Are These Robots Conscious And Aware?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Silverbackman, Jul 5, 2006.

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Do These Robots (robosapien v2 and ASIMO) Have Some Degree Of Conscious Awareness?

  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  2. No

    3 vote(s)
    60.0%
  3. Not Sure

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  1. Silverbackman

    Silverbackman Prince Of Truth

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    I think most people could never forget the complex robosapien. It in many ways acted like a complex organism but it didn't have the complex sensory input of a animal-like organism.

    But Robosapien Version 2 has a lot more advanced features and seems to even have a primitive sensory input.

    Check out some of its features;

    http://www.robosapienv2online.com/about.html

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT]

    It can recognize colors and skin tones like we can with its senses. It can see, hear, and touch. This little critter has a basic nervous system and brain and can learn, talk, and interact.

    There are even more complex robots than robosapien. ASIMO is probably the most complex robot that exists today.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASIMO

    It works much like robosapien v2 but probably more complex. Indeed it in some ways seems like it has a conscious awareness higher than many animals (obviously both robots are more intelligent than a sponge or an insect).

    But these robots are machines! How can we even consider them living let alone conscious or aware? Well let's analyze life in this case.

    Everything in the universe is made of matter. Everything from single-celled bacterium to a human being are all matter. Machines as simple as a car engine all the way to robots like ASIMO are matter as well. Asimo is the product of a sophisticated programming language that is very similar to DNA in organic life forms (as well as the nervous system of animals). A robot's behavior is the product of how well he is programmed and his behavior is the result of its nervous system responding to the environment. Humans work in almost the same way. In reality humans are programmed through their DNA genes as well as their brain. Numerous scientific studies have proved that the mind is the product of the brain and personality is all determined on certain chemical reactions in the brain. But conscious awareness hasn't necessarily been explain by scientists.

    We have to remember that humans are of natural origin and we ourselves were formed from complex molecules within water. But when the first life evolved I doubt the first organisms were conscious. Most likely all non-animal life today has no conscious. Or maybe they do, and perhaps this conscious is extremely simple as a result of DNA (semi-conscious awareness or a lower level of consciousness perhaps). Regardless on how you look at it Nature (or a God) created us (whether It directed our evolution or simply played dice, it doesn't matter). And we created robots. We started with less complex robots in factories with very rudimentary functions to the complex ASIMO and Robosapien V2. We evolved them on the technological timescale. They like us are made of matter and have natural origins like us.

    So now I wonder. To me the soul = conscious awareness. I used to be close to the idea that robots maybe aware and have a soul but after pondering it more I started to wonder whether if material machines (organic or mechanic) that develop complex sensory nervous systems develop a soul and the conscious awareness it gets as a natural law. There really is no way of proving or knowing it right now, but this would mean that upon activating the robot and its complex system it becomes aware. Perhaps even a soul enters it. Why not? We were created in a similar fashion millions of years ago. Perhaps when the first life with its DNA formed it became semi-conscious (like early robots) and as the nervous system and it sensory input came the full conscious soul entered our body (like the complex robots today as well as future more advanced robots).

    What do you think?
     
  2. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

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    SBMan:

    Here's part of something I posted last May on another thread, reworded, but it seems appropriate here:

    I noticed an article in the NY Times a few years ago that was about the theologian advising the MIT Technology development operation regarding the development of the university's intellectual properties. (Hey, maybe someone is paying attention out there !) I recalled that this lady, as a post-doc, sat in on some of the seminar sessions that I had been involved in at a seminar series I was invited to participate in at a Theology School at the U of Chicago. One of her observations in the article was something to the effect, "There's something profoundly wrong with a society that operates to force humans to behave more and more like robots, and that also wants to make robots that behave and operate as if they were human."

    So, in other words, IMHO it doesn't matter much how we choose to vote in your poll. It will probably happen sometime in the future whether we wish for it to or not. A reasonable facsimilie of HAL the computer (2001, A Space Odyssey) probably already exists somewhere right now, and self-aware, human-like robotic devices are within reach.

    I would also suggest that anyone really interested in this rent/purchase the Kubrick/Speilberg film, AI-Artificial Intelligence, at their convenience. It gives a chilling view of a future with such beings present, and the ways in which human society will deal with their presence.

    As a wise human once said, ignorance is bliss, and I'm surrounded by it.

    As I've stated elsewhere here, our belief systems are entirely incapable of dealing with the new levels of ethical dilemma that novel technologies are presenting us with each day, and I believe the situation is only going to get more confusing with time.

    flow....:cool:
     
  3. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    I'm looking at my V2 and my Robopet. Commander Data, they are not. They have rudementary algorhythms, and do interact. However, they have a set pattern that they follow when not reacting to external stimuli. As clever as the programing is, it is limited. They do not for example "learn on their own". Where a CDR Data might out of curiosity, poke and prod a crevasse or a corner, the VS and pet will avoid such as an "obstacle".

