Consciousness is not computation

Actual title of the article below…and I would also add that, since intelligence and computation are inseparable, computation is NOT intelligence either. After spending the better part of the last decade arguing that a so-called (digital) Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is impossible and is likely nothing more than another (desperate) marketing trick Big Tech uses to wow the general public and politicians into keeping the taxpayer funding flowing its way, I am pleased to finally see/hear some voices in the mainstream media are starting to make similar claims. My arguments stem mostly from the fact that intelligence/knowledge (structure) is intimately structured within consciousness (function) and the two cannot be separated. So, intelligence (and by extension, AGI) is impossible without consciousness and vice versa. The article below makes a slightly simpler argument by arguing that consciousness is NOT computation  simply due to the fact that computation is not an independent system and requires an external observer to define its meaning, while consciousness is pretty much the opposite of that (independent and meaningful on its own). Now, nobody sane would deny that there are algorithms in existence quite adept at manipulating symptoms, usually words, to the point that those algorithms can hold an “intelligent” conversation with a human to the point where the human thinks it is conversing with another human. This is the definition of the (in)famous Turing Test, but that test does not really test for intelligence. It tests for an ability to manipulate symbols (words, in this case) according to a set of statistical rules representing arbitrary humanoid preferences/culture when using those symbols. True intelligence can only be achieved by a directed flow of electrons, constantly building structure (in our case, the brain) that further supports even more efficient electron flow. Computers do produce a directed electron flow, but that flow does not produce flow-reinforcing structure. In fact, the structure that the computer electron flow produces is mostly static, cannot be updated in real time (unlike the brain), and has no meaning aside from the one humans assign to it. So, a true AGI system, if ever built, must be analog in nature, and with structure that is meaningful outside somebody’s arbitrary definitions. Oh, and one last thing – as was proven mathematically back in the 1950s, no combination of deterministic and random methods (what a computer is) can EVER increase mutual information (knowledge). However, humans can. So, whatever humans are, it is very much unlike computers, and very much unlike the AGI we hear Big Tech brag about all the time. I just hope that more wake up and realize that the entire game about AGI is nothing but another giant waste of money scam that won’t produce anything of value for the regular person. Don’t believe me? Well, maybe the articles below will change your mind. The legendary IBM Watson artificial intelligence engine that was supposed to revolutionize medicine, law, science, and even society as a whole was recently sold part by part due to its failure to live up to the hype. Google was also caught faking its “artificial intelligence” demo, and so were a few other Big Tech players claiming to have an AI capable of talking/behaving like a human.

Yeah, we got scammed, again. At best, the AI Big Tech keeps pushing will automate most of the already boring/soul-crushing/unintelligent blue and white collar jobs and plunge the majority of the population into poverty. At worst, it will generate brutally oppressive systems of control to rule over people’s lives that will further degrade the ability of humans to act intelligently to the point where there will indeed be little difference between the behavior of so-called “artificial intelligence” and humans. Not because the former had truly become intelligent, but rather because the latter had lost their ability to act so.

“…Of course it is simplest to build a computer where the high voltage states correspond to 1s and the low voltages states 0s or vice versa. But there is no requirement that we build our computers that way. We could build a perfectly valid computer where the high voltage states of even valued registers correspond to 1s and where they correspond to 0s in the odd valued registers, or a computer where the mapping flips on every 13th clock cycle. The system only “computes” because of the way we have encoded information. [9] So computer simulations can never produce the entity they are simulating since the “simulation” is not an independent system. It is only defined in terms of its relation to an external observer. A simulation of a brain cannot produce consciousness any more than a simulation of the weather can produce rain.”

Author: haidut