Whether that will be good or bad depends entirely on how we prepare for it.
Susan Schneider Some things in life cannot be offset by a mere net gain in intelligence. The last few years have seen the widespread recognition that sophisticated AI is under development.
AIs that outthink the smartest humans in every domain, including common sense reasoning and social skills. Superintelligence could destroy us, they caution. In contrast, Ray Kurzweil, a Google director of engineering, depicts a technological utopia bringing about the end of disease, poverty and resource scarcity.
Whether sophisticated AI turns out to be friend or foe, we must come to grips with the possibility that as we move further into the 21st century, the greatest intelligence on the planet may be silicon-based.
It is time to ask: When we experience the warm hues of a sunrise, or hear the scream of an espresso machine, there is a felt quality to our mental lives. A superintelligent AI could solve problems that even the brightest humans are unable to solve, but being made of a different substrate, would it have conscious experience?
Could it feel the burning of curiosity, or the pangs of grief?
In an extreme, horrifying case, humans upload their brains, or slowly replace the parts of their brains underlying consciousness with silicon chips, and in the end, only non-human animals remain to experience the world.
This would be an unfathomable loss. Even the slightest chance that this could happen should give us reason to think carefully about AI consciousness. For the hard problem of consciousness assumes that we are conscious.
After all, each of us can tell from introspection that we are now conscious. Why does all our information processing feel a certain way from the inside? In contrast, the problem of AI consciousness asks whether AI, being silicon-based, is even capable of consciousness.
It does not presuppose that AI is conscious — that is the question.
|THE TECHNOLOGICAL CITIZEN » Immortality, Transhumanism, and Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity||In the beginning was Babbage's mechanical computing device. No, scratch that… First a word about this Bible:|
|Collaborate||Introduction Information technology is ubiquitous in the lives of people across the globe. These technologies take many forms such as personal computers, smart phones, internet technologies, as well as AI and robotics.|
|Turing Consciousness Ioannis Rekleitis - Three Basic Questions in Robotics: New Directions||Is it possible to digitize human consciousness?|
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|Have a cookie||I thought others will benefit from this argument, many people think about life but few question what they are told by the authors of the books, religion, or science. Hey Alan, first thanks for sharing all these interesting articles.|
These are different problems, but they are both problems that science alone cannot answer. I used to view the problem of AI consciousness as having an easy solution.
Cognitive science holds that the brain is an information-processing system and that all mental functions are computations. Given this, it would seem that AIs can be conscious, for AIs have the same kind of minds as we do: Just as a text message and a voice message can convey the same information, so too, both brains and sophisticated AIs can be conscious.
I now suspect the issue is more complex, however. It is an open question whether consciousness simply goes hand-in-hand with sophisticated computation for two reasons. First, a superintelligent AI may bypass consciousness altogether.
In humans, consciousness is correlated with novel learning tasks that require concentration, and when a thought is under the spotlight of our attention, it is processed in a slow, sequential manner. Only a very small percentage of our mental processing is conscious at any given time.
A superintelligence would surpass expert-level knowledge in every domain, with rapid-fire computations ranging over vast databases that could encompass the entire internet. It may not need the very mental faculties that are associated with conscious experience in humans.
Consciousness could be outmoded. Second, consciousness may be limited to carbon substrates only. Carbon molecules form stronger, more stable chemical bonds than silicon, which allows carbon to form an extraordinary number of compounds, and unlike silicon, carbon has the capacity to more easily form double bonds.
This difference has important implications in the field of astrobiology, because it is for this reason that carbon, and not silicon, is said to be well-suited for the development of life throughout the universe.
These two considerations suggest that we should regard the problem of AI consciousness as an open question. Of course, from an ethical standpoint, it is best to assume that a sophisticated AI may be conscious.We then discuss how such outcomes could be avoided and argue that under certain conditions the only possible remedy would be a globally coordinated effort to control human evolution by adopting social policies that modify the default fitness function of future life forms.
Frequently in my early teaching career, I taught a computer literacy course. In this course I taught my student that a computer is a machine for the input, storage, processing, and output of information. On occasion it may be appropriate to substitute a level course in one of these areas for a level core course; individual petitions for substitutions will be considered by the undergraduate director.
The robots used in artificial life are often rather uncomplicated and do not match the science-fiction vision of a robot that serves tea or solves world problems. A more sophisticated argument pits robots against manned spacecraft.
The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind by Marvin Minsky In this mind-expanding book, scientific pioneer Marvin Minsky continues his groundbreaking research, offering a fascinating new model for how our minds work.
Until recently robotics was trying to understand the world. Current and future research is more concerned with changing it. The problem of manipulating and .