Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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Jan Sand
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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Jan Sand » April 23rd, 2018, 8:40 am

Every day new reports o billions of dollars being stolen by hackers appear and these are hackers using human skills not augmented by super-intelligent devices. You're kidding yourself.

Incidentally don't confuse stupid leaders with those directed by self interest. They are rather clever.

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Belindi » April 23rd, 2018, 1:39 pm

Jan Sand wrote:
Incidentally don't confuse stupid leaders with those directed by self interest. They are rather clever.
Their cleverness is that of parasites which die when the host dies and live as long as the host lives. We will always have to tolerate a burden of parasites . The thing is to be aware when the parasites are making us act insanely. There are a lot of people who are aware of political or criminal insanity and those people can cause change for the better.

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Jan Sand » April 23rd, 2018, 2:15 pm

President Eisenhower used the CIA to destroy Iran's democracy and install the murderous shah, Truman bombed Hiroshima to assert the overwhelming power of atomic bombs after the Japanese had indicated willingness to surrender to scare the hell out of Russia, J W Bush faked the nuclear developments in Iraq to justify the US attack there as three examples amongst many more and nobody can do anything about that. The USA is not unique in these acts as powerful people have acted this way for centuries and the oncoming possibilities of super intelligent computing systems will be used by powerful people in he same unthinking way and nothing will be done to stop it.

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Belindi » April 23rd, 2018, 2:26 pm

Jan Sand wrote:
April 23rd, 2018, 2:15 pm
President Eisenhower used the CIA to destroy Iran's democracy and install the murderous shah, Truman bombed Hiroshima to assert the overwhelming power of atomic bombs after the Japanese had indicated willingness to surrender to scare the hell out of Russia, J W Bush faked the nuclear developments in Iraq to justify the US attack there as three examples amongst many more and nobody can do anything about that. The USA is not unique in these acts as powerful people have acted this way for centuries and the oncoming possibilities of super intelligent computing systems will be used by powerful people in he same unthinking way and nothing will be done to stop it.
The very fact that Jan Sand is explaining by these examples on a philosophy discussion for amateurs indicates to me that 'ordinary' people are aware that ruling elites are often stupid or self seeking. Jan Sand, and others like Jan Sand, will try to stop it. These good people may lack the power to do so but they can only try as there isn't an alternative ---- except that of the superstitious who expect to be lifted miraculously out of it all.

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Jan Sand » April 23rd, 2018, 2:36 pm

I was born in Manhattan in 1926 and have seen this behavior all my life and any efforts I make have had no effects on the general decline of morality in the world. I have repeatedly seen effective people who have tried to change these despicable behaviors totally crushed by powerful forces and I'm not in the habit of standing on a railroad track while a train is approaching at high speed. I know my limits.

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Belindi » April 23rd, 2018, 6:34 pm

Jan Sand wrote:
April 23rd, 2018, 2:36 pm
I was born in Manhattan in 1926 and have seen this behavior all my life and any efforts I make have had no effects on the general decline of morality in the world. I have repeatedly seen effective people who have tried to change these despicable behaviors totally crushed by powerful forces and I'm not in the habit of standing on a railroad track while a train is approaching at high speed. I know my limits.
We were talking about what eccentric means. The word implies a centre from which there are distances. The centre of the human is culture of values and social order. So as long as humans survive they will live with cultures of values, and according to social orders. In the short term we may be in for some terrible social revolutions and wars at home and overseas. Unless the powers that be unleash weapons of mass destruction humans will survive these.

The scenario that I foretell is that unless humans make peace with the natural environment we will self destruct.

Jan Sand
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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Jan Sand » April 23rd, 2018, 10:54 pm

It is about as obvious as anything can get that human culture has, throughout all history, behaved in non-conformance to the natural order of nature and repeatedly created deserts and floods and hugely destructive weather events. The immense population of about seven billion people is well on the road to increasing to about ten billion and this is far more than the planet can tolerate considering the massive die-off of life in the sea, in the forests, and the populations in the air. All corals re disappearing, sea animals are dying from plastic garbage, bees and wasps which are vital for fertilizing flowers are over 50% gone, Major floods and droughts are making much farming difficult or impossible, each year violent weather events are rapidly increasing, the incredibly stupid and vicious military are growing more and more eager to launch their thousands of nuclear missiles wherein a mere couple of hundred will destroy all possibilities for the continuance of the planet to support life and the advance of artificial intelligence will soon be beyond control of current culture to run completely wild. I see no point in continuing to present this clear and open evidence of the short future of current civilization when these problems have grown well beyond human control and all efforts in that direction are much too feeble to effect the outcome. It is clear what should be done and equally clear that the chance it will be done is zero. I cannot convince you and I see no further point in trying.

