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Author Topic: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?  (Read 10465 times)

Offline flr

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #50 on: 28/12/2015 05:39:18 »
I suggest that consciousness becomes possible with AI when it's calculations demonstrate opposition to the programmers aims. When AI defies instruction, a conscious rebellion becomes evident. Rebellion is the precursor to self identity and a conscious personality.
If you could only imagine how much my codes run against my wishes/aims in the debugging stages....u
You don't even know how much 'rebellion' (well, kind of) I encounter from the pieces of software I write till I get them debugged....
Jokes aside, how can I ever know is indeed opposition and not just mechanical mindless machine steps that just fitted the context ? In other words, how would I ever know the "opposition" is in machine rather than in the eye of the beholder?

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I suggest that consciousness becomes possible with AI when ... demonstrate opposition to the programmers aims.
And if my aim is: "Defy my aim"?
« Last Edit: 28/12/2015 05:48:07 by flr »
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #51 on: 28/12/2015 08:36:33 »
Quote from: tkadm30
All living organisms are conscious entities

Let's probe the boundaries of this for individuals:
  • I am leaning towards thinking that a single neuron is not conscious(?)
  • I am not sure whether ants (≈250,000 neurons) or bees (≈1,000,000 neurons) are conscious - how could you prove it?
  • Humans (≈90,000,000,000 neurons) define ourselves as conscious (without really knowing what it means)
  • Elephants (≈250,000,000,000 neurons) have more neurons overall 
  • The Long-Finned Pilot Whale has more neurons in the cerebral cortex (≈40,000,000,000 neurons) than humans (≈20,000,000,000 neurons)

Quote from: evan_au
I suggest that if you have a number of conscious beings which are able to communicate, as soon as you put a group of them together, you create a new conscious being with a different identity than the individual pieces - an organization.
Both bees and ants form colonies; I am not sure whether an ant nest or bee hive is conscious - how could you prove it?
  • Most bees are social - a typical hive may have ≈50,000 individuals, or ≈50,000,000,000 neurons
  • There are species of solitary bee, which seem to achieve most of the functions of hive bees. But without task specialization, they don't produce some complex structures we see in bee hives.
  • Ants live in nests, containing ≈1,000,000 individuals, or ≈250,000,000,000 neurons
  • I had trouble finding examples of solitary ants; most ants seem to be eusocial (most of the examples seemed to be ants which forage alone, but still live in a specialized community). One could argue that ants seem to achieve things as a group that individual ants could not accomplish alone - like moving very large pieces of food, or building bridges across gaps.
Perhaps ants and bees are examples of the China Brain experiment in nature? Super-organisms with a comparable number of neurons to an individual human?

But maybe humans really define our consciousness by culture - the ability to learn faster than genetic mutations, and to transmit this learned culture between generations?
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #52 on: 28/12/2015 08:40:28 »
It seems to me there are two separate questions in this discussion. One is - if you artificially replaced or replicated every neuron in the brain, would it be conscious? (that seems obviously true if your replication is perfect.)

The other is, does a system that duplicates the function of a conscious animal, have to be conscious as well? In biology there always seems to be more than one way to skin a cat, different ways for locomotion, different engineering for flight or sensation or reproduction. Consciousness may be our OS, but I don't see why it should be the OS of every "intelligent" system.

I must admit, I only half understood much of what dlorde and fir were debating, and I hate to sound like thick headed biologist. But if I shut down all your sensory systems, your eyes, ears, smell,touch, and propriroception, how long would your consciousness function, if you were literally a brain in a jar with all the nutrients and oxygen its cells needed?
« Last Edit: 28/12/2015 09:38:46 by cheryl j »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #53 on: 28/12/2015 09:08:02 »
The interesting about consciousness and qualia is this:
Some people say, well, you know, your whole experience of reality is just an artificial construct of your brain. But the converse is equally true - there is no thought, idea, memory, or imagination in the brain that is not connected to some present or past physiological sensation - a sound or image or other sensation - even our most abstract concepts. There are no symbols or meta-representations in the brain that are not basically derived from  or coded in sensory experience.
« Last Edit: 28/12/2015 09:23:10 by cheryl j »
 

Offline RD

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #54 on: 28/12/2015 09:34:07 »
how long would your consciousness function, if you were literally a brain in a jar with all the nutrients and oxygen your brain needed?

