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Pelikaruga

Do you think Artificial Intelligence could have awareness?

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I know some of you might be smiling already, as this is something that might sound very fictional to you, and like something that you only see in movies. Still, read if you are interested at all about this subject. First thing many might think of when talking about this subject is how just something like a "soul" could get transfered into a computer system. Well, let's exclude everything that does not have scientific proof, like souls. If you think about the subject from the point of view that there is nothing that gets transferred, it is much easier to think about. Do we know more about our own awareness than that it could be "just" an illusion created by our brain? I know some of you are still thinking about how some kind of awareness gets somehow magically "transfered" into the human body when they start existing or something. Well, don't think like that for a moment now... I know it might be hard as you think about "how a certain awareness, or soul, appears in a certain human body". That is the whole problem here; I don't believe that there are awareness' floating around waiting to appear in something material. If there is no other side than the physical side, and the illusion created by it, which is our mind and awareness, computer AI having an awareness sounds possible. If there is no true I that appeared in this physical I, but the true I is the result of how my brains work, and actually the illusion of the physical brain, and not an illusion of some kind of soul, then a similar awareness could be created in a computer system. If we are not transferred to a body and brain, but we are a physical brain that exists and how it works creates a feeling of awareness for _it_, not some kind of external us, and we are the physical brain, the creature, everything seems logically simple to me. Now, a similar kind of awareness could thus possibly exist in a computer... it could exist in anything that makes decisions or... this is something that I don't have words ready, so I'll just talk about computer AI now. The way a computer makes logical decisions based on different factors could result in a small awareness that is not complex, nor can do much decisions or think on it's own, as it is the illusion of the physical computer. If you think about the complexity of the human way of making decisions and feeling (let me get to this later), you can realize how hard it would be to create a computer system that would act the same way. When a human mind makes a decision, every memory affects it, the time affects it, the people around the human affect it, everything affects it... if a computer system would be programmed to take all these things into consideration, the code that would just make the decision about what to drink with the food (not that in a system there would be own codes for each decision, but one general code that makes everything; this is just an example here) would be longer than all operating systems' codes together. But, if a system like that could be created; what would be the difference between it and the human mind? Based on what I said before, the difference would be only that the human brain, the mind, is made out of organic material, and the computer brain out of things the human race call artificial. Still, the way of operating could be exactly the same; and if there are no souls or awareness that gets magically transferred from a garden of free souls ready to be moved to a physical living being (what is living anyway?), the awareness would have been created inside the computer as a result of it being able to make decisions and feel... feel, which could just be a register that is affected by memories and surroundings and thus affects decisions. Thus, the artificial intelligence in the computer could be aware of itself just like we are, and thus, in a way, not be artificial any more than we are. If this is hard for you to think about, don't think of the computer system raising to the level of us, but think of us dropping to the level of that computer... what would be the drop? I don't see any drop there... maybe we are not that magical in the end... we are just like anything that can make decisions. As a summary I could say that because we are so far away from any kind of artificial intelligence like that, and probably never will get even close, this text was only theoretical consideration of things. Still, it also means that if things are in any way like what I presented here, even the smallest decision making systems would have a very simple and small awareness, but an awareness non the less. I also want to note that I just sat down here, wrote the topic of this thread and started writing without any previous material or text, and did not stop before finishing; I, again, also want to note that I have no kind of scientific proof about anything nor am sure about the correctness of anything presented here, and that this is just my own speculation (I also did not read the text trough :p). I hope you enjoyed it or it made you think about something :) Pauli [Edited by - Pelikaruga on April 24, 2005 9:04:49 AM]

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This is something scientists and software engineers have been asking for years, wont find any answers here my friend.

ace

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As clayasaurus says it, yes, an AI can have awareness, but only if it is programmed to. This can be related to how the human brain was designed to be "aware."

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Interresting point. I don't think there will be Arnold Schwarzenegger robots conquoring the world in all of a sudden, unless we program them to do like Soga said. But the awareness thing is pretty vague, we can't even discribe our own awareness. I don't think it has to do anything with the complexity of our brains. Simple animals have awareness as well so a very simple computer program that's too stupid to calculate 1+2 could have awareness as well, in theory of course.

When is something aware? A tree is a living organism but as far as we know, it isn't aware that it is living. Well, maybe it is but it can't think of it. If we think about awareness we think of our name, our current position, feeling, smell etcetera. A tree doesn't have the 'tools' (a brain) to think about that but then again, maybe a 'soul' is just some chemistry that can't do anything so a tree might have a soul just as well. A machine on itself isn't an organism so I don't think it could be aware. Of course, you can program it but that would be fake I think. But what if we had the technology to replace our brains with a computer? I think the brain is nothing more than a tool to calculate, store and control. Just like a CPU and RAM does for a computer. If that's true, we could replace brains with a computer. Would we be 'dead zombies' or would we still have a awareness? I think the answer is yes.

It seems to me that awareness is some kind of part of the body. Maybe it are just a couple of atoms, maybe its something spiritual, I don't know. But if we know what it is we might be able to implement that 'soul' into a machine to give it awareness... But I don't think that will happen (soon). None of the great thinkers of the last few thousands years were able to explain this stuff so. Maybe its better, I can't live with robots that are aware and smarter than me ;)

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Quote:
Original post by clayasaurus
Yes, if programmed correctly on the right hardware.

Hahaha... tell me, is consciousness big-endian or little-endian?

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spek wrote: "I don't think it has to do anything with the complexity of our brains. Simple animals have awareness as well so a very simple computer program that's too stupid to calculate 1+2 could have awareness as well, in theory of course."


Exactly. This is how I have explained it to a few people personally, as they asked about it and did not get the point. Our awareness is huge in the scale of our world. A squirrell has awareness too, but it is less intelligent and less aware. A computer program could have an awareness too, but just way simpler, way way simpler, but an awereness nevertheless; the point of this topic.

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This sort of assumes that we as humans know why we make our decisions. But in most cases we don't. Most of the time the answer to "why?" is "because." There seems to be processes in our minds that we just don't have access to. Those little impulses that make everyone unique in some way. You can't really program that. No mathmatical formula will give you impuless that are consistent with eachother over time and in different situations like we see in people or animals.

You can give a computer personality and possibly a concept of itself but it will never be a close aproximation of the human mind. We are more complicated then even we know.
"I think therefore I am" is not a good explanation of the human mind. There is so much more to us then thinking.

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Quote:
Original post by Pelikaruga
A squirrell has awareness too, but it is less intelligent and less aware.

Why directly correlate intelligence and awareness? What evidence do you have for that claim?

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