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Greta » April 23rd, 2018, 11:14 pm

Re: the thread's subject matter, as per the Paperclip Optimiser thought experiment, AI might remain as "black inside" its processing unit as any computer seems to do, yet still have enormous capacities. This would appear to be yet another way that nature can engage in self-assembly without a conscious agent being present. It begs the question about the nature of biological style consciousness. Is what we think of as consciousness just a phase to be transcended? Is it just a tiny freak of nature, like a bizarre star or solar system?

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Jan Sand » April 23rd, 2018, 11:24 pm

I have analyzed to my own satisfaction the nature of consciousness It is rather long but perhaps it will shed a bit of light on the matter'


This is an attempt of an amateur to explain my own view of the nature of what I am and how I function. I make no claims of validity or expertise in this area, merely indicate it is what makes sense to me and invokes no elements of other than what seems necessary and logical. I have been involved with various discussions in this area in different internet sites and have discovered that much of the speculation wanders off into cultural and even metaphysical prejudices which seem to me to be illogical and unnecessary.

As an exhibition designer I became involved in assisting, back in 1960, in supplementary side exhibits of the nature and functioning of the brain for a New York firm. At that time, I knew almost nothing in this area although I had been through several scientific courses in my education and had a very rough concept of some of the main aspects. Obviously, a great deal more is known today in neurological research since the tools are far better and more precise, but it seems to me that the field still has a long way to go to collate and comprehend the possibilities. In that sense this permits me to roam extensively in my speculations.

To aid me in my exhibit project I was privileged to be assisted by a neurologist who provided me with several preserved human brains and we disassembled them to reveal the various sections and how they integrated to contribute to the system. It presented the understanding that each of the sensory inputs for hearing, sight, touch etc. were allocated special areas of the brain for processing and tailoring the nerve inputs so that the more abstract analytical sectors could fit the information into an overall dynamic pattern that could be used to simulate the external world in a useful way. It is of prime importance to understand that the brain is isolated within its protective skull and all information and understanding comes from these sensory inputs and the genetic patterns provided by evolution to assemble the most probable model within which a living creature must prosper and reproduce. This is what is commonly accepted as reality, but it is actually the presumed best model constructed by the brain within which a living creature must operate.

One of the basic operative dynamics of the living system is to select the basic inputs of sight and hearing and other senses that are important to pass on to the central brain and toss away what is not essential. Each living creature is provided with the sensory instruments necessary for its existence and this varies hugely amongst all the different life forms. Dogs, cats, dolphins, owls, wasps, worms, bats, mosquitoes, and people not only receive a different range of sensory inputs but even that quite limited avalanche of information is far too much to retain or be of use. Since each creature requires a special set of information to live, various components of the brain polices this input so that only essential material is retained. It is this small selected component of sensory material which is collated and used to construct the model of reality which is accepted by the creature and it differs greatly between species and even individuals.

One of the prime puzzles that seems to confound both scientists and philosophers is the nature of what we perceive as consciousness. Some thinkers even deny it totally, theologians tend to label it the soul, and physicists do not seem to understand how it perceives the nature of time. Nevertheless, people cannot dismiss it since it seems the most real part of existence. I have no special expertise in the matter, but my own view involves how it might fit into the mechanics of survival and the dynamics of the brain dealing with the sense messages and how they are patterned into what we call reality.

Consciousness is essentially our way of perceiving what we call reality, so we may deal with it. One of the most common diversions of human dynamics is to create pseudo-realities in various ways and play with them or use them as tools. Stories in the form of books and films and even instruction manuals are manufactured realities. But they are rather static. Board games like chess or checkers are simple realities with special rules and are dynamic as they change with time and require player response which is how we deal with our lives. Video games also fit this category and are far livelier. Stage plays are more static since the characters and actions are fixed but a variety of that wherein the characters may be fixed but the actions unpredictable may be much more a problem to enact so I have not heard that that has been tried. This innovative dynamic could be attempted with ballet and has some relationship with modern music like jazz where talented players can do original variations within a set piece, but classical music is rather fixed with the main variable being the skills of the individual players and the conductor.

It seems reasonable to me that the way the brain deals with reality is very much the way we play games. A game is set up with rules as to how the player who is provided with a representative of him or herself must behave and a terrain such as a board of squares or one of a set path through which separate dynamics of rules change as the representative navigates the board. Chess and checkers and Go retain a static board and a set of representatives, the pieces. Each have their opportunity to occupy the board to indicate dangers and opportunities. Games like Monopoly employ dice to create variations in opportunities that can be unexpected.

