Jump to content

Artificial Consciousness Is Impossible


Recommended Posts

20 minutes ago, mistermack said:

As far as the OP goes, I find it a huge word-salade, full of statements with fuzzy meanings and impossible to follow. The first two definitions of intelligence and consciousness I find weird and unclear, and certainly not self evident. 

If it's not self-evident, then you need to establish it from basic self-evident principles.

Consciousness is a word. But unlike other words, it doesn't have a meaning that's blindingly obvious. I had a look at the wikipedia definition, and they seem to be describing the human experience of consciousness, which is a bit specialised. 

For me, the meaning comes from the contrast between being conscious and unconscious. Describe the difference, and that's what consciousness is. I think awareness of self is a highly developed state of consciousness, it's not necessary or vital for consciousness to exist, just as anti-lock braking isn't necessary for a car to exist.

Artificial consciousness is here and working as far as I'm concerned. My computer is conscious of my mouse and keyboard input, it's conscious of what programs have been opened and closed, my monitor is conscious of what's coming or not coming down the cable, and whether it is powered on or not. 

Animal consciousness is just a huge increase in the range of stimuli that are monitored, and how they are processed. 

But at the end of the day, the difference between a conscious rat, and an unconscious rat, is the level of reaction to stimuli, and the amount of processing going on.

 

Small niggle, but I like the general line of thinking. +1

21 minutes ago, mistermack said:

my monitor is conscious of what's coming or not coming down the cable, and whether it is powered on or not. 

How is the monitor conscious of not being powered ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, studiot said:

How is the monitor conscious of not being powered ?

Yeh, that's a debateable one. Powered on or off, the reaction to stimuli is different, you could say it differentiates between the two. But it's more accurate to call it unconscious. 

It brings up the question of whether sleeping is the same as unconscious. It's really a question of degree, rather than binary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, studiot said:

I said nothing whatsoever about programming.

Quite the reverse my thesis has always been that you have not demonstrated and discounted a random occurrence as impossible.

I regard a random occurrence as an unprogrammed/programmable or not programmed/programmable occurrence.

 

By introducing a program, you have assumed (in part) what you set out to proove.

 

As to your attempt to avoid the issue of your own actual words which I quote, yet again.

 

I said, first quite subtly, and then not so subtly that you should go away and look up the conditions of applicability of your 'law'.

I even offered a suggstion as to the part of General Philosophy to look in, since this is where you have started this thread.

 

re: "Said nothing about programming"

You have to program a machine automation. It's part of its nature. See examples included in the article, including that of a catapult.

re: "I regard a random occurrence as an unprogrammed/programmable or not programmed/programmable occurrence."

Such as what?

re: "By introducing a program"

Look up what a machine is. 

re: "As to your attempt to avoid the issue of your own actual words"

I'm not the one dodging. See below.

re: "I said, first quite subtly, and then not so subtly that you should go away and look up the conditions of applicability of your 'law'."

Then simply explain how "a program which isn't a program" isn't a contradiction in terms, as I've asked.

re: "I even offered a suggstion as to the part of General Philosophy to look in, since this is where you have started this thread."

Why don't you just just do the above, simply explain how "a program which isn't a program" isn't a contradiction in terms, as I've asked?

8 hours ago, mistermack said:

As far as the OP goes, I find it a huge word-salade, full of statements with fuzzy meanings and impossible to follow. The first two definitions of intelligence and consciousness I find weird and unclear, and certainly not self evident. 

If it's not self-evident, then you need to establish it from basic self-evident principles.

Consciousness is a word. But unlike other words, it doesn't have a meaning that's blindingly obvious. I had a look at the wikipedia definition, and they seem to be describing the human experience of consciousness, which is a bit specialised. 

For me, the meaning comes from the contrast between being conscious and unconscious. Describe the difference, and that's what consciousness is. I think awareness of self is a highly developed state of consciousness, it's not necessary or vital for consciousness to exist, just as anti-lock braking isn't necessary for a car to exist.

Artificial consciousness is here and working as far as I'm concerned. My computer is conscious of my mouse and keyboard input, it's conscious of what programs have been opened and closed, my monitor is conscious of what's coming or not coming down the cable, and whether it is powered on or not. 

Animal consciousness is just a huge increase in the range of stimuli that are monitored, and how they are processed. 

But at the end of the day, the difference between a conscious rat, and an unconscious rat, is the level of reaction to stimuli, and the amount of processing going on.

re: Definitions

The handy references section is at the bottom of the article. If you disagree with Werriam-Webster and Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy then you'd need to cite another source other than yourself which remotely supports your own usage. I don't see how it isn't self evident that consciousness is a first-subject phenomenon, when all common accepted usages of the term points to the concept. If you're asking me to relearn a word, you'd need some backing.

