Consciousness & Intelligence

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Dinosaur, May 26, 2018.

  1. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    The following has often been an interesting issue with me, but I have never given much of my time to analyzing/thinking about it.

    Consciousness & intelligence

    Does either require the other?​

    Perhaps there are those here who might be interested in giving their opinions.

    It might save me time considering the issue or provide me with opinions to argue against.
     
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  3. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    First define what you mean by each of them.
    That may aid discussion by narrowing focus to that which is of significance to you?

    If you consider AI to be an avenue of intelligence, that may provide discussion, in that such intelligence is not, at least apparently, conscious.
     
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    So far. And it's not very intelligent - so far.

    If there were a requirement that the computer playing Go be completely in the room and completely reliant on its own capabilities to play the game on the board, without receiving information or help from anyone - (such as the location of the board, the opponent's previous move, or a human hand to move the stone) - we probably would not have a computer Go champion. Likewise, I believe, if we allowed the human player access to a computer-searchable library of josekis and endgames and so forth - all the elements which were downloaded into the computer as an available file, not "learned".

    Not that these things are impossible, for AI - just that the intelligence involved in human life is often underestimated in comparison with an AI. And if AI is to become more comparable with human intelligence - or dolphin intelligence, or elephant intelligence, or Norway rat intelligence - it's probably going to need capabilities indistinguishable from consciousness. It's going to have to be able to handle that logical level of thought, because it's necessary for solving some kinds of problems and handling some kinds of situations.
     
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  7. Michael 345 Looking for Bali in Nov Valued Senior Member

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    I'm reading up on concessness at the moment

    At the moment I can't think of any link between
    "concessness" the body being aware of itself via brain activity
    and
    "intelligence" using knowledge wisely

    How many people do you consider dumb BUT still walk among us and appear concious?

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  8. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    I second that. Both concepts need to be refined or reigned in from being as broad or general as a consensus-challenged "defined in many different ways" source permits them to be.

    Analogy: Games need more narrower targets than the goal posts extending all the way around the stadium field or the dart board covering all the walls, floor, and ceiling. Make it possible to miss (for something to be disqualified, otherwise there's just a crowded bowl of ideas stirring themselves around in a circle).

    ~
     
  9. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I'll suggest some definitions to start off:

    Consciousness: the awareness of self. The ability to distinguish one's self from the environment. The ability to recognize that others are their own selves, like onesself.

    Intelligence: the ability to anticipate; the ability to abstract; the ability to apply known solutions to new problems.
     
  10. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    The second definition of Intelligence seems to suggest that consciousness requires intelligence.
    Surely one can only distinguish oneself from the environment, for example, if one can abstract?
     
  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    This may add some additional information for consideration;
    https://www.ted.com/talks/anil_seth_how_your_brain_hallucinates_your_conscious_reality

    The machines in brains of most living organisms are the nano tubules which act as individual computers. The network of billions of nano tubules creates our conscious existence.

    And Interoception seems to be present in all living organisms.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  12. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Setting aside the issue of possessing an idea of "self" (which is just one item among many subsumed under "consciousness"), and focusing on reacting awareness-wise to circumstances of the environment and one's body states...

    Daniel Dennett introduced the catchphrase "competence without comprehension". Which could be adjusted to "innovation without planning and understanding" to fully cover what evolution has been outputting for eons without intelligence.

    Yet another variant of "adequate performance despite ignorance" can apply to what sometimes transpires with creations in the field of robotics. The latter which might best reveal whether or not a mobile agent can be designed which could successfully maneuver through an obstacle course and perform other tasks... Without need of dedicated analysis and re-integration (comprehension) of received information from a camera, microphone, tactile sensors, etc. Take those toy trains of the past, for instance: The ones that could change course when bumping into an object through just a clockwork system of linked parts (no sophisticated processing of sensory data). How far up on the ladder could that parsimonious approach of austere mechanism continue before it became overwhelmed by the need to actually understand what was happening and discriminate what existed? (Including, horror of horrors, even resorting to producing a representation of the external world "in its head" or whatever substituted for such; i.e., indirect realism)

    Intelligence which is active and embodied (not sitting on the shelf like a computer) would supposedly recruit memory conditioning / organization and symbolic conceptions (if it is linguistic) to understand the sensory information of exteroception and proprioception. IOW, traditional cognition revolving around indirect perception.

