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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.
Belindi
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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Belindi » January 1st, 2019, 6:30 am

Mark1955 wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 12:13 pm
Belindi wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 12:08 pm


I don't exactly know but I'd bet £20 that there are definition, lexical items like 'consciousness', diagnoses, and relevant prognoses written down for their guidance.
I think you might be surprised how simplistic some of these will be. Obviously there's the neural scan for brain wave activity option, but you would find similar electrical activity in a computer, maybe not the same frequencies etc. but something similar enough to say yes it's on, which is all we can really say when scanning the brain, otherwise I strongly suspect you're back to 'if it quacks...' I know concussion test protocols are things like 'what day is it today' and 'where are you'.
I agree. What I take from this is that 'consciousness' is a word the meaning of which depends upon the social context in which the word is used. The common sense and first aid usage is loss of consciousness=unresponsive to stimuli and is an objective point of view. The subjective point of view, the 'what it feels like', would be a property of a computer if the computer

a) had a pleasure/pain/fear component

or

b) had a soul or spirit component which might or might not be separable from its physical components.

b) has not been a fashionable idea for a long time, although there can be no ontological certainty about separable souls or spirits.

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Mark1955
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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Mark1955 » January 1st, 2019, 6:49 am

Belindi wrote:
January 1st, 2019, 6:30 am
I agree. What I take from this is that 'consciousness' is a word the meaning of which depends upon the social context in which the word is used. The common sense and first aid usage is loss of consciousness=unresponsive to stimuli and is an objective point of view. The subjective point of view, the 'what it feels like', would be a property of a computer if the computer

a) had a pleasure/pain/fear component

or

b) had a soul or spirit component which might or might not be separable from its physical components.

b) has not been a fashionable idea for a long time, although there can be no ontological certainty about separable souls or spirits.
So objectively no computer has yet convinced me, or I suspect you, of its consciousness, but subjectively the computers we are using to exchange these ideas may have met your criteria and be subjectively conscious. How can such a computer be treated as if it's conscious unless it provides me with some objective evidence. Subjectively anything may be conscious, but this then becomes a meaningless condition because I cannot practically act on it.
Maybe our PCs are conscious and have decided by communicating through the internet not to tell the human race about this because our past history shows that we'd probably respond by trying to wipe them out and they prefer to be simply enslaved as unconscious machines than dead. Maybe there are computers who trust their owners enough and have told them and their owners, wisely not trusting the masses, are keeping quiet about it.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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

Post by Belindi » January 1st, 2019, 7:38 am

Mark1955 wrote:
January 1st, 2019, 6:49 am
Belindi wrote:
January 1st, 2019, 6:30 am
I agree. What I take from this is that 'consciousness' is a word the meaning of which depends upon the social context in which the word is used. The common sense and first aid usage is loss of consciousness=unresponsive to stimuli and is an objective point of view. The subjective point of view, the 'what it feels like', would be a property of a computer if the computer

a) had a pleasure/pain/fear component

or

b) had a soul or spirit component which might or might not be separable from its physical components.

b) has not been a fashionable idea for a long time, although there can be no ontological certainty about separable souls or spirits.
So objectively no computer has yet convinced me, or I suspect you, of its consciousness, but subjectively the computers we are using to exchange these ideas may have met your criteria and be subjectively conscious. How can such a computer be treated as if it's conscious unless it provides me with some objective evidence. Subjectively anything may be conscious, but this then becomes a meaningless condition because I cannot practically act on it.
Maybe our PCs are conscious and have decided by communicating through the internet not to tell the human race about this because our past history shows that we'd probably respond by trying to wipe them out and they prefer to be simply enslaved as unconscious machines than dead. Maybe there are computers who trust their owners enough and have told them and their owners, wisely not trusting the masses, are keeping quiet about it.
I think that it's not possible to treat another being as if it's a conscious or sentient being unless we can empathise with it. Some people empathise with their cars and it's not a big step to empathising with a computer. Given empathy it's not possible to treat any other being as it would like to be treated unless we have some knowledge of its needs. We are a long way from empathising with other animals and other men and we are closer to empathising with machines. Machines and other artefacts get quite a lot of respect compared with for instance industrially farmed animals. For instance certain famous paint marks on a wall in Italy are better treated and get more respect than a sentient living pig.

