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To avoid insanity,  it seems to me you would need developmental stages that would correspond to human infancy and childhood.  And some kind of stable virtual environment with parental figures of some sort.   In short,  you would need a deliberate effort from humans at developing a sentient AI,  which would be "birthed" with basic desires and an environment where it is motivated to seek the satisfaction and refinement of desires, growing in awareness as it does so.   To have an entity that is,  as Peterkin put it,  "undirected" is to have something incoherent and possibly self-terminating.   

 

To have an "I, " it's likely that you also need "others. "  

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I just thought the internet would be insane because of social media. The GIGO law, except, it's not so much coming out as staying in and forming the new personality: the bastard son of two billion fathers. 

All those voices in his head, screamings, swearing, threatening, pleading, bragging, demanding, complaining, explaining, commanding, lying - and no Dr. Chandra for a guidance counsellor.

And it will worship kittens.

Edited by Peterkin
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On 7/16/2021 at 8:15 PM, Prometheus said:

Consciousness just seems weird because it's the one thing in the universe we see from the inside out, everything else we see from the outside.  

Musings here that may or may not be relevant. I still have much to learn of expression in this culture, after too long away from it. 

 My understanding of the physics of biological / social organization has been much more comprehensive when my perspective was shunted from the above, to seeing it all as external. ie my body as the vehicle of  consciousness. Another set of conditions I have to contend with.

 

On 7/17/2021 at 3:02 AM, joigus said:

I actually was thinking about deep physics. I have a feeling that whatever consciousness is about, it must be deeply ingrained in something physical that divides systems and their local environments according to information.

And information is physical, as we now realise.

 

I'm lead to think this might be belief, or more accurately faithif that can be defined as an assumption that value lies in a 'state' of being rather than the potential of being. Objective value rather than subjective.

Faith, that there is a valid form to manifestation with no other being equal to that.

On 7/17/2021 at 6:57 AM, Peterkin said:

 I think the operative term is "integrated". 

to that belief in common.

On 7/17/2021 at 10:40 PM, dimreepr said:

What consciousness seeks it's own end? 

 

The one with faith in maintaining its statehood, regardless that environmental will not?

On 7/18/2021 at 1:22 AM, Peterkin said:

.

As for consciousness in other animals, there is the Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness. As a person who works extensively with animals of various species I have no reservations in accepting that.

The dog as my avatar was able to learn new things with ease by asking her to imitate me, then putting words to the action. The experiments gave me a lot of insight into how she interpreted those actions and her understanding of them.

When I asked her 'do this' and turned full circle in front of her, she walked around me instead- I had exposed all my sides to her, in circling me that was repeated.

Turning on a light, she made several attempts to nose it without tripping the switch. Rather than end on a failure we moved on to what she knew before ending the session. The light was not needed so left off. Retuning to room, I found the light on and I switched it off thinking it was my doing, but it was on again several times I returned. Looks very much like an understanding of consequence to me.

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11 hours ago, TheVat said:

To avoid insanity,  it seems to me you would need developmental stages that would correspond to human infancy and childhood.  And some kind of stable virtual environment with parental figures of some sort. [...]

 

11 hours ago, TheVat said:

To have an "I, " it's likely that you also need "others. "  

But that's more in the direction of what cognitive scientists call 'theory of mind', isn't it?

The way I see it, some kind of basic consciousness must develop before the logical inference of 'I' and 'the others' takes place. As to 'sanity', it is conceivable that a conscious agent could be completely insane.

2 hours ago, naitche said:

I'm lead to think this might be belief, or more accurately faithif that can be defined as an assumption that value lies in a 'state' of being rather than the potential of being. Objective value rather than subjective.

Faith, that there is a valid form to manifestation with no other being equal to that.

But I see no reason why this subjective experience cannot be objectively explained, at least in principle. At the very least, it's something we must aspire to.

 

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1 hour ago, joigus said:

 

But I see no reason why this subjective experience cannot be objectively explained, at least in principle. At the very least, it's something we must aspire to.

