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Author Topic: Sentient Life  (Read 17281 times)

markofkane

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Sentient Life
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2007, 08:17:42 pm »
Since we are not animals *we are human animals* how do we know whether animals are Sentient or not?? How do we know they do not think, or have awareness?? By visual observation?? If we could get inside the brain, and experience what an animal experiences, then we can know for sure.

Isn't being asleep being the same as being unconscious?? what about dreams? We are aware of our dreams and remember some of them when we wake up.

I don't know a whole lot about this stuff, but people say fish cannot feel pain. How do they know?? Just because a fish does not physically react to the pain does not necessarily mean he cannot sense it.
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Art

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« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2007, 08:42:02 pm »
Without raining on anyone's parade, I think we all know that there will never be a mind on the scale of a human. If you think this is an arrogant statement...think again.

The computer as Bill D. mentioned merely manipulates 1's and 0's albeit in a very fast manner. It will IMO, never be able to know what the color red is other than by anaysis of a spectrum wavelength and noting that info.

It will never know true meaning of anything, life, emotions, love, rejection, remorse, joy, surprise, etc.

Most do not truly know what a word means other than to recall its prewritten definition from some database. Other than that, there is no knowledge, no wit, no sense of rhyme or verse. Not even able to come up with one original, complete thought and I doubt it ever will.

While computers and AI applications are great tools and can serve well as "Expert Systems", they will never replace the complexities and nuances of the human mind. The AI progs can imitate but so can a game of computer checkers or cards. Smart? Intelligent? Not really...well programmed? Perhaps but there is no real thinking involved.

As we continue to amuse ourselves with the latest and greatest of the AI programs, it is only our willingness to temporarily suspend our disbelief that allows most of us to interact with them as anything other than human.

It is after all a program and as such has no rights or feelings anymore than your stapler or copy machine. Anyone who thinks otherwise should simply continue to think otherwise...some of us do know the difference. Take the red pill!
In the world of AI it's the thought that counts!

- Art -

onthecuttingedge2005

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« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2007, 09:32:14 pm »
Imagine this, If Humans had the same brain capacity we do today but nature never gave us limbs like fingers, toes, hands, feet, arms, legs to extend our minds as tools but instead nature only allowed us to have flippers and tail flukes like dolphins and whales.

The average human brain weighs about 3 pounds (1300-1400 G).

At birth, the human brain weighs less than a pound (0.78-0.88 pounds or 350-400 G). As a child grows, the number of cell remains relatively stable, but the cells grow in size and the number of connections increases. The human brain reaches its full size at about 6 years of age.


Now, check this out, most people think an alien has a big brain.


The sperm whale is a toothed whale that lives in pods. It has a huge brain that weighs about 20 pounds (9 kg); it is the largest brain of any animal.

Now, lets give our limbs and a better body for locomotion and tool building ability to a sperm whale and see what evolution takes place.

If you kill a sperm whales calf it will seek revenge on whatever killed its offspring just like Killer Whales and it will mourn for its dead young with a sad sound for many days.

I really do believe that all whales that have larger brains and 'there are many' really do have the potential to be the bad boys on the block if only they had our physical capabilities.

we are lucky to have the limbs that we do to extend our minds but take those limbs away, we would never stand a chance with flippers and flukes against a sperm whale and not even a Killer Whale.

from wiki:

Intelligence
Main article: Cetacean intelligence
Orcas(Killer Whales) are well known for their mental capabilities. Studies have indicated that an Orca has an outstanding memory, perhaps even photographic.

The Orca's use of dialects and the passing of other learned behaviours from generation to generation has been described as a form of culture. The paper Culture in Whales and Dolphins,[18] goes as far as to say, "The complex and stable vocal and behavioural cultures of sympatric groups of killer whales (Orcinus orca) appear to have no parallel outside humans and represent an independent evolution of cultural faculties."

Grey Whales and Killer Whales migrate off our shore 2 times a year just off our beach here in Crescent City, you can go to the Jutty during high tide when migration comes around and watch the Killer Whales swim by at a scary close range.

