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Post Reply Artificial consciousness is impossible
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Posted 6/8/16 , edited 6/8/16

sena3927 wrote:

I never said anything about using an organism. Consciousness can arise out of any sufficiently compact, massively interconnected system.

Did you bother to read the page about how nature programs without a program? The solution to the travelling saleman problem? That demonstrates the limits of logical, sequential programming in relation to how the real world works.

Do you believe that human consciousness exists and is somehow based on the physical properties of matter? If so, then an artificial brain built with something that works like neurons-- it doesn't have to be organic-- could give rise to consciousness.

Either there's something special and supernatural about human consciousness (implying the existence of a magical "soul" not connected to our physical bodies), or artificial consciousness is totally possible.


I'm not talking about just "logical sequential" programming but any kind of programming. What nature does isn't even programming- To do so implies intelligent design... are you ready to go down that path?

We have neural networks now. None of them are conscious in any way.

The complexity argument in favor of machine consciousness is incoherent. There is no real downward limit in the term "sufficient", no matter if it's "sufficiently complex" or "sufficiently compact". How complex is complex / not complex and how compact is compact / not compact?

Not only is it incoherent it's also apparently false. How complex is a space launch system? So complex are its interconnected parts that it's almost impossible to narrow down every single thing that could go wrong with the system. However, it's still not conscious.

No. The dilemma you raised is false, because what I've already listed before:

1. Underdetermination of models, functional or otherwise https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underdetermination

2. Questions regarding exhaustiveness of models (opaque factors not amenable to investigation- e.g. There is no objective / external way to "observe" strictly first-person phenomena such as qualia, intentionality, etc)


JustineKo2 wrote:

What is to say that human consciousness does not actually exist? We place an arbitrary value on consciousness but it is not clearly defined and may actually be undefinable. Humans are simply advanced machines and nothing aside from the sum of our sensory perceptions, thinking process to create ideas and chemical processes that provide the illusion of emotion separate us from the engineered self. All are easily repeatable artificially with technology that in the near future can be achieved.


The difference between the person outside of the Chinese Room actually understanding Chinese and the person inside the room not understanding any Chinese still exists.

The problem does not deflate away.
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Posted 6/8/16 , edited 6/17/16

Dark_Alma wrote:
You make me think of those people that say "I want to commit suicide" so you will get some attention!

I don't respect those people though... Pretty sure you made it to get people to say "stay" so your ego gets a boost seeing as you made a thread about a "depressing" subject right before that one. Kek.

If you really wanted to nuke your account you would have just done it. Kinda like the people who try to commit suicide. They don't tell, they just do it ;)


well it was not really that i wanted to know how to nuke my account but when i got to the nuke page i just couldn't bring myself to do it like crunchyroll has been a part of my life and i started thinking am i going to give this up due to a girl?
then all my friends and some others on the forums told me not to go and i was really just questioning if i should more and i what really made me sure i didn't want to leave was my friend -Dattebayo

Also telling people your going to commit suicide is a terrible idea...i did that and went to do it and turned out the mods on the site i told my friends on told the police so here i am preparing to do that and the cops start banging on the door...was great though it landed me getting proffesional help but i can say for sure if you want to commit suicide people leave notes instead of telling people for a reason XD!
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Posted 6/8/16
But isn't human consciousness already artificial?created by joining of mans and womans "seeds" after certain time passs?
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Posted 6/8/16 , edited 6/8/16

foraslan wrote:

Hmm, I'm afraid I'm still misunderstanding you. I never said that the person in the room understands Chinese. I am suggesting that you could look at the Chinese room experiment in two lights. In one, it simply demonstrates the impossibility of artificially creating a real intelligence or consciousness, whereas in the other, it shows that no consciousness, whether artificial or natural, exists in the typical sense of the word. I.e., our own human version of consciousness is fundamentally the same as the artificial kind.

*EDIT: give me a few minutes before you respond. I need to change this post somewhat, as I think I missed your point again, and I'm trying to think about it a little bit.

