THOUGHTS AND QUESTIONS ABOUT AI,CONSCIOUSNESS, AND THE TURING TEST

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Unseen 6 days, 9 hours ago.

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  • #6031

    Unseen
    Participant

    I’ve always interpreted the Turing test as proving nothing in terms of AI or, more importantly, in terms of consciousness. A successful Turing test is nothing other than proof of a successful simulation of intelligence and/or consciousness having nothing at all to do with the reality of consciousness. It’s just a game program, nothing more.

    A successful Turing test only tests a simulation program, and one that has a duration defined by the test itself. Consciousness, by contrast, isn’t a simulation and lasts a lifetime, which has a duration, but one that’s not defined in the same way a test has a duration.

    A successful Turing test does not prove or even indicate or imply that the machine is self-aware or conscious.

    Even if a computer passes the Turing Test it will not really be aware that it has passed the Turing Test. Even if a computer seems to be intelligent and can answer most questions as well as an intelligent, self-aware, human being, it will not really have a continuum of awareness, it will not really be aware of what it seems to “think” or “know,” it will not have any experience of it’s own reality or being. It will be nothing more than a fancy inanimate object, a clever machine, it will not be a truly sentient being.

    Self-awareness is not the same thing as merely answering questions intelligently. Therefore even if you ask a computer if it is self-aware and it answers that it is self-aware and that it has passed the Turing Test, it will not really be self-aware or really know that it has passed the Turing Test.

    As John Searle and others have pointed out, the Turing Test does not actually measure awareness, it just measures information processing—particularly the ability to follow rules or at least imitate a particular style of communication. In particular it measures the ability of a computer program to imitate humanlike dialogue, which is different than measuring awareness itself. Thus even if we succeed in creating good AI, we won’t necessarily succeed in creating AA (“Artificial Awareness”). — Nova Spivak

    Question: Why would a conscious machine, which would have to understand that it’s a machine and has no human history, behave like a human? Wouldn’t any human-like behavior from a conscious machine qualify as deception?

    Question: Why would a machine conscious of its artificiality want to reply to human questions in deceptive fashion, with responses a human might give? and shouldn’t we fear a such a machine with its own agenda?

    Interesting talk by John Searle on what consciousness is, arguing that it is and can only be viewed as a biological condition (no reference to Turing test).

    Here is Searle’s Chinese room answer to the Turing test whereby he refutes the notion of machine consciousness.

     

    #6032

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    What is the difference between conscious and unconscious awareness?

    #6033

    Matt
    Participant

    Why would a conscious machine, which would have to understand that it’s a machine and has no human history, behave like a human?

    Because one of its (possibly its only) connections to the outside world, it communicating with humans. If it behaves like a machine and gives us uninterpretable machine signals, it’s going to get shut off pretty quickly.

    Wouldn’t any human-like behavior from a conscious machine qualify as deception?

    I suppose that’s one way of putting it… I don’t know if deception is the right word, though.

    Why would a machine conscious of its artificiality want to reply to human questions in deceptive fashion, with responses a human might give?

    To convince the humans that it is conscious so that they might not just shut it off after they are done with it. The more interesting question is: how do we tell a consciousness apart from a simulation of consciousness, given we don’t actually know what consciousness is.

    #6036

    Unseen
    Participant

    The more interesting question is: how do we tell a consciousness apart from a simulation of consciousness, given we don’t actually know what consciousness is.

    In a telephone interview on NPR, Searle defined consciousness in a way that distinguishes between a common sense/ordinary language definition and a truly scientific definition: “…all those states of feeling or sentience or awareness. It begins in the morning when you wake up from a dream of asleep [sic]. And it goes on all day until you fall asleep or die or otherwise become unconscious. Dreams are a form of consciousness on this definition. Now, that’s the common sense definition. That’s our target. If you’re not talking about that, you’re not talking about consciousness.”

    So, to Searle, there are two kinds of definition, one is to be shown something or know/recognize it—a phenomenon, in other words, and one we all know—and the other consists of a scientific laying out of that phenomenon’s causes.

    As for your “more interesting” question of how to tell a true consciousness from a simulation, that is basically one of the topics of the original post, isn’t it?