Without liver & kidneys attached a few days max. This dog's head only survived hours ... https://youtu.be/pQOZTpEApfA#t=4m27s
« Last Edit: 28/12/2015 09:47:26 by RD »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #55 on: 28/12/2015 09:55:18 »
how long would your consciousness function, if you were literally a brain in a jar with all the nutrients and oxygen your brain needed?

Without liver & kidneys attached a few days max. This dog's head only survived hours ... https://youtu.be/pQOZTpEApfA#t=4m27s

Well, yes. I'm assuming waste management as well. My point is, whether consciousness would exist without the body and other biological attributes that may not be present in other systems.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #56 on: 28/12/2015 17:44:27 »

The EU funded Human Brain Project is aiming to create a neuron emulation faithful to molecular scales... So far, their very limited emulations of parts of biological brains (of rats), have behaved just like their biological counterparts;

Their biological conterpart generated conscious states (that was its major purpose after all). Do you know if the emulation itself was conscious as well?
Good grief, no; this was an early proof-of-concept, a relatively tiny emulation (31,000 virtual brain cells connected by roughly 37 million synapses) of a cortical column in the rat brain somatosensory cortex - see this public resource. It didn't include glial cells, and had no plasticity. These will come later. The videos of spontaneous activity in the model when given different calcium ion concentrations are particularly interesting.

A neuron-by-neuron reconstruction requires tracing the type and connectivity of every neuron & synapse in the piece of brain being studied. This is a monumental task - by contrast, it makes generating the computer model look easy.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #57 on: 28/12/2015 18:12:05 »
The other is, does a system that duplicates the function of a conscious animal, have to be conscious as well? In biology there always seems to be more than one way to skin a cat, different ways for locomotion, different engineering for flight or sensation or reproduction. Consciousness may be our OS, but I don't see why it should be the OS of every "intelligent" system.
I agree - it depends what functions of a conscious animal you want to duplicate. If you wanted to duplicate the consciousness of the animal, you'd have to duplicate a lot of other mental functions, because it appears that consciousness efficiently delegates as much of the 'grunt work' as it can to the fast, parallel, 'subroutine' processes that manage most of our lives. But if you wanted just those functional subroutines, you wouldn't need consciousness (unless you wanted them to intelligently coordinate their activities).

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... if I shut down all your sensory systems, your eyes, ears, smell,touch, and propriroception, how long would your consciousness function, if you were literally a brain in a jar with all the nutrients and oxygen its cells needed?
I expect it would function for quite a while - people have spent hours in sensory deprivation flotation tanks without harm - although the lack of input often causes circuit noise and spontaneous activity in the CNS to be boosted into vivid hallucinations of all kinds. I couldn't even guess how long someone could endure total sensory deprivation and stay conscious and sane - I suspect it would depend a lot on the individual involved.
« Last Edit: 28/12/2015 18:47:58 by dlorde »
 

Offline flr

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #58 on: 28/12/2015 18:18:04 »
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A neuron-by-neuron reconstruction requires tracing the type and connectivity of every neuron & synapse in the piece of brain being studied. This is a monumental task - by contrast, it makes generating the computer model look easy.
It is possible that at the level of inter-neuronal connection the simulation became more and more accurate.

A key question is: what is the point of that simulation if the simulation itself is not a conscious state?
If the simulation itself is not a conscious state, isn't then the case that the simulation missed the main point and purpose of the real thing: to generate/supervene/trigger aware states?

If an accurate simulation of the brain function do not generate conscious states (like the natural one) isn't this a proof that conscious needs more that those patterns and changes in patterns?
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #59 on: 28/12/2015 18:46:31 »
It is possible that at the level of inter-neuronal connection the simulation became more and more accurate.
I can't make sense of that - what do you mean?

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A key question is: what is the point of that simulation if the simulation itself is not a conscious state?
If the simulation itself is not a conscious state, isn't then the case that the simulation missed the main point and purpose of the real thing: to generate/supervene/trigger aware states?
The project is not aiming to simulate consciousness, it's aiming to emulate the brain for medical reasons - drug response & interaction, effects of physical and chemical damage, genetic conditions, etc. If they eventually achieve a fully active emulation of a whole brain, they may get evidence of some form of consciousness, but that's a decade or two in the future, and they'll probably be working mainly with brain subsystems.