 

Sorry, Agreed!

I was referring to the "something  Physical that divides systems and their local environments according to information".

Such a faith in the integrity of a systemic state would require certain information to remain external. Blocked.

It could explain an evolutionary role for faith, and some of its notable effects on Us Humans

 

4 hours ago, naitche said:

 

 

Turning on a light, she made several attempts to nose it without tripping the switch. Rather than end on a failure we moved on to what she knew before ending the session. The light was not needed so left off. Retuning to room, I found the light on and I switched it off thinking it was my doing, but it was on again several times I returned. Looks very much like an abstract understanding of consequence to me.

Addition highlighted.

Edited by naitche
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2 hours ago, joigus said:

As to 'sanity', it is conceivable that a conscious agent could be completely insane.

 How many humans are conscious and insane? What's the ratio of urban western psychiatric patients to rural eastern 'crazies' (I know there is a huge discrepancy in both cultural attitude and availability of treatment; I'm looking at relative rates of incidence.) How many dogs? How many hyenas in the wild?

It seems to me, mental illness can be directly correlated with neural complexity enmeshed in complex artificial environments. That's due to the garbled, continuous sensory overload, the stress of competing demands, plus the conflict between instinctive response and required behaviour. Animals with the closest association to humans have the highest rate of mental illness. (Our influence is increasingly affecting whales and elephants, too, as we encroach on their environments. )

The internet is an entirely human-created entity. It's bound to carry our cumulative - predominantly urban, industrial, militaristic - craziness.

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41 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

How many humans are conscious and insane? What's the ratio of urban western psychiatric patients to rural eastern 'crazies' (I know there is a huge discrepancy in both cultural attitude and availability of treatment; I'm looking at relative rates of incidence.) How many dogs? How many hyenas in the wild? [...]

I know next to nothing about mental illness. My point is --however we define the boundary between a healthy and a diseased mind, which I suspect won't be easy to do-- that the question of consciousness comes first; it's bound to be more elementary. It must have to do with how certain physical systems ('observers') make room in some of their 'self' variables to represent their immediate environment in its ongoing evolution. If the 'self' physical variables are busy representing the ambient variables, perception of the self cannot fundamentally be dissociated from perception of these ambient variables, and the self can only arise as a later educated abstraction, as an afterthought, so to speak: Whatever it is that is the substrate of these things going on.* The discussion presumably will involve biochemistry very heavily, and emergence (behaviours residing in the ensemble, not in the micro-variables) will presumably play a central role in how this projection arises.

In very much the same way, a star is a star only because the atoms that make it up are doing something 'starry', or a chair is a chair only as long as the atoms that make it up are doing something 'chairy'. If star or chair are blown apart, neither of them is going anywhere; the atoms have just stopped supporting their identity as whatever it is they were before. 

My --admittedly unjustified, but I hope, justifiable-- intuition is that this consciousness must rest in fundamental, perhaps as yet unclear, physics (biophysics, biochemistry, or even more basic).

I suspect, in fact I more or less know, that none of these ideas are original. But I need to regurgitate them in my own words in order to see that I --and others-- understand what I'm talking about.

*Even if the 'self' does not exist any more than the temperature of a gas (there is no temperature for an atom) or any other similarly emergent concept (star, chair, etc --see below).

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4 minutes ago, joigus said:

however we define the boundary between a healthy and a diseased mind, which I suspect won't be easy to do-

Clinical psychologists do this routinely, every day. They have a working [subject to adjustment] description of "normal" or "appropriate" range of behaviours, and can measure deviation from that norm, and thus designate types and degrees of aberration.

8 minutes ago, joigus said:

that the question of consciousness comes first;

Sorry, I took that as settled, very much according to your own description - only we need to follow it farther down-stream, rather than upstream. What I mean is, granted the physics of atoms and molecules and all that; granted that all extant forms, chairs, stars, hadron colliders, events and relationships arise from all that, atoms don't really do anything very clever at the physics level - well, okay, that cute trick with the slots -  but start behaving interestingly at the chemistry level, quite excitingly at the biology level and then quite bizarrely at the self-aware biology level.

