Guest Post By David Stephen
There is a recent article, Will A.I. Ever Be Conscious?, stating that, “Neuroscientists have developed theories that help explain how information—such as the shape and smell of a flower—is merged in the brain into a coherent whole. But they are theories of structure and function. They tell us nothing about how these functions are accompanied by a conscious experience.”
Brain Science: Is AI’s Intelligence Part Consciousness?
Until we understand these biocentric underpinnings, machine sentience will not and cannot happen. An object—a machine, a computer—cannot have a unitary sense experience, or consciousness before the “mind” (natural or artificial) constructs a spatial-temporal reality.”
Consciousness is not a problem of subjective experience if the subjective experience has to be known. To know that someone feels lethargic or appetitive, is another layer to being lethargic or appetitive. Subjective experience has to be known, picked up from ‘its location’. Experience does not always indicate what all of consciousness is.
Consciousness and Intelligence
The article is part of the debate about the consciousness of AI but not its intelligence. It is common to say consciousness is different from intelligence or superior but are they related?
If an individual is in a coma or under general anesthesia, how intelligent is that individual at that time, or what is the subjective experience at that moment?
If a computer can interpret data on physical events, in the same way or surpassing how a person would, does the computer not know of that scenario of the external world, even if it does not have its own conscious experience of it?
Consciousness is also about that second layer, knowing. Though knowing varies, all consciousness and intelligence are based on what is known.
There is no intelligence without consciousness. Whatever object or system has any form of intelligence already has a subset of consciousness. Consciousness can be broadly defined as the rate at which any system can know, with a maximum rate of 1.
Everything about consciousness is what can be known. Subjective experience, covert consciousness and other states of consciousness are all subsumed into knowing.
In a coma or under general anesthesia, when perception of the external world or exteroception drops, interception, or senses of the internal continues to be processed, without the awareness of the individual. The mind knows, though it does not present to the individual.
Consciousness is there, at that state but knowing is minute. A waking individual—aware of the external world—said to be conscious, is not aware of every possible sensory process that is, at that moment. There is just one most prioritized process, with full access in mind locations at any moment, with other processes in pre-prioritization.
The individual is conscious but not to the highest possible extent or 1, for all processes. Consciousness proceeds from the mind. Intelligence also proceeds from the mind. The sense of self, or to have the subjective experience of anything is also given by the mind, including the knowing part of it. There is no self without the mind. The same way it is possible to be in a place and be into the event, is the same way it is possible to be there and feel detached—or experience detachment. There is always the situation, but the experience, expressed by the mind, varies.
Conceptually, all experiences are given by quantities acquiring properties across mind areas. One quantity is most prioritized. It gets the most access to property destinations. All memory, feelings, emotion, reactions, sense of self, are properties across mind locations. Quantities, in the form of thought, relay to acquire them.
Whatever can know is conscious. The rating maybe low, but if it can know, it is conscious. Consciousness is based on its ability to know, not its ability to process what it knows or intelligence. Intelligence advances beyond just knowing but it involves knowing.
There are objects and systems that can know but with low consciousness rating that can sometimes be in the negligible range. There are others that know much, and process much, with a higher rating, but not in the mammalian range.
Knowing is a broad, including emotions, feelings and moment-to-moment information streams and their processing. Machines have data or know, they process a lot as well, their intelligence, predicated by knowing, is grounded in a low-rated consciousness.
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