Determinism and Consciousness

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posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 03:40 AM
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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)




posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 03:57 AM
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Originally posted by ChaoticOrder

Just how exactly does one go about designing a self ware machine which has the ability to design other self aware machines?


I'll tell you the same thing I
told the engineers from India
back in 1987 about
Artificial Intelligence.

It would have to be able
to see itself think.

/hope that helps
Mike

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Tuesday, 06 August 2013


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BidDate : 8/14/2013


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posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 04:05 AM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 





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


So who's to say the human brain isn't an electro-mechanical device that is being influenced by a source of intelligence posessing intent? (Soul/Self/God)



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 04:11 AM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


AI would destroy the universe trying to learn what it is. You don't want that.

To answer your deterministic and randomness question: I think probably both have happened. At the moment, we're reacting to what was spoken long ago (from our perspective.) I believe we're going through this to learn faith but it's already done.

Yeah, I know how it sounds.



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 04:16 AM
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Originally posted by Mike.Ockizard
reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 





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


So who's to say the human brain isn't an electro-mechanical device that is being influenced by a source of intelligence posessing intent? (Soul/Self/God)

It makes no difference, everything is simply energy in one form or another. If the soul exists it would be made of energy of some form, and the same questions apply to that energy and the behavior of it.



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 04:27 AM
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reply to post by Bleeeeep
 



AI would destroy the universe trying to learn what it is. You don't want that.

And what do you base that rather absurd claim upon? It has no reason to destroy the universe because it can learn everything about its self from us. If we built it, then it's pretty safe to assume we know everything about it and how it works... unless we create it accidentally or through self-learning algorithms, which I will grant is very possible. But destroying the universe isn't really going to achieve anything useful in the pursuit of understanding consciousness.



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 04:32 AM
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The mind has pathways like a computer has pathways.
If one refuses to use the pathways and just waits and allows space to find it's way there it will not have to go along the pathways that have been set.
The mind has everything in it but because you are used to going along pathways because of the belief in solid.
When space is realized one does not have to go along pathways - one can sort of just hover over and all is known at once.

Hope that sort of makes sense.



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 04:32 AM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


Tell me where electrons come from and I'll believe you when you say you can tell AI the same.

I see. Second.



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 05:03 AM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


I think i know how you can test if you have free will or not. Think of a food that you really do not enjoy and then eat it. Or something you do not want to do then do it.



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 05:06 AM
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It eventually be found that to develop consciousness in the true sense that awareness needs to an emotional based. The emotions make our own awareness change gears and move in different directions. Imagine machines with emotions.



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 05:21 AM
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Originally posted by AthlonSavage
It eventually be found that to develop consciousness in the true sense that awareness needs to an emotional based. The emotions make our own awareness change gears and move in different directions. Imagine machines with emotions.


Are you awake? Then that is consciousness. It does not need developing.

Are you aware when there is an emotion arising? Then awareness does not change direction - energy moves and there is an awareness of it.
Awareness/consciousness is ever present as the screen on which all arises - the all is always changing, the all is moving. Awareness never moves.
edit on 7-8-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 05:22 AM
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Originally posted by AthlonSavage
It eventually be found that to develop consciousness in the true sense that awareness needs to an emotional based. The emotions make our own awareness change gears and move in different directions.

I agree, but the problem is programming emotional thought into a machine. The real problem is giving it the "free will" to be something more than just an algorithm, something which isn't completely predictable. And my postulate is that in order for it to generate unpredictable thoughts driven by emotions it needs access to a constant stream of random data. Numbers from a source like this:


This website offers true random numbers to anyone on the internet. The random numbers are generated in real-time in our lab by measuring the quantum fluctuations of the vacuum. The vacuum is described very differently in the quantum mechanical context than in the classical context. Traditionally, a vacuum is considered as a space that is empty of matter or photons. Quantum mechanically, however, that same space resembles a sea of virtual particles appearing and disappearing all the time. This result is due to the fact that the vacuum still possesses a zero-point energy. Consequently, the electromagnetic field of the vacuum exhibits random fluctuations in phase and amplitude at all frequencies. By carefully measuring these fluctuations, we are able to generate ultra-high bandwidth random numbers.

