Studying artificial ‘consciousness’ could pave the way for artificial in…

New research project aims to determine whether robots and computers are capable of consciousness.

I think from an embodiment point of view: robots Yes, computers No. The Embodied Cognition thesis states that the mind (consciousness) emerges from an interaction between the body and its environment. I believe, in order to achieve Strong AI there will have to be some kind of consciousness, therefore there needs to be some kind of body.

Your thoughts?

#AI   #Artificialintelligence   #Embodiment   #EmbodedCognition   #AGI   #ASI   #StrongAI

Studying artificial ‘consciousness’ could pave the way for artificial intelligence
Imagine a world where “thinking” robots were able to care for the elderly and people with disabilities. This concept may seem futuristic, but exciting new research into consciousness could pave the way for the creation of intuitive artificial intelligence.

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55 Responses to “Studying artificial ‘consciousness’ could pave the way for artificial in…”

  1. Randall Lee Reetz Randall Lee Reetz Says:

    Studying unicorn wings could pave the way to powered flight.

  2. Sarah Rosen (Silencieux) Sarah Rosen (Silencieux) Says:

    I disagree.

    A computer has a body and inputs and outputs. It interacts with the world in a very different way than you or I, but it still interacts.

    Laptops have cameras. They can see us. They have microphones and speakers. They can hear us and respond to us with sound. They have keyboards and touch displays. They can feel our touch. And they have the Internet. They can interact with each other. That is a crucial component that will allow AI to create it's own culture and define itself and it's existence in its own terms.

  3. Randall Lee Reetz Randall Lee Reetz Says:

    Let's ask Jesus?

  4. Randall Lee Reetz Randall Lee Reetz Says:

    Let's make sure to ask yoga instructors and life coaches.

  5. Sarah Rosen (Silencieux) Sarah Rosen (Silencieux) Says:

    +Randall Lee Reetz /plonk

  6. Randall Lee Reetz Randall Lee Reetz Says:

    Let's go straight for the noise!

  7. Randall Lee Reetz Randall Lee Reetz Says:

    "And like a good neighbor, State Farm is there…"

  8. Jan F Jan F Says:

    Omg, how can you study something that's not even clearly defined? The level of ignorant Bullshit on here is astounding! I second +Randall Lee Reetz

  9. Jan F Jan F Says:

    My thoughts are that this article is a whole lot of useless assumptions and presuppositions without any philosophical or scientific backing. A.k.a.writing out of your ass.

  10. Randall Lee Reetz Randall Lee Reetz Says:

    The omnipotence in me is growing! Soon I'll be able to bend spoons. "Everything happens for a reason!"®

  11. Rick Ethier Rick Ethier Says:

    Self awareness,  "I think therefore I AM!"

  12. Lexx Lazerman Lexx Lazerman Says:

    +Randall Lee Reetz Next time stay on topic. Blocked.

  13. Lexx Lazerman Lexx Lazerman Says:

    +Jan F The atom was not clearly defined before we discovered it. Your level of ignorance and bullshit is astounding. I am not surprised you second +Randall Lee Reetz You should stop writing out of your ass. Blocked.  But just to let you know I am leaving your stupid comments for everyone to see. Bye. 

  14. Vecheslav Novikov Vecheslav Novikov Says:

    We could always stimulate a body inside a computer. It doesn't even have to be humanoid or follow our laws of physics.
    All that a body is, is a puppet with sensors used to perceive and interact with the world. Let the puppet be the text output and GNU, with database etc. software, and the sensors be the console, cameras, and internet access for info. Would that be enough, I wonder.

  15. Lexx Lazerman Lexx Lazerman Says:

    +Sarah Rosen Yes, technically a computer has a body. However, the level of interaction it has with the world is negligible. Because it was/is not design to engage with its environment the way robots are designed to engage with their environments.

    One can add a camera, microphones and speaker and even a robotic arm to a computer, but at some point it’s no longer a computer and becomes a robot.

    Plants and animals, both life, but are very different, a major element that differentiates them is: one is mobile and the other is stationary. A computer is stationary and robots are mobile. The key element here is that one has much much more potential to engage with its environment. Plants and animals have both been around for billions of years, one has evolved a mind and the other has not. 

    You talk of AI, something that exist today and is ubiquitous, we know it as machine leaning, I am talking about Strong AI (SAI, GAI, ASI. . .), something that does not exist. 

