Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) has become very advanced “smart” when it comes to computing power, but consciousness is more advanced than computing power alone.
The rapid development of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) machine learning technology in the early 21st century has left millions of people across the globe asking the question… Is A.I. Conscious ?
While the exact definition of “consciousness” is a debated topic, experts agree that AI intelligence is only a programmed algorithm and is not actually “conscious” …Yet
AI technology is advancing at levels never before seen in human history.
While considered “smart” in many aspects, AI is not any more “conscious” than an advanced excel spreadsheet.
However, this may not be the case forever.
A.I. has now sparked new debates over the future of consciousness, what defines consciousness, and a new type of artificial consciousness.
Here’s what you need to know about the future of AI consciousness…
How is Conscious Measured ?
Defining consciousness is one of the biggest collective questions of mankind.
We all agree humans are conscious, but are trees ? Are dogs ?
Is a rock conscious? Or a spoon ?
How about your phone ? Is the internet conscious ?
You get the point,
There’s a reason why defining consciousness has been debated for thousands of years, literally going back to the ancient Egyptians.
Experts agree that there are levels or degrees of consciousness.
In general terms, consciousness may represent a level of self awareness and learning ability.
- Awareness (sensation / emotion)
- Intelligence (learning / reasoning)
- Creativity (humor / courage)
- Idea of Self (ego / beliefs)
- Inner feelings (love / action / introspection)
- Holistic view of Self
- Relationship to Others (communication / evolution)
When you look at the checklist above, you’ll likely agree that all of these traits are necessary for ‘human level’ consciousness.
Currently AI technology scores extremely high in intelligence (better than some people).
AI does fall way behind in all the rest of the categories though.
Artificial Consciousness vs. Biological Consciousness
Artificial “Intelligence” may be superior to human “intelligence” in the near future.
But Artificial Consciousness is not anywhere close to feeling love in the way Biological Consciousness feels love.
Our emotional system is deep rooted in our biological consciousness.
According to Dr. Sherry Turkle …
Machines may be able to self-reference and reason based on computational procedures, thus performing intelligently without conscious awareness.
But for AI to have authentic empathy and social evolution is far beyond their ability.
What Defines A.I. Consciousness?
AI is the branch of computer science involved in building software capable of performing tasks that would typically require the human brain.
AI is used everywhere today from algorithms that spot spam, drive cars, detect credit card fraud, and more.
A.I. Consciousness Has Two Major Types:
1. Narrow Artificial Intelligence –
Narrow AI is a simple version of an AI algorithm designed specifically for simple tasks. For example, a chat bot, facial recognition, and voice recognition.
2. General Artificial Intelligence.
General AI mimics human intelligence and can learn to solve problems.
Is AI Conscious?
AI and machine learning robots are not conscious and they won’t turn evil and end all human life.
Sorry science fiction writers…
At least not yet…
But that hasn’t stopped millions of people from worrying about the future of AI.
A.I. consciousness probably WILL take a lot of our current “jobs” …But A.I. robots WON’T enslave us like in the movie iRobot.
Mark Zuckerberg recently spoke out against “fear mongering” of AI technology – and he might be right…. Even if he is only self-interested
AI is a lot more basic than it sounds – it’s mostly just math…
So much of the “real life” things that seem stupid and easy for humans (like telling a spontaneously dumb joke) are very hard for AI to replicate authentically.
A lot of recent gains in AI technology are certainly “intelligent”.
Unfortunately, machines are not conscious.
It is possible to simulate intelligence which will pass the Turing test ( a test developed to measure a machines intelligence vs a humans).
But, it is not currently possible to simulate consciousness.
The difference between artificial intelligence and consciousness is important.
This difference is huge when it comes to experiencing love.
To be truly in love (or heartbroken), artificial intelligence (or a human) must have a basic level of consciousness because an element of free will is required.
Bottom Line, AI is intelligent, but not conscious.
What’s Stopping A.I. From Being Conscious
Based on our current understanding of consciousness, a biological way of feeling and reproducing are critical to the conscious experience.
Why can’t a machine do the same thing that we can.
It’s because we are conscious while a robot or machine is not truly conscious. A human brain understands, perceives, experiences, and feels, emotions as part of our conscious experience.
Dreaming, recognizing objects, having an internal dialogue, all come together to form human consciousness.
Will AI Machines Ever Be Conscious ?
Never say never!
We know robots or artificial machines lack consciousness, and they can’t do high-end functions that a human brain performs.
Due to AI technology, we have a new classification of consciousness, artificial consciousness.
As AI technology advances, artificial consciousness will ultimately mimic human consciousness better and better, to the point that we may not be able to tell the difference between artificial consciousness and human consciousness.
But will AI ever be truly conscious ? It’s yet to be determined…
AI is advancing quickly and gaining in intelligence, but AI is not conscious.
- Intelligence is only one part of the conscious experience.
Let’s all keep an eye out on the evolution of AI technology and the advances technology takes to simulate consciousness.
In the meantime continue to ask yourself, and ask others….What defines consciousness ? Does consciousness exist after death ? How do we know for sure ?
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Thanks for reading !
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