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Artificial intelligence and self-awareness

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[edit by TimovieMan]
This thread is a spinoff from the “Cyborg Seppuku” game thread.
The discussion started going off-topic for the game, but was far too interesting not to deserve its own thread, so I split it and moved it here.
Original thread: == CYBORG SEPPUKU ==
[/edit]



“Cyborg Seppuku” is an interesting title because, obviously, robots cannot die since they never lived. The description of the game being about “selfdestruction” is also of note since robots don’t have a “self”. I would like to know more but not sure I want to play it to find out, since these could just be mistakes by the developer.

     
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Luhr28 - 05 September 2018 01:14 PM

“Cyborg Seppuku” is an interesting title because, obviously, robots cannot die since they never lived. The description of the game being about “selfdestruction” is also of note since robots don’t have a “self”. I would like to know more but not sure I want to play it to find out, since these could just be mistakes by the developer.

One could argue that self-aware artificial intelligence does have a “self” and does “live”.
Also, a cyborg has organic parts and isn’t completely robotic.

No mistakes by the developer, imo. Just an interesting subject. Cool

     

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TimovieMan - 05 September 2018 06:22 PM
Luhr28 - 05 September 2018 01:14 PM

“Cyborg Seppuku” is an interesting title because, obviously, robots cannot die since they never lived. The description of the game being about “selfdestruction” is also of note since robots don’t have a “self”. I would like to know more but not sure I want to play it to find out, since these could just be mistakes by the developer.

One could argue that self-aware artificial intelligence does have a “self” and does “live”.
Also, a cyborg has organic parts and isn’t completely robotic.

No mistakes by the developer, imo. Just an interesting subject. Cool

Artificial intelligence will never be “self-aware”. You can’t create awareness.

     
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Luhr28 - 05 September 2018 09:46 PM

Artificial intelligence will never be “self-aware”. You can’t create awareness.

But you could simulate it until you reach a point where you can’t tell the difference between real awareness and a simulated one. And once they’re indistinguishible, who is to say which one is real and which one is not?

I believe that self-learning artificial (super)intelligence that’s advanced enough may eventually become self-aware (and even if it’s only simulated, we won’t be able to tell the difference anyway). We’re still a very long way away, and I don’t see this happen until after the technological singularity (which is also still a very long way away in itself), but I do think it will happen eventually.

Of course, things will be vastly different by then, and this is all speculation anyway. But so is the opposite viewpoint. Tongue


But this could turn into a philosophical discussion unrelated to the topic of the thread, so maybe let’s agree to disagree? Or take this to the Chit-Chat forum?

     

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Luhr28 - 05 September 2018 09:46 PM

Artificial intelligence will never be “self-aware”. You can’t create awareness.

That’s a (somewhat dogmatic) philosophical position that not everyone would agree with, though - especially within the realms of science fiction. Philip K Dick would probably agree, William Gibson might not, and so on. In games you could look to some of Jonas Kyratzes’ or Christine Love’s work, among others.

In any case that’s not what this game appears to be about. The protagonist is a cyborg, not a robot - he’s a human with technology surgically implanted, and (going by the description) the game is about him relinquishing that. Will that mean his death? Or is it the end of his life as a cyborg but a new beginning for the man? Have to play the game to find out!

     
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I’d be very surprised if AI/AGI doesn’t eventually lead to fully self-aware intelligence.  We’re not special, we’re just highly sophisticated biological robots.

     
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dumbeur - 06 September 2018 12:53 PM

We’re not special, we’re just highly sophisticated biological robots.

That’s a (somewhat dogmatic) philosophical position that not everyone would agree with, though - especially within the realms of science fiction. Philip K Dick would probably disagree, etc, etc.

I don’t believe that dragons exist, but I’m fine with a game being set in a world where they do. If the game then asks profound questions based on the assumption that dragons are real, it might not work so well for me - or the discussion might be interesting despite my issues with the premise.

So - has anyone had a chance to play Cyborg Seppuku yet? How was it?

     
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Well, if a cyborg is just a human with machine parts then I’d agree this whole discussion doesn’t really belong here. However that was not my understanding of the word. Maybe the developer can clarify what the protagonist actually is?

dumbeur - 06 September 2018 12:53 PM

I’d be very surprised if AI/AGI doesn’t eventually lead to fully self-aware intelligence.  We’re not special, we’re just highly sophisticated biological robots.

True, but we are also more than that, as beings which are aware of our biology. Or more accurately, as the Being in which being-ness is situated. A robot would lack that aspect, even though it may be able to approximate very closely our biological functioning.

I’m not sure why science-fiction writers need to be brought into it, though. I am talking about reality, not fiction where anything is possible.

     
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Luhr28 - 07 September 2018 06:00 AM

Well, if a cyborg is just a human with machine parts then I’d agree this whole discussion doesn’t really belong here. However that was not my understanding of the word. Maybe the developer can clarify what the protagonist actually is?

From Wikipedia:
A cyborg short for “cybernetic organism”) is a being with both organic and biomechatronic body parts.
Or try a dictionary - the combination of biology and technology is what makes a cyborg.

From the game page:

The only way of escaping The Structure is to rid yourself of your implants and become a plain-skin.

He’s a human with cybernetic implants, not a robot. So you can play the game and happily think of him as a self-aware, living being who could die.

I’m not sure why science-fiction writers need to be brought into it, though. I am talking about reality, not fiction where anything is possible.

