[ExI] consciousness vs intuition and insight

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at comcast.net
Sun Jan 18 17:27:43 UTC 2009


Welcome to the 'nuts' crowd. I bet everyone on this list is considered 
to be 'nuts' by lots of (but not all) people. And of course, we all know 
we're not 'nuts' right?

I completely agree with you that we'll understand consciousness before 
we understand higher cognitive things like emotion, intuition and 
insight. But from some of the other things you say, I suspect we have 
different ideas about what consciousness is.

On the idea of consciousness, I'm in these camps:


Could you concisely state just what you believe about consciousness and 
what you believe can be done?


Brent Allsop

sam micheal wrote:
> ACOMA – A COnscious MAchine
> Can it be done?
> Can it be designed by me?
> Sam Micheal
> It’s ‘official’; I’m ‘nuts’. I have been officially told by a 
> university professor of computer science: “This problem is too big for 
> you Sam.” Really? Is that so? Are you 1000% sure?
> As a person ‘in love’ (understatement) with systems science, physics, 
> and AI, I have taken so many courses from engineering disciplines – I 
> have lost count – where and when.. I DO remember a computer vision 
> course I took. I DO remember some basic precepts. I DO remember how we 
> know almost nothing about scene recognition (this was about 15 years 
> ago so perhaps we know a little more now). But if you actually READ my 
> proposal, it says NOTHING about dependency on scene recognition. In 
> fact, it depends not one IOTA on anything ‘in development’.
> This is the ‘beauty’ of our current system. “Instead of pursuing this 
> avenue of investigation, /which I doubt you have any real experience 
> in/..” [italics added] he continues to suggest I restrict myself to 
> more ‘tame’ and approachable areas in computer science. I thanked him 
> for his traditional concern. But his ‘concern’ was itself dismissive. 
> His department is focused on computer science education. Why should 
> they care about conscious machines? “They would have done it by now if 
> they could.” (He voiced almost the same sentiment in the same letter.) 
> Wow; what a ‘revelation’. And all this to say without actually reading 
> my proposal.
> Perspective; perspective; perspective. Read Modern Heuristics by 
> Michalewicz. If you can understand that, you’re smart. If you can 
> apply it, you’re smarter. Now, I’m not saying I’m /that/ smart. ;) But 
> I am saying I have some insights about the problem. Key word: 
> insights. What’s another key word? Intuition. Now, let me review a 
> recent conversation with my mother about consciousness..
> “The reason AI people have not developed conscious machines is because 
> they have focused on intelligence NOT consciousness. And they have 
> made the critical conceptual error in thinking that consciousness is 
> dependent on immature technologies like computer vision. It is NOT. I 
> contend consciousness is /physical/; we can understand it physically. 
> However, much more elusive are concepts like intuition and 
> inspiration. I contend we will develop conscious machines /way before/ 
> we will develop machines with intuition and inspiration.”
> My design is more than just ‘physical’; it is information dependent. 
> There is a thing in my design called a rule-base. Is this the same 
> thing as a database? Is it constructed with data mining? Maybe. Maybe 
> not. I try to define some general specifications. I believe I have a 
> construct that is ‘rich’ enough (diverse and sophisticated enough) to 
> at least mimic consciousness. And I try to provide much more than 
> consciousness. I design structures that will assist intelligence and 
> self-awareness. Hopefully, these will enhance consciousness. The idea 
> is this: I think it is difficult to create consciousness from scratch 
> – but not impossible. If we can create a device that is minimally 
> aware and also give it some capabilities: intelligence, self-awareness 
> (via model), and some capacity for visualization (which to me is Very 
> important), we may achieve what most have said is impossible – machine 
> consciousness. My construct is perhaps too dependent on visualization. 
> My original specification exceeded the current technology (1 mega bits 
> cubed). Because that is impossible by current standards, I had to cut 
> that down by a factor of one million. Can the thing still be 
> self-aware with limited visualization capability? I don’t know. But 
> it’s worth trying.
> It’s certainly worth more than “This problem is too big for you Sam.”
> Sam Micheal, 17/JAN/2009
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