Could we make a "litmus test" for true consciousness?

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

Moderators: AMod, iMod

User avatar
QuantumT
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:45 pm
Contact:

Could we make a "litmus test" for true consciousness?

Post by QuantumT » Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:02 pm

Revisiting the age old question:
I am conscious, but how can I know for sure, that others are too?

How can we tell?

What would you consider to be evidence of consciousness?

fooloso4
Posts: 281
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 4:42 pm

Re: Could we make a "litmus test" for true consciousness?

Post by fooloso4 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:03 pm

Why would anyone who takes this idea seriously be posting on a public forum?

User avatar
QuantumT
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Could we make a "litmus test" for true consciousness?

Post by QuantumT » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:17 pm

fooloso4 wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:03 pm
Why would anyone who takes this idea seriously be posting on a public forum?
Well, it's not that crazy. We currently live in the dawn of artificial intelligence.
We are not very far from machines who could become indistinguishable from humans.

So, please humor me :wink:

fooloso4
Posts: 281
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 4:42 pm

Re: Could we make a "litmus test" for true consciousness?

Post by fooloso4 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:48 pm

We currently live in the dawn of artificial intelligence.
We are not very far from machines who could become indistinguishable from humans.
You might get an answer from a machine that would be indistinguishable from an answer from a human. But then you have already made a distinction that would not make sense if “we” were not conscious.

As a hypothetical problem I don’t think there could be a litmus test. A sufficiently advanced simulacrum would be so convincing that it might force us to question the notion of consciousness itself. Some hold that the difference would be that for it there would be no qualia, but this tells us nothing, since we have no access to what someone else might be experiencing. No way to distinguish between it “seeing” red and identifying red. We would just have to take its word or actions for it. Some hold that a sufficiently complex AI could be conscious. If and when it gets to that point the ethical course of action might be to treat them as we would animals with similar demonstable abilities.

User avatar
QuantumT
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Could we make a "litmus test" for true consciousness?

Post by QuantumT » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:08 pm

fooloso4 wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:48 pm
As a hypothetical problem I don’t think there could be a litmus test.
Maybe, but I think it's worth trying to find one.
So, to (try to) answer my own question, I thought up some proposals:

- Associations
- Double meanings
- Humor / puns

Would an AI be able to connect the dots? Be able to think naughty? Give two meanings to the same word?

Like: Spell the word "icup". Or: "I love Uranus".

User avatar
Greta
Posts: 4389
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:10 am

Re: Could we make a "litmus test" for true consciousness?

Post by Greta » Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:18 pm

fooloso4 wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:48 pm
Some hold that the difference would be that for it there would be no qualia, but this tells us nothing, since we have no access to what someone else might be experiencing.
Neuroscience provides some hope of finding out as it increasingly associates brain processes with conscious states.

I still like the idea that qualia is how it feels to process energy. If that's the case, then qualia won't be exclusively generated in the brain and nervous system but by the interaction of the digestive, respiratory and nervous systems. Thus, if you want a robot that experiences qualia, my guess is that it will need to digest energy and respire as does life, have "rewards" and "penalties" encoded in response to the amounts and types of energy encountered, and then it will need interact with the environment with those systems.

The upshot of this line of thinking would seem to be affirmation of panvitalism but denial of panpsychism. So a star processes energy and that might feel like something, but there would be no awareness of that feeling (which is probably just as well) because the energy flow is one way and qualia requires feedback. Without environment there is no qualia, rather qualia consists of the contents of the environment, condensed and compressed into a body.

A thought experiment to illustrate: a disembodied mind during a near death experience, where the nervous system is closing down and the person finds themselves for a brief time as a disembodied mind. It's all black, no sensations, no sense of body, just a self, pure qualia. Then the light appears and so forth - no surprise that it's always thought of as comforting.

However, if a light did not appear, sustaining qualia without input would be impossible, like maintaining respiration without air or digesting without food. As it turns out, a digestive system without food eats itself; the gut microbes eat the gut lining if there is no other food to consume. I imagine a similar process would happen to the disembodied mind. Lacking fresh input, it would only be able to process existing contents and the mind's processes would effectively decay, falling into ever-diminishing circles before simply stopping.

gaffo
Posts: 2468
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:15 am

Re: Could we make a "litmus test" for true consciousness?

Post by gaffo » Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:36 am

QuantumT wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:02 pm
Revisiting the age old question:
I am conscious, but how can I know for sure, that others are too?

How can we tell?

What would you consider to be evidence of consciousness?
you can't.

only know I exist right now (solipsism) - you are me via my senses.

you may exist outside me myself, but i've no proof that you do nor can i proove that you do.

nor anyone else.

everyone outside my me could just be empty sack of "flesh" - is. just me talking to myself.

reason can make no assumptions beyond "i exist" and so cannot assume anyone else exists outside from myself.

to make the latter assumption requires Faith - which is not founded upon proof.

gaffo
Posts: 2468
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:15 am

Re: Could we make a "litmus test" for true consciousness?

