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Lecture 15

PSYCH 9A Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Ada Lovelace, Cochlear Implant, Analytical Engine

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Bruce Berg

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Week 9 (Study Note)
A. Can a machine be conscious?
B. Arguments against Machine Consciousness
1) Consciousness is unique to humans
2) The importance of biology
3) Machines will never do X
C. The Chinese Room
D. Quantum consciousness (non-computability)
E. How can we build a conscious machine?
1) Find X and put it in a machine
A. What does we ea y: Ca a ahie e osious?
a. Experience qualia
b. A machine that really does:
I. Feel
II. Experience joy and suffers pain
c. There is something it is like to be a machine
d. Is machine just executing a clever program?
e. Consciousness is subjective
f. MIT’s Cog Project
I. Humanoid (having an appearance of a human) body
i. Movable eyes, auditory and vestibular (hearing) system
II. Embodied cognition with no detailed knowledge of the world
i. Learn as a child would
ii. Shared attention with human (eyes, pointing)
iii. There has to be a developmental period (not physical but rather than
III. Goal: acquire the cognitive abilities of a young child
i. Never achieved this goal
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B. Arguments against Machine Consciousness
Viewpoint 1
A. Conscious machines are not possible
1) Consciousness is a unique property of the soul
2) Only biological creatures can be conscious
3) Machines will never do X
1) Consciousness is property of the soul
- Dualism
- Consciousness: property of the nonphysical mind separates from the physical brain
- No machine can be conscious unless given a separate non-physical mind
- Turing
I. heads in the sand objection
II. Fear and a desire for human superiority motivates this objection
2) Only biological creatures can be conscious
- Therefore, machines cannot be conscious
- Dogmatic vitalism
I. Valid only if we show relevant differences between living and non-living things
- Possible examples (necessity of biology):
I. Functions of neurons can never be replicated by artificial means
II. Only protein membranes can integrate enough information fast enough in a small
enough space
III. Only neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin can sustain emotions (qualia)
- Are theses valid objections?
I. Robot builder would make use of these chemicals
II. Already have hybrid systems (cochlear implants)
3) Machines will never do X
- What is X? anything
- Turing:
I. Be kind and friendly (not just behave as if it was)
II. Appreciate beauty
III. Sense of humor
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IV. Fall in love
V. Enjoy strawberries and cream
VI. Be subject of its own thoughts
- Analytical Engine (by Charles Babbage)
I. Ada Loelae: The Aaltial Egie has o pretetios to origiate athig. It
can do whatever we know how to order it to perform.
i. She meant that machines cannot be creative
- Toda’s oputers a:
I. Write poems
II. Compose music
- Machine Creativity
I. Evolutionary algorithms (Counter argument of machines can be creative)
1) Take a segment of computer code
2) Copy it with variation
3) Select from variants based on outcome
4) Take the selected variant and repeat the process
II. Is this real creativity
III. Or manufactured reatiit?
- Blackmore: if there are some things that machines can never do, we are far from
knowing what they are and why
Another Objection: The Problem of Other Minds
- Turig’s arguet agaist ahie thikig
- The only way by which one could be sure that a machine thinks is to be the machine
and to feel oneself thinking .
- If a machine describe its feeling (qualia) would you believe it?
- Turing rejects this argument as solipsism:
I. We can never know anything about other minds than our own
C. The Chinese Room
- Problem of other minds has persisted
- Philosopher John Searle
- Thought experiment to refute Strong AI
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