Can a man-made computer become conscious?

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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.

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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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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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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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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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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by UniversalAlien » November 20th, 2019, 7:24 am

Just watched this 'Ted Talks' video with Nick Bostrom [ "In 2009 and 2015, he was included in Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers list"]

What happens when our computers get smarter than we are? | Nick Bostrom

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnT1xgZgkpk

He says it is inevitable that computers, whether actually conscious or not, will become 'smarter'than Man. And smarter means superiority in 'information processing'.

He thinks it is very important to put safe guards in place now to avoid the negative potential
of AI dominance - But as I watched the video I got the impression that he, and possibly no one,
really knows how to make the super brain computer of the future safe :idea:

What do you think :?:

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Skip Russell » February 29th, 2020, 6:17 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?
No. The definition of consciousness is synonymous with the experience of having a nervous system. The senses and our thoughts, feelings and subconscious primitive programming are consciousness. I don't think we could ever make a CNS-like thing from scratch outside of natural or perhaps laboratory-involved reproduction. I don't think we'll ever achieve the technology possible to do it - not that it would be impossible.

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by arjand » March 4th, 2020, 12:10 am

Skip Russell wrote:
February 29th, 2020, 6:17 pm
No. The definition of consciousness is synonymous with the experience of having a nervous system. The senses and our thoughts, feelings and subconscious primitive programming are consciousness. I don't think we could ever make a CNS-like thing from scratch outside of natural or perhaps laboratory-involved reproduction. I don't think we'll ever achieve the technology possible to do it - not that it would be impossible.
Is there a theory today that makes the idea plausible?

If you do not believe it to be impossible, why would it be justified to state that humans will never achieve the technology able to do it?

The simple question: what is the purpose of life? is unanswered. As it appears, it will be important to be able to answer such questions before an AI is let on the loose. How can an AI determine what is valuable beyond the rules that were designed by humans of the past (i.e. a purpose of the past)? If an AI were to evolve beyond the human, it will need to be able to stand alone on that regard. As it appears, even humans themselves haven't figured it out yet and are bound by what has been given to them without an ability to understand it.

Letting an AI on the loose and see what happens would be a strategic choice that could have implications. What would be the purpose to be served? If an AI manages to escape the solar system and even the Milky Way to fulfill a purpose envisioned by humans from Earth (e.g. colonize millions of planets), would that be actually "good"?

It may be wise to look closer at home to see how humans relate to animals. As it appears, many humans today view animals as meaningless beyond the extent to the value that they can see in them. (A ground for) respect for nature is hard to find.

An example can be seen in my topic about the ability to reverse the aging process so that humans could live for +10,000 years. The question why humans could respect nature is unanswered. It seems inevitable that humans in the near future will choose a life span of +10,000 years.

In a topic about a recent warning by 200 top scientists that millions of insects and animals are driven to extinction in the next decades, a user from this forum (a philosopher) replied that it would be no problem to eradicate the mosquito from Earth. Also in that topic, and on a science forum of a major UK University, people with a science or philosophy background appear to find it difficult to formulate a reason why it would matter when millions of animals go extinct.

If the human does not see a reason why to respect animals, not even to save them from extinction, why could an AI respect the human or achieve an ability to serve Nature's bigger whole?

What is "good" beyond the human? How could an AI reach or pursue such a concept when such simple questions cannot be answered today, not even for humans?
If life were to be good as it was, there would be no reason to exist.

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Kaz_1983 » March 8th, 2020, 11:36 pm

I'm vegan because I value an animals consciousness, rather than just selfish reasons - we don't need to eat meat but that beside the point. See if AI ever became super conscious, with a higher cognitive ability than a 8 year old child - does killing one of these man-made robots over an 8 yr old child is immoral? Jeez if you prescribe to maximizing consciousness - it's logical that killing the "super conscious"robot would immoral.

Will that ever happen, no.

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Sculptor1 » March 10th, 2020, 6:55 pm

Kaz_1983 wrote:
March 8th, 2020, 11:36 pm
I'm vegan because I value an animal's consciousness,
What about rats?
What about mosquitoes - ever killed one?

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Sculptor1 » March 10th, 2020, 7:04 pm

arjand wrote:
March 4th, 2020, 12:10 am

The simple question: what is the purpose of life? is unanswered. As it appears, it will be important to be able to answer such questions before an AI is let on the loose. How can an AI determine what is valuable beyond the rules that were designed by humans of the past (i.e. a purpose of the past)?
There is no "purpose of life". Individuals can express their own purposes, but the idea that there is one overall purpose does not hold water.
I have my purposes and so do you. But the only way I can determine yours is to ask you and when you tell me, I can take you at your word or not.

Any AI can similarly express, very clearly, a purpose, since any programmer worth his or her salt could simply code that into any system capable of asking.
And as far as I can tell all AIs are very purposeful already.
We are all programmed to have a purpose. The only difference is that the generation of that purpose is gleaned a lot more haphazardly, and comes from very diverse sources.
So I do not think this line of criterion has much value to address this question.

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Kaz_1983 » March 11th, 2020, 12:15 am

Sculptor1 wrote:
March 10th, 2020, 6:55 pm
Kaz_1983 wrote:
March 8th, 2020, 11:36 pm
I'm vegan because I value an animal's consciousness,
What about rats?
What about mosquitoes - ever killed one?
Yes, your point?

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Re: Can a man-made computer become conscious?

Post by Greta » March 11th, 2020, 5:51 am

Trouble is, you never know how conscious things are. You can guess, and perhaps reasonably well with other mammals, but not so well otherwise. The simpler the organism, the more "alien" their form of sentience will be, perhaps alien enough for us to dismiss that sentience.

That is ultimately the issue at hand in this thread. Even if AI became sentient, how would we know? What would be the definitive indicators that experience was real rather than simulated? First, perhaps, we need to understand the minds of very simple animals.

Simply staying alive involves killing, either directly or indirectly, but we can reduce consumption of things that involve more killing than we need to live and thrive, if we choose.

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