this particular brain capacity that we call consciousness.

Computers are built under engineering principles and consequently their actions are always predictable. If we ask one of them to paint a painting, it will always follow the guidelines that his programmer has installed in it and it will be unable to create something personal or great, unlike for example Van Gogh or Picasso.

A simple concept of a robot

Is this subjective vision of things that today distinguishes the human being from machines above all else, and is this the great challenge facing singularity and fully conscious machines?. It might be...

What is a technological Singularity?

theoretical condition that could arrive in the near future when a synthesis of several powerful new technologies will radically change the realities in which we find ourselves in an unpredictable manner. Most notably, the singularity would involve computer programs becoming so advanced that artificial intelligence transcends human intelligence, potentially erasing the boundary between humanity and computers | Source

One of the fathers of the 20th century scientific and philosophical thought, Kurt Gödel, established in his "Theorems of incompleteness" (1931) that there are truths that are not demonstrable or recognizable as such using strictly logical reasoning or mathematical postulates and only turn out to be true when common sense is applied. On the basis of this principle, a machine will never be able to perceive reality as it is, as long as it is incapable of analyzing it in a subjective way. Therefore, a machine will have to be able to create personal opinions in order to be considered a conscious being.

Would it be possible to develop an AI, so advanced it can interpret reality in its own subjective way?

As it always happens with complex subjects, there are different opinions and different ways of answering this question.

A human with robotic arms or a robot with a human face?

According to those who research in the field of AI , consciousness appears in our brain exclusively as a consequence of some law of nature. If someone were able to decipher that law or reproduce that specific configuration of subatomic particles that shapes the brain, it would also replicate all its functions.

Reaching temperatures below absolute zero or moving faster than light are unthinkable things. There are laws of our universe that tell us that this is impossible. However, there is no known physical law that prevents to accurately replicate the configuration of particles that make up our brain. It all comes down to having the right technology.

Let's think about what this means. If we were able to copy exactly the human brain, we could build artificial beings endowed with consciousness, free will, genius and feelings. But we could also "upload" our mind into an artificial brain and live within an entirely synthetic body, making things like this no longer impossible. There would be no more diseases or reason to die since we would have transcend the limitations of a biological body. The potential if we ever manage to achieve this are practically endless. Our path to immortality and eventually a God like existence will be set.

We still have a long way to go in order to fully understand our own brain

If really the conscience is only a function executed by a set of replicable particles, it is difficult to answer many questions that immediately come to us, like:

  • why, the same configuration of particles, can store thoughts and ideas, only to moments after store the opposites?
  • why during the night, while we sleep, do we lose consciousness if the brain's configuration is the same?
  • why do some skills that are conscious become unconscious (for example, ride a bicycle) if the brain particles have not changed?
  • why many times the brain responds to some stimulus before consciously perceiving it (reflexes)?
  • what configurations of particles are capable of holding consciousness and which are not?
  • what specific properties of those particles make the difference?

We could also say that human intelligence, consciousness, free will and feelings are more than a few carbon atoms and emanate from something not subject to physical laws called soul.

Since a synthetic environment has more potential to develop intelligence, it would be possible for conscious synthetic beings to develop feelings and emotions we have never experienced. To put things into perspective, a monkey can never appreciate art the way we do.

There is no way to demonstrate that consciousness resides in the soul or that on the contrary it is supported on a base of elementary particles. Neither can the opposite be proved. Consequently, both answers escape the scientific approach. Neither can be proved. Perhaps we just need a little bit more time in order to "unlock" this valuable knowledge.

Arriving at this point, we already know that technology allows or will allow in the next years to physically build replicas of the human mind in computers, which can be emulated without difficulties the way in which the brain processes information and that it will be possible to create machines capable of learning by themselves. We have, however, many doubts when we ask ourselves if those machines will ever be conscious and if they can contain human feelings, although we do not know the principles or physical laws that prevent it. There is still a long way to go, but the important thing is this is not impossible.

Assuming the most ambitious vision (and the one I like to think about), we want to ask ourselves what the world would be like if we had to live with conscious and smarter machines than ourselves, to research the risks to which we would be subjected, and to think about how could we change our society in order to coexist with this new beings

Would you consider one of this intelligent machines, a being with "its" own rights? Or would you consider "it" an object?


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AI will never be portray human emotions because alot of factors contribute to feelings, there are external and internal factors. So I will consider AI as an object. PLS tell me, what do you think a robot will do in a scenario of saving either an old woman or a pregnant woman? These decisions are difficult for humans let alone a machine

Difficult for humans I don’t know. For a human saving the pregnant woman is the obvious option.

If some AI developed self awareness they could be considered beings in my opinion.

Emotions express themselves probably because our higher intelligence, animals have also emotions, but insects don’t. Therefore, the higher the intelligence the more emotions you feel. If a synthetic brain allows beings to have a higher intelligence. They would probably have more emotions than us.

Uploading your brain might not be that far off - Neuralink

Probably not. I really hope this will be possible on this century.

when our lecturer is having headache marking our papers, we kinda told him, you need an AI that helps you to mark. But we also argued, can AI mark the exam papers set by our professor??? (he likes to confuse us with different vocabulary) maybe yes, maybe not. AI could analyze human behavior, but it is less organic compare to what a human would do.

Indeed it is, but this doesn’t mean it cannot be achievable eventually.

If it is conscious or claims to be then at least I think we probably should give them the benefit of the doubt. Sort of hoping we can get something like that into law before it becomes an issue. To do otherwise seems to imply slavery, but that is probably conditional on the point at which we claim consciousness rather than cleverness, and if we should allow the people who benefit from a decision towards the latter to be involved. There will probably be a large and rather iffy class created below whatever consciousness level is chosen by law to denote personhood and I'm not sure what we can do about that.

Yes, this issue would be challenging eventually and debates would probably be necessary when the time comes.

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