Oh? I thought we were talking about a game Smile

     
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Luhr28 - 07 September 2018 06:00 AM

True, but we are also more than that, as beings which are aware of our biology. Or more accurately, as the Being in which being-ness is situated. A robot would lack that aspect, even though it may be able to approximate very closely our biological functioning.

We evolved from beings without awareness of their biology.  Why would machines be any different?

     
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dumbeur - 07 September 2018 08:10 AM
Luhr28 - 07 September 2018 06:00 AM

True, but we are also more than that, as beings which are aware of our biology. Or more accurately, as the Being in which being-ness is situated. A robot would lack that aspect, even though it may be able to approximate very closely our biological functioning.

We evolved from beings without awareness of their biology.  Why would machines be any different?


Those earlier beings had awareness in a more rudimentary form, without the developed intellect to be able to contemplate their own biology like we do now.

Machines are just machines. They perform a function but lack any kind of awareness of what they are doing.

     
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Luhr28 - 07 September 2018 08:37 AM

Machines are just machines. They perform a function but lack any kind of awareness of what they are doing.

But that doesn’t mean that a sufficiently advanced self-learning machine (we’re talking distant future here) can’t develop that kind of awareness.

     

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Luhr28 - 07 September 2018 08:37 AM
dumbeur - 07 September 2018 08:10 AM
Luhr28 - 07 September 2018 06:00 AM

True, but we are also more than that, as beings which are aware of our biology. Or more accurately, as the Being in which being-ness is situated. A robot would lack that aspect, even though it may be able to approximate very closely our biological functioning.

We evolved from beings without awareness of their biology.  Why would machines be any different?


Those earlier beings had awareness in a more rudimentary form, without the developed intellect to be able to contemplate their own biology like we do now.

Machines are just machines. They perform a function but lack any kind of awareness of what they are doing.

We obviously don’t need to go back this far but for the sake of clarity:  you think single-celled organisms had a rudimentary form of self-awareness?

     
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TimovieMan - 07 September 2018 09:54 AM
Luhr28 - 07 September 2018 08:37 AM

Machines are just machines. They perform a function but lack any kind of awareness of what they are doing.

But that doesn’t mean that a sufficiently advanced self-learning machine (we’re talking distant future here) can’t develop that kind of awareness.

I’d like to see robots pass the mirror test. Smile

I’m not saying they won’t be able to in the future, ants pass the test so why not robots.

     

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dumbeur - 07 September 2018 01:02 PM
Luhr28 - 07 September 2018 08:37 AM
dumbeur - 07 September 2018 08:10 AM
Luhr28 - 07 September 2018 06:00 AM

True, but we are also more than that, as beings which are aware of our biology. Or more accurately, as the Being in which being-ness is situated. A robot would lack that aspect, even though it may be able to approximate very closely our biological functioning.

We evolved from beings without awareness of their biology.  Why would machines be any different?


Those earlier beings had awareness in a more rudimentary form, without the developed intellect to be able to contemplate their own biology like we do now.

Machines are just machines. They perform a function but lack any kind of awareness of what they are doing.

We obviously don’t need to go back this far but for the sake of clarity:  you think single-celled organisms had a rudimentary form of self-awareness?

Yes.

I typed out a longer explanation BUT…. I think at this point we’re really going to have to start defining terms. “Self” and “self-awareness” in particular.

If we are going to be able to discuss this rationally, it’s clear we are not going to be able to do so using common language and definitions. A subject, by definition, can only be aware of objects. An eye, for example, cannot see itself. So to be able to discuss self-awareness, either the assumed reality of subject-object perception is going to need to be changed, or the words “self” and “self-aware” are going to have to take on new meanings to fit within that paradigm.

     
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Luhr28 - 07 September 2018 10:51 PM
dumbeur - 07 September 2018 01:02 PM
Luhr28 - 07 September 2018 08:37 AM
dumbeur - 07 September 2018 08:10 AM
Luhr28 - 07 September 2018 06:00 AM

True, but we are also more than that, as beings which are aware of our biology. Or more accurately, as the Being in which being-ness is situated. A robot would lack that aspect, even though it may be able to approximate very closely our biological functioning.

We evolved from beings without awareness of their biology.  Why would machines be any different?


Those earlier beings had awareness in a more rudimentary form, without the developed intellect to be able to contemplate their own biology like we do now.

Machines are just machines. They perform a function but lack any kind of awareness of what they are doing.

We obviously don’t need to go back this far but for the sake of clarity:  you think single-celled organisms had a rudimentary form of self-awareness?

I think at this point we’re really going to have to start defining terms. “Self” and “self-awareness” in particular.

If we are going to be able to discuss this rationally, it’s clear we are not going to be able to do so using common language and definitions. A subject, by definition, can only be aware of objects. An eye, for example, cannot see itself. So to be able to discuss self-awareness, either the assumed reality of subject-object perception is going to need to be changed, or the words “self” and “self-aware” are going to have to take on new meanings to fit within that paradigm.

I was writing a reply and then you changed your entire post. Sheesh.

The very first requirement of a sense of self is an image of physical boundaries. This is me and everything else is other. Survival and all that. I don’t know about single-celled organisms, but I’d say most if not all organisms have an image or a map stored somewhere of where their body ends and the world begins. Subject versus object. When the brain (in mammals at least) decides that some part of the body no longer belongs to the body even if it’s still there, you lose control of it. See Oliver Sachs. Or Damasio.

The “eye that cannot see itself” is a Zen koan by the way. Just saying. Smile

     

I’m a politician. That means making the hard choices.  Unforeseen Incidents

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