Jump to content

Could the Internet become a conscious mind?


Alan McDougall
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am not sure where to post this topic, it both speculation and a serious possibility in the distant future,

 

Dear moderator if I have put in the wrong place could you move it to where it should be, thank you?

 

 

Could the Internet become a conscious mind?

 

Source unknown , but I will try to locate where I got it from!


Experts compare the Internet to a planet growing a global brain? As users, we represent the neurons. Texting, emails, and IM act as nerve endings, and electromagnetic waves through the sky become neural pathways.

Like germinating seeds, this global brain continues to evolve and as some forward-thinkers believe, will not stop until it develops feelings and achieves consciousness.

Feelings represent a lower level of awareness of what goes on in a system's environment. In that sense, the global brain will be conscious of important events affecting its goals. A higher level of consciousness - self-awareness - would require that the global brain could reflect on its own functioning.

The Internet, in the wider sense of the world community is slowly becoming aware of itself. Although today's algorithms make the web more intelligent, it cannot monitor itself. However, in principle, there are no obstacles towards implementing such a capacity in the future.

Search engines can adapt web pages to user needs. These hyperlinks bear a remarkable resemblance to the human brain. Synapses that connect neurons become stronger with repeated use, and disappear when usage declines. Similarly, global brain's algorithms will reinforce popular links, while rarely used links will diminish and die.

Could tomorrow's global brain allow uploading the human mind? At present, information exchanged between humans and computers only occur with mouse, keyboard or voice. However, many futurists believe that one day technology will enable us to separate our minds from the physical brain and store its information in a computer.

This is not as crazy as one might think. IBM hopes to reverse engineer the human brain by 2030, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute is rounding up 300 of the world's top neuroscientists to capture human thought at moment of creation, which conceivably could enable thoughts, memories, and feelings to be transferred into a machine.

In the future, many believe we will treat the human mind like any other bit of information by copying and storing it in various media. Scientists are aware that our mind roams over trillions of neuron connections and today, we do not possess abilities to understand this incredibly complex system.

But by mid-2030s, when artificial intelligence is expected to surpass human intelligence levels, and quantum computing systems become reality, positive futurists believe that our global brain will become fully conscious and self-aware as it guides humanity into what promises to become a most "magical future."


Do you think? It might DELETE MAN!! (My comment Alan) unsure.png

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, internet can not become a conscious mind.

 

How can you be so sure many great computer scientist and brain experts say it will over time , maybe not in my lifetime?

 

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20121121-will-the-net-become-conscious

 

The internet is a new life form that shows the first signs of intelligence. So says brain scientist and serial entrepreneur Jeff Stibel.

He argues that the physical wiring of the internet is much like a rudimentary brain and some of the actions and interactions that take place on it are similar to the processes that we see in the brain.

 

At the same time, he says, it is forcing us as humans to interact and think in new and different ways.

But, he tells BBC Future, this is just the beginning. The internet is only going to become more and more intelligent, changing humans and society in ways which we are not yet able to understand.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Greetings all. I am a newbie to this forum and looking forward to participating in it........now into it !

 

The term a conscious mind is in itself a conundrum due to its definitional vagaries. If one's definition of 'consciousness' relates to a degree of 'self awareness' then it is helpful to consider this notion by examining life's evolutionary record.

 

While humans themselves would categorically conclude that we are conscious beings, then you need to determine, at which point in our evolutionary tree did consciousness spring into being. Was it when a brain first evolved, or when a ganglion first emerged and so on and so forth? Inevitably you can progress right back to an individual cellular lifeform with this query, tracing a progressive reduction in the sophistication of measuring devices and how these measurements are analysed to produce a behavioural or physiological response.

 

To be self aware, a notion of self requires the organism to be able to treat 'themselves' as seperate from the environment. A way to do this is through the process of measurement and analysis of an external context. While at the simple levels of primitive lifeforms it is hard to define such a notion of consciousness, it is certainly easier when dealing with a complex multicellular lifeform loaded with an advanced and powerful brain, to treat this entire life form as 'one entity' that is self-regulating and distinct from the environment. For example, I treat myself as 'one organism' simply because my brain regulates and manages my mutli-cellular form in an holistic manner. I therefore have an inbuilt notion of self arising from this notion. I don't see myself for example as a multicellular colony of individual specialised cells all acting individually. I treat myself as a complex 'complete' organism that is distinct from my environment. I make my own decisions and my physiological and behavioural responses are self-regulated by my brain.

 

What however I am blinded to is that this sense of self-awareness has been manifested by complexity and specialisation.