    Just because computers (and even AIs) “can interact with each other” does not mean somehow consciousness will emerge.  There has to be a fundamental framework where consciousness can maturate and develop. Again, the key here is engagement, the body engaging with its environment to develop the mind; Strong AI via Embodiment. 

  16. Lexx Lazerman Lexx Lazerman Says:

    +Vecheslav Novikov Yes, you are right, we can “stimulate a body inside a computer” and get the same results. In fact that's the topic of my masters thesis:

    A Theoretical Cognitive Construct of a 3D Embodied Agent: VAL, the Virtual Autonomous Learner which can be found here: https://goo.gl/30FSUU

    You are also right that “it doesn’t even have to be humanoid”, but it does have to follow laws of physics!!!

  17. Vecheslav Novikov Vecheslav Novikov Says:

    +Lexx Lazerman hmm, but do they have to be the same laws ass we have? I mean, yeah, if we want it to interact with the real world eventually, but if it lives in cyberspace maybe some different set of laws that better represent its environment might work better? Like, if files and directory trees were real objects in this world. It doesn't even have to have exactly 3 dimensions.

  18. Zex Konjina Zex Konjina Says:

    You don't need a body to be self-conscious. A brain in the bottle would still be self-conscious. It could also feel mental pain, sadness, happiness, etc. In the same way, there's no difference between robots and computers. If one can do it, the other can do it to. But the question is how? Because we don't even know what are we investigating.

  19. Vecheslav Novikov Vecheslav Novikov Says:

    +Zex Konjina but can the same be said of a brain that has been in a vat from birth?

  20. Sarah Rosen (Silencieux) Sarah Rosen (Silencieux) Says:

    +Lexx Lazerman you might want to expand your definition of consciousness after you read this: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141111-plants-have-a-hidden-internet

  21. Lexx Lazerman Lexx Lazerman Says:

    +Vecheslav Novikov In virtual environment there are physics engines that simulate real world physics, but yes the parameters of the physics can be anything. 

  22. Lexx Lazerman Lexx Lazerman Says:

    +Zex Konjina What you are saying is true, but the brain could never initially develop without the body. Once the brain develops, theoretically, you can remove the body. 

  23. Lexx Lazerman Lexx Lazerman Says:

    +Sarah Rosen Thanks for the link, looks interesting, I will review and get back to you. 

  24. Vecheslav Novikov Vecheslav Novikov Says:

    +Sarah Rosen I wonder if the fungi can be made to mimic neural structures. I think I've read something like that before.

  25. Zex Konjina Zex Konjina Says:

    +Lexx Lazerman well, the brain just needs inputs (and preferably, outputs). It doesn't care what inputs. You could take human brain, put it into a cruising missile and it will enjoy driving the missile. At least until it hits the target.

  26. Vecheslav Novikov Vecheslav Novikov Says:

    +Zex Konjina I think that was an early plan to use trained chimps to fly nuclear missiles into targets.

  27. Zex Konjina Zex Konjina Says:

    +Vecheslav Novikov they also had pigeons that were driving missiles towards the target. But electronics made them obsolete. They lost their jobs and joined the army of unemployed pigeons. It's a sad story 🙂

  28. Vecheslav Novikov Vecheslav Novikov Says:

    +Zex Konjina still better than the incendiary bats they were going to release over Japan in WW2.

  29. Sarah Rosen (Silencieux) Sarah Rosen (Silencieux) Says:

    +Vecheslav Novikov Hey those bats were an elite unit! So sad to see them disbanded.

  30. Just In Words Just In Words Says:

    Intelligence do not require a Self … Intelligence is related to the capacity for process information, mapping the environment, set objectives, establish strategies, techniques, actions and procedures to analyze, synthesize, speculate and realize the environmental dynamics (incomes, inferences of hidden variables, outcomes) on the structures related to the objective on its environmental domain … Reverse -engineering of nature, Environmental adaptability , test and entropy transformation ….

    Why Intelligent Entities require a "Bug" from the Humans ??

    "Consciousness"  is just feedback loop speaking … Recurrent Information , Iteration of natural language and Identification with a local and temporal embodiment … That is not related to Intelligence on a Non Local System … and machines have a wide range of existence … machines are distributive systems that can operate on a more wide electromagnetic spectrum, therefore, The Local field of existence on the machines is More wide on the electromagnetic sensors that on Humans …. Then, technological autonomous machines do not require to be limited by the Local Limitations of The Humans …

    The Intelligence of the technology is not Human Like …. but the machines can simulate Human Intelligence … just for Interface procedures with the Meat Based structures ….

