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Defining "Consciousness in AI"?


As tech-savvy individuals, you must have at least once, thought about— "can Artificial Intelligence also have a conscious?"

Fortunately for you, we will be exploring what we mean when we talk about AI developing a conscience today.

How do we define Conscious?

Simply described, it is a person's consciousness or perception of something or the world. As a higher creature, we humans have been given awareness, which is something, or perhaps the only thing, that an AI, or machine, as a whole... lacks.

Each of our judgments has been impacted by a variety of circumstances, and not all of these elements are consistent with your straightforward, calculated viewpoint.

Some judgments may not be statistically right and may even appear ludicrous, yet they may prove to be more effective than your current approaches.

The reason AI is not equivalent to a person is that we lack the technology bestow upon awareness to machines. Sure, computers provide precise answers and would surely provide the perfect solution, but many people seem to overlook the fact that they would need to deliver that "perfect answer" to a person.

We, as humans, are reasonable, but nothing compared to the rationality encoded into a computer; hence, the "perfect solution" is not what we want.

The "response" desired by individual will differ.

For example, think of a company that is having trouble staying afloat.

Some might consider firing all their employees acceptable if it benefits the interest of the company— "for the greater good"; while some would adopt a polar opposite approach and try to find different ways to solve the issue with the support of their employees.

In this situation, a computer would undoubtedly choose the former approach since it is an easy, least dangerous, quick, and efficient choice.

However, 7/10 times, a human would choose the latter option, not only because it is the morally correct thing to do but also because it would be more beneficial in the long run, after all, having a good reputation and devotion of your employees is much more important than temporary de-stability.

Due to its lack of consciousness, a machine maybe unable to factor this into the equation and hence provide an inaccurate result.

When discussing consciousness in AI, this is the more ethical viewpoint.

Taking a more logical and literal approach, AI's processing skills are similar to those seen in human brains.

Deep learning, a method that uses networks of layered algorithms that communicate with each other to solve incredibly complicated problems, is used by sophisticated or highly advanced AI systems to complete computational tasks fast.

Deep learning is comparable to our own brain processes since it was designed after them in an attempt to emulate how information speeds through neural connections.

To give you a sense of how effective this approach is, deep learning in a neural network gives AI the capacity to teach itself how to spot disease, win a strategic game against the best human player in the world, or even produce a hit song, among other things.

We all know that machines are incredibly capable... Even still, every neural network, no matter how powerful, must still rely on a human programmer to define the goals and pick the data for it to learn from.

Consciousness for AI would imply neural networks making those first decisions without human assistance, "deviating from the programmers' objectives and doing their own thing..." successfully accounting for the different unusual elements.

In our previous blogs, we discussed what is in AI and why it matters.

We will be expanding on the topic and discovering more about the various factors that qualify entities as inhabiting consciousness.

For Machines to become conscious they would need to start setting their own goals and act accordingly; rather than only doing what they were programmed to do.

In simple terms, machines would need to adapt and evolve according to the situation they are subjected to…just like we, humans, do.

One thing you should also keep in mind is that it would be wise to differentiate between consciousness and autonomy— freedom from external control or influence; independence.

After all, even an entirely autonomous car would still drive from X to Y as instructed.

Just that being said, it's time we discussed the various three stages of consciousness.

The various stages

Now, having understood the problem, you must be thinking that with the technological advances made in the last century, it shouldn't be that had to recreate at least somewhat of a functional conscious… well, one of the pitfalls for machines becoming self-aware is that consciousness in humans is not well-defined enough.

This makes it difficult if not impossible for programmers to replicate such a state in algorithms for AI.

So yeah, even after all gaining so much knowledge— we still are unable to create a consciousness that would give a machine the same privilege that we humans enjoy… freedom of action.

Based on the computation that happens in the brain, scientists have defined three levels of human consciousness.

At the initial stage, we have "CO", representing calculations that happen without our knowledge, such as during facial recognition, and most AI functions at this level.

The initial stage is followed up by the second stage, which we call— "C1."

The second stage involves a so-called "global" awareness of information —meaning, actively sifting and evaluating quantities of data to make a well-informed, deliberate choice…as the appropriate response to specific circumstances.

Finally, after the second stage, we have the "Self-awareness" stage— the third stage, "C2" is the stage where individuals recognize and correct mistakes, further investigating the unknown.

The main issue here isn't the coding part… rather we are unable to even figure out, in computational terms, what are the differences between humans' conscious and unconsciousness.

Of course, we aren't sitting ducks…to a certain extent, some types of AI can evaluate their actions and correct them responsively a component of the C2 level of human consciousness.

However, we wouldn't be seeing an AI with a C3 level of human consciousness anytime soon.

Alright, guys!

I hope you guys were able to learn about something new and interesting in this blog.

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