Can or will AI ever be conscious?
Consciousness is a sticky subject, and we do not have a definitive knowledge, can technology ever be conscious?
I’d like to start off with the following statements which are going to be used as responses to the inevitably dismissive comments to this question, however this is as much of a thought experiment as it is a technology experiment.
The way we traditionally understand consciousness, may or may not be correct, because we dont actually understand it. So any assertions cannot really be made about what it is or isn’t.
There are parallels and similarities between the way neural networks in AI and neural networks in the brain work. This does not mean we are trying to compare the two things to see if they are identical and making assertions based on any correlations.
I simply want to explore what consciousness means, and if we will come to accept that the autonomous AI agents are conscious.
What does “conscious” actually mean?
Well the traditional dictionary definition for the word is as follows:
conscious adjective 1. Aware of and responding to one's surroundings. "Although I was in pain, I was conscious" 2. Having knowledge of something. "I am conscious of your suffering"
Now that doesn’t say anything about being self aware, sentient or alive. Now while GPT may not be able to feel or perceive the outside world, it certainly has knowledge and it can certainly be aware of and respond to its surroundings. If we understand its “surroundings” to be the memory context that we provide the prompts with, and its training data as “knowledge” then technically can we not describe GPT as conscious?
How could GPT be “conscious”?
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