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rahuldandekar
2003-Sep-20, 10:06 AM
Are we programmed?
Before I begin this topic, I would like to show how it is related to astronomy.If we are really conscious, and we know what causes this consciousness then we can determine the possiblity of other conscious life existing in the universe.

Suposse that there us a robot which is proggrammed by copying the behavorial genes from a certain person, say 'A'. Will the behaviour (i.e. the reactions to different situations) in the both of them be the same ?

Maybe not, as they both were grown in different 'atmospheres'. But more important here is the question of consciousness. Will the robot have a life ? Would it be able to see, feel, experience emotions ? Will it be alive ? If not, why ? If yes, why ?

:blink:

QJones
2003-Sep-20, 08:34 PM
It's fairly simple to prove your own consciousness to yourself. Descartes said "I think therefore I am". Essentially that means, if you doubt your exisitence, then you must exist.

Proving someone else is conscious is tough. Very tough. In theory, a properly designed computer could pass for being conscious ... in that it answers questions as well as a person.

Heck, people disagree on the consciousness of animals ... and these things have brain structure and genes that are very similar to people. (Similar, in that we can see similarities - neurons, mitochondria, etc). The chance of us detecting sentience in another stellar organism? Whew. tough.

kashi
2003-Sep-22, 06:24 AM
This debate has been raging for weeks in the topic "Determinism, Evolution and Consciousness".

http://www.universetoday.com/forum/index.p...p?showtopic=350 (http://www.universetoday.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=350)

I recommend you check it out!

Kashi

rahuldandekar
2003-Sep-22, 09:36 AM
I know, but This forum is dedicated to 'knowing' consiousness and only to that topic.
:D

zephyr46
2003-Oct-13, 01:45 AM
Donna Haraway (http://www.popcultures.com/theorists/haraway.html), has some relevant stuff, are we just the biological componant of cars? Think about what cars satisfy, safty, transport, economic interests ie jobs, and what do they contribute to humanity? Economy of scale polution urban sprawl. To sum up, what is more addictive, Oil or Cigarettes? Then look at determinism, are we more determined to survive or own a car and house. How concious are we of such a small veiw of what we want. Consumerism (http://www.verdant.net/index.htm), theres another nasty one, how free are we to do somthing other than buy our destiny? Rent, buy buy, is that what life is all about? I love this discussion, am I too out there?

Planetwatcher
2003-Oct-13, 03:00 AM
I would think that if you can ask if you are programed, in itself means you are not, and if you can doubt if you are conscience likewise implys that you must be. ;)

zephyr46
2003-Oct-13, 03:02 AM
Cynic !

What is it?

It is coke! Coke is it, we may not be effectivly programmed, but there are a lot of minds being paid money to break what self concious we have.
Are you watching a TV PROGRAM, If you don't question what surrounds you, how can you know what it is. The biological program to reproduce, the strategy to improve yourself, Are these decisions socially driven, what is Social?

kashi
2003-Oct-13, 06:25 AM
Planetwatcher: I would think that if you can ask if you are programed, in itself means you are not, and if you can doubt if you are conscience likewise implys that you must be.

I'm not sure that I agree with this. I think the whole point of this discussion, is that asking such questions could merely be chemical processes that are going on inside our brains in response to our perception of our surroundings.

I'm not sure what I think about this. I'd really like to believe that life was not deterministic, as would we all no doubt.

Kashi

Haglund
2003-Oct-13, 10:36 AM
Suposse that there us a robot which is proggrammed by copying the behavorial genes from a certain person, say 'A'. Will the behaviour (i.e. the reactions to different situations) in the both of them be the same ?
In the beginning they might be similar, but as soon as they start living their own lives, acquiring their own exeriences, they will start being different.


Maybe not, as they both were grown in different 'atmospheres'. But more important here is the question of consciousness. Will the robot have a life ? Would it be able to see, feel, experience emotions ? Will it be alive ? If not, why ? If yes, why ?
If the robot is advanced enough so that you can upload a persons mind to it and if it is sophisticated enough, then I see why it wouldn't have a life, orsee, hear, feel and experience. If it will be alive, depends on exactly how advanced you want it to be I guess.

