"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible."
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Our Conscious experience usually includes a level of self-awareness. As in The observer and the observed dichotomy; The subject and the object; etc. etc.
Seems that at least for life on earth Consciousness emerged, in the evolutionary process, tightly coupled with self awareness.
In this coming age of intelligent machines :-)
, A question comes to my mind:
Whether self awareness is a necessary step (or component) towards the creation of artificial consciousness. Is a conscious entity ( organic or otherwise ) must be also self aware ?
Follows an excerpt from Blidsight by Peter Watts
, describing the first contact with an alien specie.
And alien they are...
Imagine you are a scrambler
Imagine you have intellect but no insight, agendas but no awareness. Your circuitry hums with strategies for survival and persistence, flexible, intelligent, even technological-but no other circuitry monitors it. You can think of anything yet are conscious of nothing.
You cant imagine such a being, can you ?
The term being doesn’t even seem to apply, in some fundamental way you cant quite put your finger on.
Imagine that you encounter a signal. It is structured, and dense with information. It meets all criteria of an intelligent transmission. Evolution and experience offer a variety of paths to follow, branch options in the flowcharts that handle such input. Sometimes these signals come form conspecifics who have useful information to share, whose lives you’ll defend according to the rules of kin selection. Sometimes they come from competitors or predators or other inimical entities that must be avoided or destroyed; in those cases the information may prove of significant tactical value. Some signals might even arise for entities that, while not kin, can still serve as allies or symbionts in mutually beneficial pursuits. You can derive appropriate responses for any of these eventualities, and many others.
You decode the signals and stumble:
I had great time. I really enjoyed him. Even if he cost twice as much as any other hooker in the dome -
To fully appreciate Kesey’s quartet -
They hate us for our freedom -
Pay attention,now -
There are no meaningful translations for these terms. They are needlessly recursive. They contain no usable intelligence, yet they are structured intelligently. There is no chance they could have arisen by chance.
The only explanation is that something has coded nonsense in a way that poses as a useful message; only after wasting time and effort does the deception becomes apparent. The signal functions to consume the resources of a recipient for zero payoff and reduced fitness. The signal is a virus.
Viruses do not arise from kin, symbionts, or other allies.
The signal is an attack.
And it’s coming from right about there.
“Now you get it ?” Sascha said.
I shook my head, trying to wrap it around that insane, impossible conclusion. “They’re not even hostile”. Not even capable of hostility. Just so profoundly alien that they couldn’t help but treat human language itself as a form of combat.
How do you say We come In Peace when the very words are an act of war?
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