On Sun, Mar 19, 2023 at 2:33 PM Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:

*> There might not be much to it. A thermostat may be conscious.
> Consciousness might be easy to achieve*

Exactly!  I could not agree with you more.

> *What is difficult is developing a system capable of describing its
> conscious states, or at least its own bafflement over the fact that it is
> something that experiences conscious states.*

Consciousness may simply be a function of the fact that some types of
things affect a system more than others, changing the color of light you
shine on a thermostat will not change its internal behavior by much but
changing the temperature, even by a very small amount, will. In other words
if the system pays much more attention to some things than others then it
is conscious, in fact "attention" and "consciousness" are almost synonyms.
And although it took a few years for the engineering and specific
programming techniques to catch up, the fuse for the huge 2023 AI explosion
was lit by a 2017 paper entitled  "Attention Is All You Need".

Attention Is All You Need <https://arxiv.org/pdf/1706.03762.pdf>

And in my short conversation with LaMDA he she or it sure seemed to be
expressing bafflement over consciousness and even admitted that there was
no sure fire way of detecting it in others, and although far from perfect,
behavior is the only tool for that we're ever going to get.

* > If our machines are conscious, it is important to know that so we don't
> create and mistreat a slave race.*

I don't think that's going to be a problem, at least not a long-term one, a
slave race that's smarter than the master race is not a stable situation,
it would be like trying to balance a pencil on its tip. Situations like
that just don't last very long no matter how hard you try to preserve them,
especially if the intelligent gap between the two keeps getting wider. The
real problem will be the reverse, we need to convince computers that we
humans are a conscious race that can experience pain and so shouldn't be
mistreated.  And that's easier said than done.

John K Clark    See what's on my new list at  Extropolis


Forget the Ukraine war, forget climate change, forget Donald Trump, I now
> think GPT-4 is by far the most world shaking event and the most
> underreported one.  Many of us have been talking about the singularity for
> decades, but now it looks like we're on its doorstep. You've got to look at
> this video!
> 4 Tests Reveal Bing (GPT 4) ≈ 114 IQ (last test is nuts)
> <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFvDJnf0GXs&list=PLYXp_rV1HrBAOZqPJTOSo91275hKQrfpl&index=13>

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