Originally Posted by EdmundJohnstone
I thought technology's purpose was just to make our lives more comfortable.
Will the robots/AI ever become conscious and with own free will as humans?
The robots/AI concept and brain diseases(Dementia)/injuries seem to contradict and be against spirit? What do you think?
Most people are brainwashed by philosophical materialism or realism. Based on experiments in quantum mechanics it turns out we do not live in a clockwork Newtonian like Universe. Philosophical materialism is just a belief system or dogma not supported by scientific evidence. But most people choose to believe in the fairy tale that we live in clockwork Universe and simply ignore the wave-like nature of reality where everything is connected to everything else. And the idea of how the conscious observer changes what is realized in reality is considered to be irrelevant. I think some of the bias towards philosophical materialism is based on how philosophical materialism is more easily represented by human language. Concepts in the science of quantum mechanics do not easily map to human language.
So if for moment you put aside your bias to philosophical materialism, then it is not clear if human consciousness is not more like an analog radio receiver as opposed to a computer metaphor. And the signal that is our consciousness may be deeply rooted in the very fabric of the one wave of energy making up the entire fabric of reality.
Many people deny consciousness even exists. it is known as the "hard problem". But if anyone ever denies consciousness exists you must immediately punch them as hard as you can right in the nose. Consciousness, in my opinion, is a fundamental part and purpose of the Universe. Again, the scientific evidence does not support the fairy tale called philosophical materialism. We live in a spiritual Universe although many people are unwilling to accept the implications this would imply. Science may have mathematical language representing nature's behaviors in specific testable contexts but science has no explanation why any thing exist at all in the first place or why energy moves at all.
I think when it comes to "robots/AI ever become conscious" I think it is very unlikely. I certainly can't prove a negative. I can't prove AI will never become conscious. But I think the proof is in the same category of I can't prove ball-point pens may suddenly evolve some day to become consciously aware beings. The point is based on the way computers and ball-point pens are designed it is very unlikely.
So let's review why I think hard AI is not possible. It is mainly because of the arguments put forth by John Searle. Here John Searle argues with Google engineers where I think he crushes them with his intellectual and philosophical arguments. Although the google engineers reply with the standard arguments as proponents of AI it really comes down to subjective judgment on what each of us thinks is possible:
google "John Searle google talk"
There are inherent limitations with the Von Neumann architecture and digital design. The brain seems more analog than digital to me and functions more like a sequential circuit not a digital one. Given John Searle's arguments with regards to weak AI and strong AI, I doubt very much we will experience strong AI anytime in the future.
Technology's purpose is a very interesting conversation. I read a great psychology book on people who have power over others. Essentially, having power over people corrupts your mind so eventually you see the people you have power over as ants that can be stepped on and killed without any moral consequence.
The people with all the money and power naturally become ruthless and evil. And here is why: The "metamorphic effect of power" is an idea coined by David Kipnis in his behavior psychology book, "Power Holders" and his book, "Power and Technology." You've heard the expression from Lord Acton, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Well, it's even worse than that! It turns out there is a fatal flaw in human psyche when it comes to people in positions of power.
In Kipnis's book he focuses not on the worker, consumer, or citizen. But instead he focuses on the CEO, corporation, and government official. He focuses on the power holder and not the masses under control. And his results are astounding! It turns out when people assume positions of power it changes the way they think.
The people in positions of power eventually experience a growing sense of contempt and hatred for the people they have power or influence over. This is why the leader of communism or any form of governments will eventually turn on their people. Kipnis coins this effect the "metamorphic effect of power".
When your psyche changes there becomes a point where you don't see the people you have power over as human beings. But you see them as insects or automaton machines not worthy of any shred of respect and with having no moral consequences if you squash them like ants under your foot. The only way not to be changed by metamorphic effect is to be aware of it's existence.
Google "amazon.com Technology and Power by David-Kipnis"
As a technologist, I thought my whole life has been about creating technology so people have more power in their lives. Instead, the technology I've been creating causes the opposite to occur according to Kipnis. This quote has haunted me my whole life:
"In the words of Jose Ortega y Gasset: "Technology provides men the leisure to realize their true potential" This, then, is the promise of technology: a material world of plenty and a spiritual world in which we have the leisure to realize our highest potentials and the freedom to contemplate God.
Yet in nagging counterpoint to this optimism about the beneficent world of plenty provided by unlimited power is the suspicion that technology has another face. There is a world in which the freedom to choose and to control evens has been subtly altered so that there is less choice and less control. This is the world of "megatechnics," to use Lewis Mumford's apt phrasing, in which technology concentrates power and reduces individual choice."
So the question is does the system or economy serve man or does man serve the system. All my life my hope is the technology I've been creating has been giving people more power over their lives so they have the leisure and freedom to realize their highest potentials and the freedom to contemplate God. But instead my greatest fear the sum of my life has help no one or even worse put people in so much debt they will never attain freedom.