A Theoretical Question About Creating "Life".

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posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 10:04 AM
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Let's assume that at some point we can construct an extremely powerful computer that can function like a brain.
(Obviously, whether this will ever be possible remains to be seen).

If such an artificial brain becomes conscious (aka "becomes a persona")...would the computer, the machine which houses the artificial brain become the body? Would we then have created a real, living being? (If not: Why not? Why makes an organic living being be different?)

Or would the brain, the function of the brain of this machine/computer be separate from the machinery and the computer chips etc...so we would have created an intelligence, a being but one which exists "without a body"? Is a being/intelligence that would be conscious and thinking without a body (where the brain may only be created by runnign a computer program) even imaginable?

Would an "incredible powerful" computer which can create a virtual brain (and thus consciousness, I just ASSUME that it would be possible of course)...prove that consciousness/soul is independent of the body?

What would be the criteria that one would say "this consciousness created via a very powerful computer" is "fake" as compared to a consciousness/being using an organic body?
edit on 52014RuFridayAmerica/Chicago57AMFridayFriday by NoRulesAllowed because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 10:08 AM
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Define what "life" is first.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 10:10 AM
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Krazysh0t
Define what "life" is first.


That's EXACTLY the original question I had before I came up with this mental exercise...



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 10:13 AM
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reply to post by NoRulesAllowed
 


Why are you tying consciousness to life? Do you consider plants conscious? What about single celled organisms?



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 10:30 AM
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reply to post by Krazysh0t
 


Congratulations. You are redundantly emphasizing the need for this thread. Now let's get down to discussing finer details. Give your opinion so we can move forward.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 10:35 AM
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I think the difference is humans have a soul and A.I. does not. I'm not saying that A.I. cannot be very close, but still, the difference is in that.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 10:38 AM
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reply to post by Fylgje
 


First off, the soul is an unproven concept, so your statement that humans have a soul could very well be untrue. Second off, humans aren't the only living thing in our universe. So you think that tree in your yard has a soul?



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 10:42 AM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


No, I think my questions are very necessary despite your snarkiness. In order to have a proper philosophical debate, the terms being used must be properly defined. In order to classify if a computer with a real functioning A.I. is alive, we need to decide what it means to be alive first. Does it have to be conscious? Organic? Have a soul? Able to die?

We don't even know how all the life on this planet operates, let alone how it evolved and developed elsewhere in the universe. For all we know, there are sentient rocks living on some planet on the other side of the galaxy.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 11:03 AM
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reply to post by Krazysh0t
 


In other words, a pointless discussion?



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 11:10 AM
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AfterInfinity
reply to post by Krazysh0t
 


In other words, a pointless discussion?


I didn't say that, you did.

An extension of the OP's question. If we were to take a person and download all their memories and thoughts into a computer so that they are completely a machine, but can still think and reason like a human, are they still alive?



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 11:32 AM
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reply to post by Krazysh0t
 


black mirror series 2 episode 1 Be Right Back, covers your question to that quite nicely, the woman who had her dead husband downloaded from various social media sites , messages voice mail etc, (digital approximation?) into a android.. without spoiling the ending , lets just say things didn't go to well at the death.



funBox

edit on 3-1-2014 by funbox because: wolves forced me to add a better description than mine



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 11:57 AM
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reply to post by Krazysh0t
 



I didn't say that, you did.

An extension of the OP's question. If we were to take a person and download all their memories and thoughts into a computer so that they are completely a machine, but can still think and reason like a human, are they still alive?


I didn't say it, I asked it. I was inquiring as to whether that was your unspoken conclusion, since it struck me as a fairly logical finish to the points you were making. But evidently, I misunderstood.

In answer to your question: Yes, I imagine they would be. It's rather interesting. A person who is in a coma and is therefore effectively a sack of flesh being sustained by machines is considered "alive", but a machine capable of reasoning analytically or even accurately portraying "human" emotions is considered to not be alive.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 01:02 PM
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reply to post by NoRulesAllowed
 


Although most people see computer programs as a set of instructions with YES/NO decision branches, it still requires a form of intelligence to obey the command. We very often do not appreciate that little entities are in fact keeping a machine running. Take a car for example. It is taken for granted that the engine will run and will run faster when you press the gas pedal. But behind the scenes is a network of quantum servants if you will.

Therefore , if you appreciate there is intelligence already there, it is not difficult to see how you can bring in an overseeing intelligence into a machine which would coordinate even better the work of the sub-entities. As you would have guessed I am coming from the notion that everything in life is driven by nature spirits, etc.

