[ExI] another open letter, but this one may be smarter than the previous one

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Thu Apr 27 20:35:02 UTC 2023

But it is hard to say, and I am not an expert on the topic:


Here's the letter, in case the link doesn't work:

The Responsible Development of AI Agenda Needs to Include Consciousness
Open Letter – PUBLISHED April 26, 2023 – 

This open letter is a wakeup call for the tech sector, the scientific
community and society in general to take seriously the need to accelerate
research in the field of consciousness science.

As highlighted by the recent “Pause Giant AI Experiments” letter [1], we are
living through an exciting and uncertain time in the development of
artificial intelligence (AI) and other brain-related technologies. The
increasing computing power and capabilities of the new AI systems are
accelerating at a pace that far exceeds our progress in understanding their
capabilities and their “alignment” with human values.

AI systems, including Large Language Models such as ChatGPT and Bard, are
artificial neural networks inspired by neuronal architecture in the cortex
of animal brains. In the near future, it is inevitable that such systems
will be constructed to reproduce aspects of higher-level brain architecture
and functioning. Indeed, it is no longer in the realm of science fiction to
imagine AI systems having feelings and even human-level consciousness.
Contemporary AI systems already display human traits recognised in
Psychology, including evidence of Theory of Mind [2].

Furthermore, if achieving consciousness, AI systems would likely unveil a
new array of capabilities that go far beyond what is expected even by those
spearheading their development. AI systems have already been observed to
exhibit unanticipated emergent properties [3]. These capabilities will
change what AI can do, and what society can do to control, align and use
such systems. In addition, consciousness would give AI a place in our moral
landscape, which raises further ethical, legal, and political concerns.

As AI develops, it is vital for the wider public, societal institutions and
governing bodies to know whether and how AI systems can become conscious, to
understand the implications thereof, and to effectively address the ethical,
safety, and societal ramifications associated with artificial general
intelligence (AGI).

Science is starting to unlock the mystery of consciousness. Steady advances
in recent years have brought us closer to defining and understanding
consciousness and have established an expert international community of
researchers in this field. There are over 30 models and theories of
consciousness (MoCs and ToCs) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature,
which already include some important pieces of the solution to the challenge
of consciousness.

To understand whether AI systems are, or can become, conscious, tools are
needed that can be applied to artificial systems. In particular, science
needs to further develop formal and mathematical tools to model
consciousness and its relationship to physical systems. In conjunction with
empirical and experimental methods to measure consciousness, questions of AI
consciousness must be tackled.

The Association for Mathematical Consciousness Science (AMCS) [4], is a
large community of over 150 international researchers who are spearheading
mathematical and computational approaches to consciousness. The Association
for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (ASSC), [5], comprises researchers
from neuroscience, philosophy and similar areas that study the nature,
function, and underlying mechanisms of consciousness. Considerable research
is required if consciousness science is to align with advancements in AI and
other brain-related technologies. With sufficient support, the international
scientific communities are prepared to undertake this task.

The way ahead
Artificial intelligence may be one of humanity’s greatest achievements. As
with any significant achievement, society must make choices on how to
approach its implications. Without taking a position on whether AI
development should be paused, we emphasise that the rapid development of AI
is exposing the urgent need to accelerate research in the field of
consciousness science.

Research in consciousness is a key component in helping humanity to
understand AI and its ramifications. It is essential for managing ethical
and societal implications of AI and to ensure AI safety. We call on the tech
sector, the scientific community and society as a whole to take seriously
the need to accelerate research in consciousness in order to ensure that AI
development delivers positive outcomes for humanity. AI research should not
be left to wander alone.

[1] Pause Giant AI Experiments: An Open Letter:
[2] Theory of Mind May Have Spontaneously Emerged in Large Language Models:
[3] The AI revolution: Google’s developers on the future of artificial
intelligence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=880TBXMuzmk
[4] Association for Mathematical Consciousness Science (AMCS):
[5] Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (ASSC):

Sign the open letter.
Supporting Signatories:

Prof. Lenore Blum (AMCS President; Carnegie Mellon University and UC
Dr Johannes Kleiner (AMCS Board Chair; Ludwig Maximilian University of
Dr Jonathan Mason (AMCS Board Vice Chair; University of Oxford)
Dr Robin Lorenz (AMCS Board Treasurer; Quantinuum)
Prof. Manuel Blum (Turing Award 1995; UC Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon
Prof. Yoshua Bengio FRS, FRSC, Knight of the Legion of Honour [France]
(Turing Award 2018; Full professor, Scientific director of Mila, University
of Montreal / Mila)
Prof. Marcus du Sautoy FRS, OBE (University of Oxford)
Prof. Karl Friston FRS, FRBS, FMedSci, MAE (Weldon Memorial Prize and Medal,
2013; Donald O Hebb award, 2022; Prof of Neuroscience, University College
Prof. Anil K. Seth (University of Sussex, Canadian Institute for Advanced
Research, Program on Brain, Mind, and Consciousness)
Prof. Peter Grindrod OBE (University Of Oxford)
Prof. Tim Palmer FRS CBE (University of Oxford)
Prof. Susan Schneider APA (NASA Chair, NASA; Distinguished Scholar, Library
of Congress; Director of the Center for the Future Mind, Florida Atlantic
Prof. Claire Sergent (Professor of Cognitive Neurosciences, Co-director of
the Master of Cognitive Neurosciences of Paris; Université Paris Cité /
Dr Ryota Kanai (Founder & CEO of Araya, Inc.)
Prof. Kobi Kremnitzer (University of Oxford)
Prof. Paul Azzopardi (University of Oxford)
Prof. Michael Graziano (Princeton University)
Prof. Naotsugu Tsuchiya (Monash University)
Prof. Shimon Edelman (Cornell University)
Prof. Andrée Ehresmann (Université de Picardie Jules Verne Amiens)
Prof. Liad Mudrik (Tel Aviv University, Canadian Institute for Advanced
Research, Program on Brain, Mind, and Consciousness)
Dr Lucia Melloni (Max Planck Institute/NYU Langone Health)
Prof. Stephen Fleming (University College London)
Prof. Bob Coecke (DVRS at Perimeter Institute; Quantinuum)
Jeff Walz (Tech sector Consultant)
Dr Wanja Wiese (Ruhr University Bochum)
Dr Joscha Bach (Research Scientist, Thistledown Foundation)
Prof. Ian Durham (Saint Anselm College)
Prof. Pedro Resende (IST – University Lisbon)
Dr Quanlong Wang (Quantinuum)
Peter Thestrup Waade (Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University; Wellcome
Trust Centre for Human Neuroimaging, University College London)
Prof. Jose Acacio de Barros (San Francisco State University)
Dr Vasileios Basios (University of Brussels)
Dr Miguel Sanchez-Valpuesta (Korea Brain Research Institute)
Dr Michael Coughlan (Wageningen University)
Dr Adam Barrett (University of Sussex)
Prof. Marc Ebner (Computer Science Professor, University of Greifswald)
Dr Chris Fields (Tufts University)
Dr Guillaume Dumas (Associate Professor, University of Montreal / Mila)
Dr Hamid Azizi (Research Scholar, Center for Theology and the Natural
Sciences (CTNS))
Prof. Ricardo Sanz IEEE, AAAI, ASSC (Head of Autonomous Systems Laboratory,
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid)
Dr Robert Prentner (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich)
Prof. Johannes Fahrenfort ASSC (Assistant Professor, VU Amsterdam)
Dr Svetlana Rudenko (Researcher and composer; Haunted Planet Studios,
Trinity College Dublin)
Prof. Óscar Gonçalves (Full Professor of Neuropsychology, University of
Coimbra, Portugal)
Prof. John Barnden SSAISB (Professor Emeritus of AI, University of
Birmingham, UK)
Prof. Valtteri Arstila (University of Turku)
Dr Neda Kosibaty (AMCS)
Dr Daniel Helman (College of Micronesia-FSM)
Justin T. Sampson (VMware, Inc.)
Christopher Rourk (Jackson Walker LLP)
Dr Mouhacine B. Benosman (MERL)
Prof. Ouri Wolfson (University of Illinois at chicago and Pirouette Software
Dr Rupert Macey-Dare (St Cross College Oxford)
David Evans (Sonoma State University)
Rajarshi Ghoshal (Ford)
Prof. Peter B. Reiner (University of British Columbia)
Dr Adeel Razi (Monash University)
Prof. Jun Tani (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology)
David Rein (New York University, Cohere)
Dr Colin Hales (University of Melbourne)
John Balis (University of Wisconsin – Madison)
George Blackburne (University College London)
Jacy Reese Anthis (Sentience Institute)
Dr George Deane (University of Montreal)
Dr Nathan Faivre (CNRS)
Dr Giulio Ruffini (Neuroelectrics, Starlab)
Borjan Milinkovic (Unniversity of Melbourne)
Dr Jacobo Sitt (Inserm, Paris Brain Institute)
Dr Aureli Soria-Frisch (Starlab Barcelona)
Dr Bjørn Erik Juel (University of Oslo and university of Wisconsin –
Craig Cockburn (Siliconglen Ltd)
Dr Theofanis Panagiotaropoulos (Inserm/CEA)
Andrea Sittoni (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich)
Dr Lancelot Pecquet (University of Poitiers)
Carlos Perez (Intuition Machine Inc.)
Dr Xerxes Arsiwalla (Pompeu Fabra University)
Emeritus Dr Jim Rutt (Santa Fe Institute)
Dr Sean Tull (Quantinuum)
Prof Chris Frith (Craik Prize. 1996; University of London)
Dr Henry Shevlin (Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence,
University of Cambridge)
Dr Jolien C. Francken (Radboud University, Nijmegen)
Prof. Sebastiano Stramaglia (University of Bari)
Milton Ponson (Caribbean Applied Engineering and Science Research
Juan Cordovilla (Exactos Consulting Group)
Eduardo César Garrido Merchán (Universidad Pontificia Comias)
Benedict Harrision (Who Am I Ltd)
Nicolas Grootjans (BlueField)
Jared Frerichs (Deus Mechanicus)
Dr Nadine Dijkstra (University College London)

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