Artificial Intelligence Human exceptionalism

At Evolution News: Chatbots Might Chat, But They’re Not People

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Amanda Witt writes:

Recently a Google engineer named Blake Lemoine made news by claiming that a chatbot he developed was sentient and spiritual, and that it should have all the rights people have. Lemoine claimed the chatbot (named LaMDA, which stands for Language Model for Dialogue Applications) meditates, believes itself to have a soul, has emotions like fear, and enjoys reading. According to Lemoine, Google should treat it as an employee rather than as property and should ask its consent before using it in future research.

“I know a person when I talk to it,” Lemoine said, and he provided a transcript of conversations he’d had with LaMDA on a wide range of topics.

Not for Being Delusional

Many experts, from psychologists to tech gurus, disagreed with Lemoine’s assessment. A Google spokesperson said that ethicists and tech experts investigated LaMDA and concluded that “the evidence does not support [Lemoine’s] claims.” Lemoine was placed on leave — not for being delusional and thinking his own creation had come to life, but for violating confidentiality agreements.

Yes, Lemoine’s chatbot can chat — that’s what chatbots are programmed to do. Nitasha Tiku of the Washington Post explains, “Today’s large neural networks produce captivating results that feel close to human speech and creativity because of advancements in architecture, technique, and volume of data. But the models rely on pattern recognition — not wit, candor or intent.”

In other words, artificial intelligence such as chatbots can spit out human-like conversation, but only because humans program it to do so. Users may engage with chatbots and feel like there’s a mind, a personality, a living being behind the words, but that’s only an illusion created by other people.

Nothing but Algorithms

Robert J. Marks spoke at the recent Dallas Conference on Science and Faith on the question, “Will Thinking Machines Replace Humans?”

As Robert J. Marks explains in his new book Non-Computable You, all AI is made up of math — algorithms. So, while AI might mimic human conversation, it doesn’t really converse. Getting a satisfactory answer depends on how the questions are asked; if a question isn’t phrased in a way the AI can process, the answer it gives will be evasive or otherwise rely on cheap trickery. In short, if you’re lonely, AI simply will not be a satisfactory substitute for human companionship.

This raises the interesting question of what it means to be human. Philosophers have approached this topic from various angles. Among other things, humans are sentient, which means we experience emotions; AI does not. Humans have consciousness, which is surprisingly difficult to define, but which AI clearly doesn’t have. Humans have understanding and not just factual knowledge; humans have common sense and the ability to deal with ambiguities; humans are creative. AI meets none of these criteria.

Not Human, Not Now or Ever

Ethicist Wesley J. Smith gives five reasons why artificial intelligence isn’t human:

  1. It isn’t alive; “inanimate objects are different in kind from living organisms.”
  2. It doesn’t think; “human thinking is fundamentally different from computer processing.”
  3. It doesn’t feel; feelings are “emotional states we experience as apprehended through bodily sensations” such as fear caused by an adrenaline rush.
  4. It’s amoral; humans have free will and thus are moral agents, whereas AI can only follow rules it’s programmed to follow.
  5. It’s soulless; AI is purely mechanistic, without a mysterious, immaterial, spiritual dimension.

It boils down to this: AI can process lots of data. AI can be programmed to mimic human interactions. But AI is not human — nor will it ever be.

Evolution News

6 Replies to “At Evolution News: Chatbots Might Chat, But They’re Not People

  1. 1
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Only children and idiots humanize AI . I understand children’s naivety . 😆

  2. 2
    martin_r says:

    i posted the following before, but a similar article was published in 2017


    The rise of ‘pseudo-AI’: how tech firms quietly use humans to do bots’ work

    Using what one expert calls a ‘Wizard of Oz technique’, some companies keep their reliance on humans a secret from investors

    It’s hard to build a service powered by artificial intelligence. So hard, in fact, that some startups have worked out it’s cheaper and easier to get humans to behave like robots than it is to get machines to behave like humans.

  3. 3
    Paxx says:

    So far, nobody can say how an algorithm or neural network can create consciousness.

    I’m waiting.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    As to: “5. It’s soulless; AI is purely mechanistic, without a mysterious, immaterial, spiritual dimension.”