Your own definition of consciousness is a circular one that involves defining the word with more instances of the same word ("the contrast between being conscious and unconscious. Describe the difference, and that's what consciousness is"). You can't do that.

Edited by AIkonoklazt
re: against common accepted usages, so re-learn word?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

47 minutes ago, AIkonoklazt said:

I don't see how it isn't self evident that consciousness is a first-subject phenomenon,

How can it be self evident, when 99.99 % of people when asked, wouldn't have a clue what that meant. As I don't. 

53 minutes ago, AIkonoklazt said:

Your own definition of consciousness is a circular one that involves defining the word with more instances of the same word ("the contrast between being conscious and unconscious. Describe the difference, and that's what consciousness is"). You can't do that.

Oh really? Wikipedia says : "Consciousness, at its simplest, is sentience or awareness of internal and external existence." And then describes awareness as being conscious of something. 

In any case, I didn't offer that description as a definition, you filled bit that in yourself. 

I said that for me, that's where the meaning lies. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, mistermack said:

How can it be self evident, when 99.99 % of people when asked, wouldn't have a clue what that meant. As I don't. 

Oh really? Wikipedia says : "Consciousness, at its simplest, is sentience or awareness of internal and external existence." And then describes awareness as being conscious of something. 

In any case, I didn't offer that description as a definition, you filled bit that in yourself. 

I said that for me, that's where the meaning lies. 

re: "no clue"

Strange, you yourself seemed to have had enough of a clue to give your own description in your first reply.

re: "Oh really (did I do a circular definition)"

Yes, really. Look at Wikipedia. It used "sentience" and "awareness" while you used two more instance of "conscious." In defining a word, one is supposed to use other words instead of more of the same.

re: "no I didn't offer definition"

A description is a start.

Now that we've got the quibbles out of the way, we can get to the meat of your objection. The Wikipedia's "awareness" definition you offered is referring to the same first-subject phenomenon of "something it is like for me" in IEP's definition. Please verify for yourself by going to both sources if you're in doubt. I don't see how either of them veer from common understanding of the term.

Edited by AIkonoklazt
typo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we're talking at cross-purposes. I don't know what you mean by "first-subject phenomenon" 

and my point was that I did not offer a definition, as you have assumed. 

I said in my first post that "unlike other words, it doesn't have a meaning that's blindingly obvious." and "For me, the meaning comes from the contrast between being conscious and unconscious. "

That is in no way a definition, as you keep insisting. Nor was it offered as one. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, AIkonoklazt said:

re: "Said nothing about programming"

You have to program a machine automation. It's part of its nature. See examples included in the article, including that of a catapult.

re: "I regard a random occurrence as an unprogrammed/programmable or not programmed/programmable occurrence."

Such as what?

re: "By introducing a program"

Look up what a machine is. 

re: "As to your attempt to avoid the issue of your own actual words"

I'm not the one dodging. See below.

re: "I said, first quite subtly, and then not so subtly that you should go away and look up the conditions of applicability of your 'law'."

Then simply explain how "a program which isn't a program" isn't a contradiction in terms, as I've asked.

re: "I even offered a suggstion as to the part of General Philosophy to look in, since this is where you have started this thread."

Why don't you just just do the above, simply explain how "a program which isn't a program" isn't a contradiction in terms, as I've asked?

I see you have given up trying to defend your misapplication of the first order logic law of the excluded middle.

Instead you are using the old trick of replying to several questions with the same answer.

I did not introduce machines.

Quite the reverse.

Machines are constructed for a purpose, not question and there never has been.

Call that a program if you wish.

But not all constructs are machines and I am referring to those that are not machines.

So programs are totally irrelevent to my questions.

 

Since you so rudely demand that I look up what a machine is here is the definition I was taught in school and still holds sway today.

A machine is a device for doing work. This is pure Physics.

I will allow you a wider definition however, since you have posted in Philosophy.

Please insert you preferred wider definition at this point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, studiot said:

I see you have given up trying to defend your misapplication of the first order logic law of the excluded middle.

Instead you are using the old trick of replying to several questions with the same answer.

I did not introduce machines.

Quite the reverse.

Machines are constructed for a purpose, not question and there never has been.

Call that a program if you wish.

But not all constructs are machines and I am referring to those that are not machines.

So programs are totally irrelevent to my questions.

