[ExI] Conscious AI or a Zombie?

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at gmail.com
Sun Jul 2 23:05:43 UTC 2023

Hi Jason,
This Jeremy Bentham statement could be saying the same thing we are trying
to say in the "No Rights for Abstract Systems

But I suspect you are disagreeing with the camp statement, and defining
terms differently than I'm thinking?

On Sun, Jul 2, 2023 at 4:54 PM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Sun, Jul 2, 2023, 5:32 PM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> It's interesting how much diversity of thinking there is here on the
>> rights of AI systems.
>> I'm very interested in what everyone thinks, and would love to have a
>> more formal and dynamic representation of what everyone
>> currently believes on this.
>> I've created a topic for this: "Robot or AI Rights
>> <https://canonizer.com/topic/849-Robot-or-AI-Rights/1-Agreement>".
>> And I've started the "No Rights for Abstract Systems
>> <https://canonizer.com/topic/849-Robot-or-AI-Rights/2-No-Rights-for-Abstract-Systems>"
>> camp.
> “The question is not, Can they reason?, nor Can they talk? but, Can they
> suffer? Why should the law refuse its protection to any sensitive being?”
> -- Jeremy Bentham
> It'd be great to have camps for people who currently think differently,
>> and to see which views have the most consensus, and to track this over time
>> as science is able to demonstrate more about what consciousness is and
>> isn't.
>> On Sun, Jul 2, 2023 at 12:39 PM William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat <
>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>> Except for smell, sensations come to us from our unconscious mind.
>>> There they get routed to various brain areas and then, only perhaps (they
>>> could be shut down and never get to the forebrain) to upper areas.  These
>>> processes are aware of the nature of the stimuli and know where to send
>>> them, but they are not available to our conscious mind.
>>> Or you could say that these unconscious processes are really conscious
>>> but simply not available to what we call our conscious mind.  Thus you can
>>> have awareness or consciousness in part of the brain but not the part we
>>> think of as our consciousness.
>>> If an organism deals in some appropriate way with incoming stimuli you
>>> could call it aware.  Amoebas do that.
>>> bill w
>>> On Sun, Jul 2, 2023 at 1:02 PM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
>>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>>> Stuart,
>>>> Thank you for putting your argument into such clear words. I agree
>>>> completely with your definition of CAP.
>>>> Also, those videos of the AI and robotic soccer players are great. I
>>>> also agree it is not logically possible to say these entities are not aware
>>>> of the ball, and what else is consciousness, beyond "awareness"? If the
>>>> bots are aware of the ball (which they plainly are), then they're conscious
>>>> of it.
>>>> Jason
>>>> On Sat, Jul 1, 2023 at 6:16 PM Stuart LaForge via extropy-chat <
>>>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>>>> Quoting Jason Resch via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>:
>>>>> > If you believe that philosophical zombies are logically impossible,
>>>>> then
>>>>> > consciousness is logically necessary (in the presence of certain
>>>>> > behavioral, sensory, and introspective capacities).
>>>>> Actually, I would more rigorously say that philosophical zombies are
>>>>> impossible precisely BECAUSE they violate what I call causal
>>>>> awareness
>>>>> principle or CAP. Causal awareness is hereby defined as the ability
>>>>> to
>>>>> sense, act on, and react to ones environment as well as ones own
>>>>> effect on it. Anything that is causally aware is able to act
>>>>> rationally. Consciousness is necessary, but not sufficient, for
>>>>> causal
>>>>> awareness, and therefore, rational action. However, something cannot
>>>>> act rationally without being conscious too. Acting in ones own best
>>>>> interests requires consciousness. A sentient being must be conscious
>>>>> of those interests and the means to achieve them in the context of a
>>>>> changing environment.
>>>>> Here rational action is used as a proxy for intelligent behavior.
>>>>> That
>>>>> is to say that philosophical zombies cannot exist because they would
>>>>> have no way to display intelligent goal-seeking behavior because they
>>>>> would not be conscious of any goal; Therefore, they could not be