    Yet, as soon as Christians invoke the ‘mysterious’ immaterial mind, free will, and/or the soul, to coherently explain certain aspects of reality, (the stark difference between humans and AI in this case), Atheistic Materialists strenuously object that we have stepped outside the bounds of ‘methodological naturalism’, i.e. outside the bounds of empirical science as they have, self-servingly, defined it.

    Empirical ‘science’ which, I remind, atheistic materialists had no part in bringing into existence in the first place,

    “Science in its modern form arose in the Western civilization alone, among all the cultures of the world”, because only the Christian West possessed the necessary “intellectual presuppositions”.
    – Ian Barbour
    Presupposition 1: The contingency of nature
    “In 1277, the Etienne Tempier, the bishop of Paris, writing with support of Pope John XXI, condemned “necessarian theology” and 219 separate theses influenced by Greek philosophy about what God could and couldn’t do.”,,
    “The order in nature could have been otherwise (therefore) the job of the natural philosopher, (i.e. scientist), was not to ask what God must have done but (to ask) what God actually did.”
    Presupposition 2: The intelligibility of nature
    “Modern science was inspired by the conviction that the universe is the product of a rational mind who designed it to be understood and who (also) designed the human mind to understand it.” (i.e. human exceptionalism),
    “God created us in his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts”
    – Johannes Kepler
    Presupposition 3: Human Fallibility
    “Humans are vulnerable to self-deception, flights of fancy, and jumping to conclusions.”, (i.e. original sin), Scientists must therefore employ “systematic experimental methods.” (Francis Bacon’s championing of inductive reasoning over and above the deductive reasoning of the ancient Greeks)
    – Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis – Hoover Institution

    The Judeo-Christian Origins of Modern Science – Stephen Meyer – video – (April 2022)

    And the empirical ‘science’ which Atheistic Materialists have now, self servingly, defined as exclusively adhering to their presupposition of Methodological Naturalism.

    Methodological naturalism
    Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses. To avoid these traps, scientists assume that all causes are empirical and naturalistic, which means they can be measured, quantified and studied methodically.

    However ‘reasonable’ Atheistic Materialists may believe they are being in, self-servingly, presupposing methodological naturalism as being true, this is simply a false presupposition that Atheists have forced onto science beforehand.

    First off the scientific method itself is certainly not to be considered a ‘natural’ endeavor of man.

    Every nook and cranny of science is literally crammed to the gills with the presupposition of Intelligent Design.,,, Science is certainly NOT based on the presupposition of methodological naturalism.

    From the essential Christian presuppositions that undergird the founding of modern science itself, (namely that the universe is contingent and rational in its foundational nature and that the minds of men, being made in the ‘image of God’, can, therefore, dare understand the rationality that God has imparted onto the universe), to the intelligent design of the scientific instruments and experiments themselves, to the logical and mathematical analysis of experimental results themselves, from top to bottom, science itself is certainly not to be considered a ‘natural’ endeavor of man.
    Not one scientific instrument would ever exist if men did not first intelligently design that scientific instrument. Not one test tube, microscope, telescope, spectroscope, or etc.. etc.., was ever found just laying around on a beach somewhere which was ‘naturally’ constructed by nature. Not one experimental result would ever be rationally analyzed since there would be no immaterial minds to rationally analyze the immaterial logic and immaterial mathematics that lay behind the intelligently designed experiments in the first place.

    Again, all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on the presupposition of intelligent design and is certainly not based on the presupposition of methodological naturalism.

    Secondly, and directly contrary to the Atheistic Materialist’s belief that he is “protecting science’ from the fruitless dead ends of the Christian’s Theistic worldview, the fact of the matter is that assuming methodological naturalism as THE starting assumption for ‘doing science’ drives science itself into catastrophic epistemological failure.

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist (who believes Darwinian evolution to be true) is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris, Coyne), who has unreliable, (i.e. illusory), beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. the illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who also must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the hopelessness of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is simply too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft). Who, since beauty cannot be grounded within his materialistic worldview, must also hold beauty itself to be illusory (Darwin).
    Bottom line, nothing is truly real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, beauty, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    April 18, 2021 – Defense of each claim

    Thus, directly contrary to Atheistic Materialist’s belief that he is ‘protecting science from the fruitless dead ends of the Christian’s Theistic worldview, the fact of the matter is that It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science, indeed more antagonistic to reality itself, than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    In short, if God is not held to be the ultimate substratum for all of reality, then nothing that is truly important for us can possibly be held to be real for us either. Indeed, science itself would simply be impossible for us since, under atheistic materialism, there would be no ‘real scientists’, only illusions of scientists.

