Forget modern modest achievements in the field of artificial intelligence, such as self-guided cars. In fact, everyone is waiting for something else: a machine that is aware of its existence and environment and that can handle massive amounts of data in real time. It could be sent to a dangerous mission, into space or on the battlefield. She could cook, clean, wash, iron, transport people and even compose a company when there are no other people nearby.
Especially advanced machines could replace people literally in all workplaces. This would save humanity from black labor, but it would also shock many social foundations. Life without work, turned into a holiday, can become unbearable.
Conscious machines also raise disturbing legal and ethical issues. Will the conscious machine obey the law and be held accountable for its actions if they hurt someone or if something goes wrong? Imagine a more terrible scenario: can such machines rebel against us and destroy humanity? If so, then they will represent the culmination of evolution.
Subhash As, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, working in the field of machine learning and quantum theory, argues that the opinion of researchers as to whether the superconscious machines will ever exist is divided. Also, questions are discussed about whether or not machines can be called “conscious”, as if we are thinking about people or some animals. Some of the issues are related to technology; others have to do with what such consciousness really is.
Is there enough awareness?
Most computer scientists believe that consciousness is a characteristic that will appear as technology develops. Others think that consciousness includes the acceptance of new information, the storage and retrieval of old information, and also the cognitive processing of all this in perceptions and actions. If so, once the machines are highly conscious. They will be able to extract more information than even humans, store more libraries, have access to vast databases in milliseconds and count all of this in solutions more complex and more logical than any person could ever afford.
On the other hand, there are physicists and philosophers who say that in human behavior there is more than just the sum of parts, and it is impossible to comprehend the machine. Creativity, for example, and the sense of freedom that people have, seemingly not connected with logic or calculations.
However, there are other opinions about the mind and whether the machine will ever find it.
One of the points of view about consciousness follows from the quantum theory, one of the most proven theories in physics. According to the classical Copenhagen interpretation, consciousness and the physical world are complementary aspects of one reality. When a person observes something, conducts experiments, some aspects of the physical world change precisely under the influence of human consciousness. Since the Copenhagen interpretation takes consciousness as a given and does not attempt to extract it from physics, consciousness within this interpretation exists by itself – however it requires the brains to become real. This view was popular among the pioneers of quantum theory, such as Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg and Erwin Schrodinger.
The interaction between consciousness and matter leads to paradoxes that remain unresolved after 80 years of disputes. A well-known example of such disputes is the paradox of the Schrodinger cat, in which the cat finds itself in a situation in which it is either dead or dead – and the act of observation itself makes the conclusion unambiguous.
The opposite point of view is that consciousness is born from biology, as biology itself is born from chemistry, which in turn is born from physics. This concept of consciousness suits neuroscientists who believe that mental processes are identical to the states and processes of the brain. It also agrees with one of the relatively new interpretations of quantum theory – a multi-world interpretation in which observers are part of mathematical physics.
Philosophers from science believe that modern concepts of quantum mechanics about consciousness have parallels in ancient philosophy. For example, according to Vedanta, consciousness is the fundamental basis of reality, like the physical universe.
Other concepts are more similar to Buddhism. Although Buddha preferred not to question the nature of consciousness, his followers claimed that the mind and consciousness originated from emptiness or nothing.
Copenhagen interpretation of consciousness and scientific discoveries
Scientists also study whether consciousness is always a computational process. Some scientists argue that the creative moment does not end with deliberate calculation. For example, dreams or visions are supposed to have inspired Elias Howe in 1845 to the consciousness of a modern sewing machine and the discovery of the structure of benzene by Augustus Kekule in 1862. ”
A powerful testimony in favor of the Copenhagen interpretation of consciousness was the life of the Indian mathematics self-taught Srinivasa Ramanujan, who died in 1920 at the age of 32 years. His notebook, which was lost and forgotten for 50 years, and then published in 1988, contained several thousand forms without proofs in various fields of mathematics, which were far ahead of their time. The methods by which he found his formulas are also unknown. However, the case itself can not be called reliable. Another thing is important.
The concept of the Copenhagen interpretation of consciousness raises the question of how it relates to matter and how matter and mind influence each other. In itself, consciousness can not make physical changes to the world, but, perhaps, it affects the probability in the evolution of quantum processes. The observational act can freeze and even affect the motion of atoms, as proved by the physics of Cornell University in 2015. This can perfectly explain the interaction of matter and mind.
Reason and self-organizing systems
Perhaps, the phenomenon of consciousness requires a self-organizing system, like the physical structure of the brain. If so, modern machines will lag far behind.
Scientists do not know whether adaptive self-organizing machines can be as complex as the human brain; We lack the mathematical theory of computations for such systems. Perhaps only biological machines can be creative enough and flexible. But then it says that people will soon have to start working on new biological structures that will – or can become