 

Since you so rudely demand that I look up what a machine is here is the definition I was taught in school and still holds sway today.

A machine is a device for doing work. This is pure Physics.

I will allow you a wider definition however, since you have posted in Philosophy.

Please insert you preferred wider definition at this point.

re: "I see you have given up trying to defend your misapplication of the first order logic law of the excluded middle."

How is that quip not a specious argument when you can't cough up one single concrete way of applying the objection to my argument?

re: "Instead you are using the old trick of replying to several questions with the same answer."

See above. 

re: "But not all constructs are machines and I am referring to those that are not machines."

Like what? Perhaps now we're getting to the actual counterargumentation at last.

re: "Since you so rudely demand that I look up what a machine is here is the definition I was taught in school and still holds sway today."

Then you'd agree I didn't "bring 'programs' into this" since machinery automatically involves programming.

36 minutes ago, mistermack said:

I think we're talking at cross-purposes. I don't know what you mean by "first-subject phenomenon" 

and my point was that I did not offer a definition, as you have assumed. 

I said in my first post that "unlike other words, it doesn't have a meaning that's blindingly obvious." and "For me, the meaning comes from the contrast between being conscious and unconscious. "

That is in no way a definition, as you keep insisting. Nor was it offered as one. 

re: "First-subject phenomenon"

I can't say "first-person phenomenon" because animals are also involved. For the sake of argument just call it "first-person phenomenon." If I saw a blue squirrel at 2pm in the afternoon in my backyard, there's no way for me to prove to you that first, I saw a squirrel (unless I took a picture) and second, that squirrel is "blue" or "brown" since color is subjective.

re: immediately accessible meaning

As I have already said, the reference you offered didn't deviate in its fundamental meaning as the one I offered. If you already accepted the definition that you yourself offered, then I don't see how it's something non-obvious. It's akin to saying "these definitions in the dictionary are nonsense even though I just gave you one I accepted."

Edited by AIkonoklazt
typo "afternoon"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have persistently responded to points put to you by repeating stuff about matters not put to you, instead of addressing the points themselves.

As I have not commented on this part of your thesis I find it counterproductive to be addressed in this way.

Most machines are constructed for a purpose and therefore may be said to be designed or programmed. This has never been in dispute.

But this is not the case for all machines and it is these machine that arise by accident not by design that I am taking as counterexamples to your claim that all machines are designed.

Constructs are a wider class of object, and again most are 'constructed' by design. But again some arise by accident.

And some of these accidental constructs can become machines by a further accident.

For example say I cut off a designed length of plank from a random length.

The offcut is an accidental construct and not, in general a machine.

If, however the end of the wood is damaged so the offcut comes in pieces, then one or more of those pieces could be wedge shaped.

A wedge is a primitive machine.

So I have a randomly generated machine that I did not intend or design.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, studiot said:

And some of these accidental constructs can become machines by a further accident.

For example say I cut off a designed length of plank from a random length.

The offcut is an accidental construct and not, in general a machine.

If, however the end of the wood is damaged so the offcut comes in pieces, then one or more of those pieces could be wedge shaped.

A wedge is a primitive machine.

So I have a randomly generated machine that I did not intend or design.

Nice illustrative example. Reminds me of the expression Evolution is a blind watchmaker, whereby there is  stochastic and deterministic phenomena occurring simultaneously.

Edited by StringJunky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/15/2022 at 4:30 PM, studiot said:

You have persistently responded to points put to you by repeating stuff about matters not put to you, instead of addressing the points themselves.

As I have not commented on this part of your thesis I find it counterproductive to be addressed in this way.

Most machines are constructed for a purpose and therefore may be said to be designed or programmed. This has never been in dispute.

But this is not the case for all machines and it is these machine that arise by accident not by design that I am taking as counterexamples to your claim that all machines are designed.

Constructs are a wider class of object, and again most are 'constructed' by design. But again some arise by accident.

And some of these accidental constructs can become machines by a further accident.

For example say I cut off a designed length of plank from a random length.

The offcut is an accidental construct and not, in general a machine.

If, however the end of the wood is damaged so the offcut comes in pieces, then one or more of those pieces could be wedge shaped.

A wedge is a primitive machine.

So I have a randomly generated machine that I did not intend or design.

I don't see a wedge satisfying any of the sub-definitions of a machine:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/machine

That aside, let's look at what unintended variations mean.