    Jay Richards: “Oddly, the scientific materialist has to deny the existence of scientists.”
    Sam Harris (a scientific materialist): “The self is an illusion.”
    – Michael Egnor Demolishes the Myth of Materialism (Science Uprising EP1)

    Moreover, via empirical science, and via the falsification of ‘realism’, the Atheistic Materialist’s belief that material particles must be the ultimate substratum for all of ‘reality’ is now empirically shown to be a false belief,

    “The concept of the objective reality of the elementary particles has thus evaporated…”,,,; “The idea of an objective real world whose smallest parts exist objectively in the same sense as stones or trees exist, independently of whether or not we observe them,,, is impossible.,,, We can no longer speak of the behavior of the particle independently of the process of observation”
    – W. Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy, Harper and Row, New York (1958)

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: Some particles, such as photons or electrons, can behave both as particles and as waves. Here comes a question of what exactly makes a photon or an electron act either as a particle or a wave. This is what Wheeler’s experiment asks: at what point does an object ‘decide’?
    The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: Many realizations of the thought experiment have indeed verified the violation of Bell’s inequality. These have ruled out all hidden-variables theories based on joint assumptions of realism, meaning that reality exists when we are not observing it; and locality, meaning that separated events cannot influence one another instantaneously. But a violation of Bell’s inequality does not tell specifically which assumption – realism, locality or both – is discordant with quantum mechanics.
    Markus Aspelmeyer, Anton Zeilinger and colleagues from the University of Vienna, however, have now shown that realism is more of a problem than locality in the quantum world. They devised an experiment that violates a different inequality proposed by physicist Anthony Leggett in 2003 that relies only on realism, and relaxes the reliance on locality. To do this, rather than taking measurements along just one plane of polarization, the Austrian team took measurements in additional, perpendicular planes to check for elliptical polarization.
    They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, besides empirical science itself falsifying the Atheistic materialist’s belief that material particles are the ultimate substratum for all of reality, empirical science, via advances in quantum biology, have also confirmed that man does indeed have a transcendent component to his being, i.e. a ‘soul’, that is ‘theoretically’ capable of living beyond the death of his material body.

    Specifically, quantum entanglement, (and/or quantum information), is now found to be ubiquitous within biology. i.e. “in a wide range of important biomolecules”,,

    Quantum criticality in a wide range of important biomolecules – Mar. 6, 2015
    Excerpt: “Most of the molecules taking part actively in biochemical processes are tuned exactly to the transition point and are critical conductors,” they say.
    That’s a discovery that is as important as it is unexpected. “These findings suggest an entirely new and universal mechanism of conductance in biology very different from the one used in electrical circuits.”
    The permutations of possible energy levels of biomolecules is huge so the possibility of finding even one (biomolecule) that is in the quantum critical state by accident is mind-bogglingly small and, to all intents and purposes, impossible.,, of the order of 10^-50 of possible small biomolecules and even less for proteins,”,,,
    “what exactly is the advantage that criticality confers?”

    “What happens is this classical information (of DNA) is embedded, sandwiched, into the quantum information (of DNA). And most likely this classical information is never accessed because it is inside all the quantum information. You can only access the quantum information or the electron clouds and the protons. So mathematically you can describe that as a quantum/classical state.”
    Elisabeth Rieper – Classical and Quantum Information in DNA – video (Longitudinal Quantum Information resides along the entire length of DNA discussed at the 19:30 minute mark; at 24:00 minute mark Dr Rieper remarks that practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it)

    What is so devastating to the materialistic presuppositions of Darwinian evolution, with the (empirical) finding of pervasive quantum coherence and/or quantum entanglement within molecular biology, is that quantum coherence and/or quantum entanglement is a non-local, beyond space and time, effect that requires a beyond space and time cause in order to explain its existence.

