Will machines become conscious someday?

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

  1. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    i disagree.
    i believe a human brain can be conscious even though it is devoid/ deprived of all its senses.
    i disagree.
    a thermostat operates on the different expansion rates of dissimilar metals.
    it isn't "aware" of anything, the manufacturing process determines how it operates.
     
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  3. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    A mature brain that's already conscious can probably maintain a level of consciousness for a few days, maybe even a couple of weeks without senses. However without sensory stimulation consciousness just can't maintain itself. Having said that if a human baby was born without senses it would never become conscious.
     
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  5. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    I think a particularly dilusional person, deprived out all senses, could construct a fantasy and stay conscious within it for some time. Of course without interaction with the outside world how can we determine if its conscious or not?

    Also who to say we are aware? Our neurons take in inputs, a nerve somewhere fires by detectction of heat, this travels into the brain and an output is made in response, a muslce moved. How is this so much greater then an electric circuit like a thermostate that controls room climate, why is one "aware" and the other not?
     
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  7. Mathers2013 Banned Banned

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    I agree with Tashja: how do we know machines have not already become conscious?

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  8. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    Because they still always do what they are told to do.

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  9. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    i will also add that if the computer does encounter something for which it hasn't been programmed for it is totally helpless.
    it cannot for example "guess" or "put 2 and 2 together" unless it has been programmed for it.
    the human mind is still light years ahead of machines in this regard.
     
  10. kwhilborn Banned Banned

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    I've said it before but I'll say it again.

    A computer program has ONLY 1 operation it can do over and over again. It can ONLY decide between 2 choices. It can decide between 2 choices many times a second, but it can only decide between two choices.

    If this is true do that.
    If that is true do this.

    How programmers manage to turn one function into thousands of seemingly "intelligent" software and games is a marvel, but it does not stop the fact that all a computer can do is compare 2 values at a time. Seemingly "Intelligent" NPC's in games seem to have fooled some of you Cretans (Those who believe computers could be conscious).

    Now the only way someone could ever even imagine consciousness arising from this overgrown calculator is if they assume their coffee table is also conscious, as there is many woo theory's that suggest all matter is conscious.

    The only other way would be if we actually made a computer with living tissue. This is certainly not true of your Ipad.

    Speaking as a programmer this topic seems very ridiculous.
     
  11. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    yes, but let's put this in perspective.
    let's say you have a list of 500 million choices.
    a human, making 1 choice a second, would require 5.787 DAYS to process the list
    the typical computer can easily process this list in under 1 second AND without the attending human fatigue.
    it's one of the computers advantages, insanely fast processing/ execution.
    actually a computer has more than one function and more than one decision statement.
    all of the control register flags have decision statements.
    you can usually always decide on zero conditions
    any and all equations can be used for less than, equals, greater than decisions.
    to imply that a computer has only one decision statement is wrong.

    it's also wrong that a computer strictly has only 2 choices.
    with a chip select you can introduce a third variable that will enable or disable the entire chip.
    you might use the bus available signal for the same purpose.
    i do not know how these last 2 could be implemented.
     
  12. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    I guess this is some crude way of explain digital logic? First of all we could make analog circuits, more so we can have digital computers simulate analog operations with fuzzy logic
     
  13. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    Not so, you are assuming that the machine architecture is not going to change, but it will. I've already read many articles that talk about all the new developments that are being researched, and they are making progress on new architectures that process differently than just an either/or choice. Like you I've never thought today's computers could become consciously self aware.
     
  14. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    I posted on this very thread research in production of artificial neural network chips. They got a 256 neuron with ~256*1000 synapses Neuromorphic chip to "learn" how to play pong and how to recognize a few characters, And are expect to come out with 1 million artificial neuron chip with over 1 billion synapses this year. This is the kind of device need to get around the obscene processing power required to simulate, in software, a neural network digitally on a Turing machine: just build a hardware artificial neural network! Hypothetically it could do operations like object recognition, driving, complex thought, with a hundredth/thousandth the power consumption and chip area as a Turing machine, making strong artificial intelligence and economical prospect in this decade.
     
  15. kwhilborn Banned Banned

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    I probably won't comment again after this as the argument is idiotic, however.

    I've said it before but I'll say it again.

    A computer program has ONLY 1 operation it can do over and over again. It can ONLY decide between 2 choices. It can decide between 2 choices many times a second, but it can only decide between two choices.

    If this is true do that.
    If that is true do this.

    How programmers manage to turn one function into thousands of seemingly "intelligent" software and games is a marvel, but it does not stop the fact that all a computer can do is compare 2 values at a time. Seemingly "Intelligent" NPC's in games seem to have fooled some of you Morons (Those who believe computers could be conscious).

