Jeffrey K asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 2 months ago

How could we tell if a computer or other entity is conscious? ?

If a supercomputer or alien device appears conscious, how can we tell if it really is conscious or if it is just following a sophisticated program? 

How can we know if Data or Hal or C3PO are conscious (if they were real)? 

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    This probably isn’t the answer you’re looking for but in a way if you give enough power to a computer and you devote enough of your life and energy to it, it becomes an extension of your consciousness in a sense. So in a sense you might say you’ve imbued it with consciousness.... your own. . Again, probably not what you’re looking for but a philosophical way to look at it maybe

  • 1 month ago

    faith        

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  • Raja
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Computers work only according to the programs. Whatever the computer is, it is not conscious and cannot be conscious because a consciousness is a spirit. Spirits can use any kind of sound and communicate with the human beings. It can use the sound of vibrations of a machine, audio and video sounds etc. They can change the words of songs and dialogues. This is happening everyday in my life.

    Spirits are everywhere. There is no place without spirits and no human being lives without the possession of the spirits. Spirits are separate elements. A human being during his/her lifetime is living with many spirits which have joined one by one since birth. They are knowledge, skills, feelings, emotions, interests and everything. These spirits are your consciousnesses and memories. Even thoughts are not your own. For example, when you want to take a decision on a subject, one after another the spirits think and you just listen, choose or reject the ideas which they transmit to your mind through your brain in the form of thoughts. Brain is just a media to connect the spirits to your mind. A mind is just a computer's mind. A mind is you. After the destruction of a computer completely you will not get it's mind. The same is the case with the human beings.  A human being doesn't have a spiritual body. Soul is nothing but an energy needed for the functionality of a body. It is not a spirit or anything else. A body's functionality is based on the auto mechanism.  After death all spirits which accompanied a person quit and go to different places searching new bodies. No one lives in any form after death. All human beings are just robots made of flesh and bones and toys of the spirits for their games.

    • Jeffrey K
      Lv 6
      1 month agoReport

      Couldn't these spirits inhabit a computer the same way they inhabit ba human brain? How would we know if that computer was endowed with spirits? 

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  • 2 months ago

    I guess we'll just have to chat awhile, and take our best guess. I would ask, "Are you conscious? What makes you think so? What does consciousness mean to you?", and follow that wherever it interested me.

    By the way, I don't think a lot of people are particularly conscious. 

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  • 2 months ago

    Carbon intelligence is pretty good but silicon intelligence may take over from there.  It may be better.  Lot's better.  So much so that we may be in the presence of a higher intelligence.  One that uses us until we are no longer useful.   

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  • P
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Many already are in as much as they are "aware" and reactive to their surroundings, but in a limited way. In the deeper sense, if it were conscious you couldn't tell.

    It all hinges on your definitions. Self awareness, intelligence, and conscious are not the same as being alive

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  • 2 months ago

    Consciousness, at a fundamental level is recognition. If an entity can recognize something, it is aware. Self-awareness requires recognition of your own physical existence. Sentience requires a notion that you exist or have being, a recognition of yourself as existing, as in "I am x." Intelligence requires manipulation of your environment, body or mind. Self-improving AI will inevitably reach sentient levels, as well as apex levels of intelligence. If you can ask a computer a question where it must use recognition to answer, than you have proven that it is base-line conscious; as in the question, "Do you know who I am?"

    • Jeffrey K
      Lv 6
      1 month agoReport

      My Amazon Alexa can recognize me by my voice. Would you say Alexa is conscious? 

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  • 2 months ago

    An excellent question Jeffrey.

    I think if they passed the "Jeffrey test" then likely a computer would

    not be conscious so to speak^.

    An obvious follow-on would be to let-us-know when that isn't the case,

    although it may take you a lot longer to disprove than someone else.

    .^ by chance came across this lecture by someone called Vint Cerf.

     It is called "How could we tell if a computer or other entity is conscious?"

     I am assuming that he/they distinguish between the computer and other

     entity. About 13 minutes in VC talks of the AlphaGo & AlphaZero computer

     programmes designed to play the game "Go", a mainly eastern culture board game which has I believe more possible combinations to play than any other popular

    game. (One on Youtube where it beat a Human "Grandmaster" Lee sidol).

    The newer of the two "AlphaZero" was taught by being told-to-play-against

     itself, where AlphaGo was not. As I understand it AlphaZero LEARNED

    QUICKER & when tried against the former performed MUCH BETTER so

    to speak.

    We should also see how "easy" it is apparently to build a programme like

    these but HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO EXPLAIN IT'S Workings... I mean

    like when they played & won FOR THE FIRST TIME as they did against

    the human Grandmaster. Although the lecturer VC describing how-the

    computer-played & learned the game "GO" described that as "the computer

    WAS TOLD TO PLAY AGAINST ITSELF (= & this it did Learning the game

    "GO" in double quick time..).

    I am sceptical that THE OR ANY DESCRIPTION of the working of the 

    programme -especially one as complex as the programme used in the

    above board game- is SO WORDY that it would be useless by itself

    as a human-type-behaviour - "Go play against yourself" - instruction.

    I am NOT saying that they cannot be EQUIVALENT... patently they are ;

    but I am saying is that it sure looks like it's undesirable & unnecessary

    to WRITE IN COMPUTER SPEAK WHAT WAS DONE in the computer 

    programme to make the computer learn-to-play-the-Game.

          

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    • peter m
      Lv 6
      1 month agoReport

      which if true as-I-believe then such above math (see the appropriate year Wikipedia for the
      mechanical solution) SHOWS TECHNICALLY that there is "no way" to tell or write whether
      a computer can "be conscious". 

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  • 2 months ago

    theres no way it could be conscious so i wouldnt worry about it

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    • Jeffrey K
      Lv 6
      1 month agoReport

      Why do you think a computer could not possibly be conscious? It doesn't seem like a wet squishy bag of carbon and water could be conscious, but your brain is. 

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  • j153e
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    As AI increases in ability to self-instruct, such "consciousness" will pass the Turing test, and will be indiscernible to humankind.

    • Jeffrey K
      Lv 6
      1 month agoReport

      Do you think the Turing test proves consciousness or just a complex program that simulated human behavior? 

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