In another forum, @swamidass, myself and others discussed some questions regarding AI, consciousness and semantic epiphenomenalism. We are looking for questions, answers and discussions from all comers.
Joshua made the claim that research into AI had proven that semantic epiphenomenalism is false. James requested a link to support that claim. I also believe that epiphenomenalism is false but have not seen any research on AI would could claim to support that view. I would love to see the research.
One participant claimed that “organisms programmed for fitness outcompete organisms programmed to see reality as it is.” For support, he provided this link to a Ted talk. Donald Hoffman: Do we see reality as it is? | TED Talk
This link discusses epiphenomenalism. Epiphenomenalism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
In a related tangent, others provided links critical of Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism (EAAN). While I agree with Plantinga that science and naturalism are at odds, I think he has misidentified the battlefield. Here are two links contra the EAAN.
Matthew posted this link on Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence.
To that post, Joshua commented that it contained mostly dated information and neglects newer research on AI.
Another participant asked why humans should ascribe to AI the quality of “intelligence” but deny that AI has “consciousness.” To this question I responded:
“This is a good question. When I think of human intelligence and human consciousness it is very different than say the reasoning of Watson. Although Watson is amazing at playing Jeopardy, I don’t think Watson is capable of desiring to do science, or of thinking up new experiments, or of creating art, or of wrestling with guilty desires, or of worshiping God of his own free will. I’m not certain he can appreciate the beauty of a sunset or a painting by Leonardo. I’m not sure that Watson can experience altruism or love.”
To this Joshua replied that Watson is a poor example of AI and that more recent research might change my mind. He suggested I searched the journals Nature and Science on the topic of “deep learning” to find these articles. I’m very interested, but have not yet had time to perform that search. If someone beats me to it, I would be grateful. I won’t be able to actually read the articles until I’m back at the university library.