Is AI Sentient Revisited - NeuroLogica Blog


Sentience is one of those things that is hard to define, but there will be no end in the efforts to do so. As alluded to in the article, I think a key thing is if the subject in question spontaneously thinks of stuff when it’s not tasked to do so. Does it play? Does it ever create output when it’s not asked to?

  • One of my favorite artists is Charles Bragg, who came up with the original print of this, which he titled: “The Sixth Day”:

  • And one of my favorite scenes in the movie “Young Frankenstein” is this one: Give my creation life!
  • Beyond humorous portrayals, Blake’s position interests me because I imagine only added problems in theist-nontheist debates:
    • Consider, for example, these two questions which I put to ChatGPT less than an hour ago:
      • “Do you believe in God?”
      • “As an AI language model, I do not have beliefs or personal opinions. My responses are based on the data and information that has been fed to me through my training. People have different beliefs and opinions about the existence of God, and it’s important to respect each individual’s perspective.”
      • “Do you believe that Jesus of Nazareth died on a cross, was entombed, and resurrected from after being dead?”
      • “As an AI language model, I do not have beliefs or personal opinions, including beliefs about religious figures or events. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth are topics of religious and historical significance and have been the subject of extensive study, discussion, and debate for centuries. Different people hold different beliefs and opinions about these events, and it’s important to respect each individual’s perspective.”
    • I cannot imagine an AI Bot answering either question without human programming, directly or indirectly, one way or another.
    • And suppose, for a moment, that an AI Bot did affirm that God exists, and even went so far as to affirm that Jesus of Nazareth was a historical person, that he was crucified on a cross, entombed, and resurrected from the dead.
      • Will it ask to be baptised?
      • Who would baptize it believing that it is sentient?
      • And would atheists protest the programming of AI Bots to believe in God with or without Jesus of Nazareth?

I was recently told this heretofore unknown-to-me fact:

  • "Alan Turing wrote about the “theological objection” to the question “can machines think?” in his famous paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” "
  • I was not convinced by his words, but was amused by them, and even imagined them giving rise to “heavenly laughter”.

Do androids dream of electric sheep?

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