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ollypenrice

Artificial intelligence?

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When the philosophers get going on consciousness I always feel that consciousness wins. Consciousness can define a philosopher but can a philosopher define consciousness? It is another oddity of language that while we cannot define consciousness most of us are quite certain that it exists. This, ironically, might be a defining characteristic of a conscious being: an ability to hold an idea in a kind of suspended state, imperfectly defined but intellectually workable.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice

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This, ironically, might be a defining characteristic of a conscious being: an ability to hold an idea in a kind of suspended state, imperfectly defined but intellectually workable.

As I mentioned in a previous post in this thread and here below quoted from an internet source.

"Many philosophers, psychologists, and cognitive scientists grounded in the metaphysics of materialism, believe that consciousness is either an illusion, or at best, an epiphenomenon. In other words they believe that matter is the only thing with real existence and therefor the only thing that really has causal efficacy with the implication that all thought is really only determined by a state of physics and that freedom is an illusion."

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Well some psych ( I cant remember who) said

"I find that my account for for my own actions is entirely subjective - in other words I dont know why I do things"

That sums it up for me as well. I mean why DO we wonder about stuff. Whay do we own telescopes etc.

Back to my cat - anyone who could predict her reactions to a given stimulus even based on statistics would be on to a hiding to nothing :D

Same goes for a beaver I know :D

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Astro_Baby, I wonder about that too, Our cat bless his heart is gone now but some of the things he used to do did make me wonder. We used to give him a treat once a day and he would sit patiently after correcting his stance in what seemed a precise manner waiting for his treat. If after waiting for too long he would begin to smile bearing his one top tooth and one bottom tooth he had in a strange grimace.

Funny to watch, had us in fits. How I wonder did he work out this would be benefical to getting his treat quicker. He never used it all the time though, just for times he felt he'd waited too long.

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The primary difference is predictability (or lack of it).

Hows that for a definition ?

So a radioactive nucleus is "intelligent"? Or an electron that happens not to be in the ground state?

DId that imply beavers were sentient/intelligent or merely that the test itself was at fault ?

I don't know but I have no doubt that at least all mammals are sentient beings with at least some intelligence. Birds as well, I strongly suspect. Reptiles? I'm not sure ... insects, not sentient even if they do have elaborate communication protocols. Edited by brianb

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As I mentioned in a previous post in this thread and here below quoted from an internet source.

"Many philosophers, psychologists, and cognitive scientists grounded in the metaphysics of materialism, believe that consciousness is either an illusion, or at best, an epiphenomenon. In other words they believe that matter is the only thing with real existence and therefor the only thing that really has causal efficacy with the implication that all thought is really only determined by a state of physics and that freedom is an illusion."

Indeed, and what I think is that this is nonsense - the kind of nonesense into which one falls when one follows a particular discipline too literally without looking out of the side windows.

To risk a plunge into the murky waters of quantum theory, matter seems to be something created by the observer. So far no-one has discussed whether or not a computer can collapse the wave-front. Uh-oh...

Olly

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Indeed, and what I think is that this is nonsense - the kind of nonesense into which one falls when one follows a particular discipline too literally without looking out of the side windows.

Well put Olly, well put. :D

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How about this then as a definition for intelligence/consciousness to split computers and their software from living forms. The primary difference is predictability
Fascinating. I think this exhibits the fundamental prejudice in human minds, that there are "subjects" and "objects" and predictability seems a good condition of membership.

Suppose I could explain to you what consciousness and intelligence is but doing so would make you insane. Would you class this as an answer?

Edited by themos

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[Mathematics is] an abstract universe existing in parallel with but completely independent of the physical universe(s). "Threeness" exists as a mathematical construct whether or not there is a life form capable of understanding it.

That's a very strange kind of existence, it seems to have the properties of a deity.

Mathematics, for me, is just a game we play, prompted by the evolved prejudices of the human mind.

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Fascinating. I think this exhibits the fundamental prejudice in human minds, that there are "subjects" and "objects" and predictability seems a good condition of membership.

QUOTE]

Sorry but I don't follow this. Membership?

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice

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That's a very strange kind of existence, it seems to have the properties of a deity.

Mathematics, for me, is just a game we play, prompted by the evolved prejudices of the human mind.

In Chapt.1 of his "Road to Reality" book, Roger Penrose argues (rather convincingly?) for an independent existence of a mathematical "Platonic World". The last anyway seems a useful string to search for internet discussion of this issue e.g.

The Platonic World. Real or a human construct? [Archive] - Physics Forums

:D

Edited by Macavity

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That seems to be the membership test for the categories "object" and "subject". If it's predictable then it's "machinery", an "object". If it's not then it "has a mind of its own"/"is a subject"/"is a person".

It all seems to depend on whether an individual has put enough neuronal resources into simulating the entity.

A predictable human being would be at a disadvantage in a competitive environment. Hence, the more we are simulated by others, the more there is a pressure to "outwit" their simulation.

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Roger Penrose argues (rather convincingly?) for an independent existence of a mathematical "Platonic World".

We are each allowed one big blunder.

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That seems to be the membership test for the categories "object" and "subject". If it's predictable then it's "machinery", an "object". If it's not then it "has a mind of its own"/"is a subject"/"is a person".

It all seems to depend on whether an individual has put enough neuronal resources into simulating the entity.