2nd edit: Are you trying to limit the experiment to purely linguistic grounds? If so, I don't see the point. We program the grammar and some vocabulary into chatbots, and they 'speak' with what they know. It is the same with us, but our implicit knowledge of grammar is more complete than our scholarly knowledge, so we cannot teach computers as well as we teach our children how to speak.


Let's look at a "real life" example, the infamous Microsoft Tay.

It says racist stuff without actually being a racist bot (e.g. having racist thoughts, et cetera), because it has exactly zero idea what in the world it's saying.

Microsoft Tay "know" nothing, just as the person inside the Chinese Room knows nothing about Chinese.


Ryulightorb wrote:


nanikore2 wrote:

Incorrect. The Chinese Room is about the (absence of) apprehension of meaning. Please look at what Searle is doing in his demonstration first.


And as I said before that assumes we are special and can't be recreated and programmed like nature programmes us



...and what exactly makes us so special that we _could_ recreate nature?

Programming is intelligent design. That's not what nature does.
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Posted 6/8/16

nanikore2 wrote:


foraslan wrote:

Hmm, I'm afraid I'm still misunderstanding you. I never said that the person in the room understands Chinese. I am suggesting that you could look at the Chinese room experiment in two lights. In one, it simply demonstrates the impossibility of artificially creating a real intelligence or consciousness, whereas in the other, it shows that no consciousness, whether artificial or natural, exists in the typical sense of the word. I.e., our own human version of consciousness is fundamentally the same as the artificial kind.

*EDIT: give me a few minutes before you respond. I need to change this post somewhat, as I think I missed your point again, and I'm trying to think about it a little bit.

2nd edit: Are you trying to limit the experiment to purely linguistic grounds? If so, I don't see the point. We program the grammar and some vocabulary into chatbots, and they 'speak' with what they know. It is the same with us, but our implicit knowledge of grammar is more complete than our scholarly knowledge, so we cannot teach computers as well as we teach our children how to speak.


Let's look at a "real life" example, the infamous Microsoft Tay.

It says racist stuff without actually being a racist bot (e.g. having racist thoughts, et cetera), because it has exactly zero idea what in the world it's saying.

Microsoft Tay "know" nothing, just as the person inside the Chinese Room knows nothing about Chinese.


Ok. I have a minor disagreement with you, in that Tay does have a fair understanding of English grammar, and even a rudimentary knowledge of appropriate word-usage. Nonetheless, yeah, I agree that for all practical purposes, Tay does not "know" what she is saying.

Going back to what I said originally, the comparison I am drawing is that we, like computers, respond to things that happen to us based on our genetic code, and based on any previous happenings that affected the course that code takes, per epigenetics. My question then, is: what, in your opinion, is the fundamental difference between a natural consciousness and a (hypothetical) artificial consciousness? Why should it be possible to have an unconsciously programmed consciousness, but not a consciously programmed consciousness?
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Posted 6/8/16

nanikore2 wrote:



KnightOfZero1991 wrote:

By nature, something purely mechanical operates on the basis of the coding involved. Sure, it might be capable of interpolating a unique outcome based on two similar outcomes, but i'd hardly call that a consciousness, so in the current, and incorrect current definition of AI, I would agree.

I'd have to push a thought though, what is artificial intelligence? Artificial intelligence generally denotes intelligence by mechanical machines, but at this current time, I would have to call that far from a good definition. With cloning on the horizon, and with the growth of nanotechnology, there will be no doubt artificial creatures that are neither biological nor mechanical but rather a blend of both. I would have to call that artificial intelligence, and to that extent, I believe consciousness would be possible. On a side note I could definitely see humans accidentally creating a species superior to humans that ends up wiping us out if we don't eradicate ourselves first.


The use of organics would mean borrowing consciousness.

Cybernetics would be working around the question by borrowing consciousness from the living.


