I recently came across an interesting article titled Five
Creepiest Advances in Artificial Intelligence
and it really got me thinking about how the human mind works and what gives us "self awareness". I
have programmed artificial neural networks in the past, and the conclusion that I reached was it's impossible to generate a self aware consciousness
using a deterministic machine. What I mean is, I cannot make the program do anything truly random, even the random number generators in computers are
not really random, they are just so close to random that it's hard to tell the difference.
The point I'm getting at here is this: if everything my program does is completely deterministic then it's possible to calculate everything that the
AI will "think" before it thinks it. It will never do anything that is not predictable, it's just going through a completely deterministic process
step by step. Now what does this mean if the human brain is also a deterministic electrical machine or if the universe is deterministic? It would mean
we aren't really conscious beings and that we have no free will. All we have is the illusion of consciousness and free will, but in actuality our
future would be set in stone and if you had enough information about the universe you could predict every possible future event.
Fortunately, physics seems to tell us that particles do in fact behave in completely unpredictable ways. For example, quantum mechanics clearly
demonstrates that you cannot know the exact position and momentum of a particle at the same time. The position of the particle is actually spread out
over space like a wave and the positional probability density can be calculated using quantum mechanics. There are also many other aspects of particle
behavior which are completely unpredictable like the timing of particle decay. As far as I know these sorts of quantum phenomena are actually the only
source of truly random numbers in nature.
My hypothesis is that in order for a machine to have truly unpredictable behavior and what I would call "free will", that machine needs access to some
type of truly random data source. Now it may seem odd that random numbers would really provide any type of benefit to AI systems, especially if I
hadn't just explained my rationale for this argument. But there is evidence that the human brain contains mechanisms which make use of quantum
mechanics. If it's possible for us to develop quantum computers which are significantly faster than classical computers, then I see no reason why
nature wouldn't have already figured it out.
My conjecture is that our human brains are not classical deterministic machines, but they are in fact quantum mechanical machines and truly
unpredictable to some degree, and that's the reason why we are able to experience self awareness and free will. It's why we have imaginations and why
we feel emotions like love and curiosity. It's why we seek out the answers to the universe. How advanced must the human mind be to actually design
other self aware machines? If the human race ever does create a self aware machine, will it too be capable of designing other self aware machines?
That's a question that has to mess with your head right?
Just how exactly does one go about designing a self ware machine which has the ability to design other self aware machines? Just try to think about it
for a moment... what algorithm do you need? What set of code has the ability to make a machine feel curious and what gives it the imaginative
abilities to develop its own theories of consciousness and self awareness so that is may test those theories in the development of it's AI system like
we test our theories of consciousness in the development of our AI systems? And how do you give it emotions like happiness or sadness? And how do you
even design the machine to have "thoughts" in the first place?
Where do those little voices in your head really come from... is it your own free will allowing you to think about what you want or is it just a
result of things that happened in the past and led up to your current state of mind in a deterministic fashion? Did I write this thread because I was
destined to or was it my own random imagination and my chaotic thoughts that eventually led to this thread manifesting in a way which couldn't be
completely predicted? There needs to be something unpredictable about our thoughts if we want to believe that we have free will. Is randomness the
source of consciousness? All input welcome...
edit on 7/8/2013 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)