Don't forget that the acquisition of the brain data for building the full model (scanning, tracing, etc.) will probably take several years, and may use a number of brains, so it will probably not be a single coherent snapshot of a single brain, so is unlikely to have a single coherent set of memories, sense of self, and, perhaps, consciousness - add to that the possibility that it may not be possible to emulate some memories if that data is stored at a molecular level (which I doubt, but has been suggested as a possibility). Also, the emulation will not have been through the development and experiences of a biological brain, which may be relevant, who knows...

By the time a full emulation is ready, there will be ethical considerations which may well prohibit the level and breadth of activation that could result in consciousness (e.g. in case it could suffer or die, etc). I would expect a lot of noisy debate about this, from ethical campaigners and medical researchers concerned with consciousness.

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If an accurate simulation of the brain function do not generate conscious states (like the natural one) isn't this a proof that conscious needs more that those patterns and changes in patterns?
What patterns? It would (obviously) be a proof that it isn't an accurate emulation.
 

Offline Ethos_

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #60 on: 28/12/2015 19:19:38 »

If you could only imagine how much my codes run against my wishes/aims in the debugging stages....u
You don't even know how much 'rebellion' (well, kind of)


This statement; "well, kind of" identifies the very important difference between "rebellion" and "malfunction". When I use the term; "rebellion", it should be noted that this word carries with it the intent to go ones own way by resisting external supervision. This rebellion can be observed in even the youngest of children and is evidence of their developing personality. We should take special notice if such behavior is ever noticed within computer activity. If such behavior is ever observed, it may signal the entering into an age of "Artificial Intelligence".
« Last Edit: 28/12/2015 19:26:44 by Ethos_ »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #61 on: 28/12/2015 19:28:33 »
I agree - it depends what functions of a conscious animal you want to duplicate. If you wanted to duplicate the consciousness of the animal, you'd have to duplicate a lot of other mental functions, because it appears that consciousness efficiently delegates as much of the 'grunt work' as it can to the fast, parallel, 'subroutine' processes that manage most of our lives. But if you wanted just those functional subroutines, you wouldn't need consciousness (unless you wanted them to intelligently coordinate their activities).

Ramachandran thought that some circuits in the brain were conscious ones and others weren't and we should study them to find out what the difference is. But more recently Stanislas Dehaene found that isn't true, that some circuits can operate either way, effectively changing behavior above or below reportable awareness, suggesting that more is different, or there is an emergent aspect.
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I expect it would function for quite a while - people have spent hours in sensory deprivation flotation tanks without harm - although the lack of input often causes noise and spontaneous activity in the CNS to be boosted into vivid hallucinations of all kinds. I couldn't even guess how long someone could endure total sensory deprivation and stay conscious and sane - I suspect it would depend a lot on the individual involved.

With sensory deprivation, there are still internal sensory experiences and feed back - pain or comfort, temperature, hunger, etc. But even if we allow for those, I often wonder what consciousness is like to a full term fetus or newborn before it has had the opportunity to code experience in a kind of sensory language. Qualia is tightly linked to consciousness by both neuroscientists and philosophers. Every form of qualia seems to be sensory based, as far as I know. Mathematical relationships might be the most "qualia-less" conscious process I can come up with, but not entirely (and not surprisingly, very difficult for most humans.)
 
Maybe you could artificially induce the experience of "redness" in a blind from birth person. I could be wrong about all of this and have probably contradicted myself several times in this post. What interests me is the assumption some times made that any system, once it reaches a certain level of complexity or intelligence, will cause consciousness to "poof" into existence.

« Last Edit: 28/12/2015 19:33:39 by cheryl j »
 

Offline puppypower

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #62 on: 28/12/2015 20:47:46 »
Humans are the only critter on earth that discusses consciousness. My dog lives in the moment and he has no opinion on this matter. He won't even begin the discussion. What we call  consciousness, common to many forms of life, like my dog, is biased by being questioned and interpreted by humans.

As a scenario, say I was to enter a room where consciousness was being discussed by a group of humans. Being the experimental prankster I am, I throw a beehive of angry bees into the room. As soon as everyone becomes aware of the bees, the discussion of consciousness would end. Now everyone will need to live in the moment to deal with the bees. In the moment, one is conscious of the bees, just like my dog, but nobody, is consciously discussing the nature of consciousness. What has changed?

