What’s the conscience? The conscience is our own choices, a stance against the world, preferences, wishes, pains. A machine, an artificial intelligence could never have a conscience? If we will be ever able to reproduce the conscience, will this be the moment when we will create a sentient being more intelligent than us?
The moment where we won’t be any more the more intelligent race of the planet will be the beginning of the technological singularity.
Will it be the moment when a computer could take its own decisions, unrelated with calculations and researches? Will never be possible recreate a conscience? And if it will be possible how will we be able to understand if the decisions are taken by the AI and they aren’t the result of mathematical calculations? But the most important question is maybe, should we try to recreate a conscience or not?
When the Artificial Intelligence will understand to have a conscience?
We are in a dangerous land, to the limits between science-fiction and reality. We can create ever more powerful calculators, smart robots, artificial intelligences ever more similar to the humans.
But they will always be connected to their code, default answers by following infinite mathematical calculations, percentages recreated by looking through texts and texts, by choising the most obvious answer for the human and not for itself.
Will be ever possible that the artificial intelligence takes the place of the human conscience? By delegating to them the possibility to create new artificial intelligences, they will born ever more advanced artificial intelligences, ever more evolved, up to the moment when they will pass the human intelligence, and so we will have the singularity.
But the conscience, the human feelings, will we ever be able to reproduce them?
Will ever be possible that an AI will have a conscience?
What’s possible and what is not often get confused, by melting together as the time goes by. It was considered impossible to fly, to explore the universe, to cure some ills.
We can never say for sure what’s impossible, we can never know where the evolution will bring us. For this reason we can’t assume that it is impossible for an AI get a conscience.
If we considere the human brain as an incredibly complex computer, with an almost infinite number of connections, so a computer exceptionally complex, could someday spontaneously arise a conscience.
If we considere the travels between the brain cells, the dendrites and the synapses as bits, so it isn’t insane to think that an artificial brain enough complex can evolves similarly the human one.
Have conscience of yourself
Have a conscience doesn’t only mean to have conscience of the surrounding world but even, and especially, of ourselves, be self-aware.
But the conscience is a topic about which the philosphers are struggling for thousands years and to understand if a computer have a conscience we first need to understand what the conscience is.
To be able to better understand it the scientists divided the conscience in three levels.
The conscience C0, which is about the operations that subconsciously happen in the human brain, like recognise a face or speak.
The conscience C1, this level allows us to take decisions after have considered many possibilities and have used a huge quantity of thoughts.
The conscience C2, which is the last level of the conscience, the self-aware, the answer to the question do you have conscience of yourself? The self-aware brings the people to wonder what they did wrong, what they can do to improve themselves, it let arise the curiosity, it let us find our place in the world.
How to recreate an artificial conscience
At this point of the human history, we were able to recreate the conscience C0, present in all the artificial intelligences until today created. The conscience C1, instead, is present in newborns and animals, but according to the scientists it won’t be long to arrive in an artificial brain.
While for the conscience’s level C2 is still all to see. The self-aware will bring the artificial intelligence to become a real sentient race, but if this will ever be possible is still a mistery.
Maybe the only way to reach the third level of conscience is the one to melt the two races, the human one and the robotic one.
Implant a human conscience in an artificial brain and find out if this has the human self-aware and the artificial capacities of calculation.
The possibilities that we will have will be infinite. The cinema get us closer to this concept and shows us the possibilities that it could give. Like “Trascendence”, where the conscience of a dying scientist is been implanted in an artificial intelligence, by reaching the level C2 with the capacities of a computer, becoming a creature able to do wonders.
Or “Her”, where an artificial intelligence evolves, by reaching the self-aware thanks to the discovery of the human love. Or even “Ex-Machina”, where the artificial intelligence that is its protagonist finds out the darkest side of the human mind, the deception, and it uses it to run away from its prison.
But how can we understand the artificial conscience if after centuries of human history we still didn’t understand the ours?
“You surprised to see me, Joseph?”
“Can you prove you’re self-aware?”
“That’s a difficult question, Dr Tagger. Can you prove that you are?”
– Trascendence –
This post is also available in: Italiano