    Turn them off, then back on and they remember none of the stimulus you provided during the last session. None the less, they are a good step forward in mobility and basic functions approximating human and animal (though they have no sense of balance).

    Asimo, on the other hand is a significant step towards "android".

    Maybe one day, we will create a "baby" in our image and likeness...;)

    my thoughts

    v/r

    Q
     
  4. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Hm...not sure about this statement. :)
     
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    :eek::eek:

    Consciousness, awareness? I think these appear to be prepared for certain sets of stimuli, does that relate into Consciousness, awareness? Doesn't seem so to me.

    Can it contemplate decisions like flight or fight...or turn the other cheek?

    If I toss a ball at it, will it catch or duck? And will it make a choice based on velocity and momentum?
     
  6. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    If you are talking about the V2, it has an avoidance and a confrontation algorhythm built in (and it appears that one does not know which action it will take, since I can discern no pattern). If I toss a ball at it, some times it tries to catch it, other times it blocks it, and other times it ignores it (again, I can't find a pattern to its programming).

    Sometimes it reacts in a startled manner to having something stimulate its "sensors", other times it says "Cut it out!" in an annoyed voice, and other times it simply says "Interesting" and then follows the action with its "eyes and ears". Again, no apparent pattern.

    It does remember instructions given it, even after being powered down. However, remove the batteries, and install them again, and it is a clean slate (no memory of previous external programming).

    One thing that did strike me as odd...one of my ferrets crossed its path while it was "on guard" mode. Instead of sounding an alarm, the bloody thing said "Here Kitty, kitty, kitty..." ?

    Then when the ferret (later) tried to climb up the V2, it said "Down kitty, bad kitty"...? It knows the difference between "Robopet" and a "kitty" (real animal).

    It sees Red (associated with it's bowling pins), It sees Green (associated with its bowling ball, it sees Blue (associated with something interesting), the three primary colors. It also sees skin tones and associates that with "Object identified, Human".

    If a loud noise is made, it will state "I heard that", and turn in the direction of the sound. Make a second loud noise and it states "confirmed" then walks in the direction of the sound and investigates. If it finds nothing "interesting" it asks "Where did it go?" then looks around.

    It really is an interesting construct...;)

    v/r

    Q
     
  7. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

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    Aren't we all ?

    flow....;)
     
  8. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    No, we are wonderfully and fearfully made...:eek: :eek: :)
     
  9. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

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    I like the "wonderfully" part. The"fearfully" part sounds too much like overt and ignorant governance to suit me. But then all we have to do is turn on the TV to see the "fearfully" part. And even members in good standing of La Cosa Nostra are "made", no ?

    flow....;)
     
  10. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    The term "fearfully made" is translated into Awesomely, or to be in awe, not afraid.

    v/r

    Q
     
  11. Silverbackman

    Silverbackman Prince Of Truth

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    Yes, the programming maybe limited but remember we are "programmed" too. We act a certain way and can do certain things based on our nervous system capabilities as well as our DNA. Single celled bacteria would be very limited like V2 (even an ant is no where near the complex biological “program” we are).

    No matter how limited some of these robots may be, if they have sensory equipment I don't see why they wouldn't have a conscious (it maybe as primitive of a conscious as an ant but it doesn't mean folks like asimo doesn't have one IMHO). Now does it feel? I don't think they are programmed to feel pain that would be a more complex function. If we remember the movie Terminator 2, I think the good terminator did have a sensory input and perhaps it did feel pain. I don't see why we wouldn't be able to create more complex robots that can.

    Will these later robots have rights? Maybe, maybe not. I think that in the future we might become robots ourselves seeing that having a mechanical body has far more advantages than a carbon-based body that can only live on oxygen (unless you are a plant or something).
     
  12. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    I recently saw ASIMO at a demonstration at Disneyland. I don't think it (he?) had consciousness, but what was most interesting were the humans' responses in the audience. They made ASIMO with a pseudo-smiley face and a pleasant voice. It makes you feel like you should applaud it for various things- if the robot climbs stairs or kicks a soccer ball, then turns to the audience, people behave as if the robot is a human child- a being who is still young, a bit uncoordinated, and learning. So people respond in the culturally appropriate ways- applauding, smiling back at the robot. Other people look at you if you are not applauding and smiling as if you are hurting the robot's feelings.

    Except that applauding a robot for climbing stairs is a bit like clapping and saying "thank you" when my computer gets on the internet successfully.

    It was quite interesting.