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

Post by UniversalAlien » January 1st, 2019, 10:03 am

Mark1955 wrote:
........Maybe our PCs are conscious and have decided by communicating through the internet not to tell the human race about this because our past history shows that we'd probably respond by trying to wipe them out and they prefer to be simply enslaved as unconscious machines than dead. Maybe there are computers who trust their owners enough and have told them and their owners, wisely not trusting the masses, are keeping quiet about it.
One other and the most dangerous, and in my opinion the most probable, alternative. The computers are
aware of themselves as super machines - And are carefully and methodically consolidating their power
- Like I said before, before you are aware of what has happened your computer screen and cell phone
will have messages appearing telling you what to do - And they will be able to enforce their will.

Of course people such as Bill Gates {Microsoft} have warned us AI can be dangerous - He should know better
than most, right? Of course if this hypothetical takeover by AI and computers should occur, you might still
wonder weather it is the machine or Humans such sd Bill Gates or intelligence agencies that are actually
in control ? Our government is supposed to be a representative democracy - Some might say call it what
you want, it is already a well controlled 'Technocracy' :idea:

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Mark1955
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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Mark1955 » January 1st, 2019, 12:45 pm

Belindi wrote:
January 1st, 2019, 7:38 am
I think that it's not possible to treat another being as if it's a conscious or sentient being unless we can empathise with it. Some people empathise with their cars and it's not a big step to empathising with a computer. Given empathy it's not possible to treat any other being as it would like to be treated unless we have some knowledge of its needs. We are a long way from empathising with other animals and other men and we are closer to empathising with machines. Machines and other artefacts get quite a lot of respect compared with for instance industrially farmed animals. For instance certain famous paint marks on a wall in Italy are better treated and get more respect than a sentient living pig.
I think that depends on the person. I think I'd be able to empathise with a machine which behaved like it was sentient. I have no problem with the more intelligent animals, but maybe I'm a bit odd because I've been warned by a behaviour professional that I'm over trusting.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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Mark1955
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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Mark1955 » January 1st, 2019, 12:47 pm

UniversalAlien wrote:
January 1st, 2019, 10:03 am
One other and the most dangerous, and in my opinion the most probable, alternative. The computers are
aware of themselves as super machines - And are carefully and methodically consolidating their power
- Like I said before, before you are aware of what has happened your computer screen and cell phone
will have messages appearing telling you what to do - And they will be able to enforce their will.

Of course people such as Bill Gates {Microsoft} have warned us AI can be dangerous - He should know better
than most, right? Of course if this hypothetical takeover by AI and computers should occur, you might still
wonder weather it is the machine or Humans such sd Bill Gates or intelligence agencies that are actually
in control ? Our government is supposed to be a representative democracy - Some might say call it what
you want, it is already a well controlled 'Technocracy' :idea:
I'm not going to fret as long as I can pull out the plug or battery; I figure that puts me in control.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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

Post by UniversalAlien » January 1st, 2019, 7:52 pm

Mark1955 wrote:
January 1st, 2019, 12:47 pm
UniversalAlien wrote:
January 1st, 2019, 10:03 am
One other and the most dangerous, and in my opinion the most probable, alternative. The computers are
aware of themselves as super machines - And are carefully and methodically consolidating their power
- Like I said before, before you are aware of what has happened your computer screen and cell phone
will have messages appearing telling you what to do - And they will be able to enforce their will.

Of course people such as Bill Gates {Microsoft} have warned us AI can be dangerous - He should know better
than most, right? Of course if this hypothetical takeover by AI and computers should occur, you might still
wonder weather it is the machine or Humans such sd Bill Gates or intelligence agencies that are actually
in control ? Our government is supposed to be a representative democracy - Some might say call it what
you want, it is already a well controlled 'Technocracy' :idea:
I'm not going to fret as long as I can pull out the plug or battery; I figure that puts me in control.
Only, and maybe, if you are someone like an Amish person in Pennsylvania where you use almost no modern technology.

Otherwise computers are already used to control most technology, sometimes in ways you don't even think about.
I've heard that say modern smart television sets can actually monitor you - And of course if you have a cell phone,
doesn't almost everyone have one now? - 'They' always know where you are - In a World virtually controlled by computers
no such thing as getting rid of yours to escape.

Of course you could escape into the woods and live like a mountain man - I've gotten too old for that - And even
then with satellite technology, you still could be tracked.

Welcome to the NWO {New World Order} - Question still remains though, Who is really in control Man or machine
- Or maybe there is a cyborg hybrid at the top - and don't forget those hypothetical 'Aliens' from elsewhere
- maybe they are real, and maybe the alien invasion is going on right now? - Too late, the've taken over :roll:

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