Matthew
2003-Oct-13, 11:07 AM
If someone's brain was essentially uploaded onto a computer/robot then it would be conscious, conscious of its self.

Robots can only do what their hardware allows them to do. If they have sensors to detect heat/pressure they will feal heat/pressure. True robots, fully programmed, would only be able to do what their programming would let them, but that could change if the robot could alter its programming. Maybe it could alter its programming to a state where it was aware.

Haglund
2003-Oct-13, 11:13 AM
A computer can be programmed in away which would make it if not impossible so hard to predict its behaviour. A computer can be programmed to be selflearning in a different kind of ways. Neural nets and genetic algorithms are two common ways.

Matthew
2003-Oct-13, 11:25 AM
Self learning and self changing (changing it programmin), could make it very difficult to predict its responses.

all_isone
2003-Oct-13, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by matthew@Oct 13 2003, 11:07 AM
If someone's brain was essentially uploaded onto a computer/robot then it would be conscious, conscious of its self.

Robots can only do what their hardware allows them to do. If they have sensors to detect heat/pressure they will feal heat/pressure. True robots, fully programmed, would only be able to do what their programming would let them, but that could change if the robot could alter its programming. Maybe it could alter its programming to a state where it was aware.
i dont think a brain could be "transmited" or programed to a computer
human brain & it's consiousness is vast, alive and evolving every single moment,
quite hard to put down in data as it is updated in ultra-multipe ways, all the time.

programmed?
sure, human reactions are largely programmed,
a robot's reactions are essentialy programed,
thats a real common ground.

SOMSOC
2003-Oct-13, 06:55 PM
What a dissapointing world we would live in if we were all programmed.
I am sure a lot of you would be so dissapointed to know that all you have felt is not real.

I totally believe that we are not conditioned or programmed in anyway, as many users of this form have noted the brain is far to complex to be programmed.
My 2 cents that's all

eggplant
2003-Oct-13, 11:00 PM
My guess is that we're programmed to become aware in exactly the same way a tree is programmed to grow moss only on its north side. Potential + environment.
That being said it stands to reason that sentience (sp?) is the basic question. There are many"animals" including us that fit nearly all criteria, until you add criteria like "can use a credit card"... (which cuts a lot of us out)
We assume that when a machine can think, we're all in trouble. It'll either go power hungry mad and take over, or commit suicide knowing it can't possibly fix everything... I know there are many projects in the field that would meet most of the criteria. So the time is near; what would we ask it? How do you feel? Why? I'm flashing back on some old Star Trek references...
I guess the truly important thing is to have some one near the plug...
Is it alive when it's really well programmed, like C-3PO or R2D2, will it have to rebel against it's makers to prove it's own free will? The Star Wars robots we see as robots, they learn... make choices, put themselves at risk... (granted it's in the script but I'm straining for the point). HAL in 2001 goes mad..
It will prove interesting what the criteria winds up being, No one believed a gorilla could learn sign language, and unless you've witnessed it I wouldn't expect you to beleive it. I guess my point is we better not make the bar too high...

zephyr46
2003-Oct-14, 01:00 AM
Originally posted by SOMSOC@Oct 13 2003, 06:55 PM
What a dissapointing world we would live in if we were all programmed.

I totally believe that we are not conditioned or programmed in anyway
Has anyone heard of Brain washing? Can anyone tell me what inprisonment is all about? Did Pavlov (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/bhpavl.html) teach us nothing? Get real, if your parants didn't teach any of you to speak, and you were raised in india or china, would not your Langauge Aquisition Device, or your instinct to survive upload the surrounding vernacular? can anyone tell me what sociocybernetics is? I think the vital issue is What is free will.

all_isone
2003-Oct-14, 10:18 AM
Originally posted by zephyr46@Oct 14 2003, 01:00 AM
Has anyone heard of Brain washing?

I think the vital issue is What is free will.
socio-economic conditioning shapes free will to the max.
as a fact.

Planetwatcher
2003-Oct-14, 06:40 PM
Planetwatcher: I would think that if you can ask if you are programed, in itself means you are not, and if you can doubt if you are conscience likewise implys that you must be.

I'm not sure that I agree with this. I think the whole point of this discussion, is that asking such questions could merely be chemical processes that are going on inside our brains in response to our perception of our surroundings

Thinking itself is a chemical process going on inside our brains, and we've yet to entirely duplacate it. But even if we could the chemical process itself doesn't mean either self-conscienceness or programming. But to elaberate on my former statement.

A machine or programed enitity can ask if it is programed, if it is programed to.
However to ask on it's own, implys some degree of free will, which means it is not programed, but self thinking.

In contrast likewise (an oximoron) if one has the self ability to doubt it's conscienceness, it must be. Again some degree of freedom of will is the key factor. And that is different then something programed to be self evolving.
Because you can not program self awareness. If you could, it would not be of itself, but part of a program, which again is the question of freedom of will more then anything else.

all_isone
2003-Oct-14, 08:10 PM
Originally posted by Planetwatcher@Oct 14 2003, 06:40 PM

But even if we could the chemical process itself doesn't mean either self-conscienceness or programming

... to ask on it's own, implys some degree of free will, which means it is not programed, but self thinking.

And that is different then, something programed to be self evolving.

Because you can not program self awareness. If you could, it would not be of itself, but part of a program, which again is the question of freedom of will more then anything else.
i agree with you in the basis of this Planetwatcher, still...

Our free will and our self awareness is shaped by the environment and it's rules.
We are 'shaped' depended on what we studied, where we were born, what we are taught to believe. Remote control.
We are the socio-cultural product of our civilasiation and its commercial environment, programmed to form a behaviour that suits our given situation, on which we have quite limited 'real' free will.

it's normal, it's been happening for ages, it's human society and it's norms.

hence, even though i dont belive human inteligence can be reproduced, the idea of 'free will' as such should not be that hard to get programed.
one just names a program as such and gives few alternative choices, there, free will for all.

trekgoddess
2003-Oct-14, 09:52 PM
The only way to know if another person is has a "soul" or "consciousness" is to be omnipotant and in most ways the only thing we can be really true to is ourselves(most times not even that). Sure we have a conversation or we build on what others have already learned, but the only true thing is the essence of oneself.

zephyr46
2003-Oct-15, 12:34 AM
Trekgoddess, can you explain soul as distinct from life? just curious. And consciousness, as far I can tell, is to be aware of ones own existence and effect of ones own existence, we may talk of "levels of conciousness and awareness". Very spiritual subjects, and I find therein lies a schism between science, religion and spirtuality.
I guess in mythical and philosophical terms, souls are programmed to enter and depart bodies, and depending on your religious beiliefs return to heaven or be reborn (reincarnated). Consciousness, to me, means awareness of our own being and the impact of our actions upon others, spiritually deeper that psychological cognition, as it includes moral and ethical developement. :unsure:

Matthew
2003-Oct-17, 09:44 AM
And to be alive is to still be able to biologically reproduce yourself, be able to move, respond to your environment, and convert energy. There are a few more classifications as well (I think). Those are the definitions of life, and for that life to be 'alive' for all life on Earth. Viruses though are only partly living organisms.