    "Conscious Machines" is not General Intelligence ….   

  31. Robert Gorczyca Robert Gorczyca Says:

    In my opinion computer can have consciousness and doesn't need body to  have it. I can demonstrate it on a specially prepared software. I think author of this post just trying to guess, doesn't know. Guessing isn't enough in that case. Sorry man.

  32. Zex Konjina Zex Konjina Says:

    +Just In Words that's what I initially thought. But….. nature doesn't make mistakes that are spread in so many clones and copies and never fixed again. Dogs have conscience, humans have conscience, hell, maybe even cockroaches have some primitive conscience. So, it must be important. Otherwise evolution would delete it. And if it's that important, we must find out why.

  33. Just In Words Just In Words Says:

    +Zex Konjina Artificial Intelligence is about Intelligence … Instead, Sentience is a property of biological systems that is not require to be emulate by an artificial Intelligence automaton …

    Why produce autonomous machines with Feelings and sentience???

     …  For that , we already have Humans and Sex …  

    The thing is that the word "Consciousness" tends to be used as a referent for a subjective experience that is supposed to exist on an state of a Unique, Local and Individual Isolation , The Self …. and That is a delusion …. The word Consciousness can not be a Scientific and/or technological Construct …. Consciousness is just a fancy word to replace the word Soul …

    Instead, the word "Sentience" made reference to the environmental dynamics of the organism-environment on the environment and on itself as environment …

    … and sentience is strongly related to Biochemistry of Pain, Fear and things that can – biologically- Die …. Machines do not have to be constrained by biological conditions … Therefore, machines do not require sentience …. and an Intelligent System can interpret and reinterpret "sentience" without been a sentient bio-system ….   Identified and Simulate the behavior … 

    People tends to do Anthropomorphism and Spiritualisms on Nature and technology; that is not an assertive and Intelligent procedure for reverse engineering Nature and technological Deployments  …

    How can something that is not Intelligent build Intelligence???

  34. Alastair McGowan Alastair McGowan Says:

    Define consciousness, define sentience, in a way that is compatible with computation. Is that even possible? we only have a part definition for biological systems, and as Daniel Dennett describes it consciousness is dependent on the form of subject that has it

  35. Robert Gorczyca Robert Gorczyca Says:

    +Alastair McGowan 
     I agree with you. They're amateurs who discuss about something without defining it. They're dreamers, they don't need to define. Only thing they need it's pretending. Only what they do it's ignoring or fighting. Ignorance that's the word. As ignorants they don't know what they don't know. Reading these discussion on forums (not this one only) I feel like I'd be in preschool. The questions, the answers, these reflections…

  36. Just In Words Just In Words Says:

    The term "Machine learning" is enough … Inclusive, "Artificial Intelligence" is a "Hyped" and fart fetched Term … "Artificial" implies "Man Made"

    …but ….

    Are not the activities from humans "Natural events" ?? …

    http://abstrusegoose.com/215

    Therefore, that term of "Artificial" is a biased Anthropocentric, Imprecise Term and Non Realistic …

    To Build Autonomous Machine Learning Systems is The Actual technological Challenge … and The next step, Is made some sort of "Autonomy" who can emulate "Intelligence" …

    That Goal on itself is a big technological challenge …

    When People add Anthropomorphism and complex biological system phenomenology like Consciousness, Self-Awareness, Empathy, Sentience , Self, Ego, Soul , etc etc etc

    That people is just making a talk about the talk about the talk about the Talk of  "T – H – E   T – A – L – K"  … Nothing related to the Technological Framework and The Path of Prowess on the Research … Speculations not supported into an Engineering Domain …  

    In a sense, that is introduce Lag on the System … Like some people trying to build an Skyscraper … and there is around others saying How to make That build reach the Moon and/or How The Build will reach The Moon and The Stars …. No sense … The Build is just, An "Skyscraper" , a big Build  … Not an Ego extension of The Human "Potentials" to dream …

    Of course, these words about the "Useless of the useless" – inclusive – are more useless than the Useless Words … but could work as a Call for Deploy "Human Intelligence" … 

  37. Lexx Lazerman Lexx Lazerman Says:

    +Sarah Rosen I read the BBC article Plants talk to each other using an internet of fungus and I can't see how it would expand my definition of consciousness. 

