Artificial Sentience Essay

1067 words - 4 pages

The use of computers has pervaded the life of every human being. At every street corner there are
machines to be found that have been designed to simplify our lives and take over the mundane jobs that
no longer require human intervention. One only needs to think of automated teller machines replacing
bank tellers, vending machines phasing out street vendors, or near-infallible CCTV watching over us as
policemen and sheriffs once did, to realise the extent that technology has enhanced and improved our
existence.
Given the speed and effectiveness with which computer technology has become a regular part of
our lives, it is not surprising that there is much speculation about the future implications of these
developments. One possibility that has stirred controversy is the suggestion that with the rate at which
computers are becoming ’smarter’ and better adapted, they may one day attain consciousness. This
concept has gained notoriety in popular culture, with films such as The Matrix, Ghost in the Shell,
2001: A Space Odyssey, and even the children’s show My Life as a Teenage Robot dealing with different
applications of this concept.
There is some scientific support for the idea that computers may one day become powerful enough
to simulate consciousness. For one, computing power has increased exponentially over the past decades.
Secondly, a Turing machine - a theoretical model of a computer, devised by Alan Turing, which would be
able to compute mathematical functions without any of the limitations that apply to physical machines
- would theoretically also be able to compute consciousness. This, of course, relies on the assumption
that consciousness can be somehow derived from mathematical functions - a controversial one in itself.
The question whether consciousness is Turing computable will be thoroughly explored in this paper.
The question of consciousness
In order to determine whether it is possible to compute consciousness, it is first necessary to define
consciousness. This in itself is something that scientists and philosophers have struggled with for ages.
For the purposes of this paper, the definition proposed by [Searle, 1998] will be used:
Consciousness consists of inner, qualitative, subjective states and processes of sentience or
awareness. Consciousness, so defined, begins when we wake in the morning from a dreamless
sleep - and continues until we fall asleep again, die, go into a coma or otherwise become
”unconscious.”
The difficulty with this definition with regards to the Turing computability of consciousness is that it
defines the existence of a subjective state as a prerequisite for consciousness. According to Searle’s
Chinese room argument [Searle, 1980], the fact that a system produces the same output as a conscious
mind would in response to the same input does not prove the presence of subjective consciousness.
However, this same argument can be used in...

Find Another Essay On Artificial Sentience

Human Mass: Timeline Analysis

1801 words - 7 pages missions to the moon. 2069 AD The first human permanent settlement is established on the Luna (Sol III-B), the event is planned to coincide with the first moon landing. 2075 AD Cryogenic hibernation is developed and perfected to help the exploration of the solar system reducing the amount of resources a long term mission would require. 2090 AD Computing power allows the creation of artificial intelligence. The programming necessary to properly

Interactivity In Art Essay

3653 words - 15 pages algorithms, or initial preconditions. Open, reflexive and autopoetic reciprocal structures can be created in interactive systems through the use of a number of sophisticated and expert tactics, including genetic algorithms, artificial intelligence, and neural networks. What is so important to an understanding of how interactivity in art can surpass its hype is the shift in what Hayles describes as a focus on the silicon/information

To Resurrect a Ghost

3167 words - 13 pages properties just as institutions, they are evaluated differently because of definitional norms. Yet it seems that if a person is viewed as only a concatenation of properties, there is no sense of responsibility towards that individual. Objection might be made that this is so only if someone is not understood as sentient. But why does sentience matter? Suppose pain means a set of observable events, then whether or not something is understood to

Transcendentalism - A New Revelation by Kurt Kawohl

10420 words - 42 pages clear and no deity in the spiritual realm will judge or condemn anyone.How do you touch and feel without emotion or sense; which is spirit; without having it recorded by your subconscious where the spirit resides? The spirit is spirit and not a religious force and is neither heaven sent, nor heaven inspired, though some people via deep meditation can have their spirit interact with God's spirit. Sentience is the ability to sense, capability of

Reality and Illusion in Shakespeare's Hamlet - Reality, Appearance and Deception

896 words - 4 pages Reality and Illusion in Hamlet   Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, begins with the appearance of a ghost, an apparition, possibly a hallucination. Thus, from the beginning, Shakespeare presents the air of uncertainty, of the unnatural, which drives the action of the play and develops in the protagonist as a struggle to clarify what only seems to be absolute and what is actually reality. Hamlet's mind, therefore, becomes the central force of the