Post by gaffo » Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:37 am

QuantumT wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:02 pm

I am conscious
lol

if you say so.

gaffo
Posts: 2468
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:15 am

Re: Could we make a "litmus test" for true consciousness?

Post by gaffo » Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:38 am

refer to Robert Sheckley's short story "Warm"

..............he wore a "loud tie" to prove he was real.

lol


Atla
Posts: 2490
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Could we make a "litmus test" for true consciousness?

Post by Atla » Sun Apr 29, 2018 6:48 am

Western philosophy is a dead end because they take "I am conscious" too literally. Assuming waaay too much.
In truth the only thing that can be said is that something other than nothing is happening (meant in the vaguest possible sense).

User avatar
-1-
Posts: 2833
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:08 am

Re: Could we make a "litmus test" for true consciousness?

Post by -1- » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:35 am

QuantumT wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:02 pm
Revisiting the age old question:
1. I am conscious, but how can I know for sure, that others are too?

2. How can we tell?

3. What would you consider to be evidence of consciousness?
1. Vulcan mind-meld. If you are not a Vulcan, you can be a Vulcanide having evolved independently on other planets, capable of mind-meld.

2. N/A

3. A consciousness.

User avatar
-1-
Posts: 2833
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:08 am

Re: Could we make a "litmus test" for true consciousness?

Post by -1- » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:47 am

Atla wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 6:48 am
Western philosophy is a dead end because they take "I am conscious" too literally. Assuming waaay too much.
In truth the only thing that can be said is that something other than nothing is happening (meant in the vaguest possible sense).
I almost agree, except I find "happening" too strong, too assertive. "...is" would be a better substitute.

As Anaxamander said, or Strabon: nothing changes, everything is, and change is only an illusion.

Western philosophy is a dead end if you want to go fo' sho'. Eastern philosophy carefully avoids this thing, therefore thriving.

The successful philosopher only asks questions to which s/he knows the answers. The stellar philosopher asks only questions that s/he and s/he alone knows the answers to. The brilliant philosopher does not even admit s/he knows the questions to which s/he and only s/he knows the answers to.

This seriously confused Socrates. He took it at face value that those who know nothing, know the most. Whereas those who know the most, know something, except they don't tell you what it is.

Socrates was the victim of an epistemology-conspiration. Had he not been, he could have otherweiss been a great philosopher.
Last edited by -1- on Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

Atla
Posts: 2490
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:27 am

Re: Could we make a "litmus test" for true consciousness?

Post by Atla » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:58 am

-1- wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:47 am
I find "happening" too strong, too assertive. "...is" would be a better substitute.
Agree :)

User avatar
Dontaskme
Posts: 7078
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:07 pm
Location: Nowhere

Re: Could we make a "litmus test" for true consciousness?

Post by Dontaskme » Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:35 pm

QuantumT wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:02 pm
Revisiting the age old question:
I am conscious, but how can I know for sure, that others are too?

How can we tell?

What would you consider to be evidence of consciousness?
The evidence for consciousness is blindingly self evident.

Consciousness is known by being it. It cannot be seen for it is the seeing. You cannot look for it, for it is what's looking.

This knowing consciousness can know others are also conscious as evidence of it's own conscious presence.

But consciousness cannot step out of this consciousness to prove another consciousness, as 'otherness' is an inseparable projection of the consciousness that is every projected thing.
So there's nothing really ''out there'' separate from consciousness 'in here' projecting itself to be 'out-there'

There are no ''separate consciousnesses''. Consciousness is ONE projecting itself everywhere like a mirror ball.

Otherness is just a projection of consciousness seeing itself as and through the objective physical bodies mechanism via the split mind of subject identifying itself as an object, as and through the lens of subjective perception ...the ''perceived'' aka the object can never be an experience, as subject can only experience itself as the subject objectifying itself...so anything perceived cannot perceive.

Only the subject is an experience, ..the object cannot experience because it has no separate independent existence apart from the subject.

Without 'other' aka ''perceived object'' ...there is no Conscious awareness of being....there's just pure being without an object.
In that 'consciousness/ awareness' ...can exist without 'other' aka 'it's own projection' ..but the 'projection' cannot exist without consciousness/awareness being present.

So Consciousness is first and primary and constant, it is who you are...everything else is your projected reflection.

We do not identify ourselves as the seeing subject, identification is with the ''seen objects'' quite literally, and is what produces the world of images... and yet no object can see, objects are the seen within the seer...seer and seen, knower and known.. being inseparably one in the same moment.





.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests