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self awareness

 
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I just finished a novel by Greg Bear from 1990. it was set in 2048..the binary millennium(2048 = 2 to the 11th)
a side to the main story was about the supercomputer they had. in the end it gained self awareness.
the author tried hard to convince me it could happen, but I don't believe it. do you?
I think intelligence and self awareness are distinct and separate.
we already have computer learning, both directed and undirected. we have voice recognition, and image recognition.
we are well on the way to artificial intelligence.
but I think self awareness requires being alive as a pre-requisite.
 
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SkyNet, Colossus, Guardian, HAL, P-1, Janus, Jevex, Visar, and Skippy all disagree.
 
lowercase baba
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I, for one, will welcome our new robot overlords.
 
Randall Twede
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come on you guys!
ok you just poking me in the ribs here.
do you really think computers can become self aware?
I dont
 
fred rosenberger
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Just like many discussions...what exactly meets your criteria of "self-aware"?  and to push back even further...what exactly makes something "alive"?
 
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fred rosenberger wrote:Just like many discussions...what exactly meets your criteria of "self-aware"?  and to push back even further...what exactly makes something "alive"?



Exactly.  Coming at this from two directions...
1. It doesn't seem like it would be difficult to program a computer to exhibit all the behaviors of self-awareness.  Would that count?
2. How much self-awareness do you have?  Are all (or even a large percentage) of the things you think about yourself actually true?  Are you positive you even exist?

 
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When CPU power vastly exceeds brain power, it would be a better simulation of "natural" self awareness than we can perceive. At least that's my take on it.
 
Randall Twede
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Are you positive you even exist?

that seems to be the point of the book
 
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fred rosenberger wrote:Just like many discussions...what exactly meets your criteria of "self-aware"?  and to push back even further...what exactly makes something "alive"?


That is really hard to answer because it is really hard to define what consciousness and self-awareness are exactly, and we don't have a test that can definitely prove that someone, or an animal, or a machine is conscious and self-aware.

I think they are emergent properties of complex neural networks, such as our brains. So I think that in principle it is possible that a machine will become self-aware, if it has a neural network that is complex enough. There's just no way for us to know for sure, however, if it really is self-aware.
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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