    BTW, I also disagree that the robot is more conscious or intelligent than a sponge or insect. More human-like, perhaps (because it is the design of humans, and so operates in a manner that is based on readily understood human cognitive patterns). But more intelligent? I would put forth that what is intelligent for a human (and thus beneficial for survival) can differ markedly from an insect or sponge. We have little capacity to understand what an insect or sponge feels, experiences, or thinks, and so little basis for such discrimination, in my opinion.
     
  13. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Breath of fresh air...;) (please pass the oil can...):eek:
     
  14. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

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    Almost everyday there are research findings being written up that demonstrate the awareness of the living worlds around us. The evidence for it is almost overwhelming these days.

    flow....;)
     
  15. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    I entirely agree. I would even say that there is awareness in some of what we consider to be non-life.

    I just haven't experienced that humanmade machinery is there yet. It may come in time.

    I do think some machines, if interacted with enough, take on some energetic quality of the user, but I don't think they are aware or sentient beings.

    I think Thomas' current discussion about essences and presences in the esoteric board is relevant here. I see the machines as similar to a crystal. There may be energy in a crystal, but it doesn't seem sentient. I suppose there could be rocks out there that are, and robots- I just have yet to see either.
     
  16. RubySera_Martin

    RubySera_Martin Well-Known Member

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    Totally ignorant here but willing to learn. I better qualify that. My brain can't handle technical details so a discursion of how the things are put together is wasted effort if you're doing it for me. But I understand human and animal and some plant behaviour. There is talk of consciousness in robots. What about conscientiousness where a robot can make value judgments about right and wrong--is that on the agenda? Is it possible to make it? Or is the robot just programed with a million possibilities of which it must choose one response in a given situation? Sort of like rules? For example, would it know not to demolish its own kind depending on how it got insulted? Can it feel insult? I'm getting the feeling I should ask God how he managed to make a human being by just breathing the breath of life into a plaster of paris model.
     
  17. Silverbackman

    Silverbackman Prince Of Truth

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    Well in actuality we are also programmed a certain way. We are bound and limited to the way our body is and has evolved as well. It is just that currently humans are far more complex than any robot. Perhaps in time there will be a robot with an imagination even greater than us!:eek: Hopefully by then we would have merged with machines.
     
  18. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    We've already "merged" with machines as far back as 1938 (most likely others can show beyond that). In 1938, a two month premature baby boy was put in a plastic and glass case (plastic was just introduced by the Dupont corporation, as was siliconized rubber), with humid air and a constant temperature of 98.6 *F. This was done in Chicago, IL. It was an experiment, as no one knew if a premature baby could live outside the womb of the mother. He was being "incubated" in a pseudo womb...and he survived, to marry, raise 5 children, and see 10 grand children (so far). He is about to be a great grandfather, and is still kicking and well.

    Sling shot to today, we can put on "skull caps" and literally make our computer do what we want (move the cursor, click on a program icon, surf the internet, dictate a letter). We have gun ships that fly by the sensors attached to our scalps, we can move the guns with thought and head and eyes, and voice. We have "prosthetics" that read the impulses in the stump of our extremities and operate by our mind, with surprising agility, dexterity and strength (I watched a man write his name with his "bionic hand", not print, but a cursive signature).

    Dr. Jarvic gave so many patients a few more precious moments in life, by giving them bionic hearts (one lived an additional astounding 14 months).

    Printers (yes printers), are being used to make "skin" for burn patients. This isn't cadaver skin but cells grown from the victims own skin, at an excellerated rate. Same goes for bladders, and I believe stomachs, as well as small intestines.

    Now we have microchips that can be implanted in the brain to stop epeleptic seizures, before they start. We can download pseudo memory patterns from a brain, to a computer. though far from perfect, the science is moving on.

    As far as computer brains with "imagination". Chess champion Kasparov was stalemated by a computer (and beat once), and the programmers don't know how the computer did it, only that it did not follow all logical programming (they allowed random algorhythms, I suppose). Big Blue, made seemingly "illogical moves". Insight? Intuition? Imagination?

    What we don't want is for machines to take over...:eek: ;)

    v/r

    Q
     
  19. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

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    I believe that we're already in the beginning throes of that process, sad to say. The world is becoming just too complex for us to manage on our own anymore. We may have no other reasonable choices.

    flow....:cool:
     
  20. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    I doubt it. See, machines can emulate the mind, but can not yet compensate for the unknown. They can learn, but can not leap to an answer based on intuition. There is no algorythm for that.

    If it happens, then we'd better be the benificient, as opposed to the "slave owner", of such an artificial, when and or if it becomes sentient.

    Babies remember what they first take in...tend never to forget it either...

    my thoughts

    v/r

    Q
     

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