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Will there ever be a conscious robot?
Posted: 06 June 2013 09:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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TimB - 06 June 2013 07:48 AM
TromboneAndrew - 06 June 2013 07:36 AM

I think that’s a bit of a trick question. I’ll paraphrase a quote from Daniel Dennett:

Consider a human being who, from birth, was completely separated from the rest of humanity. This person would never have a chance to learn how to bond, how to talk, how to add, and a host of other skills. Because this human would have no way to communicate and lacks virtually all of the thinking skills that most people learn from others, we probably would not consider this human to be conscious.

Is there a rigorous definition of being “conscious” or is it more of a social definition?

For what I suggested as “sophisticated consciousness”, I think that a robot would have to go though a developmental learning process, as do humans, to become fully conscious, e.g. developing self awareness, language, acute awareness of others, learning to interpret subtle social cues, rules of social behavior, etc.

Ah, in that case, probably yes.

Although, I think that it’s more likely that first we’ll see a large increase in augmented human intelligence thanks to cyborg-like tech.

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Posted: 06 June 2013 11:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 06 June 2013 09:57 PM
TimB - 06 June 2013 07:48 AM
TromboneAndrew - 06 June 2013 07:36 AM

I think that’s a bit of a trick question. I’ll paraphrase a quote from Daniel Dennett:

Consider a human being who, from birth, was completely separated from the rest of humanity. This person would never have a chance to learn how to bond, how to talk, how to add, and a host of other skills. Because this human would have no way to communicate and lacks virtually all of the thinking skills that most people learn from others, we probably would not consider this human to be conscious.

Is there a rigorous definition of being “conscious” or is it more of a social definition?

For what I suggested as “sophisticated consciousness”, I think that a robot would have to go though a developmental learning process, as do humans, to become fully conscious, e.g. developing self awareness, language, acute awareness of others, learning to interpret subtle social cues, rules of social behavior, etc.

Ah, in that case, probably yes.

Although, I think that it’s more likely that first we’ll see a large increase in augmented human intelligence thanks to cyborg-like tech.

Quite possibly so.  If the Brain Mapping Project bears fruit, e.g., I can envision helmet-like devices that would give one a virtual telepathic/kinetic control of devices that are essentially operated by our thoughts.  We could potentially operate, in the same manner, surrogate and/or augmentary devices which provide us with enhanced sensory abilities, such as immediately available telescopic and microscpic vision as well as vision in spectrums beyond our typical capability. Perhaps we could even have devices that allow for virtual telepathic communication with others.  Of course,the Brain Mapping Project could bear fruit way beyond such gadgets. For instance we may be able to finally get an idea of what is actually going on with mental illnesses and thus more readily discover effective treatments.

[ Edited: 06 June 2013 11:10 PM by TimB ]
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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 07 June 2013 06:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I’m interested in the idea of group consciousness.  For example, often behaviours of government can be modelled by thinking of various departments as personalities.

Another example: I change my behaviour based on who I am talking to.  If I’m talking to my sister I am one person, but if I’m talking to an old friend I am another person.  If I’m chatting on the internet I am yet another person.

Maybe someday we won’t think of ourselves as individuals.  From an atheist viewpoint we humans are “conscious” robots as a side effect of the structure of our bodies.  If we could slice a human in half and keep him alive, then he would become two individuals.  Of if we could tightly interconnect two brains then we would turn two people into one person.

[ Edited: 07 June 2013 06:54 AM by ufo-buff ]
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Posted: 07 June 2013 02:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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We won’t know until we get one.

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Posted: 07 June 2013 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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psikeyhackr - 07 June 2013 02:14 PM

We won’t know until we get one.

Maybe not even then, at least not at first.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 07 June 2013 07:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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psikeyhackr - 07 June 2013 02:14 PM

We won’t know until we get one.

Har Har Har!!!

smile

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Posted: 08 June 2013 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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They already exist.  Humans are conscious robots. 

Just look at any group of religious Fundamentalists.

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Posted: 08 June 2013 04:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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A robot with a conscious.
We’ll know we’ve gone to far when they start getting baptized.

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Posted: 09 June 2013 09:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Mike Yohe - 08 June 2013 04:17 PM

A robot with a conscious.
We’ll know we’ve gone to far when they start getting baptized.