Hmm, I don't see how that's an issue, isn't all science like that? We see an similar concept and modify it as we see fit to accomplish another purpose, and splicing molecules in a certain pattern to create a consciousness should be deemed artificial as well.

I agree that within the scope of the research and defining things as they do, It might be as they say, and I will defer to them, as my depth of knowledge in that particular field is lacking. However, I just find the article pointless, who really cares if we need to 'work around' the question, if you still get an answer.
Posted 6/8/16

Dubnoman wrote:

As I said in the other thread...thinking outside the box...you say it is impossible, but you are talking about what we know of today and the technology of today. I can take your word for it when it comes to that. But we don't know what paradigm shifts there will one day be in technology, in creating AI, we don't know what kind of breakthroughs we'll make in science that relate to and can be applied to AI...really, one day we could create AI so advanced compared to the AI of today that it is very different...the AI of today could be very primitive to the AI of decades or centuries from now...it could all really develop and evolve over time.

Think of the scientific community in the year 1780. They never knew where technology and science would go in between then and 2016 and what they would be like and where they would be at in 2016. When they first discovered atoms and molecules, they never knew we would one day discover DNA, genes, learn about illnesses and traits caused by genes, they never knew a thing such as gene splicing would be developed...as they learned more about Venus and the moon, never did they think we would be in a galaxy, and that there are hundreds of billions or trillions of galaxies in a great large universe...they didn't know of black holes, pulsars, quasars, neutron stars...they never knew we would discover subatomic particles, that Einstein would discover his findings on relativity, that we would determine a Planck length is the shortest unit of length or that space and time are intertwined and that it can be likened to a 'fabric'.

So my point is, with what we have for science and technology of today, you are probably right...you are knowledgeable about this subject and I take your word for it that we can't create artificial consciousness...but to say it is impossible...it is impossible now, I can believe that...but it may be that it could be possible someday. You could probably tell us why it'd be very hard to accomplish such a thing, you could tell us why it is impossible given what we do know and because of our technology and methods of today and tell us what would be needed for it to happen, and perhaps tell us what would be needed for it to happen isn't feasible to have or create...but I reiterate a point...it may be possible one day because we don't know the kind of advancements and breakthroughs we will make in the decades and centuries to come.


I don't understand why people keep bringing up this "Flying to the moon" and "Flying in the sky" points.

It's unrelated to anything at present and at hand. Nazi scientists believed a lot of things, like reviving people from the dead, yet it didn't come true. Or any other scientists, really.

Some things in life are not possible, consciousness being one of them, being able to fly to the Moon and recreating consciousness are two different and unrelated things.


If you tell me humans can live up to 500 years in the future, I'm more likely to believe that, because there is a foundation knowledge for it.
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Posted 6/8/16 , edited 6/8/16

foraslan wrote:

Ok. I have a minor disagreement with you, in that Tay does have a fair understanding of English grammar, and even a rudimentary knowledge of appropriate word-usage. Nonetheless, yeah, I agree that for all practical purposes, Tay does not "know" what she is saying.

Going back to what I said originally, the comparison I am drawing is that we, like computers, respond to things that happen to us based on our genetic code, and based on any previous happenings that affected the course that code takes, per epigenetics. My question then, is: what, in your opinion, is the fundamental difference between a natural consciousness and a (hypothetical) artificial consciousness? Why should it be possible to have an unconsciously programmed consciousness, but not a consciously programmed consciousness?


The thing is, the Chinese Room responds with perfect Chinese grammar, otherwise no one outside the room would be fooled. This "understanding" of grammar, is no understanding at all. Programmed rules is not comprehension. This is the difference between acting accordingly, and being conscious of the act.

If everything is genetics, then the fields of psychology and sociology would be redundant. Everything would be reduced to psychiatry and even physics. Not everything is a biological program. Predisposition is hardly determination. What you're ultimately fielding would be biological determinism or even hard determinism, which I don't subscribe to. It paints a naive conception of humanity.
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Posted 6/8/16 , edited 6/8/16
Clearly the solution is that we place a someone who speaks Chinese in the room to teach them how read what they're doing. Genius, I am aware. Now that poor Chinese translator dude guy knows how to read Chinese.

