Reply To: Stop Press: AI researchers install a Right Hemisphere

  • Whit Blauvelt

    April 17, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    Hi Don,

    If every “thing” is made of consciousness, don’t we have “trouble with things”?

    We are organic, living systems (at least). So if our individual cells are conscious in some way, and if even the molecules and atoms within them are, still we as whole, living systems have dimensions of consciousness of our selves, of our wholeness.

    Now, we can take any random collection of things, and call it a “thing.” Take everything from your pockets, put it in a pile, that pile is a “thing.” Should we think the pile has consciousness as a whole, of itself as a pile? Well, computer systems are random collections of things. True, they are collections of tools which can be used by us in concerted ways. But a workbench full of tools is not, as a pile of “things” — workbench and tools — coherently conscious. Is it?

    Why should artificial information processing be conscious in any way that the collection of wood processing tools on my workbench isn’t — which is to say, other than perhaps at the molecular level of some sort of proto-consciousness, not conscious at all? When your word processor auto-corrects, is that a conscious decision? What are large-language models other than elaborate systems of auto-correction, guessing blindly at what might make sense to human beings reading their output?