Will machines become conscious someday?

Discussion in 'Intelligence & Machines' started by Magical Realist, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    IMO, consciousness is an emergent quality. Every organism is sentient in that it reacts to stimulus (see the slime mold). The more complex the brain becomes the physical sentience eventually becomes aware and intelligent consciousness emerges.
    This may hold true for inanimate organisms such as computers. AI is a very popular subject of research.
     
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  3. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Technological evolution is much MUCH faster then natural evolution. One is driven by conscious will and knowledge based designs and the other is based on random mutations on progenitors genome. For example how long does it take evolution to create a flying animal? millions of years. Humans managed to master flights in thousands of years, and go from just a few dozen meters just a meter off the ground (Kitty Hawk) to over 2000 mph, 30 km up and thousands of kilometers non-stop (SR-71) in 60 years, by 70 years we traveled to the moon at up to 10 km a second! Natural evolution never it made passed 200 mph in a dive! Natural evolution built up the brain through selecting successful mutations from all the failures over millions of years, it only took it 4 billion to go from nothing to humans. We went from gear and cog number crunchers to billions of transistors per cm^2 in 200 years, like going from free floating DNA to the gross computing power of a rat in the same amount of time! Natural evolution is mindlessly slow, completely unconscious and most of all horrible cruel: creating thousands to millions of failures doomed to die horribly for every one success that gets to live just long enough to reproducing before evolution drops it like an old whore to die horrible!
     
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  5. rodereve Registered Member

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    Haha very good points Electric. Even though natural evolution is slow, it has produced much more complex things we can build ourselves. Imagine the complexities of the brain, I don't think we'll ever be able to create synthetic brains of that magnitude. Just think, we came from single celled organisms. The fact that we are able to think and create that technology, speaks more about natural evolution than technological evolution.
     
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  7. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Fixed, if technology continues to progress we will most certainly be creating more complex thing then nature within a few centuries.

    If the brain and its functions are entirely a construct of this reality, of physics, then it can be simulated, emulated and replicated. Its just a matter of making a analogy neural network on silicon with 100 billion "neurons" an 1000 trillion synapses. Present prototypes has 256 and 256^2 synapses, with 1 million neurons and the square in synapses by 2014 Of course turing digital computers could simulate a physical brain, but would need thousands of times more raw computing power, a hardware neural network on silicon would do at hardware speeds what would need to be simulated in software on a digital computer.

    yeah because it has nothing to do with technological evolution. If we had been created by technological evolution it would have gone from nothing to Humans in a few thousand years not billions and there would have been far FAR less suffering in the process. Heck we went from producing DNA in a lab to synthetic genomes of the size of bacteria in decades, literally from nothing to bacteria in a few decades, doubtful evolution started off so quickly!
     
  8. rodereve Registered Member

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    Lol well there's no such thing as technological evolution, there's not actually an evolutionary mechanism behind technology, we're essentially talking about tech advancement. Technology is the application of our knowledge of sciences etc., there would be no technology without us. So to say if we were created with our technology instead of natural evolution, seems somewhat impossible lol And I don't agree with your view on evolution. An organism with a unique mutation that gives an advantageous trait, doesn't mean the rest of the organisms are failures and were made only to die. If that was the case, we're are failures now, and I don't see myself as "suffering".
     
  9. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    like i said before, the entire question is seemingly without end.
    i do know things aren't what they seem.
    i wonder if the uncertainty principle fits into this somehow.
    unlike poles repel maybe?
    deep shit for sure.
     
  10. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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  11. AxiomaticExistence Registered Member

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    Magical Realist,

    My theory on consciousness in humans is an Infinite Algorithms theory. A consciousness is conjured of infinite algorithms and therefore, a machine could obtain consciousness. I would like to read anyone's input on my theory.

    Regards,
    Shagarath.
     
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Perhaps this may not need be Infinite. A Holographic model (Holomovement) might consist of a fixed set of data and algorithms.

    David Bohm's theory of the Implicate Order may be of interets.

    http://www.insightcenter.net/where-psychology-meets-physics/the-implicate-order/
     
  13. rodereve Registered Member

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  14. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    I believe it will happen when we least expect it. Animal intelligence can only reach a limited level and then it will top out do to brain size and energy requirement limitations. But intelligence wants to keep evolving and the only way that can happen is if humans build self aware thinking machines that can then reproduce even more sophisticated thinking machines. IMO it's not a matter of if it will happen, it's only a matter of when it will happen.
     
  15. UFG Registered Member

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    You are confusing evolution with natural selection. Of course there is technological evolution: ev·o·lu·tion [ev-uh-loo-shuh n or, esp. British, ee-vuh-]
    noun
    1.
    any process of formation or growth; development: the evolution of a language; the evolution of the airplane.

    In any event, the exponential nature of technological growth is well documented.
     
  16. UFG Registered Member

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    Well said.
     
  17. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    It is possible for machines to evolve. There are virtual evolution simulators that evolve algorithms and computer programs. They work the same way natural evolution does.
     
