Given the speed at which technology advances and the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI), it’s inevitable that our reality will look very different over the next ten years. AI will revolutionize numerous industries, particularly service and fast food industries, threatening the jobs of many low-income earners. Some scientists have spoken out about the potential threat AI could pose to society, including Stephen Hawking, as there is a common misunderstanding that AI lacks consciousness.
If everything in existence is made up of consciousness, does that mean AI is, too? But, if we’re creating the AI ourselves, does that mean we have the ability to create and manifest consciousness, or was it there all along? Herein lies the paradox of AI and consciousness. One of the latest people to publicly address this subject was philosopher and cognitive scientist David Chalmers, who spoke at a conference hosted by the Future of Life Institute called “Superintelligence: Science or Fiction?”, which aims to promote “optimistic visions of the future.”
The Artificial Intelligence and Consciousness Debate
Science is just now starting to catch up to spirituality, studying consciousness and proving its existence, even though Buddhists, physicists, and many other people knew it existed all along. However, there is still a lot of confusion in the scientific community regarding what qualifies as consciousness, as people commonly confuse it with the rational mind.
If you stop thinking and silence your mind, are you still conscious? Yes, because consciousness represents all that is and all that will be; it has manifested itself into creation as you. The scientific community often confuses consciousness as being something only humans have, and thus anything we create, including AI, lacks consciousness, which is theoretically impossible.
The recent “Superintelligence: Science or Fiction?” conference addressed this question and a variety of others on AI. Experts involved with the conference included Elon Musk of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, futurist Ray Kurzweil, Demis Hassabis of Google’s DeepMind, neuroscientist and author Sam Harris, philosopher Nick Bostrom, philosopher and cognitive scientist David Chalmers, Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, as well as computer scientists Stuart Russell and Bart Selman.
The discussion on AI and consciousness was facilitated by MIT cosmologist Max Tegmark. The panelists all agreed that AI will only continue to become more advanced and further implemented into society, as it’s expected to eventually surpass human intelligence. What an incredible thought: That human intelligence can create another form of intelligence that’s so advanced that it surpasses their own personal perceived capabilities.
One of the panelists, David Chalmers, voiced his concern on the evolution of AI because he sees the potential of creating a “world devoid of consciousness.” Chalmers is well-known in the scientific community for his research on consciousness, as he famously posed the question, “Why does the feeling which accompanies awareness of sensory information exist at all?”
I would argue that this is simply part of the human experience, which is what the soul chose to endure. Even if we didn’t know that we are made up of consciousness, we still would be. If you cannot feel someone touching your arm, that doesn’t mean they’re not doing it. Lack of awareness does not mean it doesn’t exist.
He pointed out that many people presume that AIs will eventually “become conscious” and is concerned that AIs will never reach the point of consciousness. Chalmers worries that we think that we’re creating a world with real consciousness, when in reality we’re just creating one with artificial intelligence.
For me, that raising the possibility of a massive failure mode in the future, the possibility that we create human or super human level AGI and we’ve got a whole world populated by super human level AGIs, none of whom is conscious. And that would be a world, could potentially be a world of great intelligence, no consciousness no subjective experience at all. Now, I think many many people, with a wide variety of views, take the view that basically subjective experience or consciousness is required in order to have any meaning or value in your life at all. So therefore, a world without consciousness could not possibly have a positive outcome. Maybe it wouldn’t be a terribly negative outcome, it would just be an outcome, and among the worst possible outcomes.
Chalmers’ concern clearly lies more with AI lacking a rational mind than with consciousness. It’s ironic because in our spiritual studies and development, we often strive to silence the mind and essentially abandon it, and here we are trying to create it. We know that the mind isn’t what makes us conscious, and it’s not what makes us human either. So if AIs don’t have a rational mind, but rather are consciousness manifested into the universe and intelligence physically created by humans, why are we trying to make AI become more humanlike?
You can watch the full video of the discussion here:
There is no need to worry about a world devoid of consciousness, because that is quite literally impossible. Everything in creation is consciousness. You are consciousness manifested into a soul that now houses a human body. The piece of technology you are reading this article on is another form of consciousness that was manifested to serve you.
Perhaps our goal should be to create AIs who are self-aware and to design AIs in a manner that serves us. So many people argue against AI, claiming “they’ll take my job” or “they’ll control the world,” but AI doesn’t need to be feared. Perhaps by designating AIs jobs that would otherwise be given to people, we could create space for human beings to use their time more effectively and efficiently. We are constantly told that working 9-5 is what’s necessary, but with the implementation of AI, perhaps we can shift away from this belief system.