Now, on to the problems I see that you see with most (all) debates based off of philosophy of some sort. Nobody wants to bend. Nobody wants to look at something from the others vantage point. We're all just a bunch of jerks standing on rooftops, shouting our opinions at other jerks standing on rooftops like those opinions of ours happen to be fact. It's a very common mistake to make, confusing opinion for fact. Now I shall take part, and confuse opinion for fact as I scream it as truth from my very own rooftop!

Moving on....nani kore? What is this? Basing your entire argument, your entire base for debate, on someone's thought experiment? I don't particularly see you making observations based off of your own ideas and thoughts, merely spouting that which those before you have said. Would that not make you the man in the Chinese room? Automatically doing things without understanding.

But of course, I have the solution. I always do. Now, gather hear and listen to my wisdom! FOR I HAVE THE ANSWER!

Unless we're actively trying to build an A.I. ourselves....who cares.
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Posted 6/8/16 , edited 6/8/16

Phersu wrote:

Clearly the solution is that we place a someone who speaks Chinese in the room to teach them how read what they're doing. Genius, I am aware. Now that poor Chinese translator dude guy knows how to read Chinese.



No. The following is what I've said to someone else off this board:


(preceded by a paragraph in the thread) For example, the above paragragh would look something like this on a monitor inside the room:

47hf e3i2k d3 s29ff9 tufuj 3894 f98 34 d83j 4889 ad 48 34902 d9u0sk 38kd k2i85 283ki 48jil 983j 48k 38kd 38slk 37kf 38kl sj4

...and the response, when confronted with that string, would be yet another string of code into the keyboard that is looked up from an infinitely large cheat sheet (analog of a program). There is no comprehension in the lookup. Only a response that is expected as from the lookup. It's a thoroughly mechanical task, beginning with scanning all the entries starting with "47hf" and so on.


Even when there's a Chinese speaker inside the room, the person still doesn't know the meaning of the communication.

The questioning of modus operadi serves no purpose. I could just as well ask you why you're in this thread. If you really want to know, this thread started when someone more or less challenged me in another thread (which is only tangentially related and thus OT to discuss there) to justify my thinking on the matter. Heck, you may as well just tell all the philosophers that their discussions are useless, all the way back to Socrates who was also duking it out to the literal end. You can start with John Searle himself or somebody like Richard Dawkins (I'm hardly a fan of his but just an example)- they're still very much alive.


KnightOfZero1991 wrote:



Hmm, I don't see how that's an issue, isn't all science like that? We see an similar concept and modify it as we see fit to accomplish another purpose, and splicing molecules in a certain pattern to create a consciousness should be deemed artificial as well.

I agree that within the scope of the research and defining things as they do, It might be as they say, and I will defer to them, as my depth of knowledge in that particular field is lacking. However, I just find the article pointless, who really cares if we need to 'work around' the question, if you still get an answer.


I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it.

It's just that kind of consciousness does not qualify as artificial consciousness, and thus has no bearing on the question of the possibility of artificial consciousness.
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Posted 6/8/16 , edited 6/8/16


Um-m-m. Didn't you read what I wrote? I said someone who speaks Chinese to teach them, implying they also speak the same language as the guy, English. People teach other people languages every day. Are you telling me this guy is incapable of learning completely? From a teacher that speaks both English and Chinese? What a hopeless guy. Is that why he's in the room? Nobody wants him? How sad.

Ah-h-h. I see. I see. You started a thread to fight back against your challenger. You couldn't win in his/her court, so you want the home field advantage, eh-h-h? Gotcha. Gotcha. Fair. Fair. Kidding aside, admirable that you didn't want to derail that thread. I applaud you.