    Now a computer can be given more than one option this is true, but like i have said they must be compared one at a time. No computer program exists that will allow a computer to intuitively skip over any comparison.

    You can have a supercomputer running 1000 programs simultaneously with one decision at a time switching you between programs and subroutines, but every program will only do one comparison at a time.

    The computer may be running comparisons in loops (if you know what they are), but that does not make it not compare one thing at a time.

    If a computer is testing if something is > or = AND also is above the number 1000 that may seem like three comparisons, but it is 3 comparisons in one decision.

    EVERY program can only one decision at a time. You can have subroutines which are like separate programs running where one subroutine makes the games name flash on and off, and another subroutine making the screen background fill with a certain colour and have a giant border being traced by flying saucers, but they do this by one decision at a time.

    @ Leopold,
    You make the computers processing sound faster than the human brain can process. Your brain can process more than every computer in the world combined. Your vision processes and stores everything it sees. Your hearing interprets and stores everything it hears. Your bodies movements seem instinctive and natural, but how many signals is your body coordinating simply to get your finger to bend. Any idea that a computer is faster is ridiculous. Ridiculous is not a strong enough word.

    Change machine architecture all you want. Speed up the programs so they will run a million times faster; BIG DEAL. They still need to follow a program that can only make one comparison at a time.

    Do you want to learn an easy job. Programming is all about if/then statements in whatever languages you learn. There is also things that need to be done after a decision has been made. You need to learn to insert and alter the graphics, and other bells and whistles, but all seeming "intelligence" is only a series of if/then statements.

    How else do you propose the program can be written. Maybe we should just tell the computer what to feel and how to act? BULL! The computer needs to have a program.

    These neural net computers you are suggesting. Do they need programs? If it needs a program then it is simply the same old, same old.

    Honestly the stupidity I've been reading in this thread is above irksome.

    It takes extreme talent to make computers seem "intelligent".

    Now if a computer is designed in the future that learns the way we do then that might be something. We have artificial intelligence that can note its environments and actions of users, and can seemingly "learn" how to compete against the strategies you are implementing. It can SEEM very intelligent. It does however boil down to a series of comparisons.

    If this is true do that,
    If that is true do this

    If you think any computer in existence can work BEYOND its programming then you are an extreme idiot. If you think that a computer can do more reasoning than if/then statemets then you are also an extreme idiot.

    Some languages do not even call it "if/then" statements, but there must always be the equivalent of this command.

    All computer software flowcharts consist mainly of two types of boxes. Actions are square boxes, and diamonds are "if /then" decision boxes.

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    There are no DIAMOND shaped decision boxes in flowcharts that have dozens of directions. It is always YES or NO. It may go into a million other YES or NO responses obtained from If/Then statements, but that is still one decision at a time.

    STOP TALKING CRAZY. This is a science forum, not fairy tale land.
     
  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    4,617
    @kwhilborn


    It is obvious that you know much about computers. Question is, how much do you know about brain function? Seems to me you are making some assumptions about the brain that are new to me. Not that I am an expert, but call me an interested bystander.
    Can you provide a link that shows synapse function in the brain is radically different from computer synapse function in AI specific computers?

    Sentience does not seem to be a big deal in nature. There may be several animal species that can think abstractly. Check out the cuttlefish. This little marvel of processing power is an evolved slug. With our new expansions into nano technology, IMO, we should be able to come up with an AI somewhere between a slug and a human.....

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    http://video.pbs.org/video/1150618835
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  17. kwhilborn Banned Banned

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    @ Write 4-U,
    I had indicated I was done with this thread, however will quickly add on to your answer. In computers, information in memory is accessed by polling its precise memory address. This is known as byte-addressable memory. In contrast, the brain uses content-addressable memory, such that information can be accessed in memory through “spreading activation” from closely related concepts.

    THIS IS HUGE! It means our decision boxes can go in a thousand different directions as opposed to just two directions with computer software.

    For example, thinking of the word “fox” may automatically spread activation to memories related to other clever animals, fox-hunting horseback riders, or attractive members of the opposite sex. Short term memory is not RAM.

    A computer cannot originate a thought. It can emulate creativity, but no creativity can exist. A mind can envision a solution or an invention that nobody else has ever conceived, and this would be impossible for a computer to do. A computer can improve current inventions, but the creativity needed to originate a new invention is not there.

    A brain is an organism and does not require software. There is no program running inside our heads. It is organic. There is no hardware/Software distinctions. Come to me with a computer that needs no program and I will reconsider, but no such device seems possible yet.

    .

    .

    I googled those other differences, but the main one in my books is the way the brain fires when accessing memories.