>>>>> conscious of how to navigate the environment to achieve a goal; nor,
>>>>> would they be conscious of whether they had achieved the goal or not.
>>>>> That is to say, that logically, a philosophical zombie does not have
>>>>> the logical properties necessary to fit its own definition.
>>>>> Philosophical zombies are an unwarranted assumption to make the Hard
>>>>> Problem of consciousness seem like a different question than the
>>>>> so-called Easy Problem, whereas, CAP says that the complete solution
>>>>> of the Easy Problem, is also the solution to Hard Problem.
>>>>> While pre-programmed behavior could mimic rational action in the
>>>>> short
>>>>> term, any sufficient change in the p-zombie's environment, like a new
>>>>> obstacle, would thwart it, and expose it as a zombie. In the harsh
>>>>> world of nature, philosophical zombies, even if they came to exist by
>>>>> some extraordinary chance, would quickly go extinct.
>>>>> Therefore philosophical zombies, as opposed to fungal zombies, are
>>>>> both logically and physically impossible. It is, in short, impossible
>>>>> to do what humans evolved from worms to be able to do, without being
>>>>> in some measure, more conscious than a worm.
>>>>> > Accordingly, I believe
>>>>> > that consciousness was an unavoidable consequence during the course
>>>>> of
>>>>> > evolution of life on Earth as once nature created creatures having
>>>>> certain
>>>>> > capacities/abilities, consciousness had no other choice but to
>>>>> exist, it
>>>>> > became logically necessary.
>>>>> Yes, there is certainly a natural history of consciousness. You can
>>>>> look at the evolution of the nervous system of vertebrates through
>>>>> the
>>>>> process of encephalization and decussation and see a causal
>>>>> narrative.
>>>>> The moment life decided to detach itself from the ocean bottom and
>>>>> move around looking for food, a complete, or open, digestive system
>>>>> with a seperate mouth and anus became advantageous. Once it started
>>>>> moving mouth first through the world, sensory organs like eyes or
>>>>> antennae became advantageous; Moreover, those creatures which evolved
>>>>> sensory organs like taste-buds and eyes near their mouths, as opposed
>>>>> to near their anus, had a survival advantage.
>>>>> Once an organism had a concentration of senses on its rostral or
>>>>> front
>>>>> end, that end became differentiated from the caudal or rear end of
>>>>> the
>>>>> organism. The cluster of sensory organs became a rudimentary head. As
>>>>> part of that differentiation called encephalization, it became
>>>>> advantageous for that organism to develop an organ to process the
>>>>> sensory information and locate it near the sense organs. The organ I
>>>>> speak of began as a small nerve cluster. As successive generations of
>>>>> the organism started moving through the environment faster, sensing
>>>>> and avoiding danger, finding food and resources, weathering natural
>>>>> disasters and extinction events, and generally leading more
>>>>> complicated lives, it finally evolved into the conscious brain.
>>>>> > The same, I believe, is true for AI. It is unavoidable when we create
>>>>> > machines of certain abilities, and I believe existing software is
>>>>> already
>>>>> > conscious. For example, my open source project on artificial
>>>>> sentience
>>>>> > could be such an example: https://github.com/jasonkresch/bots
>>>>> Yes, I agree. These AI learned how to play soccer/football on their
>>>>> own. They are certainly conscious of one another, the ball, and their
>>>>> goals and that consciousness allows some very complex goal-seeking
>>>>> behavior to emerge. By the CAP, these AI agents in the following
>>>>> video
>>>>> presentation of a recent Science paper by Lui et al.
>>>>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHMwq9pv7mg&t=10s.
>>>>> Some might object because the consciousness is expressed within a
>>>>> virtual setting. But that's all right because Google built bodies for
>>>>> the little guys:
>>>>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbyQcCT6890
>>>>> If you push one over, they stand right back up. So yeah, the CAP says
>>>>> they are rudimentarily conscious because they display causal
>>>>> awareness
>>>>> and rational action. They lie somewhere between thermostats and
>>>>> humans
>>>>> on the consciousness scale. Someday, their consciousness may far
>>>>> surpass ours.
>>>>> Stuart LaForge
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