A big welcome to my Divine blogging friend… the magnificent Debra King, whom I was delighted to meet a few years ago here on WordPress and have since spent some quality time reading Debra’s journey, understanding the meaning of life on her blog ptero9, as she dives deep within to explore the waters of the mind… of life… and discover her own answer to the question Who AM I.
Debra loves the writings and teachings of James Hillman who was a student of Carl Jung, but ventured far beyond the Jung psychology and created a rich and magical mixture of mythology, philosophy and literature, to help better understand the soul and human condition, naming it Archetypal Psychology. Hillman never had answers, instead his writings and teachings inspired people to question and discover their own answers.
It continues to be a joy to read Debra’s own beautiful expressions of her exploration and theory about life… and how she leaves everything open-ended… free for the reader’s mind to stir, to inspire their creative juices to flow with their own resonance… encouraging everyone to experience life in their own sweet way.
Debra’s writing is a contemplative practice that brings her deeper into the sacred silence of All That Is, keeping her balanced, joyful and energetic to enjoy her great outdoor life with her family… including five cats in the Pacific North West of USA and travelling far to support her baseball team… the Mets of New York City.
Back in 2010 when Debra first began blogging, she wrote ‘Less than Zero‘ and questions consciousness:
‘Can we really claim the title of the most conscious being in the universe? Can intelligence come from non-intelligence or lesser intelligence? Is there nothing besides human consciousness that knows, in the sense that we know, that we’re alive? I find that so incredibly hard to believe. How can life come from nothing? What is the drive, the spark that brings the world into being? I am no scientist, but I have never heard a satisfactory explanation for how it is that I am here, and know I am here.’
AND 8 years later IAM pleased for her to join us today to describe her feelings on Consciousness VS Artificial Intelligence.
Sentience and Sensibility
Thank you Barbara, for the invitation to guest blog on the topic of AI and consciousness. I am grateful.
Here we go!
Before entertaining any ideas about artificially intelligent machines becoming conscious, first we should consider what we mean by both consciousness and intelligence. For our existing ideas about what it means to be conscious to be considered, and how, if at all, intelligence differs from consciousness, some attempt at definition and distinction between the two might be helpful.
Firstly, I claim no expertise, either in AI or neurological sciences. All I have, like many of us, is experience and reflection on our most primary human condition of being.
The word, “conscious” is relatively new in its usage to the English language. Its roots:
late 16th century (in the sense ‘being aware of wrongdoing’): from Latin conscius ‘knowing with others or in oneself’ (from conscire ‘be privy to’) + -ous.
And the usage of the word, “consciousness” doesn’t appear until 100 years later. In any conversation about consciousness, we might keep in mind that the current societal consensus often propagated by modern science, and other powerful voices in the culture, making claims that consciousness is an effect caused by brain function, is itself an idea made possible through consciousness. True or not, I see no reason to make dogmatic claims, when by necessity, all-knowing, awareness, sentience, identity and agency come through states of being more or less conscious.
J2thawiki at English Wikipedia CC BY-SA 2.5%5D(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)
When attempting to use language to qualify, define and determine the existence of whether there could be the making of a conscious mind within technological devices designed by a human mind, the understanding of the nature of language itself comes to the fore. We might first ask, what is meant by Artificial Intelligence?
- the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.
Artificial intelligence seems like an attempt to recreate the human mind in a human world. Although the creation of AI devices can be justified as ways of making human life better (easier, more secure, safer), the goal of creating an artificial mind can also be seen as a deep underlying desire to:
- Be the creator, prove that the human mind can be recreated or simulated
- Reduce the human mind to that of mere mathematics, reasoning and logic sans feeling and emotion
- Surpass the potential of the human mind by creating something better; more superior (less emotion?)
But I don’t think there’s any comparison between human and non-human beings. It’s a category mistake to think so. So, what then is the difference?
As much as we have found ways to replicate and simulate bodily senses, parts and functions, useful as the technology is, these replications are not, and never will be made of the same stuff; derived by organic means and processes; a bio genesis . Although the language we frequently use to talk about human functioning has recently incorporated metaphors that come from the making and design of computers, we are fooled by metaphors at our own risk.
We’re not “wired,” or “programmed,” with a mind that can be reduced to mathematical computations and algorithms. And although there are theories, we still have no idea how consciousness, brain and many bodily systems actually work. Yes, we know enough to do some pretty complex surgeries, kill bacteria with chemicals, and measure all bodily systems that can be measured, but none of these organic structures have been biologically recreated from anything other than existing organic tissue.