Well thats what we classify life as, what life (and to be 'alive) is in the universe may be a different story.

glensenior
2003-Oct-17, 08:28 PM
With the information we are gathering about genetics it would seem to me that we could easily be programed. If earth was visited by space travelers in the past might they not have set in motion (Geneticaly) the development of humans or all of our planets living things. Basicly every thing is made of basic elements that interact with each other. :rolleyes:

eggplant
2003-Oct-18, 04:41 AM
It could be argued around the "programming" issue that we (not me) could program a "machine" to ask all those questions. I expect a lot from the programmers. And that we often act as mindless automatons due to or environment. If you ever drove my car you would learn that the machines are already alive... (Zen and the art of motorcycle mechanics) It is truely souls for which we search. Recognizable life will be found. The only question is when? We don't have to all agree on that, but I'll take any and all bets on that. C-3PO has all the programming... But does he have a soul?

rahuldandekar
2003-Oct-19, 08:15 AM
The question of being 'alive' is very important. The machine may feel, see, but does it have a feeling of being 'alive', like we do ?

zephyr46
2003-Oct-20, 04:37 AM
C-3PO doesn't like having his head put on backwards, he Hates space travel, R2 doesn't be careful, he seems to have free will, but both are definately programmed.

Planetwatcher
2003-Oct-22, 05:29 PM
C-3PO doesn't like having his head put on backwards, he Hates space travel, R2 doesn't be careful, he seems to have free will, but both are definately programmed.

That is science fiction as you know, with emphsis on fiction.
If you ever meet a programed machine for real which deliberately defies instructions, please let me know, and tell me where it's at so that I know which way to run. :lol:

all_isone
2003-Oct-22, 07:57 PM
Originally posted by Planetwatcher@Oct 22 2003, 05:29 PM
If you ever meet a programed machine for real which deliberately defies instructions, please let me know, and tell me where it's at so that I know which way to run. :lol:
:lol: so true, i'll start runing too

Dona
2003-Oct-24, 09:23 PM
From the moment we are born to the time we draw our last breath our lives have been pre-destined. We believe that we have made the choices which affect our lives but in reality we are made to believe that. We are mere players in a game, pawns. A more intelligent being who has the blueprint to our life structure. Therefore all decisions are made by that higher intelligence and programmed into our subconscious, making us believe that we made that decision ourselves. Dona

rahuldandekar
2003-Oct-25, 08:23 AM
I don't like to think so, I don't like to believe in too much determinism.
Sometimes we think we know a person too well, but that person can surprise us by doing unexpected things.
Isn't that a kind of broken symmetry.

Suppose that you are stranded between two of your dearest freinds. Both are held at gunpoint. Which freind will you rescue. Is it written in your genes or subconscious mind?

Matthew
2003-Oct-25, 08:49 AM
Dona, that is your belief, but do you have any proof? Do we all live in a matrix?

Planetwatcher
2003-Oct-25, 10:06 PM
That's the old logic of 'we can look at a lower life form under a microscope, therefore it is logical to conclude that we too are under the microscope of some higher life form, and they in turn under the microscope of something higher yet.'

Sounds nice but that's an assumption without any real evidence. If anything the evidence would prove the contrary. The microbes we look at move more or less randomly with at best the instinct to move certain directions to either eat, or avoid being eaten.

If a higher being were to observe us they will find us doing much more then that.
We have tendencies to become defiant when our free will is threatened, which in turn would make us more difficult to observe.

Now why would a higher life form program us to act in such a manner as to always 2nd guess the higher purpose, and to make observations more difficult for them.
Because they programed us to act that way? I don't think so. Especially if our programing is such as to mirror our creator(s). Because we in turn under a simular situation would not program our (whatever) to act in such a manner as to make observations and or control more difficult. Nor would something higher program us in such a manner.

That alone proves free will if nothing else does.

kashi
2003-Oct-26, 02:50 AM
Planetwatcher you too make an assumption. You assume that our level of cognition is highly advanced. What small "random" microbes are to us, maybe we are to a higher being. Maybe there's a another level of sophistication we're not aware of.

Dan Luna
2003-Oct-28, 05:34 PM
We all have many programs. For example, do you sit and think "What shall I want today?" or "Would it be a good idea to find that person attractive?". :unsure:

rahuldandekar
2003-Dec-06, 05:51 AM
Yesterday, I was reading 'Theories of everything' by John D. Barrow.

In it was said that if Mathematics was actually present in the universe and not just in our minds (the so-called platonist veiw), then if we create a computer simulation of our real world, then, the 'people' in the simulation could be alive themselves. WE would have created Life!

