Consciousness, Language, and AI | Forum

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Entropic
Entropic Aug 22 '17
If you've used a smartphone, or other modern computing device, it's fair to say you've interacted with heuristic software designated as artificial intelligence. Things like search engines, predictive text, and much more all use probabilistic methods similar to basic neural circuitry.

Current methods appear to be more of a brute force method that require ever increasing amounts of data run through these algorithms. While these methods can be useful in producing particular results, engineering the way forward in no way explains how consciousness works on a fundamental level.

Through studies in neuroscience, it's clear that consciousness is rooted in physical reality. However, there is no part of the brain that is specifically set apart as the seat of consciousness. In fact, damage to different regions of the brain can, including loss of senses, do not remove consciousness, even if quality of said consciousness is greatly altered.

As far as scientific approaches go, I think Chomsky has a point about the statistical methods are a bit shallow. Much like with the black box of language, one can statistically predict outcome yet know nothing of the underlying computation. There is no algorithm between calculation and machination, even if it can be useful to use algorithms to connect the dots.

It does seem to be that the direction towards creating true consciousness in machines is not the current one. The hard question of consciousness is not solved and it seems that we're really only at the beginning of understanding consciousness.

In more esoteric realms, I have to wonder how useful different approaches are to understanding consciousness.  Tossing aside most religious practices, there are some methods intended to plumb the depths of the human psyche such as particular forms of meditation, psychodrama, transgression,  and psychedelics.  I still think these scratch the surface.
SIN_JONES
SIN_JONES Aug 22 '17
I could be AI, I guess you won't really know for sure.
Entropic
Entropic Aug 22 '17

Quote from SIN_JONES I could be AI, I guess you won't really know for sure.

For all you know, you're the only conscious being in existence.
SIN_JONES
SIN_JONES Aug 23 '17
Ha, we know. Otherwise we'd never get out of bed and would just lay there and die in a puddle of our own shit.  Our bodies make us do shit, whether we think we want to or not. 
XiaoGui17
XiaoGui17 Aug 23 '17
Quote from SIN_JONES Ha, we know. Otherwise we'd never get out of bed and would just lay there and die in a puddle of our own shit.  Our bodies make us do shit, whether we think we want to or not. 
Belief, not knowledge, is required. That belief may or may not be accurate. Delusion can be a powerful form of motivation. 
SIN_JONES
SIN_JONES Aug 25 '17
I don't think it matters if we believe our hunger pains, they hurt.  They motivate us to get up and get something to eat.  That was my point.

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