Dead things/Live things
Humans have developed elaborate ways to classify things. A mind that uses language to translate reality into concepts, ideas, patterns and mathematical formulas and calculations becomes almost too good at these feats. Too good, in that we humans so easily mistake what is translated into language as the totality of reality. To function in ordinary day-to-day life, we must do this! But, we needn’t be fooled by the technology of language any more than any other technology. No matter how clear we use language, we are never able to put into words all that the world, or any given moment, place or thing is. The use of language, by its very nature, requires abstracting, separation, joining, inclusion and exclusion. Language can only ever approximate reality.
Many of the primary distinctions that we make through language, do though, become deeply ingrained and assumed in our perceptions of the world. Categorizing things into either dead or living is just one example. But this primary metaphor of the nature of life might be the first philosophical and ontological mistake we make. For we know not of what lies beyond the limits and perceptions of our mind/body experience. We can, and do, however get glimpses into a much greater expanse of mind through the variety of experiences we have. It’s also quite probable that we have yet to scratch the surface of human potential through the expansion of conscious experience.
Because I am much more inclined to want to further the potential of our organic experience, including that of an expansion of mind and its potential of non-locality, I see AI, and much of its current use, as a distraction away from the much more interesting landscape of the untapped potential of mind.
AI, while in many ways providing lots of material benefits to our existence, keeps the emphasis on material existence. Much of its current use is unfortunately aimed at commercial enterprise, entertainment and furthering the isolation of each of us, by eliminating the necessity of humans. If we are essentially One, by the nature of a primary, inherent mind that permeates the whole of reality – the realization of such, and the furthering of our potential as individuals understood as an expression of the One – will need to be valued and attended to.
Threshing with threshing flails
The human experience is a whole-body phenomena that incorporates its environment and relationships into its awareness and perceptions. AI, even with the development of software programs that try to replicate any particular organic intelligence, will always be at the mercy of human design. If that limitation were ever to be overcome without human intervention, we might wonder about AI consciousness. Human intelligence does not rely on a set of programs using if/then, algorithmic computations stored away in some memory drive inside the brain. It’s much more complicated than that (See below for resources).
We moderns are brain-centric. We identify the brain with a large chunk of who and how we are, often at the expense of the totality of the body. Our perceptions are chunky, and we often fail to see continuity because we mistake our limited perceptions for something called reality. My plea here? Let’s not turn our attention away from our amazing humanity and its potential by trying to replicate a simplistic version of a perfected and immortal self that will never be anything more than a reflection of what and who we are now.
The computer can beat the human at chess, but does it care?
Connect with Debra…
Thank you so much Debra for inspiring us all with your own thoughts and expressions about life…. especially on the subject of ‘Consciousness and Artificial Intelligence’… that I know for sure our collective writing on this subject for our free E-Book, will allow many hearts to open to a greater awareness of life.
Do you want to be part of my Guest Blogger Feature… Your Magnificent Self?
Every other Monday throughout this year, IAM hosting a Guest Blogger/Author Feature and put YOU, my magnificent fellow Blogger/Author in the LIGHT. Not only this, I will feature your book/link to purchase in my website library and include your writing on Consciousness VS Artificial Intelligence in a FREE E-Book at the end of this year.
I know this is an incredible venture that is deeply impacting the world we live in.
For more information and how to apply, please read my post here.
Call to Action
Thanks for helping me share this Guest Blogger Feature with your friends… (Sorry I don’t have a reblog button as I host my own website… but maybe you could write an introduction and link back to this post?)
Together we can support each other and create an abundant, joyful and harmonious life.
Barbara Franken… Creative Visionary & MasterCreator
Inspiring New Energy Consciousness
My true Love Story: Your Magnificent Self… A Journey to Freedom.
For more detailed information about my Awakening and Integration I published by true magical journey, exploring Who I AM with the help of nine Elemental Beings and expand from a world of fear, struggle and limitation into a New Energy Consciousness of love, grace and freedom. It is in this loving space that I discover my Divine and ALL LOVING self and allow myself to integrate together as one Body Consciousness… a DivineHumanBeing… and Magnificent Master Creator who expresses and creates heart and soul passion on the physical plane and beyond.
For the ones who are fully Awakening/Integrating and are ready to commit to and celebrate their new role as MasterCreator…. I have created a MasterCreator Class to fully embrace All of Yourself through passive and active meditation… dance, song, art, writing, inner journeys.
There is no time like NOW to Sign Up and give YOURSELF this magnificent gift… For more Info on the next local Class on the Costa del Sol and online go to: MasterCreator Class
All the money raised from my books and classes go to my non-profit business that inspires others through creative expression to explore, discover and express ‘The Magnificent Consciousness’ each person truly is and their unique space in the heart of life. At the moment in Benalmadena I hold 2 free projects… A Creative Art Project with Children and a Relax & Talk Group for people struggling with Mental Health & Chronic Pain. More Info: Our Magnificent Consciousness