In dealing with reality the brain creates its field of operations to mimic the game board by creating a pattern of possible reality from the various sensory inputs it receives and it represents the itself with what we call the consciousness. Although the general configuration may be compared to the playing of a game, the brain system is extensively different in that its map of reality, which simulates the board of a game, is extensively dynamic and changes moment by moment as the brain responds to sensory input to modify the field of play. And the elements of this reality simulation are also hugely dynamic with understandings of their potentials in all sorts of ways. Also. very much different from a game, its representation of itself within this pseudo-reality depends upon a huge very dynamic data base involved with experiential, cultural, genetic and emotional and other very variable intents far beyond the current structures and rules now common to the games now being played. The interplay of the map of reality within the brain with continuous updating and other forceful variables creates complexities of relationships well beyond what happens in games.

There is one other major and striking difference that must be acknowledged. The data within a living brain is very different from the data stored in a computer. A brain is composed of living cells and complexes of data stored therein are not static. A living memory contains within it intents both emotional dynamics and structural capabilities that change with time and new sensory input. My memories of people I have known are alive within my brain and visit me in dreams and other ways. My re-evaluations of relationships as I have matured change these memories radically and as I got to understand how the world works whole sections of patterns of the world were affected. Living stored data has a life of its own, quite different from the rather rigid libraries of computers, and their strengths and alliances with other understandings encompasses analog elements which do not exist within the digital landscape. Thus the plastic variations of a living creature far outweigh the current static qualities of our current digital mechanisms.

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Belindi » April 24th, 2018, 8:18 am

Jan Sand wrote:
April 23rd, 2018, 10:54 pm
It is about as obvious as anything can get that human culture has, throughout all history, behaved in non-conformance to the natural order of nature and repeatedly created deserts and floods and hugely destructive weather events. The immense population of about seven billion people is well on the road to increasing to about ten billion and this is far more than the planet can tolerate considering the massive die-off of life in the sea, in the forests, and the populations in the air. All corals re disappearing, sea animals are dying from plastic garbage, bees and wasps which are vital for fertilizing flowers are over 50% gone, Major floods and droughts are making much farming difficult or impossible, each year violent weather events are rapidly increasing, the incredibly stupid and vicious military are growing more and more eager to launch their thousands of nuclear missiles wherein a mere couple of hundred will destroy all possibilities for the continuance of the planet to support life and the advance of artificial intelligence will soon be beyond control of current culture to run completely wild. I see no point in continuing to present this clear and open evidence of the short future of current civilization when these problems have grown well beyond human control and all efforts in that direction are much too feeble to effect the outcome. It is clear what should be done and equally clear that the chance it will be done is zero. I cannot convince you and I see no further point in trying.
You don't need to convince me. It's true what you say. It seems probable that we have caused our own destruction and the destruction of something possibly better than ourselves. My point is that we are still here and must do something before the inevitable happens.

Jan Sand
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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Jan Sand » April 24th, 2018, 8:39 am

There are many aware and bright people in many places on the web advising that there are vital things that must be done. That's not the point. The point is that it is not being done and there appears very little possibility that it will be done.

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Justintruth » April 24th, 2018, 12:08 pm

philoreaderguy wrote:
March 3rd, 2007, 11:45 am
Do you think a man-made computer could ever become conscious? Can it have a soul? Why or why not?
Yes. My parents created me and so I am “man (and woman) made”. I am conscious and I have a soul so it is possible.

Birth control can prevent this.

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SimpleGuy
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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by SimpleGuy » April 24th, 2018, 1:45 pm

The problem that you should become conscious in world you should percieve by technical senses (technical eyes to see and technical ears to hear) and this is super difficult. This is the meaning of tsung min (you can see and hear) for a chinese told to me as a european.

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » April 25th, 2018, 12:31 am

Jan Sand wrote:
April 24th, 2018, 8:39 am
There are many aware and bright people in many places on the web advising that there are vital things that must be done. That's not the point. The point is that it is not being done and there appears very little possibility that it will be done.
So, what is it that increases,potentially, that 'very little possibility'``? Is it saying the only thing to do is retain dignity and watch it all go down?

Jan Sand
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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Jan Sand » April 25th, 2018, 12:47 am

After acquainting myself to all the hugely various histories of humanity the attempt to connect the concept of dignity to humanity through having any congruencies is far beyond my own abilities. There are many comments here and elsewhere proposing what should be done but none with any prospect of application.

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