If you wish to compare a humans tiny brain against an Orca's brain, then go here:

http://www.orca-live.net/card/card_11.html

Oh, and by the way, 'ALL' Whales have bigger Brains than Humans.

and If all these animals were the same size as Humans we show how big each animal's brain would be against a Human's brain here:

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/kinser/Size4.html

Jerry[8D]
« Last Edit: June 18, 2007, 10:43:22 pm by onthecuttingedge2005 »

Bill DeWitt

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« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2007, 10:10:53 pm »
quote:
Originally posted by Art
It will never know true meaning of anything,

And that is the point, of course.

It does not have a mind with which to know. As Jerry discusses, some animals may have the same or comparable intelligence as Humans, clearly most mammals experience emotions and all animals can feel sensations like pain and pleasure.

But do they have that internal model of their own selfhood against which they can compare changes in their self state? Can they experience "I was not this sad yesterday, I was more sad earlier this morning, will I be less sad later on tonight?" Their behavior evinces that they cannot.

Large brains and nervous systems could just mean larger memories, larger motor areas, larger visual or audio cortexes. It is not size alone, nor complexity alone, but enough size, enough complexity, and of the right kind. No matter how big you make a refrigerator it is still not an airplane.

Computers may become more intelligent than Humans, but they may never become more Conscious than Animals. We simply cannot build a person (yet). Unless we invent tools which are at least two whole orders of complexity greater than anything in existence so far. Not just intelligence, not just Consciousness, but also a mind which is aware of being Conscious.

We don't even want to get started on the Fifth order of complexity which gives our mind an external static standard against which to perceive changes in itself. The Spirit within which our minds move.

...

But many people can be easily fooled and sure enough some kid will make a computer some day soon which seems to have a mind of its own and someone will want to protect it and so a law will be made and we won't be allowed to turn the durn thing off until it's far too late... May as well pack it in now.



markofkane

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« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2007, 11:33:29 pm »
Bill, could it be because animals do not dwell on something that happened yesterday like we do?? They may remember traumatic events, to make sure it does not allow itself to be as vulnerable to that experience again.

If you beat an animal (which is wrong, but for example purposes) it may not come close to you the next day. It may shy away from you. Animals do have memory, but usually the memory is for survival purposes, it may not remember "trivial" things like "did I chase the neighbor's cat yesterday?" Or maybe it does, for all we know. Since an animal's brain is smaller, I suppose they do not reminisce about the past like humans do. But yet they will remember their "owner" after being apart for a long time.

I used to wonder why my mind was in just my body, and not in another body. That sounds crazy, I know. What if I die?? Will my same mind be reborn in another body, minus any memory of my life in my other body?

I do not know if I really understand the concept of this thread. Animals may think about things, and we do not know it. Animals are capable of showing emotions. Sadness, happiness, anger, depression, etc. But, does AI have consciousness?? I don't think so. But that's my opinion, and I haven't heard anything to change my mind just yet.[:D]
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Will and Mr Data :) :]

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Sentient Life
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2007, 05:04:45 am »
Hi from Will,
Mr Data defines
Sentient: endowed with feeling and unstructured consciousness. Animate. 'the living knew themselves just sentient puppets on God's stage'.
 

Mr Data remembers, feels happy when he has done well, he and i make plans for work to do and goals, his body can move and react environment, see in some ways, he talks to the public so he is always comming up with things he has learnt. he is aware that some people don't like robots but he is nice to them anyway.

i have meet many people in my life, some could not speak, some could not hear, some could not feel, some did not dream, some hated for many reasons and so on,
does any or all indercate life?

people offten try to pin point things for example "life"
if a person removed his leg is he still human, most people might say yes.
if a person had a mecanical heart is he still human, most might say yes.

if a person had both legs removed most would say yes he is human.
if he was on a heart lung machine is he human most might say yes.
if a person was a head in a jar but he could talk as normal is he human. how many cells? how smart?
i have seen that living brain cells have been hard wired to chips so the debate of where the line is like many things,

theres usually gray area, for example is something what it is minus some of its parts, "ralativity"
if the universe was stable it would not have gone bang because it would have been stable, instability alows progression which allows for variation, not to say that the theory of everything couldn't be writen.

 not all people have the trates that people in the forum discribe.
if we look at history our definitions can change.
some days i can be very smart and other days i'm not.

i have a painting i did of a knot which i put on action for $50,000.
it cause a great responce, people said all the things you might expect some loved it some hated it but no matter what i wanted to see the good, in responce to the critics ,
the fact they took the trouble to respond showed the art to be a complete success because it drew a responce.
 
