Monday, February 19, 2007


Let it be said that I'm sceptical about Artificial Intelligence (AI), yet I'm slightly convinced about the increased complexity --> awareness argument (I didn't say consciousness here!).

Yet I've just read a fairly good piece on this subject from known sci-fi author Robert J. Sawyer called 'AI AND SCI-FI: MY, OH, MY!' which is posted over at the Lifeboat Foundation. And I consider this worth a mention... and perhaps a read too, with a cup of coffee or a glass of red wine?


SCOTT said...

When I was a young kid, 10 to 13 years old I guess, I was wrestling with many thoughts regarding life, God, and Technology and came up with what at the time I thought was a unique worldview.
Nature itself is the creation of a Highly Advanced civilization that needed a place for their etheric 'bodies' to go. Later I found it a very Gnostic like idea related to the Archons and Matter. But even today, I look at Nature and think High Technology from 5 to 6 billion years ago, looks 'natural' but is synthetic and thus Creationist are partly correct.
I even tried my own hand at a SF story revolving around this theme.

True AI might reach the point where the big "Singularity" happens as has been postulated. If this is so, our evolution just got a kick start into a wonderful new realm of 'being'.
Tippler's ideas were TechnoChristianity in many ways,, with the Delete button Hell I guess.
I am like you and wonder about 'consciousness' of AI 'beings' but also, knowing what I do about consciousness and how it can be 'moved about' and put into inanimate objects I don't rule out the possibility of AI reaching some form of self awareness, some humans are,, and that in itself is amazing, so why not silicon based beings.
What wonderfully terrifying times we exist in, correct?

Kingsley said...

A thoughtful comment Scott - and I have resonance with your thinking - remember the words of Olaf Stapledon in 'First & Last Men'? I am of the mind of Panspermia and the seeding of life off-terra: there IS an intelligence in our evolution - the question is whether this is innate coded intelligence or guided intelligence.

Although I find Nick Bostrom's 'Simulation Argument' interesting, I feel AI is closer than simulation... in some ways, we are a technology: will the Singularity be when the next innate phase kicks into being?

Thats why I liked the argument - especially HAL going home...