A predictable human being would be at a disadvantage in a competitive environment. Hence, the more we are simulated by others, the more there is a pressure to "outwit" their simulation.

Not really an answer that separates man from machine, most of us are predictable to some extent. The police use predictability as a tool for catching crooks, ie crook steals money - runs and hides but eventually finds his/her way back to territory they are more familar with, crook gets caught. Happens all the time.

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Personally I believe Intelligence/consciousness is an emergent property of the complexity of our brains. If we were to piece by piece remove parts of our brain and replace with electronics which did the same thing as the organic part removed, would we not in the end when the whole brain was replaced be the same person?

I believe we would. Obviously this technology does not yet exist, but if it ever does (and I think it will), does it not follow that we could then create artificial intelligence set it off on its merry way to learn and eventually develop its own personality and values?

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Not really an answer that separates man from machine, most of us are predictable to some extent.

Quite, I don't think that there IS a separation in principle.

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If we were to piece by piece remove parts of our brain and replace with electronics which did the same thing as the organic part removed, would we not in the end when the whole brain was replaced be the same person?

That already happens in a sense, as our personality survives the replacement of all the atoms over a number of years.

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The idea that we could replace all the bits of our brains with machines is merely an enormous assumption made to look more acceptable by being broken down into a lot of smaller assumptions! We don't know if it's true. It might not be. There may be things going on in brains that we don't know about. Indeed I strrongly suspect that there are. The fact that brains get their cells replaced has no bearing on this question since if the brain really is something different then it is having its cells replaced and preserving this something different.

The brain functions in both the macro and quantum worlds. The quantum world is predictabe to a high degree but conceptuually incomprehensible to an even higher degree. Since this is the case it is surely hugely premature to imagine we have plumbed the depths of brain function?

Olly

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The brain is either a machine or there's new physics in the brain. In that sense, I think Penrose had the right idea.

It's just that the idea of new physics in the brain seems quite unlikely.

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That already happens in a sense, as our personality survives the replacement of all the atoms over a number of years.

Well atoms get replaced...neurons die and new ones form etc.....and our personality developes/evolves/whatever....it doesn't remain the same. Just a small point that doesn't effect the bigger questions being talked about. :D

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In keeping with the theory that one day we will be able to develop a self thinking computer, One has to realise that our brains process millions or billions of bits of information at any one instant whereas current computer technology processes 64 bits of info at any one instant.

If you allow the above to be true, it may support the reason why other animals are not or less (whichever you would prefer) self aware as their brains are less developed.

This would mean that self awareness is emergent rather than programmed.

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The brain is either a machine or there's new physics in the brain. In that sense, I think Penrose had the right idea.

It's just that the idea of new physics in the brain seems quite unlikely.

Well... should we be so ready in our use of metaphor? In one sense the brain is not a machine. A machine is man (or animal) made, by definition. Now you can say 'it is indistinguishable from a machine' if you like but already it sounds a bit thinner as a statement, don't you think? This is not playing with words, it is treating words with care, as we must. Remember I started the thread by suggesting that our use of anthropomorphic metaphor has seduced us into exaggerating the brain-computer analogy.

New physics in the brain? Highly probable in my view. Since we have no conceptual grasp of the quantum world, and that is the world in which the brain does most of its work, why should we find new physics unlikely? For example, there are real problems with time in the quantum world. Problems with causality as well. Who knows how these problems might play out in the brain?

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice

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So you are saying something exists in the brain that could not be replicated by technology (some day, presuming that we keep advancing at the rate we have), something outside the laws of the universe (whether or not they are laws we know or not as yet).

Without bringing the whole theological side into the discussion I dont see how this is possible.

So assuming at some point we will be able to understand all of the laws of nature and our tech has progressed to a high enough point why could we not replace the brain with tech?

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'So you are saying something exists in the brain that could not be replicated by technology (some day, presuming that we keep advancing at the rate we have), something outside the laws of the universe (whether or not they are laws we know or not as yet).'

Oh no, certainly I'm not saying that. I can't read the future. What I am saying is that the machines we have so far created, and which some consider to be brain-like, are not (in my view) brain-like at all. But who knows what machines we might create in the future? The brain is material and so, in principle, should be recreatable. I just don't think that the wonders of modern computing have much to do with that.

Nor do I think that the brain will stand outside the laws of the universe. They wouldn't be much good as laws if that were the case! No, what I think is that the gaps in our current knowledge may align very closely with what it is that we need to know in order to understand the brain.

Now we enter that tiresome zone in which we cannot continue the convesation because it becomes religious. I am not at all religious. The something strange that defines the conscious 'us' (and which I feel is absent from computers) may also be of interest to religious believers who see it quite differently from the way i do. Is that sufficiently circumspect to respect the sensiilities of the forum?

When telephone exchanges were invented there was much excited talk of their brain-like capabilities, I believe. What do we think of telephone exchanges now??

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice

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A machine is man (or animal) made, by definition.

People (and animals) are machines mass produced by unskilled labour.

I absolutely refuse to believe that there are any laws of physics which are unique to the brain. Same argument as I use against a creator god; there's simply no need for it.

It would be somewhat surprising if we could understand the workings of our own brain in any detail. We can't even write reliable programs to run on reliable electronic hardware....

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