Two major categories of the same "accidental modification" theme, and how possible they are in altering the fundamental algorithmic nature of an automation:

  • Bug / design flaw (inherent flaws): This doesn't change the nature of the resultant function. A flawed algorithmic operation is still algorithmic
  • Deviation / mal-adaptation (incidental flaws): Ditto. Unintended algorithmic operation is still algorithmic.

Both are akin to claiming how opacity introduces fundamental changes in nature, e.g. a bot suddenly doing something unexpected doesn't mean it has "gained a mind of its own" but is due to bad design and/or compromise.

Flaws aren't designs, but they don't make programs into non-programs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, AIkonoklazt said:

I don't see a wedge satisfying any of the sub-definitions of a machine:

Then you simply haven't studied any science whatsoever.

This is a Science website.

Simple simple class machines, including the wedge, are studied by 12 ans 13 year olds in school.

Here is a pdf of a class experiment.

https://cdn.images.fecom-media.com/FE00015525/documents/Simple+Machine+wedge.pdf

Quote

There are six simple machines that all other machines are made out of.

A wedge is a simple machine that changes the direction of a force.

If you want to lay down the law on technical matters, please come properly equipped.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, studiot said:

Then you simply haven't studied any science whatsoever.

This is a Science website.

Simple simple class machines, including the wedge, are studied by 12 ans 13 year olds in school.

Here is a pdf of a class experiment.

https://cdn.images.fecom-media.com/FE00015525/documents/Simple+Machine+wedge.pdf

If you want to lay down the law on technical matters, please come properly equipped.

Good grief... is artificial consciousness going to be a single piece tool with no separate elements at all? If it is, then color me "unprepared." Otherwise it's simply non-sequitur.

Now that's out of the way, where is the actual answer to my last response? Are you arguing from opacity of change?

Edited by AIkonoklazt
answer to my last response?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/17/2022 at 9:13 AM, AIkonoklazt said:

I don't see a wedge satisfying any of the sub-definitions of a machine:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/machine

Just to reinforce @studiot's correction of your understanding of what constitutes a machine, a wedge is most assuredly a machine. Levers are another. Pick up any stout fallen branch in the forest and use it as an undesigned lever to move a rock.

Dictionary definitions are excellent for the purpose they were designed for: capturing current usage of words in general communications. They are less effective, sometimes misleading, and occassionally seriously incorrect when defining terms within science and engineering. The consequence of this - you cannot refute studiot's argument by attacking a strawman definition of machine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, AIkonoklazt said:

Good grief... is artificial consciousness going to be a single piece tool with no separate elements at all? If it is, then color me "unprepared." Otherwise it's simply non-sequitur.

Now that's out of the way, where is the actual answer to my last response? Are you arguing from opacity of change?

Thank you for this short post, it encapsulates beautifully what I am saying is wrong with your discussion style.

I don't know why other members seem to have given up trying to hold a discussion with you, but this may be part of their reason.

5 hours ago, AIkonoklazt said:

Now that's out of the way, where is the actual answer to my last response? Are you arguing from opacity of change?

 

 

Firstly a classic attempt to wriggle out of another member's point by trying to change the subject and not answer directly.

 

5 hours ago, AIkonoklazt said:

Good grief... is artificial consciousness going to be a single piece tool with no separate elements at all? If it is, then color me "unprepared." Otherwise it's simply non-sequitur.

 

Secondly further demonstration of your continued use of too general (all embracing or absolute) statements.

Science/Maths has found over the years that, even if there are a limited number counterexamples, such situations are best handled by 'weak and strong' laws or 'nearly all' laws.
 

You will be unable to make progress with your ideas (which may have some value) if you flatly refuse to modify them in the light of comments by other thinking souls.

In respect of artificial consciousness, personally I am unable to show that it can't arise by accident, rather than design.

Of the comparable situations I know about, I have 3 particular cases in mind.

Firstly what Science knows about chemical reaction kinetics.

Secondly the recent revelations about Pluto and why it is bright red.

Thirdly an SF short story about the 'Corps of Unorthodox Engineers' and the accidental generation of intelligable radio signals.

In all these cases design is not needed, so the artificial in your 'artificial' consciousness is not needed.

For if consciousness can arise from random natural causes, then some entity (including us) could choose to use these same processes to intentionally reproduces these effects.

Edited by studiot
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Area54 said:

Just to reinforce @studiot's correction of your understanding of what constitutes a machine, a wedge is most assuredly a machine. Levers are another. Pick up any stout fallen branch in the forest and use it as an undesigned lever to move a rock.