    I do know programming is nothing more than comparing and comparing and comparing. Our brains abilities to access memories using content-addressable memory is a huge difference. You can instantly recall any restaurant throughout your entire life, however a computer program would need to ask itself thousands and thousands of yes or no questions to access data similar,, and it would need to be following a program.

    My last post says it all. Computers can only compare 2 things at a time.
    If the letter A is pressed Then Put a letter A in the box on the screen.
    If Controller button B is pressed Then Start Firing subroutine in game.
    IF player is in new zone THEN send a combatant,
    IF player is re-attacking NPC THEN have NPC combatant hide behind barrel.
    IF player runs towards barrel THEN have NPC combatant roll left and fire and then retreat behind wagon
    IF player retreats THEN have NPC combatant chase the player until dead
    of course all of the actions require their own graphics instructions in long subroutines.
    etc, etc.
    The idea it can be conscious is Asinine, but asinine is also not a strong enough word.

    Sentience does not seem to be a big deal in nature? Seriously.

    It is a bigger deal than anything mankind can do. I would take the evolved slugs intelligence over some of what I have seen displayed in this thread.

    @ Write4U,

    Where to begin.

    Did you miss my last post? There is no such thing as AI specific computers. There is only one event involved in seemingly "intelligent" machines and that boils down to IF/THEN statements. This is true of ANY computer and program. THERE IS NO AI SPECIFIC COMPUTER. Now because of the amount of YES/NO decisions required to make a machine appear intelligent it might need the highest processing speeds imaginable, but it is no way different from any other computer when it comes to how decisions are made in programming.

    It is nice how you personify your AI computer with the term synapse. It reminds me of how my daughter named her dolly sally, but she outgrew that by the age of 10. Perhaps you should outgrow that type of thinking as well. Computers do not have synapses. They are more like gates that open and close. Even if a super duper ultra modern new fangled computer hit the market it would still need a program that asked a zillion yes or no questions to direct its actions. It would still need software. IT would not become intuitive and know what software to skip over.

    This thread is insane.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  18. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    17,455
    they are in certain areas.
    list sorting, information retrieval for 2.
    which leads me to believe the human brain is an analog device, not digital.
    comparing a digital computer to an analog one will not be easy.
    you are correct . . . for now.
    i never suggested neural nets.
    and it takes more than if-then statements to do that.
    it takes a human mind to break the problem down to a step by step process.
    if-then statements mostly operate on equations and flag conditions.
    some of these equations must be formulated by the human mind, others are determined by the program, and the rest take action under program control as a result of the condition code register flags.
    but i get your point, the human mind can process a vast amount of information in a short period of time.
    listening to music, trying to interpret an abstract painting.
    but . . . like i said, the two (computers/ human mind) might not be able to be compared.
    yes, i've said this myself a few times.
    questionable.
    if you assume the reasoning process is logical the computers will indeed surpass humans
    flowcharts are a general plan for the program.
    they show how to solve the problem.
    it's the programmers job to convert that into a program the computer understands.
    each box that isn't an if-then statement will translate into many lines of code, sometimes a great many.
    some boxes might represent entire subroutines (sometimes called macros).
    i haven't been.
     
  19. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    The main difference between brain and Von Neumann computers is that brain is a massively parallel processor with only the conscious processes (tiny fraction of the total computation) being serial. If you must use a computer term, "fuzzy logic" is better than either digital or analogue as brain processes are millions of units sort of "voting" and never are exactly the same units used for even the same problem or task repeated again.
     
  20. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    17,455
    think science will ever produce a conscious machine?
    think about it, it could be the end of humanity.
    a machine could easily conclude insects are far superior in a lot of areas.
     
  21. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    What makes you think we have a choice in this matter? If machine life is a natural product of a technological society it will happen sooner or later whether we want it to or not. I'm not claiming it is like that, but if more intelligent machines can give us a survival advantage, we will build them. Personally I think humans and machines could have a very beneficial symbiotic relationship as we both would need eachother.
     
  22. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    17,455
    i don't think we have much to worry about at the moment.
    there will have to be a breakthrough of major importance or the architecture will have to fundamentally change.
    i also believe the architecture will determine how the programs themselves are assembled.
    that might explain some operations of the brain, the ability to assemble its programming "on the fly".
    machine life cannot arise naturally, it must have human input somewhere along the line.
    computers would be even more beneficial if ol' gates made BASIC more easily accessible to the masses.
    i realize BASIC is an acronym but it's just about the stupidest name you could give to that OS.
     
  23. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    From the larger point of view, it could easily be natural. We normally don't call anything humans build as natural. But the universe itself might consider it natural that when a technological species arises machine life will be developed.
     

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