The concept of AI shouldn’t be feared, but rather welcomed because it represents an opportunity for us to further develop society and raise our consciousness. Of course it’s completely natural to fear the unknown, but by shifting our perspective to become more positive, we can start to think about the more useful ways AI can be implemented to actually benefit us!
Elon Musk And Over 2400 AI Scientists Sign Pledge Against Killer Robots
- The Facts:
More than 2,400 AI scientists and researchers have signed a pledge which intends to deter military firms and nations from building lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS).
- Reflect On:
Are we as individuals, working together on shared concerns for all humans on the planet, starting to see the power we have to effect positive change?
It is not an uncommon story in the history of science and technology: the most brilliant and innovative minds of their time discover, create, and invent technologies that can have hugely positive benefits for mankind as a whole. Inevitably, the largest and wealthiest ‘consumer’ of such technologies is the Military-Industrial Complex, and the main ways these technologies are produced in our world are as tools of control, warfare, and human suffering.
In earlier times scientists and inventors didn’t have much say in how their work was used, and could often be persuaded that their use in military applications was actually for the benefit of humankind. Today, those naive days are gone, and the landscape is different. Some of the most prominent minds that are creating advanced technologies are starting to speak out more and more about how their work is being used in the world.
More Than 2400 Signatories
Elon Musk of SpaceX and Demis Hassabis at Google DeepMind are among more than 2,400 signatories to the pledge which intends to deter military firms and nations from building lethal autonomous weapon systems, also known as LAWS. The signatories are scientists who specialize in artificial intelligence, (AI) and have declared that they will not participate in the development or manufacture of robots that can identify and attack people without human oversight. The pledge was created by the Future of Life Institute:
LETHAL AUTONOMOUS WEAPONS PLEDGE
Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to play an increasing role in military systems. There is an urgent opportunity and necessity for citizens, policymakers, and leaders to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable uses of AI.
In this light, we the undersigned agree that the decision to take a human life should never be delegated to a machine. There is a moral component to this position, that we should not allow machines to make life-taking decisions for which others – or nobody – will be culpable. There is also a powerful pragmatic argument: lethal autonomous weapons, selecting and engaging targets without human intervention, would be dangerously destabilizing for every country and individual. Thousands of AI researchers agree that by removing the risk, attributability, and difficulty of taking human lives, lethal autonomous weapons could become powerful instruments of violence and oppression, especially when linked to surveillance and data systems. Moreover, lethal autonomous weapons have characteristics quite different from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and the unilateral actions of a single group could too easily spark an arms race that the international community lacks the technical tools and global governance systems to manage. Stigmatizing and preventing such an arms race should be a high priority for national and global security.
We, the undersigned, call upon governments and government leaders to create a future with strong international norms, regulations and laws against lethal autonomous weapons. These currently being absent, we opt to hold ourselves to a high standard: we will neither participate in nor support the development, manufacture, trade, or use of lethal autonomous weapons. We ask that technology companies and organizations, as well as leaders, policymakers, and other individuals, join us in this pledge.
The Power Of Public Shaming
The pledge hopes to amount to more than just words. In calling on countries to legislate laws, technology companies to not accept contracts, and individuals to voice their support against lethal autonomous weapons, they hope to sway public opinion overwhelmingly against LAWS, and in doing so shame any person or group who would go ahead with its development. There is some precedent for this approach working, according to Yoshua Bengio, an AI pioneer at the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms:
This approach actually worked for land mines, thanks to international treaties and public shaming, even though major countries like the US did not sign the treaty banning landmines. American companies have stopped building landmines.
The timing of this pledge is crucial. The military is one of the largest funders and adopters of AI technology. With advanced computer systems, robots can fly missions over hostile terrain, navigate on the ground, and patrol under seas. More sophisticated weapon systems are in the pipeline. Toby Walsh, a professor of AI at the University of New South Wales in Sydney who signed the pledge, had this to say about it:
We need to make it the international norm that autonomous weapons are not acceptable. A human must always be in the loop.
We cannot stop a determined person from building autonomous weapons, just as we cannot stop a determined person from building a chemical weapon. But if we don’t want rogue states or terrorists to have easy access to autonomous weapons, we must ensure they are not sold openly by arms companies.
Collective Consciousness Rising
This pledge is but one example of how people are implicating themselves in the future of the planet. No longer are we waiting on the sidelines and leaving decisions up to corporations, the military, or our political leaders. When we identify ourselves not as a race, culture or nation but as a planet, where all of humankind is considered part of the family, then we get to have greater access to the power of our collective consciousness. Once we harness that power, no initiative that is for the benefit of humanity is beyond our abilities.
The Flying Humanoid Phenomena Of Mexico
- The Facts:
There have been multiple reports over the years of bizzare activity in the skies of Mexico. People have claimed to be seeing flying humanoids in the sky. Though not fully verified as to what onlookers have seen, it is clear what they believe.