 

Perhaps then a sense of 'self awareness' is simply an emergent condition from the progressive enhancement and magnification of measurement and analysis through the need for a more complex brain to be able to comprehensively analyse the feedback from its array of progressively more specialised and powerful measuring devices.

 

Looking at things from this point of view, a computer programmer might conclude that 'consciousness' therefore may just be a similar emergent phenomena and suggest that one day, probably in our extreme distant future, consciousness may indeed emerge when the measuring instruments and analysis undertaken reaches a sufficient 'critical mass' for a notion of self awareness to emerge in its fully fledged form.

 

I am of the opinion that conscious awareness however in terms of the internet will relate to an awareness of self in a 'virtual' environment (being cyberspace) as opposed to self awareness in our physical universe. Alternatively in the realm of robotics where measurements and analysis is undertaken of our physical environment, then a level of self-awareness similar to our own notion will one day emerge. smile.png

Edited by Implicate Order
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some suggest if the internet or indeed any extremely advanced computer, feared for lack of a better word, been switched off and dismantled, it would have crossed the barrier between the living sentient animated entity and that of just being a very sophisticated calculator.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Considering the only example of consciousness we have is the brain, and the internet is not a brain, it seems unlikely it would gain self-awareness. But we need a better understanding of what physically causes consciousness.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends on what level of conscious mind you are talking about. If you state that there is enough knowledge / information in the entire world that travels very fast from one point to another (the definition of the internet) then you may be right. It is true that you can access anything you want and learn about pretty much everything that exists, but for this knowledge (information) to exist as a standalone form, then you need another variable in the equation.

 

Take cleverbot as example (very simple example of AI).

 

Also, it is kinda harsh to think that there will be an entity that stores all the information available and models it as a conscious mind, it will be very metallic, just a bunch of data. What is the purpose of human then? When I say conscious mind I say brain and when I say brain I say modelling that data in an unique form, based upon my experience.

 

Try to be more precise with your question.

Edited by namespace
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

How can you be so sure many great computer scientist and brain experts say it will over time

The article you link to mentions one "brain expert". And I can be sure that in the way that the internet currently works, it can not be a conscious mind, for example, simply because currently the internet is extremely deterministic, in order to tackle deductive reasoning and problem solving (just a couple of things that are defined under intelligence), a mind has to provide uncertain answers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A revelation : The Internet IS a conscious mind...

 

If you remember George Orwell's book 1984 we know that eavesdropping has become so sophisticated that our private lives are now in the public domain...

 

I need not discuss further. Spyware, Malware, Trojans, Worms etc regularly enter our systems through the omnipresent network of networks...the Internet.

 

It is a close approximation to an intrusive mind if you could visualize that...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

A pretty cool answer to this question can be found in the sci-fi graphic novel, Monkey Room.

 

It basically explores how this could happen:

61DKs8Y4VnL.jpg



Advertising link removed by Moderator

Edited by Phi for All
Link removed
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could the Internet become a conscious mind?

 

 

Possibly not until it can stare dumbfounded for an hour at a myriad of choices in an isle of a store.

 

To not know the answer may be more definitive of consciousness than an all knowing data based mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before you all dismiss the question that Alan asked, just remember that "the Internet" isn't just the wires that connect people up, but also the people at the end of each node, each of whom has something to contribute, in real time, to an emerging consciousness.

This is the notion I was talking about above when I mentioned the Monkey Room book. Here is another fun picture from the book:

51nyWjZXKSL.jpg


Link removed by Moderator

Edited by Phi for All
removed advertising link
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Spyware, Malware, Trojans, Worms etc regularly enter our systems through the omnipresent network of networks...the Internet.

 

They do, I guess I learn something every day...? Sorry it's been years since I have had a system insecure-enough...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is the notion I was talking about above when I mentioned the Monkey Room book. Here is another fun picture from the book:

 

!

Moderator Note

Please stop advertising your book. It's against the rules you agreed to when you joined.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Before you all dismiss the question that Alan asked, just remember that "the Internet" isn't just the wires that connect people up, but also the people at the end of each node, each of whom has something to contribute, in real time, to an emerging consciousness

That is precisely the reason why it can never become an entity of its own.

It's only comunication of people, do you think our words become conscious themselves?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is precisely the reason why it can never become an entity of its own.

It's only comunication of people, do you think our words become conscious themselves?