Dictionary definitions are excellent for the purpose they were designed for: capturing current usage of words in general communications. They are less effective, sometimes misleading, and occassionally seriously incorrect when defining terms within science and engineering. The consequence of this - you cannot refute studiot's argument by attacking a strawman definition of machine.

Did you see the bad example he used? The example involved was a lever, with the wedge as one of the elements of the lever. The lever was the machine while the wedge was an element. Not only that, can this entire discussion around machine consciousness revolve around a single-piece tool? If so, how? Obviously it can't, which is why this argumental route wasn't subsequently followed (as far as I could tell.)

7 hours ago, studiot said:

For if consciousness can arise from random natural causes, then some entity (including us) could choose to use these same processes to intentionally reproduces these effects.

All the anti-personnel rhetoric just to get to the above last sentence. I've had threads running 50+ pages and/or 500+ responses, so people have no trouble discussing the topic with me. Where did you think my "Responses to counterarguments," which took up half of the article, came from?

How does one "use a natural process" and how is the result not natural innate consciousness (and thus artificial consciousness, as you're readying to remove the term yourself?). Let's say I clone a sheep. I'm using certain "natural processes" and the resultant sheep, as my article already addressed, wouldn't be artificial consciousness.

Edited by AIkonoklazt
sheep example in my article
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, AIkonoklazt said:

Did you see the bad example he used? The example involved was a lever, with the wedge as one of the elements of the lever. The lever was the machine while the wedge was an element. Not only that, can this entire discussion around machine consciousness revolve around a single-piece tool? If so, how? Obviously it can't, which is why this argumental route wasn't subsequently followed (as far as I could tell.)

  1. He didn't use a bad example.
  2. He made no mention of a lever in his example that you quoted. He specified a wedge only and identified it, correctly, as a machime.
  3. I don't see the discussion revolving around a single-piece tool. You seem to be raising a strawman. Not a tactically sound move on a forum with several astute members.
  4. My interest was in correcting your uninformed understanding of what constituted a machine. Up to you if you take advantage of it.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I still haven't heard, in plain English, why ARTIFICIAL consciousness is impossible. 

Take out artificial, and that only leaves evolved. If consciousness can evolve with only natural selection "guiding" the process, then what, given enough time, is the absolute barrier to making it happen, using electronics?

And answer, if possible, in unambiguous everyday language. Is that asking too much? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Area54 said:
  1. He didn't use a bad example.
  2. He made no mention of a lever in his example that you quoted. He specified a wedge only and identified it, correctly, as a machime.
  3. I don't see the discussion revolving around a single-piece tool. You seem to be raising a strawman. Not a tactically sound move on a forum with several astute members.
  4. My interest was in correcting your uninformed understanding of what constituted a machine. Up to you if you take advantage of it.

1&2. This was the example he linked to:
https://cdn.images.fecom-media.com/FE00015525/documents/Simple+Machine+wedge.pdf

3. Read what he said earlier in the thread. He was using offcut. That's single piece.

4. That understanding doesn't apply to anything more complex than a one-piece tool. Can you explain the relevance to the topic at hand? Because that itself couldn't have been the counterargument.

1 hour ago, mistermack said:

I still haven't heard, in plain English, why ARTIFICIAL consciousness is impossible. 

Take out artificial, and that only leaves evolved. If consciousness can evolve with only natural selection "guiding" the process, then what, given enough time, is the absolute barrier to making it happen, using electronics?

And answer, if possible, in unambiguous everyday language. Is that asking too much? 

Natural selection isn't "guiding" or "designing."  Random variations are just that- random. There isn't any teleology behind such a process. It isn't "making." you're employing misnomers. This isn't intelligent design.

https://www.britannica.com/topic/teleology

Edited by AIkonoklazt
wording
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, AIkonoklazt said:

Natural selection isn't "guiding" or "designing."  Random variations are just that- random. There isn't any teleology behind such a process. It isn't "making." you're employing misnomers.

You need to do a bit of reading. Natural selection take natural variation in the population, and SELECTS what works, and DISCARDS what doesn't. So it guides the gradual change in the population towards a form that works better. Guides it mindlessly but still guides it. That's why I wrote "guiding" in inverted commas. I thought I'd made that obvious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, mistermack said:

You need to do a bit of reading. Natural selection take natural variation in the population, and SELECTS what works, and DISCARDS what doesn't. So it guides the gradual change in the population towards a form that works better. Guides it mindlessly but still guides it. That's why I wrote "guiding" in inverted commas. I thought I'd made that obvious.

Which part of the process is design? "Guide" and "discard" implies active participant.

Edited by AIkonoklazt
2nd sentence
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.