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Old April 17th, 2008, 08:10 PM

oli_chose123 oli_chose123 is offline
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Default Re: OT - Sentience

What I meant by my post was that self-awarness my not exactly be an existing quality. After all, if we program a computer to look like it is self-aware and to "think" it is self-aware, saying it isn't only prove that we could be "not self-aware" at all. Complicated to explain on text, but I understand myself
we cannot prove anything is or isn't self-aware. After all, animals could be a lot smarter, in a sense, than us, and we butcher them. (daulphins will end up leaving the planet singing...)

I like raapys' point. We are nothing more than chemical reactions in a natural computer, which animals have too, and at a lower (or higher, who knows) degree, plants too. The fact that ours is a bit bigger doesn't mean we're the only sentient beings, in terms stated above. What would make us different is the level we are at, like communication etc. After all, a brain, like a computer, is, in a way, a machine. A gearbox is too. so what matters is only the complexity of that machine. No soul or whatever bull**** religion bring to us. (sorry for religious types, no offence intended)
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Old April 17th, 2008, 08:35 PM
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AgentZero AgentZero is offline
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Default Re: OT - Sentience

oli_chose123 said:
What I meant by my post was that self-awarness my not exactly be an existing quality....
The thing is, self-awareness isn't a wishy-washy concept that can mean different things to different people. It's a well-defined quality with well-defined methods for testing for it. There seems to be a train of thought out there that thinks that because self-awareness is some mysterious thing that you can't actually see, but only observe the effects of, that means they can tinker with the definition to suit their particular viewpoint. Which is absurdity, really. You don't often hear people saying, "Well what gravity means to me is..."

Last I checked, the only animals that had just shown evidence of self-awareness (not proven, but evidence points in that direction), are apes, dolphins and, oddly, elephants.

Regardless, the uses for a self-aware machine would be extremely limited. Sure, they could process information at an incredible rate, but they don't need to be self-aware to do that. Running simulations would be best left to non-self aware computers, because they will always be faster, by virtue of not having to deal with the phenomenal overhead of simply being self-aware. Same goes for designing games. We already have programs that can write other programs, and they will always get the work done faster using a computer that isn't using so much horsepower maintaining it's consciousness. And then you'd have to figure out how to program creativity, since that is not a unique characteristic of self-awareness, given how many startlingly uncreative people there are on the planet.

I'm not saying it's a bad idea and not worth pursuing, I'd love to see it in my lifetime, I'm just saying, it's application is limited. As much as I'd like to one day have a conversation with a self-aware machine, the fact remains that there really isn't much practical use for them.

Oh, and I do despise the "humans are just natural computers/organic machines/living CPUs, etc." Humans fall into the broad category of organisms, because we're alive. Machines and computers, by definition, aren't.
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Old April 17th, 2008, 08:50 PM

Raapys Raapys is offline
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Default Re: OT - Sentience

You're limiting machines and computers to something made of metal.

There's nothing to prevent us from making biological( and thus 'living' ) computers and machines in the future, when we have mastered the art of gene manipulation. Computers would thus become living organisms too.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 02:21 AM
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AngleWyrm AngleWyrm is offline
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Default Re: OT - Sentience

Some interesting googles:
Rise of the Biological Computer
Leech Computer
Will Bio-computers allow AI to become persons?
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Old April 19th, 2008, 10:55 AM
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Default Re: OT - Sentience

Ed Kolis said:
capnq said: A computer would have to already be sentient to be capable of learning language the way that children do.
Aren't computers already capable of learning language the way children do? Granted none of them have been very successful using that method...
I was going to say, "no, there aren't any computers that learn language the way children do," but when I went looking for confirmation of my opinion, I found this article from New Scientist. The main difference is that children learn language by hearing it used, but the computer software described in the NS article learns from text input.
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