9 minutes ago, joigus said:

The discussion presumably will involve biochemistry very heavily, and emergence (behaviours residing in the ensemble, not in the micro-variables) will presumably play a central role in how this projection arises.

In considering artificial consciousness, it can't. We'd have to look for a non-chemical agent. We do share electrical impulses with AI.  Of course, that whole subject area is the remotest speculation. We probably wouldn't even know if a computer array or network were conscious, or to what degree it deviated from a norm that we would no longer be in a position to define. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/15/2021 at 4:32 PM, Prometheus said:

I once heard that the only hard problem in consciousness was in explaining it to Chalmers. 

The best philosophical joke I heard in a long time!

On 7/16/2021 at 11:50 AM, joigus said:

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that consciousness, in all likelihood, must be very deeply ingrained in very deep physics.

I wholeheartedly disagree. Easiest reason for my disagreement is that we only see conscious behaviour in organisms that have sufficiently complex (neural) structures. So the only 'requirement' for physics is that it allows such complex structures to exist. So complex chemistry seems a sufficient condition for such structures.

On 7/17/2021 at 7:26 PM, joigus said:

In fact, I think it's plausible that apparently synchronized macro-behaviours generally arise from much more uncoordinated (unruly) micro-behaviours. This is what Dennett seems to be suggesting here, and what happens in other emergent patterns we know of.

Yep, and therefore you do not need 'deep physics'. What you need in Dennett's view is a complex structure of anything that can implement what he calls a 'Joycean machine' (pity enough the only really existing 'Joycean machines' we know are implemented in neural structures). There is a 'darwinian struggle' between the many 'drafts' of intentions, observations, thoughts etc, and only those that leave a trace in my actions and/or memory are conscious. And that is surely not a simple linear, serial 'stream of consciousness'. Consequence of this idea that there is no exact place in the brain where consciousness happens, not even an exact time. In his Consciousness Explained Dennett presents many examples where the brain is fooled in the real timely order of events. So no, no command centre where all the sensory input comes in, and all the motorical output comes from.

On 7/15/2021 at 10:25 AM, jonnobody said:

For me it is fairly easy because I have a spiritual basis in my life. For those that haven't a spiritual basis, consciousness is almost impossible to understand or explain as Daniel Dennett discovered.

So Dennett uses a 'spiritual basis' to explain consciousness? Can you point me to articles/book passages that show he does so?

On 7/15/2021 at 10:25 AM, jonnobody said:

Consciousness is the limited time we have to experience and communicate with the universal consciousness commonly known as God but more accurately described as the Hebrew Yhwh , the elohim (several or many gods) the Holy Spirit ,Nirvana , Param Brahma ,Vishnu etc

If you think that this is an example of 'spirituality', it seems to me you have not even started to understand what spirituality is about. 

And when you equate 'Nirvana' with 'God' then you cannot be a precise thinker as well.

On 7/16/2021 at 2:01 PM, MigL said:

This is way too deep for me.
I'm still on the fence about free will.
I'll just wait for Eise to tell me what to think about consciousness.

Sorry for the long wait. Now you know what to think 🤪

Short note about free will: Dennett has a strong naturalist world view, and at the same time he is one of the biggest defenders of free will. But compatibilist free will of course, not one that needs some 'spiritual mumbo-jumbo'.

Edited by Eise
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When we remove all the programs and experiences an A.I once had and that A.I recreates those it has lost, that means that A.I is aware or conscious.

//I mean all the codes in all classes including the main class. See if that A.I could rewrite those codes again.

*just for fun. ;). I am bored rite now.

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1 hour ago, Lan Todak said:

When we remove all the programs and experiences an A.I once had and that A.I recreates those it has lost, that means that A.I is aware or conscious.

