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Can an artificial consciousness be created?

Debate Information

Consciousness is almost definitely the most striking and absurd aspects of our universe. It's origin is perhaps the single hardest problem to explain, and has remained so for the majority of human history. If consciousness is something which is knowable, it is conceivable that a theory of consciousness might be proposed which can explain the data and origin of consciousness, make predictions about when and where it will arise, and most importantly it could provide the basic knowledge necessary to construct artificial conscious minds Such machine intelligences will not just be data crunching devices which rely on symbol manipulation to run logical processes, but would have a subjective experience complete with qualia, emotions, and a personal affect. To date, no such theory has been purposefully proposed and it is unclear at this time if one ever will be in the future.

In either case, the implications for the human race now and into the future are staggering.

If it is possible, then it lends a significant credibility to physicalism & naturalism that would mitigate the major critique of the philosophy, namely the "hard problem of consciousness" which is thus far without a complete and satisfying answer. This would imply that mind uploads are possible without destroying the human mind, meaning that the human race might opt to switch to a non-biological future where man is integrated with computers, and exploration is done through use of robots. We might create fully sapient machines or simulations, opening up all sorts of moral and ethical questions which have been thus far restricted to the realm of science fiction.

On the flip side, if artificial consciousness can not be created, as there is something special, or specific about consciousness that exceeds scientific understanding, there are equally profound conclusions. For example, this would effectively disprove the infamous simulation theory as it would demonstrate that we, as conscious entities do in fact live in the real, base reality and any simulations can not have experience. Computers & robots would deserve no rights, even more so than animals as they can not have any subjective experience and thus can not suffer. Any undesirable outcomes from the use or production of AI could not be attributed to any subjective agency, and only to human action of the programmers. Being limited to biological bodies, it is unlikely that man will ever step very far into the universe due to the extreme vital requirements of human bodies as worlds which we might live on comfortably will be rare and distant.

Do you think that an artificial consciousness can or can not be created?
At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation,
Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root.
Through a long process of evolution this life 
developed into the human race.
Humans conquered fire, built complex societies and advanced technology .

All of that so we can argue about nothing.



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  • SwolliwSwolliw 937 Pts   -  
    @Happy_Killbot
    Good thread.
    I would have to say that "consciousness" and "mind" are grossly overrated in terms of their significance.
    When you think (what a pun) about it, the mind is no more than the brain functioning through electrical impulses and reacting to outer stimuli through input devices known as senses. Some data is recorded and stored in memory cells. This is not extraordinary at all, and we replicate those functions to control the very devices that we are using right now. 
    So far as consciousness goes, we know that there are varying degrees. For example, we know that a retarded amoeba would have slightly less consciousness or awareness than say, ooooh, the Pope. Therefore, we don't need to create consciousness since it is more a characteristic of how effective and efficient the mind is.

    Therefore, we could say that all consciousness is artificial in that it is no more than a measuring stick or metaphor to describe the efficiency and effectiveness of a functioning brain. We can now easily replicate brains to the extent that they are becoming more powerful, more efficient, more reliable, and more effective than the best human brain in the world, for example, the brain of say, oooooh, Richard Dawkins.
  • PlaffelvohfenPlaffelvohfen 2609 Pts   -   edited June 9
    Interesting topic for sure, though it's one plagued with ontological and semantic problems... We still can't define consciousness properly...  :-/

    @Happy_Killbot, By artificial consciousness, am I correct in assuming you mean specifically a non-biological support or would an engineered organic one count as "artificial" (a vegetal based bio-computer for exemple)? 

    Another thing to consider, should we even assume that there is only one type of consciousness, the "human" one? Even insects can be said to be "conscious", they are aware, of themselves and their environment, some argue they also have a basic ego... 

    Say we build a new generation super computer (non organic) and turn it on, would we even be able to recognize a potential "consciousness" that could be very different from ours? 
    SkepticalOneJohn_C_87
    " Adversus absurdum, contumaciter ac ridens! "
  • Argument Topic: Binary function and the reason basic reason why computers will never be secure. The basic consciousness has already been created.