  18. rodereve Registered Member

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    Yeah, its a matter of semantics. When I'm talking about evolution, I'm talking more about a selection force behind it. I did explain myself and actually said the same thing if you continued to read my post, when I said tech evolution is more like tech advancement that is essentially what you meant by technological growth.

    Haha that's actually fascinating.
     
  19. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    True, but there is little if any reason to think they would be conscious - for example actually feel pain, etc. and even if they did, we could never know they did.

    Behavior, as if conscious, is NOT evidence of being conscious.
     
  20. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    I agree. At best, "awareness treated as body activity or reactions / responses" would be some subcategory meaning or approach under that umbrella term of "consciousness", not embracing the whole many-tentacled monster subsumed by it. The influences of behaviorism still seem to linger around in places, especially in that functionalist legacy of AI, but it has otherwise long since fallen to the wayside in overarching popularity.

    George Graham: "Contemporary psychology and philosophy largely share Hempel's conviction that the explanation of behavior cannot omit invoking a creature's representation of its world. [...] we don't just run and mate and walk and eat. [...] In addition to our outer behavior, we have highly complex inner lives, wherein we are active, imaginatively, in our heads, all the while often remaining as stuck as posts, as still as stones." http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/behaviorism/#8

    . . . "Behaviorism has lost strength and influence. It is dismissed by cognitive scientists developing intricate internal information processing models of cognition. [...] Skinner was no triumphalist about neuroscience. Neuroscience, for him, more or less just identifies organismic physical processes that underlie animal/environment interactions. Therein, it rides evidential or epistemic piggyback on radical behaviorism's prior description of those interactions...."

    [...] "A second reason for rejecting behaviorism is that some features of mentality—some elements in the inner processing of persons -- have characteristic ‘qualia’ or presentationally immediate or phenomenal qualities. To be in pain, for example, is not merely to produce appropriate pain behavior under the right environmental circumstances, but it is to experience a ‘like-thisness’ to the pain (as something dull or sharp, perhaps). A purely behaviorist creature, a ‘zombie’, as it were, may engage in pain behavior, including beneath the skin pain responses, yet completely lack whatever is qualitatively distinctive of and proper to pain (its painfulness).

    "The philosopher-psychologist U. T. Place, although otherwise sympathetic to the application of behaviorist ideas to matters of mind, argued that phenomenal qualia cannot be analyzed in behaviorist terms. He claimed that qualia are neither behavior nor dispositions to behave. 'They make themselves felt,' he said, 'from the very moment that the experience of whose qualia they are' comes into existence. They are instantaneous features of processes or events rather than dispositions manifested over time. Qualitative mental events (such as sensations, perceptual experiences, and so on), for Place, undergird dispositions to behave rather than count as dispositions. Indeed, it is tempting to postulate that the qualitative aspects of mentality affect non-qualitative elements of internal processing, and that they, for example, contribute to arousal, attention, and receptivity to associative conditioning."
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/behaviorism/#7
     
  21. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    I was speaking of technological "evolution" metaphorically, though how technology develops is similar to lamarckianism. As for if we were created argue, yes it would require a creator, it was a hypothetical, like me saying "I would like to live on mars" and you would argue "but you can't, nary a means to get there and you would die very quickly" and thus you fail to grasp what I was saying.

    No we are all made to die, it is required so that there is space for future generations to prosper and thus present new mutations to utilize in adapting to a changing world. Evolution is horribly cruel in this way. Do you know how many animals don't even live long enough to make it to reproductive age, let alone old age? Yet evolution evolved them to all feel pain and suffering and fear to make them fight to improve their odds, yet those odds are still so very poor! In technology things are not designed feel pain or suffering, a million different progeny are not birth to suffer horrible so that the few amongst them that have mutations that benefit them can prosper and reproduce and then die. The designers simply build already honing in on what they want, without having to waste the effort to trying out every possible alteration physically! And when there is a new need many products can be modified and upgraded without having the be thrown away (die off) to meet the new task!
     
  22. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. Consciousness requires awareness, but not the converse. My thermostat is aware of room temperature, but is not conscious. No system is totally aware of its environment - I don´t sense the EM waves of TV and radio passing thru my body, or the UV colors of my "white" flowers, but the honey bee sees their beauty, etc.

    There are two types of awareness: cognitive & perceptual. I have perceptual awareness of red, but only cognitive awareness of the colors the bee sees.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2013
  23. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not sure you could compare machine and animal consciousness. But it sounds like you feel that our senses make it possible for us to become conscious. If so I have to agree with that thinking. Having said that, we can give a machine more senses than we could even begin to comprehend. How that might play a roll in machine consciousness, I have no idea.

    We have no experience or knowledge of what happens over time when a species such as humans or aliens become technological. But at our current state of development we do know our machines are advancing at an incredible rate. It may be natural for machine life to come into existence at some point, which would lend credence to the idea that intelligence in and of itself evolves.
     

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