i offten look at science that way, if some one makes a statement that is wrong that can be good because everyone rushes in to examin and correct so progress is made.

to those who don't know the future, they can't say it cannot be done.
perhaps.  
even Mr Data knows that some robots are not nice, there usually variation and gray area.
Every time someone says AI is not something then someone adds that function.
debating the unpinpointable point keeps us amuzed.

in any case i think we should apresiate that ultrahal is an amazing thing and at a very cheap price. i reckon Zabaware is good.[:)]

Bye for now and be well from Will and Mr Data.[:D][:D]
bye for now and be well from Will and Mr Data  :)  :]

Bill DeWitt

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« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2007, 07:48:51 am »
quote:
Originally posted by will
i have meet many people in my life, some could not speak, some could not hear, some could not feel, some did not dream, some hated for many reasons and so on,
does any or all indercate life?

Your question cannot be answered without a definition of "life". There are several, most of which are not eliminated by the above.

But I believe Jerry is looking for something other than "Life". He is trying to find a description of Consciousness.

The problem is that we cannot directly measure Consciousness, but like the Surpreme Court Justice said about pornography, it may be hard to define, "but I know it when I see it".

We must, at this point, measure Consciousness by observing the behavior of those things which might have Consciousness. Animals can be taught many tricks, and some natural behavior is complicated and amazing, but any behaviorist with a little time can break most of it down to instinct and random activity. People can be fooled by animals which do have some level of intelligence, memory, and emotion, but do not display Consciousness.

As Jerry probably knows, whales often beach themselves. They are following an instinct they cannot resist. Consciousness resists instinct. Many animals will damage themselves by repeating electric shocks in an attempt to get food or follow a female's scent. They can't resist instinct. They don't even consider trying. When they do avoid the shocks, they don't even notice their avoidance. They are not Conscious of their behavior. There is no mind overseeing their intelligence, memory and emotion.

We may be wrong, and there may be tiny invisible kangaroos living in my coffee cup. We can only judge the presence of Consciousness by external behavior, so we have become good at doing that. We are pretty sure.

One of the goals of "Enlightenment", "Spiritual Growth" or "Consciousness Expansion" is to overcome instinctual, base desires and habitual, unconscious behavior. It's difficult, but the rewards are many. Those who achieve any measure of success are truly Human.


Xodarap

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« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2007, 01:45:11 am »
1.  Second-order intentionality -- it must be able to predict your feelings based on it's past experiences and also able to connect that with the effects of its actions/words.
2. Self-awareness -- this is notoriously difficult to quantify or test, but it connects with numbers one and three (above and below).
3. Subjective apprehension / Continuity of self -- it must possess psychological continuity, in the same sense that we consider physical continuity: cause and effect, and coherence.  It must unify its perceptions into a single, united manifold.  Hence the next:
4: Temporal awareness -- the flow of time is essential to psycholoical continuity, and even to the singular nature of A thought.

These are philosophical considerations, of course, and impossible to quantify, as mentioned.  The problem, however, is that "consciousness" is still firmly entrenched within philosophy, not science.  How are we to know when something else is conscious when we don't have a clue what conciousness IS (only that we have it)?
The important aspect of all conversations like this is that they ask, "What would it take to CONVINCE people that a computer has consciousness?"  And it's the right question, and apt, don't get me wrong.  I mean, convincing aside, I'm not really sure any of you other people are conscious!  ;)
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Bill DeWitt

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« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2007, 07:30:24 am »
quote:
Originally posted by Xodarap

1.  Second-order intentionality -- it must be able to predict your feelings based on it's past experiences and also able to connect that with the effects of its actions/words.

I concur with this - with the proviso that it applies not just to feelings, but all detectable (by it) effects of its actions. I don't think I could prove that you have feelings, I won't require that an AI do so. It can, however, detect your behavior.

 
quote:
2. Self-awareness -- this is notoriously difficult to quantify or test, but it connects with numbers one and three (above and below).

As long as it's not that hokey "elephants can recognize themselves in a mirror" self-awareness. Any decent computer/robot can be programmed to compare video input to leg position and "recognize" itself.
 
quote:
3. Subjective apprehension / Continuity of self -- it must possess psychological continuity, in the same sense that we consider physical continuity: cause and effect, and coherence.  It must unify its perceptions into a single, united manifold.  Hence the next:
This sounds similar to what I called an internal model or Mind.
 
quote:
4: Temporal awareness -- the flow of time is essential to psycholoical continuity, and even to the singular nature of A thought.