    In contrast, though, an advocate of direct perception may eliminate or diminish the mediating role of any processes and functional complexity categorized as or construed as associated with intelligence. Also, "reflex-like" responses (via memory conditioning and sensorimotor structure) to objects and events in the environment might be contended to sidestep evaluations and decision-making falling out of reasoning.

    The main objective of theories in the field of visual perception is to explain the process in which the perceiver obtains knowledge of his environment. Traditional theories of visual perception require the employment of higher order cognitive and psychophysiological processes as mediators between, what they label, inadequate stimulus input, perceived by the perceiver's retina, and the perceiver himself. According to these theories, the purpose of these intermediaries is to elaborate, order and make sense of these imprecise, insufficiently rich data so as to yield an adequate perception of the events of the environment. The usage of intervening factors in the perception of data has earned the approach, which strongly insists on it, the label indirect perception. It is easy to see how complex the task of examining and determining the intermediary process is and that numerous theories would attempt to do so.

    Nevertheless, in contrast with these traditional theories, Gibson's ecological approach maintains that the stimulus input is sufficiently rich and provides sufficiently precise specification of the environment to merely being detected without any further elaboration. Hence, no intervening factors are needed between the perceived information and its perceiver in order for the perceiver to have a valid knowledge of his environment. The ecological approach is, consequently, also known as direct perception.
    --Gibson's Argument Against Indirect Perception [Also: indirect & direct realism]​

    Although vision is made the typical focus, it's difficult to see how the rivalry of the two camps could not apply to the other modes of sensation as well. Especially if a person is blind, blind and deaf, etc.

    ~
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    IMO, a perfect example of direct perception may be found in the brainless slime mold, a single celled polyp which can solve a maze, design a complete transport network, and has a sense of time. Truly remarkable.


    Micro (nano) tubulins?
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4594612/

    and Dr Hameroff who is collaboarating with Roger Penrose on a concept of natural nano quantum computers where the quantum wave collapse generates a direct physical or a higher order indirect conscious experience in brained organisms.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
  14. Speakpigeon Registered Senior Member