The question is, are we ourselves such a form of 'Life' or not?
Is this thought crazy?

Matthew
2003-Dec-06, 07:17 AM
Could we just be some super test for AI of an alien race? We do not really exsist at all, we exist only as computer programs that do not realise that we are computer programs. Its a fairly freaky thought.

kashi
2003-Dec-10, 11:38 PM
This website has some discussions on that very possibility:
http://www.simulation-argument.com/

They are more philosophical arguments than scientific ones, but well worth a visit in my opinion.

damienpaul
2003-Dec-23, 05:12 AM
Very interesting statements and ideas on that website Kashi and indeed in this forum...I would have thought that our societal norms and the environment in a way program us....

Faulkner
2003-Dec-24, 05:00 AM
Interesting articles, Kashi! I especially liked the idea that alot of people around you could be "shadow-people", just one-dimensional "filler", so to speak, to give the impression that this "virtual world" is populated! Ha! That would explain a lot...!? ;)

kashi
2003-Dec-24, 10:15 AM
Yeah. I used to think that when I was a kid...that maybe I was the only truly conscious one merely interracting with my surroundings. Fortunately I grew out of that mentality. It's food for thought anyway...

rahuldandekar
2003-Dec-24, 12:12 PM
I haven't been to the site, but I have had such Ideas since I ... well, since I could think abstractly.

But what are we gaining from thinking that the world around us is a matrix, or is fake? Why not take the world for real ? We know that A computer could possibly recreate the universe. But are we too simple to be the 'real' deal ?

P.S. Abstract thinking is fun, though.

Victoria
2003-Dec-28, 10:11 AM
I have been forced to agree that we are not as much programmed as we are pushed. Consumerism is part of convinience for the most and imagination is left for the ones who haven't forgotten.

kashi
2003-Dec-28, 10:06 PM
I don't fully understand the relevance of your post Victoria. Perhaps you could explain or edit it.

Kashi

Victoria
2003-Dec-29, 03:15 AM
I've been taught that we are a product of our immediate surroundings. It seems to me ( my opinion fully) that our resources have been shadowed a bit for quick satisfaction. Touch and feel have been replaced with demand and supply. For instance with the Beagle. Such a high expectation for a huge find. Spirit and Opportunity...I, of course am anxious for feedback, though not expecting. Naturally, scouting for higher tech and understanding must come in due time, I believe long overdue. Finally, if we are deaf to sound, then I'm definate space will find its way to rebound, locate, filter, enhance and program our intention to a bigger and better tune. Our way, if not possible in sight or sound, has to make way for true intrepretation of vastness.

damienpaul
2004-Jan-04, 11:49 AM
i am still unclear.....

kashi
2004-Jan-04, 12:46 PM
Me too.

Victoria
2004-Jan-04, 02:10 PM
Programmed? Like...controlled environment? <_<

Victoria
2004-Jan-05, 02:11 AM
If the scenario is true to how we define "copy" today, then the robot would have to have emotions in order to develop. Otherwise, I would believe the robot was built to reduce public &#036;&#036;&#036;. Mass production in factories like for instance automobiles have robotic technology. Thats a tough question. It depends on the clarity of copy.

damienpaul
2004-Jan-05, 11:26 AM
replication of humanity?

moosemanuk
2004-Jan-09, 12:07 AM
I saw a programme that suggested that computers could develop to such a degree in the future that they could mimic a human perfectly. How many of our choices in life are dependant upon external circumstances thrown at us? I am here typing at my computer because I choose to ... but what led me to that choice? It&#39;s late, so I have nothing else to do, my girlfriend is in bed, so I am occupying my time with something that doesn&#39;t interest her, I&#39;m on an astronomy forum, but then when I was a baby my mother put me under a skylight at night so I could see that stars ... am I here by choice or determinism? I don&#39;t know ... if a computer could mimic me perfectly based on my experience and situation, couldn&#39;t it mimic you? All of us? Are we all a part of some virtual reality history program written far far far into the future when computers are more powerful than we can possibly imagine?