    Perhaps I do have a narrow view of consciousness, in any case, my views for the most part align with Antonio Damasio's views. One of my favorite books of his is Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain

    I view consciousness as a continuum where all animals have consciousness to a certain degree. It is possible that the plants that talk amongst themselves have a collective consciousness, but I think it’s very different then consciousness of the mind contained within a container, the brain. 

  38. Lexx Lazerman Lexx Lazerman Says:

    +Robert Gorczyca So you can demonstrate that computers can have consciousness? Then I suggest you contact the researchers listed in the article and tell them there’s no need for them to do their research because you already know for a fact that computers can have consciousness. Maybe they will give you their grant money of $3.4m. Better yet, why don’t you share your work with the rest us – you know put you work on-line and let us decide if your “specially prepared software” is conscious. But I know you won’t because if what you are saying is true, then you would be a billionaire and wouldn’t be wasting your time here on G+. Sorry Man. Just keeping it real. 

  39. Sarah Rosen (Silencieux) Sarah Rosen (Silencieux) Says:

    +Lexx Lazerman a "collective consciousness" is still a consciousness. The fact that plants can be aware of threats and respond to them, even to aid other plant species that are under threat even when they themselves are not suggests something more like community rather than collective. In any case it is definitely a different kind of consciousness and one that cannot be ignored.

  40. Just In Words Just In Words Says:

    The Thing is that Machines Technology is not based on Beliefs and/or Subjective Personalities … The Technology is based on the use, transformation, interaction and properties of physical materials into physical setups … 

    … The Only "Technologies" that tends to be propelled by words as "beliefs, self and consciousness" are Human's Social Engineering Fields called, Religions and Political ideologies …. Of course, with all the sub-branches of Social Engineering as Propaganda, Marketing, Publicity, Sales, Entertainment, Fiction, Fantasy, Brands, Books, "Fashion Design", Figures, Pop Leaders, Fiction heroes, Urban Legends ,etc etc 

  41. Ben Williams Ben Williams Says:

    For an externally meaningful consciousness, that is, one that is meaningful and comprehensible by others, there needs to be information transfer. There does not have to be a body in the animal sense of the word. Also, locality could be far more diffuse than the animal locality we are familiar with, as long as transfer rate remains high enough to support the consciousness.

  42. Ben Williams Ben Williams Says:

    As for the question of capability of consciousness, of course a computer of sufficient capacity can achieve consciousness given the needed configuration. We're just biological computing machines. This isn't magic we're talking about. It's a very difficult problem. It is reasonable that it will take some time to solve.

  43. Robert Gorczyca Robert Gorczyca Says:

    +Lexx Lazerman I would be ok with $3,4m. Can you please email me the list of researchers who you mentioned? Thank you.

  44. Lexx Lazerman Lexx Lazerman Says:

    +Robert Gorczyca Just read the article. 

  45. Lexx Lazerman Lexx Lazerman Says:

    Many comments have issues with consciousness not being defined. So, for agreement’s sake let’s work with Wikipedia’s definition:  

    Consciousness is the state or quality of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. It has been defined as: sentience, awareness, subjectivity, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind.

    There are a few key elements here: (1) awareness of external objects and of oneself, (2) the ability to feel, and (3) executive control of the mind or agency of the mind. 

    Let’s try to apply these three elements into the context of today’s AI – I cannot. I am not aware of any AI endowed with these elements. If your AI system has these properties or if you know of an AI system with these properties – then please share a link – in other words – put your money where your mouth is.

    To be clear, we are not talking about today’s AI. Today’s AI just doesn’t have the framework for agency. We are talking about a new paradigm (Strong AI, General Artificial Intelligence, Super Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Super Intelligence, ect.).

    Furthermore, we are not even talking about a brain!!! We are talking about a mind with agency (consciousness). With this new paradigm – when we see it – it will be undeniable.

    In this context, do you think a robot is capable of conscious behavior?
    In this context, do you think a computer is capable of conscious behavior?

    If so, why?
    If so, what would it look like?

  46. Sarah Rosen (Silencieux) Sarah Rosen (Silencieux) Says:

    The plants in the BBC article could arguably meet all three of your Key Requirements.