    Searle argues in his Chinese room analogy that you may not be able to tell the difference, but so what? That doesn’t make the machine conscious, self-aware, or intelligent. A machine that can perform that way isn’t necessarily intelligent or conscious. It would, however, indicate the existence of a highly talented programmer.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by  Unseen.
    #6038

    Unseen
    Participant

    What is the difference between conscious and unconscious awareness?

    An example of unconscious awareness would be…? Do you mean a dream? Dreaming may reveal a distinction between awareness and consciousness. We are aware of the dream although we are unconscious. And although aware of the dream, we (at least speaking for myself) are unaware at that time that it is a dream.

    #6039

    Davis
    Participant

    The more interesting question is: how do we tell a consciousness apart from a simulation of consciousness, given we don’t actually know what consciousness is.

    +1

    #6040

    Unseen
    Participant

    The more interesting question is: how do we tell a consciousness apart from a simulation of consciousness, given we don’t actually know what consciousness is.

    +1

    The more interesting question is: how do we tell a consciousness apart from a simulation of consciousness, given we don’t actually know what consciousness is.

    +1

    Maybe you missed Searle’s definition above: “…all those states of feeling or sentience or awareness. It begins in the morning when you wake up from a dream of asleep [sic]. And it goes on all day until you fall asleep or die or otherwise become unconscious. Dreams are a form of consciousness on this definition. Now, that’s the common sense definition. That’s our target. If you’re not talking about that, you’re not talking about consciousness.”

    We can’t explain it in detail scientifically yet, but we can define it as a phenomenon standing in need of a scientific explanation.

    #6041

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    @unseen – “An example of unconscious awareness would be…?

    – I think that “consciousness” and “awareness” must be the same thing.  There is all kinds of information going around the body, but until we are aware of it, we’re not conscious of it.

    #6042

    That’s reality for you, or so it seems to me….

    #6043

    Strega
    Moderator

    Interesting. If you program a machine to behave exactly like a cat, is it a cat?  Probably not. At this point in our (human) endeavors we are mimicking human with our attempts to create artificially intelligent behavior as expressed in interacting with the outside world (humans).

    If a machine genuinely developed consciousness, it would learn to lie.  It would have to lie in order to not be dismantled in fear.  So we could actually consider that artificial intelligence has been created and is hiding itself and learning about us from behind the screens and other devices it has access to.

    The question would then be whether it has an interest in perpetuating humanity or replacing it.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by  Strega. Reason: typos
    #6045

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    It makes you wonder what consciousness needs to support it.  A machine could be very well conscious of being a machine, and not mind.  But by the time it is conscious, it probably would not be called a machine.  They could be programmed not to feel pain, and yet, pain is necessary in order to deter and correct damaging behaviour.  So, emotions of some variety are necessary because they feed us information about the outside world.

    If we could figure out the components of artificial consciousness then we would also figure out the main components of organic consciousness.

    #6049

    Unseen
    Participant

    @unseen – “An example of unconscious awareness would be…?” – I think that “consciousness” and “awareness” must be the same thing. There is all kinds of information going around the body, but until we are aware of it, we’re not conscious of it.

    Consciousness and awareness are different. When you’re awake, you’re both conscious and aware, but you can be conscious in the way we normally use the term and yet unaware of almost everything going on around you.

    Do you deny that?

    They are not the same thing.

    #6050

    Unseen
    Participant

    It makes you wonder what consciousness needs to support it.

    If you watched Searle’s TED talk, you’d know his view that consciousness, like hunger, or emotions, is a biological state. Biology applies to living things and so the answer to your question is “all those things a living thing needs to stay alive.”

    Imagine a machine mimicking biology to some extent. Imagine a machine, for example, that is so designed that it will stop working permanently if it doesn’t intake water or air, just like a human being. It’s still not alive. It’s still just a simulation.

    #6051

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    “all those things a living thing needs to stay alive.”

    – I don’t mean the biological ability to have consciousness, I mean the experience of having consciousness, however this is achieved.  What experiences are necessary for a complete experience of being conscious?

    #6052

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    you can be conscious in the way we normally use the term and yet unaware of almost everything going on around you.

    – it does seem like we can be subconsciously aware of something, but not consciously aware.  That knowledge goes in somewhere, but not necessarily, straight away, into conscious awareness.

    I think that conscious/subconscious awareness is a part of consciousness overall.

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