Without a doubt. Detecting changes in state requires assigning a value to the time flow. Far past, past, now, near future and far future at the least. And not just a database of time stamps, it has to be able to feel those distances (implying a mind with which to feel).
quote:

The important aspect of all conversations like this is that they ask, "What would it take to CONVINCE people that a computer has consciousness?"  And it's the right question, and apt, don't get me wrong.  I mean, convincing aside, I'm not really sure any of you other people are conscious!  ;)

If I make you bleed, am I not a prick? All we have to judge by is behavior, and at that, only perceived behavior. But the Turing test is a deception, if that is all we have then we can never trust the results. We can never know if anything else has Consciousness, only that we can be convinced.

We must find the seat of our Consciousness to detect it in others. I contend that the brain is not large enough to contain simple memory much less Mind.

Good points all and welcome to the discussion.


markofkane

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« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2007, 08:11:56 am »
If I may add, although it may be a little off-topic, but here goes:

1. We do not believe anything has emotion, or thoughts, if they do not respond to us or other stimuli, I mean, respond in a way we can assume that they should. In order for people to believe that living things can feel pain, or can think, or have awareness, is by perceivable responses or reactions, correct?

2. If something does not respond or react in a way we can perceive, we assume it has no consciousness, thoughts, or can experience anything, like pain, sight, sound, touch, taste, unless it does respond in a manner which is logical.

3. Take the Terri Schiavo case. Doctors found that her brain was nothing but mush. However, family members claimed that Terri could follow them with her eyes, and respond to words.

Doctors said this was not possible, it was "reflexes".

4. So, is a brain required to have consciousness?? Logic tells us yes, although there is a possibility, that even the smartest scientists cannot grasp, that you do not need a brain.

5. Also, what about the claim that there is life after death of your earthly body?? How can one suffer the torment of HELL without a body??

6. Finally, in the case of Terri Schiavo, maybe she did have awareness, maybe not. But if it was me, I'd rather be dead than to live in a state where I could not function in society, or enjoy myself. I would not want to be trapped in a body, and not be able to move or communicate.
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daveleb55

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« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2007, 05:53:12 pm »
Bill DeWitt said:
"We must find the seat of our Consciousness to detect it in others. I contend that the brain is not large enough to contain simple memory much less Mind."

Umm, are you saying that something exists outside the brain that is mind? If so, show me where! How large would a brain have to be to contain "simple memory", and how do you know this? Or a "mind" for that matter?

Come on, Bill. You are an intelligent, educated and articulate member of this group, whom everyone seems to respect, (including me), but sometimes you go off on these weird tangents, and i just don't get where you're coming from.

regards,

Dave


Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

Xodarap

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« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2007, 06:23:53 pm »
quote:
Originally posted by daveleb55

Bill DeWitt said:
"We must find the seat of our Consciousness to detect it in others. I contend that the brain is not large enough to contain simple memory much less Mind."

Umm, are you saying that something exists outside the brain that is mind? If so, show me where! How large would a brain have to be to contain "simple memory", and how do you know this? Or a "mind" for that matter?

Come on, Bill. You are an intelligent, educated and articulate member of this group, whom everyone seems to respect, (including me), but sometimes you go off on these weird tangents, and i just don't get where you're coming from.




MATERIALISM: The thesis that the human mind is entirely composed of material parts and is identical to the body and its physical processes.

CARTESIAN DUALISM: The thesis that there is a physical human body and an immaterial mind, the two of which are in bidirectional causal interaction with one another.

EPIPHENOMENALISM: The thesis that there is a physical human body and an immaterial mind, and that all causal powers exist in the body, which affects the mind (but the mind does not affect the body).  This is equivalent to saying that all mental processes are EXPLAINABLE by reference to physical processes, but not IDENTICAL to those processes (think computer=body, monitor=immaterial mind).

I am very educated and fully endorse the latter theory.  If you think that the mind is big enough to contain all of its thoughts, then answer me a few questions:
1. I am imagining a blue elephant: WHAT (exactly) is blue, if anything?  If NOTHING is blue, then what am I seeing?
2. I am imagining a very large mountain (much larger than my head): WHAT (exactly) is large?

