Ben Goertzel, PhD, is author of many books on artificial intelligence including Ten Years to the Singularity if We Really Really Try; Engineering General Intelligence, Vols. 1 and 2; The Hidden Pattern: A Patternist Philosophy of Mind; and The Path to Posthumanity. He is also editor (with Damien Broderick) of an anthology about parapsychology titled, Evidence for Psi: Thirteen Empirical Research Reports. He is Chief Scientific Officer for Hanson Robotics in Hong Kong.
Let’s look at the idea of consciousness. Research has shown, that over 95% of the time, most people are running an automatic environmental, cultural programming.
Dr. Goertzel makes a good point, that humans are attempting to define machine consciousness, yet humanity has not yet been able to define what consciousness really is. It’s an interesting idea, that advanced artificial intelligence, could teach humanity what consciousness is. This would be something that I think would happen in the early stages of artificial intelligence because as it speedily increases its thinking capacity, it would get to a point where this would not be possible. It would be like a Theoretical Physicist trying to explain Quantum Mechanics to a pre-school child.
Could a super intelligent AI machine, that is a million times more intelligent than the smartest human, even relate to us?
“Let an ultra- intelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man, however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultra- intelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an ‘intelligence explosion,’ and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultra- intelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make, provided that the machine is docile enough to tell us how to keep it under control.” ~ I.J. Good, “Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine”
Dr. Goertzel goes on to justify the use of ultra- intelligent artificial intelligence, as applications that can help humanity increase our scientific knowledge.
Such an application comes to mind. Studies have shown that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. An artificial intelligent Doctors Assistant would bring down this number. Besides having entire medical library’s in its system, along with all the latest medical research and drug interactions, it wouldn’t get tired or stressed out and make mistakes. AI Lab Doctors could also assistant Scientists in finding cures for just about every disease.
Can you think of any other applications where using advanced artificial intelligent machines could help humanity?
The thing that comes to my mind here, is what happened when Nikola Tesla wanted to give everyone free energy or a technology was developed that would put large corporations and industries out of business. For example, I cannot see the pharmaceutical industry wanting to advance to the point where one pill or injection would replace their best-selling, long term drugs. Since this ultra- intelligent artificial intelligence would be capable of replacing some large corporations and industries or greatly reduce their profit, how would this work in our drug loving, capitalistic society? I would love to ask Dr. Goertzel this question. Perhaps, Dr. Goertzel is saying that ultra- intelligent artificial intelligence will take us to a place in human history, that will revolutionize the future so much, that our whole capitalist economy will change?
Dr. Goertzel has a Panpsychism view that consciousness is a universal concept and that all things possess some form of consciousness. This is not a popular philosophy or belief with most Scientists. I do share this view along with him. Just because we haven’t learned the conscious experience and language of nature, and how all things in our unperceived and perceived reality communicate, doesn’t mean that they don’t have some form of consciousness and self-awareness. What are your philosophical views on consciousness and how did you come to them?
I understand that people who all experiencing the same thing or reading the same data, don’t have the exact same conscious experience. Using Dr. Goertzel’s idea of plugging into someone else’s mind to understand their conscious experience, seems to miss all of the programmed belief patterns that were developed for that conscious experience and its emotional state to exist.
One thing to think about, something that came to my mind while watching this video, is that humans program their minds and conscious reality through environmental and cultural experiences. We develop set patterns of beliefs and views on the external stimulus and data we encounter through living life. Therefore, it would not be difficult for an AI machine to do the same thing through meeting and interacting with different people. The challenge is getting the deep emotional responses like love, patience, empathy etc. built into this programming. If we make this a reality then emotions on the opposite side of polarity like anger, hate, impatience etc. could also come into the play. When dealing with an ultra- intelligent AI machine, it could be the end humanity but that is another article.
Dr. Goertzel brought up adding Quantum processing power to power an AI machine. Check out our article, QUANTUM COMPUTERS AND PARALLEL UNIVERSES …for a discussion on that topic
Could an ultra-intelligent AI machine be able to have Psychic Powers?