Sub-plots in Hamlet

1118 words - 4 pages Sub-plots in Hamlet   There are many things that critics say make Hamlet a "Great Work," one of which is the way that Shakespeare masterfully incorporates so many sub-plots into the story, and ties them all into the main plot of Hamlet’s revenge of his father’s murder. By the end of Act I, not only is the main plot identified, but many other sub-plots are introduced. Among the sub-plots are trust in the Ghost of King Hamlet, Fortinbras, and

Hamlet as Victim and Hero

1301 words - 5 pages Hamlet as Victim and Hero      Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, a Shakespearean tragedy, tells the story of Prince Hamlet, who gained the knowledge of a terrible incident that his kingdom had suffered. Claudius, the king of Denmark and Hamlet's uncle, had killed his own brother, the king, who was also the father of Hamlet, and married his brother's widow. Hamlet suffered these traumas to a severe degree, and his only relief was to defeat his

Essay on Light and Dark in Antigone

1188 words - 5 pages Use of Light and Dark in Antigone   The "Golden Age" of Greece is noted for its many contributions to the creative world, especially in its development of the play. These performances strived to emphasize Greek morals, and were produced principally for this purpose. Antigone, by Sophocles, is typical. The moral focused on in Antigone is the conflict between physis (nature) and nomos (law), with physis ultimately presiding over nomos

charant Creon as the Main Character of Antigone

1231 words - 5 pages Creon as the Main Character of Antigone   Throughout the Greek play Antigone by Sophocles, there exists a dispute as to who should receive the designation of main character. Antigone, the daughter of the cursed King Oedipus, as well as Creon, stately king of Thebes, both appear as the key figures in this historic play. I believe that Creon, king of Thebes, should be considered the main character in this work of Greek theater. Three

Free Macbeth Essays: Sleep and Sleeplessness

525 words - 2 pages The Sleep and Sleeplessness Motif in Macbeth We have consciences that function to tell us the difference between right and wrong. If we have clear consciences, we usually possess the ability to sleep. But when our consciences are full of guilt, we experience a state of sleeplessness. In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the sleep and sleeplessness motif to represent Macbeth's and Lady Macbeth's consciences and the effect Macbeth's conscience has on

Life Outside of Life in Hawthorne’s Wakefield

898 words - 4 pages Life Outside of Life in Hawthorne’s Wakefield   Efficacy lies at the heart of human desires for immortality. Characters throughout literature and art are depicted as wanting to step aside and see what their world would be like without their individual contributions. The literary classic A Christmas Carol and the more recent, but ageless, film It’s Wonderful Life both use outside influences (three ghosts and Clarence the Angel

Similar Essays

Strong Artificial Intelligence Essay

1000 words - 4 pages The idea of artificial intelligence has always been a very fascinating phenomenon among our society. It paved the way for a new genre in the entertainment industry that brought forth ideas of human like robots. In the acclaimed movie, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, an artificial intelligent robot of the future named David, designed to experience love, is sent to a family to replace their human comatose son. As the comatose son recovers, the

Shaping Identity In William Gibson's Neuromancer

2248 words - 9 pages I’m really just a bunch of ROM. It’s one of them, ah, philosophical questions, I guess…” The ugly laughter sensation rattled down Case’s spine. “But I ain’t likely to wite you no poem, if you follow me. Your AI, it just might. But it ain’t no way human.” (131) Neither Dixie nor Case exhibit a working definition of sentience or humanity, and Dixie, while claiming to be anything but human, also asserts the ability to feel, a trait

Humanoid Robots: Can They Be Concidered Conscious, Human, And Deserve Rights As Humans Do?

1499 words - 6 pages fish because they can swim better. Somehow people are afraid of organisms that think better than they do. One of the greatest benefits to society could stem from design of humanoid intelligence. Through creating artificial consciousness, we are creating an intellect with superhuman thinking capacity that can perhaps expand our scientific horizons at an exponential rate. If Rodney were to enlighten us with a cure to human illness, would it not be

Christof Koch And The Theory Of Consciousness

3431 words - 14 pages that creates a hypothetical human being that excludes the existence of conscious experience, sentience and qualia. Thus when a stimulus is given to philosophers zombie, it acts and behaves exactly like a normal human being but it does not feel any pain. However other philosophers such as David Chalmers are more opponent of the Philosophers Zombie from a logical point of view by arguing from a physicalist approach, which in order to understand