Monday, December 17, 2018

Tegmark and Damasio

In reading Tegmark's Life 3.0 I’m still hesitant about this sort of AI model. Granted it likely won’t be like human consciousness but will AI ever achieve consciousness without some form of information/body interaction? Chapter 2 constantly reiterates that information is independent of a physical substrate, but qualify that a substrate is necessary for it. And they grant that advances in the tech substrate has indeed advanced the capacities for processing and storing information. So the substrate is not irrelevant. While the information might be the same despite the substrate indicates that there is a lot more than just information to consciousness. The substrate just might matter when it comes to the latter.

In that light I recommend this research topic at Frontiers in Science: Consciousness in humanoid robots. All the articles were published this year. I’m particularly interested in “SEIL: Social emotional artificial intelligence based on Damasio’s theory of mind.” The other articles are also relevant to the topic.

I’m also reminded of what Damasio said in this recent video discussing his latest book, The Strange Order of Things. While Tegmark does cite Damasio in the book, I don’t yet see how he incorporates his insights of emotions and feelings as necessary to consciousness into an AI version. Damasio:

“There are people that are totally convinced that that minds are nothing but computer programs. that minds, or even whole organisms, are captured by algorithms. Some say we are actually nothing but algorithms. […] The people that say that obviously have no idea what a mind is, given the result that a mind is the interaction of a brain and the body” (4:45).

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