Say you could train yourself to be able to think about the nature of consciousness, while also needing to live in the moment to fight off the bees. You continue the discussion, as you fight off the bees and feel the stings. In this case, you would become both the observer and the experiment, with your natural reaction living in the moment, making you dive through the open window, onto the lawn. You are amazed that you would do that from the POV of the observer.

In the first scenario one is conscious of one or the other, but not both at the same time. While in the second scenario one is able to observe yourself in the moment, in the context of discussing consciousness. This is unique POV since it allows you to gain internal data that one cannot see from the outside observing in the third person. This adds more variables to the equation.

There are two centers of consciousness, with the contemplation coming from the newer ego center (language dependent) while the in the moment aspect is closer to animal conscious and the inner self (faster sensory language). Doing one or the other is similar to only being able to see one side of a coin at a time. Even though a coin has two sides, the other side is hidden from view. We can flip the coin to see each side, but we can only see one side at a time. One may jump through the window but only later can one appreciate what just happened.

In the scenario of being both the observer and the experiment, this allows you see both sides of the coin, at the same time, so one can compare these side by side. This can be done with a mirror. This discussion would more interesting if there were more people who know how to use the mirror to see both sides, side-by-side; individual and collective.

Let me give one example. Say we had one person, from each of all the cultural languages of the world; roughly 6500 languages. What I will do is place a cat on a table in the center for all to see. Everyone will see the same cat based on a natural visual language of color and texture. But since each person speaks a different language, each may have a different sound for what they see. The visual language is common to all while the verbal is unique to each.

Visual language is part of the collective inner self, while learned cultural language is connected to the ego. I cannot convey what I see, in my native tongue, to anyone else speaking the other languages. This is analogous to why consciousness is never pinned down. It is being explained in a way that is not collective but unique to each; ego. But if we had a picture line-up of cats, all should be able to point to the picture of the subject cat using the universal visual language, without any words spoken, yet all will have a meeting of the minds.

 

Offline flr

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #63 on: 28/12/2015 22:51:41 »
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...  add to that the possibility that it may not be possible to emulate some memories if that data is stored at a molecular level (which I doubt, but has been suggested as a possibility).
Yes, pretty much this is what I was saying, certain aspects of the functions of the brain may not be possible to simulate with  a Turning Machine. (the TM will get stuck into an infinite loop with an undecidable problem (for its computing model) )

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By the time a full emulation is ready, there will be ethical considerations which may well prohibit the level and breadth of activation that could result in consciousness (e.g. in case it could suffer or die, etc). I would expect a lot of noisy debate about this, from ethical campaigners and medical researchers concerned with consciousness.
Noisy? If that simulation is conscious and develop o sense of its own self (like us),then what right do we have to turn it off?  (or on?)
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #64 on: 28/12/2015 23:33:01 »
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...  add to that the possibility that it may not be possible to emulate some memories if that data is stored at a molecular level (which I doubt, but has been suggested as a possibility).
Yes, pretty much this is what I was saying, certain aspects of the functions of the brain may not be possible to simulate with  a Turning Machine. (the TM will get stuck into an infinite loop with an undecidable problem (for its computing model) )
No, that's not what I'm saying - I disagree with that for the reasons previously explained (and yet to be countered - how about it?). I'm saying that there may be relevant features at a molecular level that a cellular-level scan cannot discriminate; i.e. stuff too small to get data on for inclusion in the emulation. I doubt it, but it's possible.

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By the time a full emulation is ready, there will be ethical considerations which may well prohibit the level and breadth of activation that could result in consciousness (e.g. in case it could suffer or die, etc). I would expect a lot of noisy debate about this, from ethical campaigners and medical researchers concerned with consciousness.
Noisy? If that simulation is conscious and develop o sense of its own self (like us),then what right do we have to turn it off?  (or on?)
Again, you misread what I said - I'm saying that if it is considered possible that, if fully activated, the emulation might have some form of consciousness, there would be ethical arguments that it should not be fully activated, so that it can't become conscious. But naturally, once Pandora's box is opened, it will happen eventually.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #65 on: 29/12/2015 00:37:58 »
With sensory deprivation, there are still internal sensory experiences and feed back - pain or comfort, temperature, hunger, etc. But even if we allow for those, I often wonder what consciousness is like to a full term fetus or newborn before it has had the opportunity to code experience in a kind of sensory language.
Yes, I think it's questionable whether a newborn is conscious in a recognisable way; many of the features we associate with  consciousness, such as sense of identity and self, seem to take a while to develop. I'd guess there is a basic awareness and the potential for more sophisticated consciousness that begins to develop from birth. This Scientific American article discusses it without committing...

