Artificial Intelligence Intelligent Design Philosophy Science

Could artificial intelligence change the mind–body problem?

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Can an artificial intelligence program that calculates really understand mathematics? Or is that a “hard ceiling” for AI?:

Robert J. Marks: I still have one more question that I want to ask you. If indeed dualism is true, doesn’t that mean that we will never be able to have artificial general intelligence where we have a strict duplication of human performance?

Angus Menuge (pictured): Yeah, I think it does. There will be artificial general intelligence in the sense that there are very sophisticated learning algorithms that can generalize, and so they can move from their initial training domain to work in new areas. So at the level of just being able to formally solve problems, you could say there’ll be artificial general intelligence. However, what you’re asking about is will it really duplicate everything about the human mind? And there I think, no, because I don’t see any reason from these amazing enhancements of the complexity of these systems to think that the systems would move from not having subjective awareness to having it or from moving to true intentionality about anything beyond themselves.

So I think that the fundamental issues are metaphysical. We’re aware that there’s something it’s like to be us and that we can think about the world. And we can also think about things which, it is arguable, no physical system ought to be able to think about — abstract principles, like the laws of logic or theorems about prime numbers. Well, no physical system has ever physically interacted with any of these things. So the very contents of our thoughts seem to suggest that we have access to a realm. In a way it’s a somewhat platonic realm, but without getting into that issue, that’s certainly a realm of things which are not purely physical.

News, “Will AI change — or eliminate — the mind-body problem?” at Mind Matters News

Takehome: Philosopher Angus Menuge doubts that an algorithm can really “understand” abstract concepts like prime numbers and integers. If so, we are stuck with the mind–body problem because we can’t just instantiate a mind in an artificial body.

Here are the earlier parts of the series:

Part 1: How do we know we are not just physical bodies? The mind–body problem is one of the most difficult issues in modern philosophy. Philosopher Angus Menuge cites the immateriality and indivisibility of the mind and discusses the evidence from near-death experiences.

Part 2: If the mind and body are so different, how can they interact? A look at different models of the mind–body problem. Angus Menuge asks, Why should wanting a drink of milk produce physical changes like opening the fridge? It’s a harder question than many think.

Part 3: How have various thinkers tried to solve the mind–body problem? Philosopher Angus Menuge explains why traditional physicalism (the mind is just what the brain does) doesn’t really work. Some philosophers today claim that the mind is simply what the brain does; a newer group thinks the mind emerges from the brain but is not simply the brain.

Part 4: How would Angus Menuge resolve the mind–body problem? From his background in computer science, he sees mind–body interaction as a transmission of information between two realms
Menuge argues that our minds and bodies are one integrated system with a translation function … like developing and then writing down an idea.

One Reply to “Could artificial intelligence change the mind–body problem?

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    The random wordsalad “There’s something it’s like to be me” is NOT the product of a thinking human, and it’s certainly NOT a guide for human thinking. It’s the unedited output of a badly built AI language generator. Since this is the modern philosophical standard for consciousness, no wonder philosophers are having trouble with the concept.

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