If they decide to worship their creators, hopefully they will be aware that their creators were scientists.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 10 June 2013 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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TimB - 09 June 2013 09:59 PM
Mike Yohe - 08 June 2013 04:17 PM

A robot with a conscious.
We’ll know we’ve gone to far when they start getting baptized.

If they decide to worship their creators, hopefully they will be aware that their creators were scientists.

Then they will create a supernatural uber-scientist to oversee all scientists, one that all robots must pray to and bow down to and which devises sadistic eternal punishment for the refusal to do so. Nothing would change.

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Posted: 10 June 2013 10:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Lois - 10 June 2013 09:12 AM
TimB - 09 June 2013 09:59 PM
Mike Yohe - 08 June 2013 04:17 PM

A robot with a conscious.
We’ll know we’ve gone to far when they start getting baptized.

If they decide to worship their creators, hopefully they will be aware that their creators were scientists.

Then they will create a supernatural uber-scientist to oversee all scientists, one that all robots must pray to and bow down to and which devises sadistic eternal punishment for the refusal to do so. Nothing would change.

Since our model for consciousness is our own, then there is that chance, but they essentially would be a different life form, from us, with different lifespans, probably significantly different courses of development, different perceptual abilities, a different history, etc.  So I suspect that they, as a “race” will not be as susceptible to the kind of religious thinking that humans are so subject to.  Although the fundamentalists among the human population may either want to kill them off or else be dead-set on bringing them into the fold of Jesus or Allah or whatever God is popular in the time.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 10 June 2013 09:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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You just described every animal on earth.

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Posted: 11 June 2013 05:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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TimB - 10 June 2013 10:29 AM
Lois - 10 June 2013 09:12 AM
TimB - 09 June 2013 09:59 PM
Mike Yohe - 08 June 2013 04:17 PM

A robot with a conscious.
We’ll know we’ve gone to far when they start getting baptized.

If they decide to worship their creators, hopefully they will be aware that their creators were scientists.

Then they will create a supernatural uber-scientist to oversee all scientists, one that all robots must pray to and bow down to and which devises sadistic eternal punishment for the refusal to do so. Nothing would change.

Since our model for consciousness is our own, then there is that chance, but they essentially would be a different life form, from us, with different lifespans, probably significantly different courses of development, different perceptual abilities, a different history, etc.  So I suspect that they, as a “race” will not be as susceptible to the kind of religious thinking that humans are so subject to.  Although the fundamentalists among the human population may either want to kill them off or else be dead-set on bringing them into the fold of Jesus or Allah or whatever God is popular in the time.

It could go that way or the robots could become even more extreme fundamentalists in ways we can’t even imagine.  Never forget the law of unintended consequences.  We should be careful of what we wish for and what we plan for.  “The best laid plans of mice and men . . . ”

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Posted: 11 June 2013 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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TimB - 10 June 2013 10:29 AM
Lois - 10 June 2013 09:12 AM
TimB - 09 June 2013 09:59 PM
Mike Yohe - 08 June 2013 04:17 PM

A robot with a conscious.
We’ll know we’ve gone to far when they start getting baptized.

If they decide to worship their creators, hopefully they will be aware that their creators were scientists.

Then they will create a supernatural uber-scientist to oversee all scientists, one that all robots must pray to and bow down to and which devises sadistic eternal punishment for the refusal to do so. Nothing would change.

Since our model for consciousness is our own, then there is that chance, but they essentially would be a different life form, from us, with different lifespans, probably significantly different courses of development, different perceptual abilities, a different history, etc.  So I suspect that they, as a “race” will not be as susceptible to the kind of religious thinking that humans are so subject to.  Although the fundamentalists among the human population may either want to kill them off or else be dead-set on bringing them into the fold of Jesus or Allah or whatever God is popular in the time.

Right Tim, they would just make sure they got the proper “programming”.  A little software or hardware chip.

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Posted: 11 June 2013 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Lois - 11 June 2013 05:44 AM

It could go that way or the robots could become even more extreme fundamentalists in ways we can’t even imagine.  Never forget the law of unintended consequences.  We should be careful of what we wish for and what we plan for.  “The best laid plans of mice and men . . . “

Are you suggesting that we should give up aspirations for and the actualizing of the development of new technologies, because something problematic can come out of it? Based on the technological developments of the past century, certainly problematic things have arisen, but taken as a whole, I think that we are better off.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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