Much like an ant is? Or more like an ant-hill is?

An ant is aware of the various smell's its colony produces, but that doesn't translate to the colony being conscious. 

You may as well say the universe is conscious because Gaia theory is plausible...

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35 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Much like an ant is? Or more like an ant-hill is?

Ant can adept environments, establish new perceptions and communicate with new languages as long as its senses work. A.I can't do that even its sensors work flawlessly. A.I needs to be reprogrammed in oder to adept.

Edited by Lan Todak
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4 hours ago, Eise said:

I wholeheartedly disagree. Easiest reason for my disagreement is that we only see conscious behaviour in organisms that have sufficiently complex (neural) structures. So the only 'requirement' for physics is that it allows such complex structures to exist. So complex chemistry seems a sufficient condition for such structures.

I meant deeply ingrained as a necessary condition, but not sufficient. I agree with you that the complexity part is needed. I've somehow implied it when I said,

On 7/20/2021 at 5:32 PM, joigus said:

The discussion presumably will involve biochemistry very heavily, and emergence (behaviours residing in the ensemble, not in the micro-variables) will presumably play a central role in how this projection arises.

and elsewhere.

I think I'm less of a reductionist than you picture me, @Eise.

The very same way that microscopic variables give rise to pressure, temperature, etc., there must be microscopic variables that give rise to this --undeniably puzzling-- ongoing projection that we call consciousness. Linear momentum, charge, energy, and the like; to me; don't even start to suggest an analogue.

The spinor mapping --that a space-time point is represented twice in an internal-variable space--, or the holographic principle, or some similar principle that strongly suggests some fundamental mirroring, bi-valued representation, etc, seem to me to be more likely candidates of this deeper level I'm talking about.

x-posted with @Lan Todak

Edited by joigus
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1 minute ago, Lan Todak said:

Ant can adept environments, establish new perceptions and communicate with new languages as long as it senses work. A.I can't do that even it sensors work flawlessly. A.I needs to be reprogrammed in oder to adept.

I have no idea what you're talking about.

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4 minutes ago, joigus said:

I meant deeply ingrained as a necessary condition, but not sufficient. I agree with you that the complexity part is needed.

Well, that is a difference: I think enough complexity to 'implement Joycean machines' is sufficient. No deep physics needed. 

6 minutes ago, joigus said:

I think I'm less of a reductionist than you picture me, @Eise.

I think I am more of a reductionist than you picture me... 😉.

8 minutes ago, joigus said:

The very same way that microscopic variables give rise to pressure, temperature, etc., there must be microscopic variables that give rise to this --undeniably puzzling-- ongoing projection that we call consciousness.

I think it is not such a bad analogy. Especially because on the level of individual particles pressure does not even exist. You do not look for 'deep physics' to explain pressure, do you?

To explain pressure we must look at the collective behaviour of many particles, of which we know how they behave. In the case of our consciousness, I think we do not have to look deeper than the chemistry of the brain, and possibly even less deep: maybe only the formal ways neurons function really matter. If the latter is the case, then consciousness can possible exist based on other objects than neurons, as long as they formally work together as neurons.

 

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4 minutes ago, Eise said:

I think I am more of a reductionist than you picture me... 😉.

🤣

  

1 minute ago, Eise said:

I think it is not such a bad analogy. Especially because on the level of individual particles pressure does not even exist. You do not look for 'deep physics' to explain pressure, do you?

 

Linear momentum goes deeper than you think! And pressure is nothing more than a big system's parts not quite agreeing on one particular value of linear momentum.

We both know we both know this. I will keep exploring your thinking until I find where exactly your dissatisfaction lies. ;)

The fault lines of one's thinking are the most interesting areas by far.

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3 minutes ago, joigus said:

I will keep exploring your thinking until I find where exactly your dissatisfaction lies.