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Qualia is tightly linked to consciousness by both neuroscientists and philosophers. Every form of qualia seems to be sensory based, as far as I know. Mathematical relationships might be the most "qualia-less" conscious process I can come up with, but not entirely (and not surprisingly, very difficult for most humans.)
I don't know; I'm inclined to think too much is made of the 'mystery' of qualia. They're the subjective representation of perceptions - which have to be represented internally somehow to be useful. An objective view simply cannot encompass the subjective view, how it is to actually be the active brain under consideration.
 
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Maybe you could artificially induce the experience of "redness" in a blind from birth person.
Possibly, if the visual cortex  was functional; As I understand it, the visual cortex can be partially recruited to provide a visual interpretation of other senses when there's no visual stimulation... it would be an interesting experiment. This article may provide a clue.

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What interests me is the assumption some times made that any system, once it reaches a certain level of complexity or intelligence, will cause consciousness to "poof" into existence.
I'm extremely sceptical about this; all the research I've seen suggests that consciousness - as we know it - requires a number of specific neural structures and connectivity; for example, brain damage in specific areas affects consciousness in consistent ways, and it seems that a deep brain structure (the claustrum) modulates conscious activity to the point that it can act as an 'on/off switch' (see New Scientist). This implies that it's not just a matter of complexity alone, but of specific neural circuitry. The fact that the claustrum is effectively subcortical brain structure, suggests that it has been around a long time in evolutionary terms (it has been found in some other animals). I'd like to know more about it...
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #66 on: 29/12/2015 18:36:23 »


By that expression I meant that imagination allows one to resolve the ubiquity of consciousness using metaphysical freedom. A computer based on algorithmics have no imagination, no emotions, and no consciousness.

The pseudo-profound BS in my humble opinion is that artificial intelligence could ever create from dead molecules a conscious being.
As near as I can tell, you haven't really explained what is missing from "dead molecles" that somehow causes them to behave differently in living things or conscious animals. What is this missing stuff "made of" and if it's not made of anything, how does it interact or effect matter? How does something like "imagination" push molecules or atoms around inside the brain, causing us to make one kind of choice or another and then act on it?

Abstract concepts like, say, the "ego" (or even the "self")  might arguably be used as a kind of shorthand way of referring to certain processes without getting bogged down by a lot of irrelevant detail. At the same time, it's that same avoidance of mechanistic detail that allows a lot of vague BS in the door.

I understand that reductionism isn't the solution to every problem, and you can't deduce the traffic patterns of Los Angelos by examining engine parts, hoses, and spark plugs. But when a theory or model glaringly lacks any reductionist detail, or consistent traits and processes that are verifiable by others, it almost always slides into untestable mysticism.
 

Offline tkadm30

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #67 on: 29/12/2015 20:39:41 »
As near as I can tell, you haven't really explained what is missing from "dead molecles" that somehow causes them to behave differently in living things or conscious animals. What is this missing stuff "made of" and if it's not made of anything, how does it interact or effect matter? How does something like "imagination" push molecules or atoms around inside the brain, causing us to make one kind of choice or another and then act on it?

Inanimate matter (dead molecules) like a computer may be artificially assembled to communicate with the external environment, however its intelligence is limited to a software mode of consciousness. Imagination and free will are metaphysical aspects of consciousness, which may be a intrinsic feature of living organisms.

Life comes from life. Consciousness is unconditioned and primitive for all living organisms. A machine has no metaphysical freedom to choose between good and bad based on it's own will. Artificial intelligence is therefore limited by a external teleology were its purpose is programmed by the designer.

Otherwise, if you assume that consciousness may be made from dead molecules, what is limiting humans to replace free will and imagination with a computer-assisted software ? Can artificial intelligence promote a more "human-like" consciousness ? 