    As the following paper entitled “Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory” stated, “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”

    Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012
    Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”

    Darwinists, with their reductive materialistic framework, (and especially with the falsification of ‘hidden variables’), simply have no beyond space and time cause that they can appeal so as to explain the ‘non-local’ quantum coherence and/or entanglement that is now found to be ubiquitous within biology.

    Not So Real – Sheldon Lee Glashow – Oct. 2018
    Excerpt: In 1959, John Stewart Bell deduced his eponymous theorem: that no system of hidden variables can reproduce all of the consequences of quantum theory. In particular, he deduced an inequality pertinent to observations of an entangled system consisting of two separated particles. If experimental results contradicted Bell’s inequality, hidden-variable models could be ruled out. Experiments of this kind seemed difficult or impossible to carry out. But, in 1972, Alain Aspect succeeded. His results contradicted Bell’s inequality. The predictions of quantum mechanics were confirmed and the principle of local realism challenged. Ever more precise tests of Bell’s inequality and its extension by John Clauser et al. continue to be performed,14 including an experiment involving pairs of photons coming from different distant quasars. Although a few tiny loopholes may remain, all such tests to date have confirmed that quantum theory is incompatible with the existence of local hidden variables. Most physicists have accepted the failure of Einstein’s principle of local realism.

    “hidden variables don’t exist. If you have proved them come back with PROOF and a Nobel Prize.
    John Bell theorized that maybe the particles can signal faster than the speed of light. This is what he advocated in his interview in “The Ghost in the Atom.” But the violation of Leggett’s inequality in 2007 takes away that possibility and rules out all non-local hidden variables. Observation instantly defines what properties a particle has and if you assume they had properties before we measured them, then you need evidence, because right now there is none which is why realism is dead, and materialism dies with it.
    How does the particle know what we are going to pick so it can conform to that?”
    per Jimfit

    Whereas Christians readily do have a beyond space and time, i.e. ‘non-local’, cause that they can appeal to so as to explain quantum entanglement. As Colossians 1:17 states, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    it is also important to realize that quantum information, unlike classical information, is ‘physically’ conserved. As the following article states, In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed.

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time – 2011
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.

    The implication of finding ‘non-local’, (beyond space and time), and ‘conserved’, (cannot be created nor destroyed), quantum information in molecular biology on such a massive scale, in every important biomolecule in our bodies, is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious.
    That pleasant implication, of course, being the fact that we now have very strong empirical evidence directly indicating that we do indeed have a transcendent, ‘non-local’, component to our being, a “soul”, that is, in principle, capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies.

    As Stuart Hameroff succinctly stated in the following article, “the quantum information,,, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed.,,, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”

    Leading Scientists Say Consciousness Cannot Die It Goes Back To The Universe – Oct. 19, 2017 – Spiritual
    Excerpt: “Let’s say the heart stops beating. The blood stops flowing. The microtubules lose their quantum state. But the quantum information, which is in the microtubules, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed. It just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If a patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says, “I had a near death experience. I saw a white light. I saw a tunnel. I saw my dead relatives.,,” Now if they’re not revived and the patient dies, then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Stuart Hameroff – Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – video (5:00 minute mark) (of note, this video is no longer available for public viewing)

    Personally, I consider these recent findings from quantum biology, findings that provide tangible evidence for the existence of a ‘soul’, to rival all other scientific discoveries over the past century. Surpassing even the discovery of a beginning of the universe, via Big Bang cosmology, in terms of scientific, theological, and even personal, significance.

    As Jesus once asked his disciples and a crowd of followers, “Is anything worth more than your soul?”


    Mark 8:37
    Is anything worth more than your soul?

    Of supplemental note:

    Einstein himself may not have personally believed in life after death, (nor in a personal God), but Special Relativity itself contradicts Einstein and offers stunning confirmation that Near Death Testimonies are accurate ‘physical’ descriptions of what happens after death, i.e. of going to a ‘higher timeless/eternal dimension’, i.e. a ‘heavenly’ dimension, that exists above this temporal realm.
    – December 25, 2021

  6. 6
    relatd says:

    Mark 8:36

    “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”

    Right now, there are a lot of very wealthy people in the United States. Once a billion or more dollars are collected, then what? Man has only two choices: the flesh or God.

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