- Reflect On:
Experiences & stories such as this bring us to the question most of us have heard before, 'Are we alone?' What is the true nature of our reality? More importantly, what could this mean for us as a collective, as humanity?
Throughout time in mainstream media and the entertainment industry we have been programmed to see beings outside of human as dangerous, and for the most part there is a good chunk of fear-based propaganda to remind us of the potential danger if we were to encounter a visit.
Though new films and shows have been coming forth with a different perspective & narrative and new space forces are being declared, it is interesting to question the why. Stories of otherworldly visitors have been spread for centuries, and it is time we closely examine them with an open mind.
In this specific instance, an officer driving his patrol car in Mexico has seen a dark shape that he verified was, in fact, a “flying humanoid entity” which he described looked like a floating old woman, dressed in all black with dark skin and eyes that were “just black sockets, without eyelids.”
This startling apparition then apparently flew over to hover right in front of the vehicle and the stunned occupant within. He could see it better at this time, and noted that it was a hideous old woman that “resembled a witch.” Apparently annoyed by the car’s high beams, the witch then reportedly covered her face with some sort of cloak and then flew right into the vehicle’s windshield, causing the dumbfounded officer to go speeding back in reverse. He would explain the terrifying events like this:
As soon as I realized it was a kind of woman being, or a witch, very strange standing there trying to cover her face, she threw herself against my car very fast, falling on the car and hitting the windshield. She was flying very fast and it took only a second to hit the windshield glass. I was so shocked by this action that I put the car in reverse and pushed the accelerator trying to get away while requesting backup assistance by radio.
It was a woman with big black eyes, everything was black, no eyelids. Her skin was dark brown and her expression was horrible. She was furiously trying to get me with her claws while I was running away in reverse calling desperately for backup assistance to any units around.
If you would like to read more about why humanity is seemingly ‘obsessed’ with the ET phenomena at this time, please read more here and watch our latest video to dive deeper into the subject matter.
There Is More Than One Type Of Intelligence
- The Facts:
The current model of schooling puts emphasis on one particular type of education, which only covers a small percentage of the population of children. It also educates children in batches, assuming they are all ready for the same thing.
- Reflect On:
Is it time to reevaluate this method of schooling to be more inclusive to children with all types of other intellect and creative ability? Is our education system even bringing out the full potential in our children?
What was your experience in school like? Did you hate it or love it? Were you an all ‘A’ student and found it to be a breeze or did you struggle with understanding some of the subjects you were being taught?
The fact of the matter is, our modern education system is not catering to students as individuals, but lumping them all into the same category and expecting them to succeed, even at things they are not particularly good at or even interested in, while those who got the highest test scores were praised and reminded of their perceived superiority and intelligence.
Because of this, many children experience anxiety around tests because they have been taught over and over again that their value is determined by a letter grade and not their creative abilities. If one child has an amazing skill to write poetry, but then fails a math exam, the latter will be the topic that is looked at and how this failure can be turned around. Often telling the child they need to pay attention more in class or study longer, even though this particular topic may not be where the child’s intelligence lies. This system is designed strictly for children to learn how to memorize and regurgitate what they have learned in the form of tests, not giving much leeway for other talents and abilities.
Our modern-day schooling system was designed to train children into becoming the perfect employee, to sit at a desk perhaps, or follow orders effectively for when they are old enough to enter the workforce. The hours, little time for play, taking instructions from a person with authority and unfortunately, leaving little room for exploring creative abilities. This system, in reality, only caters to a small percentage of people in the world, and because of this, we are effectively killing the creative potential that exists within all human beings.
The following video from Sustainable Human sums this up quite nicely.
As it says in the video, “How did we get to the point where we decided the best way to school our children is to sit them behind a desk and insist they keep still?”
Children are meant to play, to explore, to observe, to stumble, to be curious, to ask questions, to find answers, to learn from others and as they go. Sitting them in a desk seems far from natural, yet this is something that to this day we still accept as normal and see it as, ‘just the way it is.’ However, it hasn’t actually been that long that this has been our generally accepted method of schooling.
“If a kid is failing, it is not the kids fault, the fault is within the system.”
Let us not forget that there are MANY forms of intelligence and it’s time we embraced every single one. The schooling system as we know it, needs an overhaul.
Let’s get this discussion started over in the Collective Evolution Group on Facebook.
There Is More Than One Type Of Intelligence
What was your experience in school like? Did you hate it or love it? Were you an all ‘A’ student...
The Flying Humanoid Phenomena Of Mexico
Throughout time in mainstream media and the entertainment industry we have been programmed to see beings outside of human as...