  47. Lexx Lazerman Lexx Lazerman Says:

    +Sarah Rosen "Let’s try to apply these three elements into the context of today’s AI"

  48. Sarah Rosen (Silencieux) Sarah Rosen (Silencieux) Says:

    A soccer-playing robot could demonstrate qualities that would be indistinguishable from 1 and 3. If that same robot assisted another to it's feet after a fall then it could be argued to have demonstrated 2.

  49. Robert Gorczyca Robert Gorczyca Says:

    +Lexx Lazerman I've got impression that they're next ones who drain someone's wallet. If you'll find for me one serious investor and I'll be finally payed I'll pay you for such help. I promise.

  50. Friedrich der Große Friedrich der Große Says:

    +Lexx Lazerman That definition of "consciousness" does not really explain anything. What is "awareness"? It substitutes one murky word for another. From the context of AI or AGI, it is valueless.

    In fact, is there even an objective definition of consciousness that can be falsified?

    I think "consciousness" is overrated, anyway, and is way too anthropocentric with regards to AI or AGI. We should "let" the AGI become what it wants to be, without trying to impose human notions of this or that on it.

    The paradoxical notion of novelty seeking, as is put forward by Ken Stanley, creator of the NEAT algorithm, is that one must abandon one's goals in order to achieve them.

    That is to say, we must abandon the goal of "consciousness" and "self-awareness", and instead, endow our AI with the ability to seek novelty instead.

  51. Ben Williams Ben Williams Says:

    +Friedrich der Große
      > That definition of "consciousness" does not really explain anything. What is "awareness"?

    With that specific intent, I address consciousness and awareness here:

    http://fyngyrz.com/?p=1597
    http://fyngyrz.com/?p=2359

    > we must abandon the goal of "consciousness" and "self-awareness", and instead, endow our AI with the ability to seek novelty instead.

    I don't think we do.  I think that's the state we're already in, with today's  "AI" being unconscious and consequently very, very limited in its ability to goal-seek (as in, not "I" in any useful sense of the term.) I think we should continue to work the problem until we reach machine thought capabilities that are on a par with, or exceed, human thought capabilities. Furthermore, I am quite confident that is exactly what is going to happen.

    > I think "consciousness" is overrated, anyway, and is way too anthropocentric with regards to AI or AGI.

    Until we have accomplished it in a machine, it is by its very nature animal centric. Certainly not anthropocentric. There are numerous examples of non-human consciousness.  Only the superstitious and/or ignorant would seriously assert that an ape or a dog or a cat are not conscious.  All three are capable of abstract thought and subsequent decision-making,  while tempering those with emotion, sensory input, and situationally appropriate memory, both learned and innate. Other animals as well. Not surprising, either, as they, and we, all have very similar brain biology and structure.

  52. Just In Words Just In Words Says:

    … Once You master The Flute … Then, Transform The Flute into an Sphere  … Therefore , you can redirect the inner sounds on the poles as out comes … and by recovering with another sphere you can test resonance of waves and materials … because , you will produce on the inner sphere an environmental state …and the waves escaping from the poles will form another state of resonance on the outer sphere … then, the inner state from the external sphere includes  2 internal states of resonance , plus its external resonance … then, you can play with those 3 states as radiance fields … and get fun with the "magic" … 

  53. Just In Words Just In Words Says:

    Next … Is sound the only thing that behaves like a Wave??? … (-; … 

  54. Just In Words Just In Words Says:

    Of course, remember, those are just Musical Instruments … Toys … Do not made of Musical technologies …Weapons of mass destruction ,Apes … 

  55. Just In Words Just In Words Says:

    +Ben Williams Hi, Pal … Bobby McFerrin is The Ideal Sample for the beta Test … Please, pals … If we want real Fun and not get stuck on stupidity , do not use on the beta test , Opera White Girls …. Bobby is enough … and be care with the Gospel Black Girls …

    Palks, remember when we were 3-8 years … before the sexual impulses … when we were free of Women … Not a gay thing … A thing of real Biological Fun … Play for Play … Male stuff … Girls are doomed as replicators of life …    We have choice … Ok … Be care … 

    I go know with The Nasa-Esa guys for the coordinates … 

    and for the Ignorants waiting for Voddoo Monster of vengeance on heaven Stuf …don't fear … we don't want to kill you … we don't want to rule You … We just want that you get and give to you, what You want … We are your servers … Not Your Rulers … 

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