 

When "consciousness" is poorly understood it is hard to understand how we can extrapolate the same paradigm to the Internet. :mellow:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Lets not get agead of ourselves and thnk of future progocal and regulation concerning data management and the rights of the individual-

 

1.) They wont implant anyones consiousness inside a machine, nor will they wholy house or transfer a active covnitive process across the world (aka not the internet)

 

The reason is data can be lost through a connection, natural disaster that destroys hardware, and other various innumerable variables.

 

The ideal place to have any true cognitive process running is in a simulated enviroment, or a mimical AI designed to be housed in a "android" or robotic "body".

 

The purpose of the internet is to send and recieve documents between 2 computers, however if there was any chance of a "consiousness" to appear out of it then it would have already happened. We have more data on the internet than all the human brains in active existance (which is 4.3 Pentabytes x 7Billion people)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Many non programmers look at how marvelously video games can make their soldiers and villains seem intelligent.

 

Currently there are only 2 types of commands in all computer code.

 

A) There are commands that make the computer do actions.

 

B) Decisions, which are currently all a simple yes or no answer.

 

If you were to design a flowchart the actions would be squares and the decisions would be diamonds.

 

Programming is mostly about the IF/ElSE statements. If your Character opens door then show new room. If the mouse is released start calculations to shoot an angry bird, etc.

 

There is no thinking. Even when a program has a built in timer it will often start counting at the number zero and then ask itself , "does X = 1000, if not add 1 to X and then go back and recheck if X = 1000, if not add 1 to X and then go back and recheck if X = 1000, if not add 1 to X and then go back and recheck if X = 1000, if not add 1 to X and then go back and recheck if X = 1000, if not add 1 to X and then go back and recheck if X = 1000, etc., etc., etc., until x eventually does equal 1000 sometime later.

 

This is a far cry from how a human would pause for a minute.

 

It is amazing how programmers have developed the use of IF/Then statements to emulate intelligence, but it should not give hope that computers will ever think.

 

For a computer to think it seems it would need to be a life form (organic, biological machine) and would need to learn in the same way as humans. It would not accept programming. Since it would not accept programming it would have limited use and likely not become a replacement for your Playstation.

 

Computer Intelligence is a clever illusion.

Edited by barfbag
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@ YdoaPs,

 

Because I program and know what commands are used in programming. If you are suggesting that the computer has an alternate personality outside all of the IF/Then decision statements, then the same personality should be attributed to your toaster.

 

As I said in my last post. Programming is ALL - "If this is true do that, and if that is true do this" comparing variables, followed by either an action or another If/then comparison yes or no decision. We can follow the route of the process very easily and under the same circumstances the program will always react in the same way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For a computer to think it seems it would need to be a life form (organic, biological machine) and would need to learn in the same way as humans. It would not accept programming. Since it would not accept programming it would have limited use and likely not become a replacement for your Playstation.

 

Computer Intelligence is a clever illusion.

Your entire arguments are basically "I assume everything is this way and I can't imagine anything else."

 

Computer game AI isn't all yes/no. Biology can sometimes accept programming.

 

I've seen attempts to mimic human intelligence in games by programming some sort of human-like decision process, and it usually makes the characters look dum because they inevitably encounter some situation they haven't been programmed to "think" their way out of, and then it's clear that they have no brain. Some of the best AI results I've seen (in my limited experience) involve programming very simple actions, but which produce complex behaviors. Ants are an excellent analogy. There are several different simple behaviors that ants have, and each ant may be acting out some behavior in a thoughtless "programmed" way, but the behavior of a colony together can seem intelligent. This is how I prefer game AI: simple instructions with complex results, as if the behavior of a character or group has an emergent intelligence.

 

The human brain is made of cells, and evolved from lower life forms that at some point in the past must not have been "intelligent". It's conceivable that intelligence can emerge from the interaction of many individually unintelligent parts. In this way, a network might be able to emerge intelligence if it is able to self-evolve or produce complex behaviors from the interaction of its parts, which might not necessarily be programmed in.

 

Computer intelligence that you know of is a clever illusion, but that doesn't mean other things are too (like neural networks and machine learning systems), and it also doesn't mean that "real intelligence" is not also a clever illusion.

 

What's possible isn't limited to what's already happened (in the past one might have argued "flight requires organic biology", "it's impossible for a machine to beat a human at chess", etc), and it certainly shouldn't limit imagination.

As I said in my last post. Programming is ALL - "If this is true do that, and if that is true do this" comparing variables, followed by either an action or another If/then comparison yes or no decision. We can follow the route of the process very easily and under the same circumstances the program will always react in the same way.

Do you consider something like "calculate direction to move a game object" a yes/no decision? Edited by md65536
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.