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    Intelligence is the ability to conceive abstracts models and use them in a purposeful and effective way.
    A machine might be able to do that some day although if someone already had one, I'm not sure we would know.
    I don't know how to define consciousness. I just know what it's like to be conscious, when I am. And beyond my own but incontrovertibly private experience of it, it's supposed to be what all human beings normally experience subjectively whenever they're paying attention.
    Self seems irrelevant here.
    Intelligence is a capability. Consciousness seems more like a matter of fact. Is material existence necessary to intelligence? Who know? Can you be intelligent without being conscious? Who knows?
    I suspect that consciousness and intelligence sort of have fed off each other in the development of us modern human beings. Still, that may only be an effect of perspective. Intelligence certainly allows us to discuss consciousness and thereby contributes to our understanding of it, and perhaps gives a false sense that we're more conscious for being more intelligent. Hard to tell.
    I think it's probably all connected with this notion of the Cartesian Theatre, as a by-product, as I think of it, of evolution. I'm not conscious of the unconscious activity of my brain, obviously. So, consciousness either is compartmented, different parts of the brain being conscious for themselves, so to speak, and ignoring each other; or maybe there's only one small module that got to become conscious as a result of our evolution. Hard to know.
    Still, we know we have this small module at least that's conscious. In a way that module is really us. The one thing we're conscious of because it's a conscious thing and it's us. So, this small module may well also be uniquely gifted with intelligence, at least if the gift of abstract thinking and planification is only really worth paying for in the module that is in charge of supervising what we do in the world. And that's what seems to be the usefulness of the Cartesian Theatre, which is broadly a model of whatever is necessary to be able to perform the necessary supervising, broadly all the functions you have to have in a control centre, only much more integrated. So, basically, what we are conscious of is really just that, our Cartesian Theatre. We literally take it for the real world. We can't even refrain from believing this. So, it's literally the stage where we can use and evolve our intelligence, our own kind of intelligence, if maybe machines may be thought of as having intelligence but of a different sort.
    So, clearly, our kind of intelligence does require our Cartesian Theatre, which in turn seems to be closely connected to our ability to be conscious since we're only conscious of it. However, we should be aware, and if you're not just yet you're very soon going to be upon further reading, that a lot of our conscious thoughts are produced through various unconscious processes of our brain and indeed of our body. The beautiful view of the world we can enjoy is essentially produced outside our consciousness, inside our brain and outside of it since this process requires things we call eyes and that eyes are not all neurons. That much we all know, I guess. But most of our thoughts come through some unconscious processes. For example, if we have the impression that two mechanical parts should fit together neatly, well, that impression, though itself conscious, will be produced by some unconscious process somewhere inside our brain. And there's a lot like this beside impressions, although we do have an awful lot of them.
    Still, as I see it, intelligence is about abstract thinking and abstract thinking does seem to take place essentially in our conscious mind. Presumably, for each abstract thought we will have, there will be a lot of unconscious caretaking going on in the shadows of our brain. Yet, what we think of as intelligence does seem to be associated with consciousness. Now, here is one clear example of an unconscious process that's necessary to our conscious intelligent thoughts (when we have them): That's logical intuitions. We can certainly have conscious logical thoughts, somewhat on the model of syllogisms, but our brain is also capable of assisting our intelligence through providing discrete but very effective logical intuition whenever it's necessary. So, it's fair to say that our intelligence seems to rely a lot on unconscious processes. Still, it would seem pointless to deny that intelligence is closely associated with our conscious Cartesian Theatre. It's its playground, so to speak. It's where it will be most useful and efficient. It's where thinking abstract thoughts and conceiving abstract ideas will prove more effective and productive.
    So, without going on and on about it, it seems to me that consciousness and intelligence are closely linked. However, it may be that it's entirely incidental. And maybe the parts of our brain that couldn't be said to be properly intelligent are nonetheless conscious, if only for themselves, so to speak. Who would know except themselves?
    And again, it might be that machines one day will be made really intelligent but perhaps without being conscious. Again, who could possibly know?
    And, maybe, they might let us ask them the question.
    EB
     
  15. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    As Anil Seth says;
    " You don't have to be intelligent to experience pain, but you probably do have to be alive"
     
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Being conscious doesn't require any great degree of intelligence. Anything that is conscious has some degree of intelligence but that's about it.

    I think the more interesting step is when conscious being are aware of the future. This would seem to eliminate most (non-human) animals.
     
  17. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Just ran across this. I haven't studied any other articles on the subject but, this seems a legitimate study.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/07/ravens-humans-and-apes-can-plan-future

    And I know that sea-otters select just the right size and weight of the stones they use to crack shells, without sinking. I saw a presentation once, showing how they select and test the stones, just big enough to do the job without weighing them down too much. This is how they are able to drift on their backs while dining.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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  19. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, ants and termites already employ preventive measures, but as they could not possibly have a brain large enough for sophisticated thinking, it is almost surely a result of 150 million years of genetic memory
     
  20. mmatt9876 Registered Senior Member

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    Speaking of squirrels and animals are their instincts part of their consciousness or intelligence?
     
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Neither - it's instinct.

    They don't really do it consciously or intelligently, as witnessed by the fact that they do the same thing with Christmas wires and Christmas bulbs. It's just a compulsion.
     
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  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I agree, the litmus test is if an animal can do something anticipatory which differs from his natural evolved behavior patterns.
     
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  23. Michael 345 Looking for Bali in Nov Valued Senior Member

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    Pre programed auto response - which would require concessness but not thinking or intelligence

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