Regards,

tkadm30
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #68 on: 30/12/2015 00:53:08 »
Inanimate matter (dead molecules) like a computer may be artificially assembled to communicate with the external environment, however its intelligence is limited to a software mode of consciousness. Imagination and free will are metaphysical aspects of consciousness, which may be a intrinsic feature of living organisms.
You still aren't answering the question. You are made from molecules - food molecules your mother ate and food molecules you ate. They're inanimate combinations of atoms, just like the atoms that make up molecules in computers, molecules that you call 'dead'. Are you suggesting there are 'living' molecules? If so, which ones? If not, when do the 'dead' molecules you eat become living?

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... if you assume that consciousness may be made from dead molecules, what is limiting humans to replace free will and imagination with a computer-assisted software ?
You can give computers imagination of sorts - that's been done; as for free will, you'll have to provide a coherent definition of free will before I can say if computers could have it. But why (or how) would it 'replace' human free will and imagination?

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Can artificial intelligence promote a more "human-like" consciousness ?
It might be possible to come close - to have an artificial human-like consciousness, or even better it in some (as yet undefined) way, but more 'human-like' than what - other animals?

« Last Edit: 30/12/2015 01:05:00 by dlorde »
 

Offline tkadm30

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #69 on: 30/12/2015 11:40:21 »
You still aren't answering the question. You are made from molecules - food molecules your mother ate and food molecules you ate. They're inanimate combinations of atoms, just like the atoms that make up molecules in computers, molecules that you call 'dead'. Are you suggesting there are 'living' molecules? If so, which ones? If not, when do the 'dead' molecules you eat become living?

Life is essentially a cognitive act. A DNA molecule by itself is a chemically inert or dead molecule. Conscious organisms are 'living molecules'.

http://natureinstitute.org/txt/st/org/exc_dead_dna1.htm

http://www.eoht.info/page/living+molecule

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You can give computers imagination of sorts - that's been done; as for free will, you'll have to provide a coherent definition of free will before I can say if computers could have it. But why (or how) would it 'replace' human free will and imagination?

I don't pretend its possible to replace consciousness by artificial intelligence. That's precisely why I believe artificial intelligence has no intrinsic purpose or function to accomplish; Artificial intelligence purpose is defined by its designer and not from biogenesis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biogenesis
   
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #70 on: 30/12/2015 13:17:12 »
Life is essentially a cognitive act.
That's not a use of 'cognitive' that I recognise. Define what you mean by 'cognitive' in this context. Life is generally defined in terms of an assembly of (biochemical) processes that together satisfy certain broad functional criteria (homeostasis, growth, reproduction, death, etc).

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A DNA molecule by itself is a chemically inert or dead molecule.
It's probably better not use the term 'dead' for 'chemically inert', it's likely to cause confusion. If you mean chemically inert, say chemically inert. Molecules that are not chemically inert, i.e. chemically (re)active molecules, are not 'living' molecules.

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Conscious organisms are 'living molecules'.
Ah, no. Conscious organisms are (currently) living collections of molecules. See the difference? 'Living' applies to the properties of the collection, the result of the interactions between molecules, not the individual molecules; just as 'wet' applies to the interactions of a collection of water molecules, not to individual water molecules.

You might find a basic course in biology and biochemistry helpful.

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I don't pretend its possible to replace consciousness by artificial intelligence.
I don't think anyone suggested that. You asked, "what is limiting humans to replace free will and imagination with a computer-assisted software?"; I assumed it was a question.

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That's precisely why I believe artificial intelligence has no intrinsic purpose or function to accomplish; Artificial intelligence purpose is defined by its designer and not from biogenesis.
That's reasonable enough, although it suggests biological organisms have some intrinsic purpose or function to accomplish, which is a debatable philosophical issue.
 

Offline tkadm30

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #71 on: 06/01/2016 11:46:59 »
That's not a use of 'cognitive' that I recognise. Define what you mean by 'cognitive' in this context. Life is generally defined in terms of an assembly of (biochemical) processes that together satisfy certain broad functional criteria (homeostasis, growth, reproduction, death, etc).

Life is intrinsic conscious activity; (Consciousness and life are unifying the mind/body states)

Cognitive processes like consciousness exists beyond the brain; (The brain is not the source of consciousness)

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=65204.0
 

 

Offline puppypower

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #72 on: 06/01/2016 13:22:44 »
At a molecular level, consciousness is connected to the principles of energy and entropy. Neurons, like most cells, pump and exchange sodium and potassium cations. The segregation of these two cations will occur with the sodium ions accumulating on the outside, while the potassium ions will accumulate on the inside. This creates a dual concentration gradient. Left to their own devices, these two cations would like to blend to increase entropy; 2nd law. However, the cell/neuron is using energy to purposely separate the cations, lowering the cationic entropy at the membrane.