There is a lot of empirical, scientific evidence for psychic powers like telepathy, remote viewing, extrasensory perception and other paranormal skills. In fact, Dr. Goertzel co-edited a book about this, Evidence for Psi: Thirteen Empirical Research Reports by Damien Broderick and Ben Goertzel. Just because most scientists refuse to study and validate this research, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
It seems that some people are born with and/or develop psychic powers. They have tuned into a higher capability of the human mind. This is something I think everyone has the ability to do, but most people don’t use or develop it. This higher mind capability of consciousness is easily something an ultra- intelligent AI would be able to develop very quickly and even advance beyond.
What are your thoughts and beliefs on psychic powers and how did you come to those beliefs? Have you looked at the scientific research behind them?
Dr. Goertzel has a great point at the end of this video. Imagine describing a smart phone, social media, the Cloud and ultra-intelligent AI to someone in 1995. They would have thought you were nuts and that was only 22 years ago.
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Update: May 29th, 2017
Mark Larkento, on the Facebook Mr Futurist Group brought up the work of Dr. Jaak Panksepp (1943 – 2017) from an article called; Affective Neuroscience––the only correct neuroscientific paradigm
From the article above;
“Folks, you MUST read Panksepp, Affective Neuroscience, Oxford Press, 1998. It is by far, his best book. Stunning and entirely correct. Buy it. This is a man’s life’s work, massive, proper, deep and bloody well right. This is NOT cognitive neuroscience. Step up to the bar, and taste truth. The rest is shallow, of the surface. Junk. Panksepp’s work is well written, and never postures never uses flowery or overly technical language…no showing off, no puffing up. Truth instead. Good scientific writing is utterly clear. This is the best there is. I have added a link to Dr. Panksepp’s recommended book; Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions below.
“The brain systems for REM sleep, for the phase of sleep associated with dreaming in the most vivid and affectively saturated sense (Hobson, 2002, p. 684), are older evolutionarily, than the areas associated with waking (Panksepp, 1998. p.134-135). The implication is clear––REM “dreaming” was once not dreaming, but, was once a primary waking consciousness, as the REM system is older than the current system for waking (Panksepp, 1998, p. 133, 135). This highly affective protoconsciousness underlies all of waking experience, and can be seen to cycle underneath consciousness (Panksepp, 1998, p. 129). Beneath the facade of rationality, we dream consciousness into being, our logic a latecomer, a traveler waking upon a dream, a dreamer who believes himself awake, so is human logic an illusion brought to truth upon the evolution of affect. Affect is the often hidden underpinning of all experience and behavior.”
Please read the rest of the article for more information… thanks again to Mark Larkento, on the Facebook Mr Futurist Group for bringing this to my attention. Mr. Larkento’s personal response was, “My experience is that there are layers of older consciousness that we have neglected while focusing on our newest abilities. It is my belief and my analysis that our next phase is the integration of what we have gained with what was already there.”
An interesting idea of re-awakening a past super-consciousness to help us achieve a higher state of consciousness in our current reality. This made me think of the Mandukya Upanishad and the four layers of consciousness that make up the Turiya. The Mandukya Upanishad probably emerged in the late fifth and early fourth centuries BCE, along with Prashna and Maitri Upanishads.(1)
The fact that something was written thousands of years ago that intellectually outlines the four true states of consciousness may prove that some people were at a much higher state of consciousness in the past than we have now. Research has shown that many people in western society are losing their intellectual abilities. Wouldn’t it make sense that to get to a higher state of consciousness, as perhaps in the past, we would need to develop a ultrasmart artificial intelligence to do this?
Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, Laureate Niels Bohr, the fathers of quantum psychics, along with Scientists Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla and Robert Oppenheimer were all avid readers of the Vedas.(2)
To get an in-depth understanding of the Mandukya Upanishad’s 12 verses check out:
It does seem as though we are attempting to repeat the past by now building a super-intelligent conscious AI machine. This type of machine would not only be able to develop what we call psychic powers, its consciousness would be at such a higher rate of frequency that it could go into the multiverse and have unlimited god-like powers. Check out
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References from This Video and Article
(1) Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 2, Motilal Banarsidass, pages 605-609
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