[ExI] Is Artificial Life Conscious?

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Sun Apr 24 08:09:37 UTC 2022

Hi Jason,

You had a long list of attributes in one of your replies to that list.

*Consciousness is:*

   - Awareness of Information
   - A knowledge State
   - An Infinite Class (infinite possible variations and permutations,
   - A requirement for: Experience, Thought, Feeling, Knowing, Seeing,
   Noticing (can any of these things exist absent consciousness? E.g. some
   part of system that acts like it knows must really know.)
   - An activity (not a passive state of 0s and 1s,
   operations/behavior/actions give meaning and context to information and how
   it is processed and what it means)
   - Is it a recursive relationship? A model of environment including self?
   - Is it undefinable?
   - Word origin: "con" (together/with/unified/united) "scious"
   (knowledge): unified knowledge
   - It exists in the abstract informational state, not in the material
   - A meaningful interpretation of information

*Information is:*

   - A difference that makes a difference
   - A comparison, differentiation, distinction
   - Specification / Indication
   - Negative entropy
   - A decrease in uncertainty
   - A probability of being in different states
   - Bits, digits, a number (representations of information)
   - A subspace of a larger space
   - A state of a finite state machine
   - Requires an interpreter (A system to be informed) to be meaningful

*A subject is:*

   - A system to be informed
   - A processor of information
   - A knower (a believer)
   - An inside viewer
   - A first-person
   - A possessor of knowledge
   - An interpreter of information
   - A modeler of environment or self (or both)

*Knowledge is:*

   - An apprehended truth
   - A true belief (bet)
   - Not always shareable (when self-referential)
   - A relationship between two objects or object and itself

[image: 3_robots_tiny.png]
In addition to all 3 of these systems being able to tell you something is
red, each could also be engineered do everything in your list.

Consciousness is less about functionality, than it is about "what is it

A redness quality is not an intrinsic quality of the strawberry, it is a
quality of your conscious knowledge of a strawberry.  The only difference
between the first 2 is a red green signal inverter in its optic nerve,
changing the definition of redness for that one.  You need a dictionary to
know what the word red means.  The intrinsic colorness quality your
brains represents knowledge of red things with is your definition of the
word red.

All 3 could also be minimally engineered so that all they can do is tell
you the strawberry, nothing more, including most of the stuff in your
list.  But I would still classify the first two as conscious, since both of
their conscious knowledge is like something.  The first one's redness is
like your redness, the second one's is like your greenness, and the third
one represents knowledge with strings of ones and zeros, all of which you
need a dictionary to first know what the hardware representing each one or
zero is, and after that, again, to know what the word 'red', made up of
strings of those ones and zeros represents.


On Sat, Apr 23, 2022 at 11:55 PM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> I recently posted this question recently to the everything list
> <https://groups.google.com/g/everything-list/c/Ga8KWzjM_dk>, but I know
> many here are also deeply interested in the topic of consciousness so, I
> thought I should post it to this group too. My question was:
> These "artificial life" forms, (seen here
> <https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLq_mdJjNRPT11IF4NFyLcIWJ1C0Z3hTAX>),
> have neural networks that evolved through natural selection, can adapt to a
> changing environment, and can learn to distinguish between "food" and
> "poison" in their environment.
> If simple creatures like worms or insects are conscious, (because they
> have brains, and evolved), then wouldn't these artificial life forms be
> conscious for the same reasons?
> Why or why not?
> Jason
> _______________________________________________
> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> http://lists.extropy.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/extropy-chat
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