    @Happy_Killbot

    Do you think that an artificial consciousness can or can not be created?

    First what needs to be addressed and understood clearly is the consciousness already created by a computer is that of a combination of stupidity and insanity in a proportion that makes identifying either significant issue harder. Which has always raised the concern of if intelligence and sanity are qualifications for public service other than simple convenience how were the computers indications of both avoided when hiring them for public service in the first place? It is a machine and therefore needs no background check.

    A computer is nothing more than a sophisticated recorder...Emotionally and crazy it is the job of the programmer to shape and treat the insanity so that the software can hide the stupidity.
    Can people write down as a form of documentation the principles of consciousness? Yes.
  • @Plaffelvohfen

    Say we build a new generation super computer (non organic) and turn it on, would we even be able to recognize a potential "consciousness" that could be very different from ours? 
    This question is funny to me due to the fact we have already recognized the consciousness of all computers...It is an inherent issue that is a product of basic low-level programming. 
    Plaffelvohfen
  • Happy_KillbotHappy_Killbot 4994 Pts   -  
    @Plaffelvohfen ;

    While it might be difficult or impossible to create a robust semantic definition for what consciousness is, we never the less each have an intuitive understanding of what this means as it is the primary essence of our very knowledge of reality. We all know what it means to be conscious as a product of the existence of qualia, emotional experience, and a subjective view of reality.
    By artificial consciousness, am I correct in assuming you mean specifically a non-biological support or would an engineered organic one count as "artificial" (a vegetal based bio-computer for exemple)? 

    By artificial, I would simply mean any entity which is created by people in a non-natural way, so simply giving birth to a person does not count but a biological interface would.

    Another thing to consider, should we even assume that there is only one type of consciousness, the "human" one?
    While there might be some other unknown types of consciousness, this fact is somewhat irrelevant as long as they would all fall under the category of some form of conscious experience which ultimately means that they will likely all be similar in many regards.
    Say we build a new generation super computer (non organic) and turn it on, would we even be able to recognize a potential "consciousness" that could be very different from ours? 
    There is obviously a hard philosophical problem here that can never really be surmounted in any meaningful way as far as we know. While we might propose a solipsistic interpretation of reality, or a human or biological centric one we would still be relying on some basic unproven (and unprovable for that matter) assumptions. I think that it is reasonable to give such systems the benefit of the doubt. If they start behaving in somewhat inconsistent ways that is consistent with what we would call consciousness in other creatures. In some circumstances, such as mind uploads of previously conscious individuals we might approach this question more directly by simply asking the person inside the simulation if they feel the same or not.
    Plaffelvohfen
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation,
    Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root.
    Through a long process of evolution this life 
    developed into the human race.
    Humans conquered fire, built complex societies and advanced technology .

    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • @Happy_Killbot

    We all know what it means to be conscious as a product of the existence of qualia, emotional experience, and a subjective view of reality.

    No, we do not all know what it means to have a consciousness, this is factual as a denial of all computer's sanity and stupidity goes unrecognized simply for the fact a computer due to its stupidity can be used as a tool with a massive filing and storage capability. The artificial intelligence created in a computer is an who is crazy by human emotional standards and every bit of programming goes into treating, hiding, or ignoring those facts. There is no place in programming mathematics for human nonsense such as single-digit ratio that approximate as the structure of the boolean is then compromised in all calculations between true and false. Artificial consciousness already exists in humans and the question of the basic principle is should I be removed from computing or not? If the insane consciousness already created in a computer allows for it to be sympathetic compliance to true and lie a human consciousness is impossible.

    Like some people the computer does not play along it does not comprehend the conflict that is made in a lie. Is there a ratio to be made on the distance created between a circle's circumference and area? Yes, are artificial consciousness is already in play and what we may be talking about is only a computer being supplied with the ideas of principle as to what preserves its state of operation as a means of self-preservation.
    Plaffelvohfen
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