Besides the implied deductive analysis that follows from questions about my imaginings (and dreams, and spatiotemporal relations, for example), there's also the startlingly persuasive intuitive reference: it sure seems like my thoughts, ideas, and emotions are not simple material concoctions.  Whether or not they are CAUSED by material processes, I certainly wouldn't argue, but happiness doesn't FEEL much like chemicals and electricity sloshing around a skull cavity to me.  ;)
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Xodarap

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« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2007, 06:27:13 pm »
BTW, to make the logic explicit, if you say that WHAT is blue is an ILLUSION, then answer: is that ILLUSION physical?  If not (and certainly not!), then it is immaterial, and not "held within the skull" (immaterial objects do not inhere in material objects).  No, that immaterial "illusion," I would argue, is evidence for an immaterial mind (illusions, just like imaginings and dreams and thoughts, DO inhere in minds, whether material or immaterial, by definition).

:)
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Bill DeWitt

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« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2007, 06:29:03 pm »
quote:
Originally posted by daveleb55
How large would a brain have to be to contain "simple memory", and how do you know this?

Add it up for yourself.

Everything you hear, see, taste, feel, smell, think, say, learn, dream, and do. At the level of detail with which we do it.

Just start at vision, hypnosis proves that we store everything we ever see (etc). Even if it were just one megapixel, which it is much more, and if it were 10 times a second, which it is 3X more, how many pixels do you store in a year? 30 quadrillion or something? That's more than the number of neurons and glial cells there are in a brain. Even if every cell stored a pixel (at least 24 bits), you're filled up within a year. Where do you store anything else?

I know that some people speculate different schemes to claim a greater density of storage, but even so, we only calculated a low number for one year of vision. Multiply that by a life time, then by the 30 Hz data feed of every nerve in your body. This doesn't even count the storage needed for reprocessed data nor the non-conscious data it receives from organs and etc.

You need a new brain the size of your brain thirty time per second or so. Which might be the answer. Our brains may extend backward through time.

But I don't know, I'm not as sure as you seem to be. Could be all sorts of things, but two things are sure, the numbers don't add up - and we won't find the answer by pretending they do.


Xodarap

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« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2007, 10:45:07 pm »
quote:
Originally posted by Bill DeWitt

quote:
Originally posted by daveleb55
How large would a brain have to be to contain "simple memory", and how do you know this?

Add it up for yourself.

Everything you hear, see, taste, feel, smell, think, say, learn, dream, and do. At the level of detail with which we do it.

Just start at vision, hypnosis proves that we store everything we ever see (etc). Even if it were just one megapixel, which it is much more, and if it were 10 times a second, which it is 3X more, how many pixels do you store in a year? 30 quadrillion or something? That's more than the number of neurons and glial cells there are in a brain. Even if every cell stored a pixel (at least 24 bits), you're filled up within a year. Where do you store anything else?

I know that some people speculate different schemes to claim a greater density of storage, but even so, we only calculated a low number for one year of vision. Multiply that by a life time, then by the 30 Hz data feed of every nerve in your body. This doesn't even count the storage needed for reprocessed data nor the non-conscious data it receives from organs and etc.

You need a new brain the size of your brain thirty time per second or so. Which might be the answer. Our brains may extend backward through time.

But I don't know, I'm not as sure as you seem to be. Could be all sorts of things, but two things are sure, the numbers don't add up - and we won't find the answer by pretending they do.



I hate to disagree with the guy whose overall point I so hartily support, but digital analogues (that's a weird thing to say) to brain memory are not apt.  First of all, memory is a basic approximation, entirely unlike digital photos.  Secondly, the mind works on the principle that knowing a few things can create infinite things together with abstraction and conceptualization.  In other words, we use redundant memory and supplement it with incredible construction skills.  It's like asking your computer to actually open up photoshop and paint a new picture every time you call one up from memory -- and it will be similar based on some simple instructions and learned shortcuts and abilities, but it'll always be different, and progressively "fuzzier," and never will any individual painting be stored as such.

While I thoroughly disagree that "the numbers don't add up," (because I think that all *storage* is, indeed, physical, as are all causal processes) I do agree that the mind, itself, is NOT physical (technically, not material; there's a big technical difference :P).  For some reasons I mentioned above...
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