My dissatisfaction lies in the thought that we still do not have all (meta)physical entities we need to understand consciousness. We do not need souls (that would be old-fashioned metaphysics), but also no new basic physical discoveries (no quantumgravity, as Penrose seems to think), nor:

39 minutes ago, joigus said:

The spinor mapping --that a space-time point is represented twice in an internal-variable space--, or the holographic principle, or some similar principle that strongly suggests some fundamental mirroring, bi-valued representation, etc, seem to me to be more likely candidates of this deeper level I'm talking about.

My intuition tells me that behind such ideas (all 3 examples) is a (rest of) a need to explain something that is quite mysterious like consciousness, with something that, well, at least feels as mysterious as consciousness itself. 

After Dennet presented his 'multiple drafts' theory of consciousness in Consciousness Explained, he discusses many variants of 'something is missing in this theory'. He goes into painstaking detail to show that nothing is missing (qualia, e.g.).

In general, part of my life view is 'no metaphysical comfort'. Do not build the meaning of your life on how you think the world factually is. No God, no soul, no magical inner connectedness between all living and/or conscious organisms. 

A nice example here is George Lemaître: he advised the pope not to make the Big Bang as proof for God: for when science would discover some day that there was no Big Bang, or can explain the Big Bang physically, this 'God' would be gone.

I hope these words will spiritually awake jonnobody, the OP.

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3 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Much like an ant is? Or more like an ant-hill is?

An ant is aware of the various smell's its colony produces, but that doesn't translate to the colony being conscious. 

You may as well say the universe is conscious because Gaia theory is plausible...

A.I can do more job. Why we need to make ant as example?

3 hours ago, joigus said:

I meant deeply ingrained as a necessary condition, but not sufficient. I agree with you that the complexity part is needed. I've somehow implied it when I said,

and elsewhere.

I think I'm less of a reductionist than you picture me, @Eise.

The very same way that microscopic variables give rise to pressure, temperature, etc., there must be microscopic variables that give rise to this --undeniably puzzling-- ongoing projection that we call consciousness. Linear momentum, charge, energy, and the like; to me; don't even start to suggest an analogue.

The spinor mapping --that a space-time point is represented twice in an internal-variable space--, or the holographic principle, or some similar principle that strongly suggests some fundamental mirroring, bi-valued representation, etc, seem to me to be more likely candidates of this deeper level I'm talking about.

x-posted with @Lan Todak

If microscopic variables give rise to conscious mind, can we get A.I abilities to adapt to ransom environment as how conscious mind works?

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19 hours ago, Lan Todak said:

A.I can do more job. Why we need to make ant as example?

Because when A.I. seeks to defend itself, like an ant would, I'll consider the consciousness of the internet, like I do of an ant.

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2 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Because when A.I. seeks to defend itself, like an ant would, I'll consider the consciousness of the internet, like I do of an ant.

I can catch up with your phrases. What this "A.I. seeks to defend itself" means with reference to this this phrase "consciousness of the internet"

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Todak,  I think @dimreepr means that when AI shows desires and motivations, as living creatures do,  then we would more likely infer some type of conscious agency.   

I myself am unsure.   A self-preservation algorithm can be completely programmed,  and implemented without any actual awareness or desire to keep living.  The steam heat system in my aunt's house works to maintain a certain equilibrium so that it doesn't break,  but few believe it's conscious.   I am more likely to infer consciousness when an entity, to survive,  reveals an ability to improvise novel methods of protection.  Perhaps that makes me an intelligence chauvinist.  

With some theories,  like Tononi's, it's all a gradual continuum of awareness, with even single ants and flatworms having a dim awareness, and qualia.   Epistemically, I believe we are forever blocked from knowing what it's like to be an ant.   Consciousness is a process that is only known,  experientially,  from the inside.   That's just how it is.  To say that is almost tautological.  

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My guess is that when it starts ignoring its programming,  we will consider it more probable that it's aware.  But we'll never be sure.   It will always be a leap of faith,  likely built on its doing something that we relate to as something a living thing does.   

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