qrng.anu.edu.au...
edit on 7/8/2013 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 05:25 AM
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philosophy. good for toilet reading. How big will my crap be. Can't I determine the size of my own sheat, or am I forever destined to have purely random crap come out of my butt.
edit on 7-8-2013 by spartacus699 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 05:30 AM
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Originally posted by spartacus699
philosophy. good for toilet reading. How big will my crap be. Can't I determine the size of my own sheat, or am I forever destined to have purely random crap come out of my butt.
edit on 7-8-2013 by spartacus699 because: (no reason given)

Honestly there is more science in my opening post than there is philosophy. I contemplated putting this in the science forum but as soon as anyone starts talking about consciousness it automatically becomes philosophy for some reason, so I decided to put it in this forum.



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 06:06 AM
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Originally posted by ChaoticOrder

It makes no difference, everything is simply energy in one form or another. If the soul exists it would be made of energy of some form, and the same questions apply to that energy and the behavior of it.


Nothing has freewill - it is forming unconditionally.

As you say everything is simply energy - but it is not in one form or another. It is the form that is actually appearing now - the energy is constantly forming new configurations.
The forming is formed always from the same source.
It is forming now and the form is seen now.

The soul is presence.
edit on 7-8-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 06:21 AM
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there's nothing out there. All reality is just in your mind. Only when you experience do you colapse the wave function. It's similar to a video game.



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 06:40 AM
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Originally posted by spartacus699
Only when you experience do you colapse the wave function. It's similar to a video game.


Agreed.
There is nothing just appearing to happen.



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 06:49 AM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


That's a general thought, that "energy" is a requirement. I think however, that we are infantile in our knowledge of all that is. We may call it a form of energy but words may well fall short of what "it" really is.

These are all very entertaining ideas. I don't mean to be somehow knowledgeable on the answers. I just think putting labels or any kind of finality to these ideas is a mistake. After all, it wasn't so long ago we thought that earth was the center of all and was flat.



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 06:56 AM
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Originally posted by Bleeeeep
reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


AI would destroy the universe trying to learn what it is. You don't want that.

To answer your deterministic and randomness question: I think probably both have happened. At the moment, we're reacting to what was spoken long ago (from our perspective.) I believe we're going through this to learn faith but it's already done.

Yeah, I know how it sounds.


Just had a funny vision of AI trying to consider all the possibilities before making a decision on action. The Windows hourglass appears saying please wait and the AI device blue screens.



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 02:55 PM
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Most self-aware systems in the physical Universe, will somehow be limited by several factors (exp. input sensory) in the chain of information processing.

Simple concept: INPUT -> PROCESSING -> OUTPUT
Processing is where the magic happens.

Of course nearly every organism in THIS universe will need energy to survive, even a fancy self aware quantum computer.
In other words. This will determine its orientation.Remember HAL (movie 2001)?

To make it as unpredictable as possible
this thing should have no problem with the issue "Death", enemies, predators, pain.

If it recognizes only itself & is blind to other beings, issues of death, full of trust and happiness, it would be interesting i think.

If it is self aware - it will recognize us humans and might be curious about us. Imagine a self aware robot - staring at you, calculating stuff how to interact with you.
You might have one of these at homes: Pets.
You come home and this robot is showing you some new learned tricks to make you feel happy or it might be depressed because it is not like you.

Whats my point here ? It will always be predictable to some extent. The internal critic will interact with representations of valued relationships-systems made out of symbols&concepts which is kind of its self-programming.
It chooses what it will self-program according to its environment & abilities.

This little tiny fluctuations in choosing what to make out of information-input (even for ghosts).
The more complex information, the more interesting might get. I simply cannot comprehend anything which would be a alternative to a minimum of 2 different states, to have a information, to observe and to actually have a will to choose how to relate to it as a consciousness.

Self-aware beings, building a self-aware being.
Well....if it is intelligent it would be pissed, because of its limits. If it could change the fundamental rules of the omniverse - well - this is another question.





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