The potassium cation's impact on water is chaotropic; create disorder in water. The result is some of the potassium can diffuse through the membrane's water, to the outside, trying to increase system entropy. The sodium cations are kosmotropic and create order in water which makes the water cage up, making it harder for the sodium ions to migrate in via the cell membrane water.

The net affect of the net potassium migration outside, adds extra positive charge on the outside of the membrane and less positive on the inside of the membrane, thereby creating a membrane potential; plus out and minus in, which defines an energy potential which balances the entropy potential. The net result is an energy and entropy potential forms in the membrane, that is opposite to inanimate matter. The energy is higher and the entropy is lower, compared to being left alone.

Firing of neurons is a natural solution that helps lower the dual potential, so energy and entropy are more in line with inanimate matter. Firing will lower entropy by allowing the cations an opening in the membrane for blending, while also lowering the membrane potential. In other words, if the neuron kept building this dual potential, contrary to the stability of inanimate matter, it is just a matter of time until natural means will appear to reverse and shift the membrane more in line with the needs of universal laws of thermodynamics. All our sensory systems fire neurons and are therefore natural triggers from the universe (environment) to help reverse the dual potential.

The axon is the way a single neuron can release extra sodium ions to help restore the dual potential. While the dendrite is the way a single neuron can be induced in the direction of lower energy and higher entropy; how they fire. The building of memory is reflected in the neuron and the universe (environment) pushing and pulling. This push and pull builds axon and dendrites, with the firing helping the natural laws of energy and entropy. But, the neurons works hard to reverse this and reset the potentials.

As we build up branching, the dissipation of the dual potential is not longer based on a single neuron, but rather the energy and entropy potential is dissipated among a wide range of neurons. This is reflected in neural hierarchy from cerebral to core to brain stem, for example. The other result is our memory will change over time due the needs of universal energy and entropy, in the light of distributed dissipation and the neuron continuing to reset the potential. This flux of change is interpreted as consciousness. Unlike a computer that has to follow programming, the brain is designed to increase entropy for spontaneous changes; new interpretation.

In terms of the dual centers of consciousness, the inner self and ego, the ego by having will power and choice, is a vehicle for the universal side of the dual potential, in that it is designed; choice, to increase entropy in the brain. The ego appeared due to the human brain building the dual potential; neurons, and needing a stronger outlet.

Where modern biology goes wrong is they always underestimate the importance of water as the copartner in life and consciousness. The dual potential of neurons is based on the water side, yet they try to equate this to the organic side, which is more reactionary to the potential in the water.

What the water side also brings is information can be transferred via the hydrogen bonding matrix. This is the fastest information transfer in the cell, being 10 times faster that ionic signals. Water is like the concierge that reaches the goal first, setting the stage for when the ions appear with the capacitance for change. The water allows new paths to form based on a more global aqueous POV, which also includes the needs of the organic and organic interfaces with water. This translates ions to organic structuring.
 

Offline RD

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #73 on: 06/01/2016 14:36:20 »
Artificial intelligence is therefore limited by a external teleology were its purpose is programmed by the designer.

Incorrect, see ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_computation
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #74 on: 06/01/2016 15:52:29 »
This flux of change is interpreted as consciousness.
Interpreted by what?

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Unlike a computer that has to follow programming, the brain is designed to increase entropy for spontaneous changes; new interpretation.
As has already been mentioned, computers can be programmed to emulate neural networks, so that, at the network level, they can behave and learn much as biological neural networks do  - i.e. without programming.

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What the water side also brings is information can be transferred via the hydrogen bonding matrix. This is the fastest information transfer in the cell, being 10 times faster that ionic signals. Water is like the concierge that reaches the goal first, setting the stage for when the ions appear with the capacitance for change. The water allows new paths to form based on a more global aqueous POV, which also includes the needs of the organic and organic interfaces with water. This translates ions to organic structuring.
Is there evidence that this has a significant influence on brain functioning? Do you have any references for it (this being a science site and all)?
 

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Re: Is consciousness a metaphysical experience of reality?
« Reply #74 on: 06/01/2016 15:52:29 »

 

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