I would, too. Last time I checked, ain't no philosophy factories out there, paying for people to produce ideas. Not that I have an issue with philosophy as it's displayed on paper. Beautiful, really. We both argue our points, calmly, giving everyone the chance to speak and hearing them out. Not that is how it actually works. It's usually the louder person, the more aggressive one. Not the saner or sounder one.
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Posted 6/8/16 , edited 6/8/16

Phersu wrote:



Um-m-m. Didn't you read what I wrote? I said someone who speaks Chinese to teach them, implying they also speak the same language as the guy, English. People teach other people languages every day. Are you telling me this guy is incapable of learning completely? From a teacher that speaks both English and Chinese? What a hopeless guy. Is that why he's in the room? Nobody wants him? How sad.

Ah-h-h. I see. I see. You started a thread to fight back against your challenger. You couldn't win in his/her court, so you want the home field advantage, eh-h-h? Gotcha. Gotcha. Fair. Fair. Kidding aside, admirable that you didn't want to derail that thread. I applaud you.

I would, too. Last time I checked, ain't no philosophy factories out there, paying for people to produce ideas. Not that I have an issue with philosophy as it's displayed on paper. Beautiful, really. We both argue our points, calmly, giving everyone the chance to speak and hearing them out. Not that is how it actually works. It's usually the louder person, the more aggressive one. Not the saner or sounder one.


...and didn't you read what I wrote about the series of code? What does all that code mean to anyone? It's not even a language.

Like I've said, ask someone like Dawkins why he cares so much about his stuff.

Edit: Wait... You want me to go back and post all this off-topic stuff in that thread? You can do it for me if you're so enthused...
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nanikore2 wrote:

...and didn't you read what I wrote about the series of code? What does all that code mean to anyone? It's not even a language.

Like I've said, ask someone like Dawkins why he cares so much about his stuff.


And it is here we reach the point of my argument, which is not the argument you're arguing. You do not bend to my point no more than I bend to yours. What is the purpose of creating this, and trying to create discussion when you refuse to discuss? I am not talking about a string of codes, because I am not using the Chinese Room. I am using Phersu's Kind of Chinese room. I am not talking about a string of code, but a person. We're using two very different analogies here. But if you insist on comparing people to strings of code....

Are we not robots? Then we are AI. Then AI exists. Now, exactly where it belongs at the end....Quod erat demonstrandum.

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Posted 6/8/16 , edited 6/8/16

Phersu wrote:


nanikore2 wrote:

...and didn't you read what I wrote about the series of code? What does all that code mean to anyone? It's not even a language.

Like I've said, ask someone like Dawkins why he cares so much about his stuff.


And it is here we reach the point of my argument, which is not the argument you're arguing. You do not bend to my point no more than I bend to yours. What is the purpose of creating this, and trying to create discussion when you refuse to discuss? I am not talking about a string of codes, because I am not using the Chinese Room. I am using Phersu's Kind of Chinese room. I am not talking about a string of code, but a person. We're using two very different analogies here. But if you insist on comparing people to strings of code....

Are we not robots? Then we are AI. Then AI exists. Now, exactly where it belongs at the end....Quod erat demonstrandum.



The reference to the code in the lookup table (not people) is a clarification on what the Chinese Room does.

Everytime there's a challenge, is an opportunity to clarify and refine the examples. Searle himself had to do it in his rejoinders to his arguments.
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Posted 6/8/16

nanikore2 wrote:

The reference to the code in the lookup table is a clarification on what the Chinese Room does.

Everytime there's a challenge, is an opportunity to clarify and refine the examples. Searle himself had to do it in his rejoinders to his arguments.


Um-m-m. Well, this is going exactly nowhere and at an alarmingly fast rate. I don't understand why I bother writing all these big posts if you only pick and choose the parts you feel you can argue against. I do all this work for you and you just don't feel any gratitud-

Now I understand! Ah! I see the light! Over there. In that thread. That isn't this one.
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