Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Artificial Consciousness: in the philosophical discussion about artificial consciousness, the question is whether non-living systems can acquire a set of distinctions that allow a “knowledge-how”. This is meant to be an experiencing of qualities, which can lead to novel decisions. In contrast, the (artificial) intelligence in the narrower sense is the ability to solve problems. See also artificial intelligence, strong artificial intelligence, consciousness, self-consciousness, connectionism, qualia, knowledge-how.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

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Marvin Minsky on Artificial Consciousness - Dictionary of Arguments

Minsky I 41
Soul/artificial intelligence/AI/Minsky: People ask if machines can have souls. And I ask back whether souls can learn. It does not seem a fair exchange - if souls can live for endless time and yet not use that time to learn — to trade all change for changelessness. And that's exactly what we get with inborn souls that cannot grow: a destiny the same as death, an ending in a permanence incapable of any change and, hence, devoid of intellect. >Self/AI/Minsky.
What are those old and fierce beliefs in spirits, souls, and essences? They're all insinuations that we're helpless to improve ourselves. To look for our virtues in such thoughts seems just as wrongly aimed a search as seeking art in canvas cloths by scraping off the painter's works. >Mind/AI/Minsky.
I 160
Artificial Consciousness/Minsky: When people ask, Could a machine ever be conscious? I'm often tempted to ask back, Could a person ever be conscious? I mean this as a serious reply, because we seem so ill-equipped to understand ourselves. Long before we became concerned with understanding how we work, our evolution had already constrained the architecture of our brains.
E.g. (…) we simply aren't very good at dealing with the kinds of situations that need […] memory-stacks. This could be why we get confused when hearing sentences like this:
This is the malt that the rat that the cat that the dog worried killed ate.
The very same words can be rearranged to make an equivalent sentence anyone can understand:
This is the dog that worried the cat that killed the rat that ate the malt.
The first sentence is hard to understand because so many verb processes interrupt one another that when the end of the sentence comes, three similar processes are still active — but they have lost track of what roles should be assigned to all the remaining nouns, namely, the rat, cat, and malt. Why do visual processes so rarely encounter similar difficulties? >Seeing/Philosophical theories.
I 186
Artificial consciousness/Minsky: [Must machines be logical?] What's wrong with the old arguments that lead us to believe that if machines could ever think at all, they'd have to think with perfect logic? We're told that by their nature, all machines must work according to rules. We're also told that they can only do exactly what they're told to do. Besides that, we also hear that machines can only handle quantities and therefore cannot deal with qualities or anything like analogies.
Most such arguments are based upon a mistake that is like confusing an agent with an agency. When we design and build a machine, we know a good deal about how it works. When our design is based on neat, logical principles, we are likely to make the mistake of expecting the machine to behave in a similarly neat and logical fashion. But that confuses what the machine does inside itself — that is, how it works — with our expectations of how it will appear to behave in the outer world. Being able to explain in logical terms how a machine's parts work does not automatically enable us to explain its subsequent activities in simple, logical terms.
Logic/Minsky: We use it to simplify and summarize our thoughts. We use it to explain arguments to other people and to persuade them that those arguments are right. We use it to reformulate our own ideas. But I doubt that we often use logic actually to solve problems or to get new ideas. >Reasoning/Minsky.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Minsky I
Marvin Minsky
The Society of Mind New York 1985

Minsky II
Marvin Minsky
Semantic Information Processing Cambridge, MA 2003

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-06-17
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