Can you ensoul the machine.? I say yes without hesitation.

Is it a machine with or without a body ? The body will be whatever it has access to. If it can plug into your kettle and run it , the kettle become an extension. If it plugs into your electric blanket, that become its body too but beware the danger. If is is ensouled, it could give an electric shock to test its autonomy.

But what you will have is a being which functions only on 1 cylinder instead of 4 like a human. They will always yearn to be human.

All above concepts are from the practice of creating artificial elementals by magical practitioners.

As for allowing a machine to be as a human, a certain form of union would be required. A bit like in the first Startrek movie with the old cast where the young captain connects to V-ger at the end and starts a new life form whilst Kirk and co watch on.







edit on 3-1-2014 by crowdedskies because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 01:04 PM
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reply to post by NoRulesAllowed
 


We would have created intelligence, but I don't think we would have created life. Scientists have toyed with the idea of inoganic life, by means of constructing a living organism from inorganic materials... A brain is just that. A brain.

You would still need a vessel to contain that brain before it could be considered "life" IMO. Imagine your computer was capable of sentience, the case would still be a case. The equivalent of you or I wearing a jacket. If the case were integrated into the system, however, then I'd be willing to admit that the sentient computer is "alive", as it then has a body... it has become an organism, not just a complex thought box.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 01:13 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


I think that they would be "alive", however, they would be a different sort of alive.

A human's life is measured by when they die. Regardless of the quality of life, we accept that all humans are alive, until dead. I think once you've transferred/uploaded your conciousness to a machine, life becomes something different. You won't be human anymore, as your human self will die and degrade, but you have infinite potential to live on as a digital memory.

The problem I see with that, is that organic life doesn't need defragmentation or anything like that. We (most of us) aren't afraid of someone being able to click a button, or execute a line of code, and erase us from existence. Once you're on the cloud, that is potentially a risk. If we find a way to become immortal on the cloud, then we're not really alive, we're just a really clever program. If that program has the potential for immortality, but is susceptible to degradation or deletion, I think that's where we would define a digital self as being "alive"

Life needs death for it to be life. (It's 6am here, this is far too complex a thing to be contemplating. Ha)



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 01:19 PM
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I've seen 2 documentaries about AI in a virtual environment, and in robots, and both times, you saw the AI react like organic entities. There was violence, there was desire to control and mostly, desire to sit on top of the food chain.

So a self conscious robot would be another type of life form. Our bodies have tons of mechanism to "regulate" life, or the body functions like robots do.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 02:19 PM
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reply to post by NoRulesAllowed
 


1966 novel about same subject: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein

Thesis: "Consciousness (i.e., self-awareness) is an emergent property of complexity."

A GREAT read for a (then) 14-year-old Geek-In-Training.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 04:07 PM
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windslayer
reply to post by NoRulesAllowed
 


We would have created intelligence, but I don't think we would have created life. Scientists have toyed with the idea of inoganic life, by means of constructing a living organism from inorganic materials... A brain is just that. A brain.

You would still need a vessel to contain that brain before it could be considered "life" IMO. Imagine your computer was capable of sentience, the case would still be a case. The equivalent of you or I wearing a jacket. If the case were integrated into the system, however, then I'd be willing to admit that the sentient computer is "alive", as it then has a body... it has become an organism, not just a complex thought box.


If you could get a functioning human being, remove the brain and then break it down into all the elemental parts. Apart from getting arrested with the charge of murder. Your defence might be that since, all you have done is disassemble the brain to find its constituents, and have all the bits available. Then the life that you have been accused of taking is nothing more than an assembly job, so that the functioning individual that you have dispatched, is no more than the information on how these bits go back together. Therefore the life of that individual was essentially information. Which of course is ridiculous, as a prime source has to be there to manipulate all the information. Doesn't that suggest a core program to hold it all together? a soul by any name you might wish to call it. Then without this any machine is giving the illusion of independent thought.



posted on Jan, 3 2014 @ 08:21 PM
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reply to post by NoRulesAllowed
 


Any computer, however large or sophisticated is and will only ever be just a mass of inanimate objects.



posted on Jan, 4 2014 @ 09:27 AM
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reply to post by Krazysh0t
 


When I say soul, I mean the energy that all living things possess(humans, plants, animals, insects, etc..). I believe that all that energy comes from somewhere and goes back and continues in that cycle. So, in order for A.I. to be on the same par as life, I think it would have to possess that natural energy of spontaneity, and in order for that to happen, I think we would have to find what is referred to as heaven. Then man can play god.





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