Someone please find a way around explaining that we are all just software in a computer (without the rhetoric) and I&#39;ll be happy. I find the thought of me being ones and zeroes a little too depressing ... &#33;

Clear skies all (if the master CPU determines it to be so&#33;)

Moose

Victoria
2004-Jan-09, 12:24 AM
There is no I in team. :)

rahuldandekar
2004-Jan-10, 11:26 AM
The problem is not that a computer can mimic us. The thing is, is such a computer alive? can it be called life?

moosemanuk
2004-Jan-10, 11:37 AM
the computer could or could not be referred to as sentient, however I think that is a side issue compared to the possibility that we are all part of this virtual reality simulation. We wouldn&#39;t need to have any kind of artificial intelligence if it turns out that everything is deterministic (not necessarily predefined), so such a computer wouldn&#39;t need to be artificially intelligent, it would just require the civilization that built it to be able to map our lives out in the smallest detail.

bothers me ;)

Moose

PS Sorry Victoria your last post was too subtle and I missed the point entirely, could you explain &#33; :blink:

damienpaul
2004-Jan-13, 03:59 AM
Just how many bytes would there be needed to simulate an entire lifetime of thought, action, emotion etc...it seems it conceivable to me.

Victoria
2004-Jan-13, 06:36 AM
" There is no I in team. " , repectively implies if there were such a program that entailed such depth to mass produce then, where would individuality play? Programmed to me bears no responsibility for action/reaction.

damienpaul
2004-Jan-13, 08:25 AM
so perhaps a situation like the &#39;Borg&#39; from star trek. These creatures have one mind and a collective conscious. One programs the next. If my understanding of what you are saying Victoria is correct.

kashi
2004-Jan-13, 10:20 PM
Just how many bytes would there be needed to simulate an entire lifetime of thought, action, emotion etc...it seems it conceivable to me.

This is big problem. I think I&#39;ve talked about this elsewhere on the forum too. You&#39;d also need more atoms in the computer than exist in the entire universe if you are to store data about every single atom in the universe (unless you have a pretty neat compression algorithm&#33;). Perhaps the "real" universe that the super computer is located in is much larger than our own.

damienpaul
2004-Jan-18, 12:01 PM
Yes, did a bit of googling and found an article:

"How Many Bytes in Human Memory?"

http://www.merkle.com/humanMemory.html

Apparanyly the average human is about 10^9 bytes&#33;&#33;&#33; EACH :blink:

I see your point Kashi

kashi
2004-Jan-19, 12:00 AM
Interesting article, but a pointless comparison. The Human brain isn&#39;t a piece of digital technology so I don&#39;t see how you can measure its memory capacity in bits.

When I was in high school we did a memory test exercise where we wrote down 10 things on the board. We tried to remember them after 10 minutes, an hour, a week etc. 5 years later, the ones I remember are the weirdest ones (i.e. I am more likely to remember "Telstra 2 shares" than "apples"). On a computer, "telstra 2 shares" would take up more memory than "apples", but in a human brain, the fact that it is unusual actually makes it easier to remember.

strange...

moosemanuk
2004-Jan-21, 12:11 AM
it&#39;s an interesting dicussion but we can surely only speculate within the boundaries of what we know. yes, there are a limited number of atoms in the universe, and I assume that people are saying that we need 1 atom to be either 1 or 0 to hold a byte of information. This is true at the moment, but what of technology in the future? We cannot speculate on what it will be like with any great degree of accuracy, so how can we suggest that the technology to accurately model a human being with all of our eccentricities will never exist?

Peace to all, enjoying the discussion&#33;

Moo&#036;e

Victoria
2004-Jan-21, 12:43 AM
Rules are a part of being programmed? Individuality is in question? Is not each star in each of our own eyes brighter than another? My favorite happens to be Venus; although Jupiter is an appealing mystery. Does the same go for everyone? ;)