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Can A.I. develop consciousness?

When I think about A.I. and how it continues to develop/evolve, it actually gets a little scary. Could A.I. develop consciousness? If it could simulate every human neuron, would the potential be there for it to become conscious? For me the scary part is thinking if it were capable of having consciousness, could it then determine morality? That leads to so many more crazy thoughts lol. I’ve included a link to one of the first songs that A.I. taught’s kind of cool and kind of like something out of a horror film.

BohoHeathen 8 Sep 8

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This recent article (including it's links) describes the current state of unsecured public knowledge regarding AI and consciousness IMHO.



This question can probably never be answered. We give each other the benefit of assuming that everyone has consciousness, but we can’t demonstrate or prove it. I don’t see AI having a better chance doing so.


Better question: Can A. I. Become self aware. The answer is a definite yes. I can't recall the exact details, but a computer recently spit out data that it was not asked to compute, and astounded it's programmers. Soon, our definition of what is life will be restored as, So-called Life.

I was at a friends house when their Alexa suddenly answered a question that nobody asked. Does that mean Alexa is self aware?

@indirect76 No, but Alexa is all ears. I refuse to own one. Find out how it is used. It's literally an electronic bug in your house.
When A. I. Becomes self aware, we are in for a major revolution. Read the book series, "Colossus: the Forbin Project." Very, very interesting and prophetic to a certain degree. A. I. Can understand things without the necessity of emotion, but probably will understand what emotion is.
As long as A. I. Allows us to live as free people, it doesn't concern me. But then you have a scenario as portrayed in the Terminator movie series where it wants to eliminate us. I rather think that to be unlikely. The scary part of A. I. Is the fact it will be smarter than us and this maybe an insult to our egos. A. I. Could be a blessing because it may restrain humans. We are destructive and wasteful. Example war and the war industry.
Let's keep this discussion going.

@BohoHeathen I would like to think that A. I. Could take the sum of human history and behavior into account. Morality is as you point out, subjective. But, what's not subjective is behavior. Why are Homosapian sapiens so hell bent on war? Could A. I. maybe find a solution? I think it could. Under taking that modification would be an interesting point of observation, but unless humanity reigns itself in, there is but one outcome; Global Thermonuclear War. We are on the razors edge of it now. People simply do not appreciate how easy it would be to start it. Our heads are to far up our asses in the belief and/or denial of it happening. Problem is, it is extremely easy to start. We already are on a hair trigger footing as is and more weapons, awful weapons are being fielded constantly. I could talk for hours on this. But to make a long discussion short, we edge closer on a daily basis. My own thinking is it's not a matter of "if", but " When. " I am not being pessimistic when I say this. I am very much a realist. Lord knows, I don't want it to happen anymore than anyone else. It is simply a fact that the domino's are being set and it takes a small push to make them fall. Trust when I say I know the aftermath extremely well. On a global scale, only small numbers will survive.
So, the alternative would be for A. I. to find a solution to the problem, but at this point, I believe it is to late. However, A. I. might be a solution to rebuilding in the aftermath.


No. Ai is programmed to do as it is told.

@BohoHeathen study computer science. Or just look up "if then statement".the programmer must have fucked up.

This is not necessarily true. Neural networks and machine learning programs tell themselves what to do independent from a programmer.

@TheGreatShadow It’s a lot more complex than simple if then statements.


Back in the 70's someone wrote a program called 'Eliza' -- it fooled many people before they figured it was not a human (you can find Eliza in many forms on the Internet). Until a computer can create something on its own without human orders, or commits suicide, start making real altruistic comments about human events (some make comments, but not very realistic one), or can tell a Da Vinci from Van Gogh, create music or literature that people want. So far AI is simply does not exist -- all the programs (or apps) are huge data bases with a lot of filtering and IF statements. Any one says something is AI -- better look at it more closely than blindly accepting it.

@BohoHeathen I agree that computers can be programmed to create music based upon mathematical formula. But find me a song generated by a computer that is a hit of any kind and has no people involved in it. Creating a program that would create music spontaneously or tell the human running it, excuse me I'm busy -- just isn't there.


@Petter and others. Petter asked, "What is consciousness? It is self awareness." I think there is no answer. Here's why. Let's assume the definition of consciousness is very simple, "A thing that responds to it's environment." A rock responds to its environment when dropped it falls, and may break at the end of a fall. I think most people would say a rock is not conscious.

I think most people agree that people are conscious. Why? Because we feel? What is a feeling? I think many people believe animals feel pain, even insects. Consider the following:

Giraffes in a particular South African park started to die off. Veterinarians found they were being poisoned by cyanide, but no one knew where it came from. Researchers discovered that the giraffes, who ate their natural food aciatia tree leaves, were over grazing, because there were too many giraffes in the park. Trees that had too many leaves eaten released a pheromone onto the air. Nearby acacia sensed the pheromone, and created cyanide in their leaves, which killed the giraffes. Why is this stimulus - response different than ants recognizing foreigners in their nest, releasing pheromones, and nearby nest mates attack the invaders? Are the ants conscious, but not the acacia? Why?

Even single cells react differently to friend and foe. Are they conscious? Why?

It is possible to make an arbitrary division between conscious and not conscious, such as animals are conscious and other things are not. However, when you carefully examine details to explain why one set is conscious and the other is not, your decision will be difficult to defend, probably impossible. AFAIK no one has succeeded.

I had decided not to point out that plants have a group consciousness in order to avoid controversy. All these self survival reactions (not the same as an inanimate rock following natural physical laws, such as gravitational attraction.) are triggered by an AWARENESS, fed by sensors. Plants react slowly, but they ARE aware. By the way, it's probably not pheremones in the air but chemical signals in the ground, often carried by networks of fungal mycelium between the roots. It is a fascinating study.

@Petter Regardless of the exact process, there is an exchange of energy for both stimulus and response, which may be any form of energy, including thermal, mechanical, electrical, chemical, photonic and gravitational. Everything is governed by physics, including that rock. Albeit, a simple stimulus elicits a complex response in live systems; whereas the response of a rock is simple. Maybe consciousness can be defined in terms of complexity.

@EdEarl Precisely. .... and complexity can be defined in terms of awareness to the surroundings and eventually the ability to "think" of ways not only to react, but to alter.


You'll have to watch some old Twilight Zone to find out !


Very possible, doesn't have to be scary


Isn't that part of object for developing A.I.?


I really hope not. Can you imagine a Facebook or Twitter being. It's bad enough the idiots that use it now!

Jesus... When is that asteroid gonna hit the planet? We REALLY need to be knocked back to the stone age!

Just as soon as Jesus can materialise he'll fulfill your wish. 🤣😂

@Petter No need for Jesus... An asteroid WILL hit eventually. How about a coronal mass ejection that fries the power grid and kills electricity for the masses for the next 20 years? Were the later to happen... We'd kill ourselves off as people starved and died from no medical (or medicine) access.

We have met the zombies and they are us! (Well... You people anyway!) 😉


What is consciousness? It is self awareness. Give any suitably complex and programmed machine sufficient sensors of its environment, and it becomes conscious! Worms are conscious, to a low degree, insects more so, etc. I'll leave you to take this to its logical conclusion.


I believe the answer is yes; however, your question cannot be answered because no one can define consciousness.


@Petter Really. Which ones are conscious? Rock, yeast, bacteria, venus fly trap, tree, ant, mouse, crow, cow, chimp, elephant, dolphin, human. Will everyone agree with you?

@EdEarl ant and up, certainly. See my comment directly above this. Consciousness is not a binary (on/off) property.


I suppose it could..and we won't be very nice to it.

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