Our Consciousness Into A.I.
Believe it or not even though tens of thousands of papers have been written about consciousness
in the literature nobody has a suitable definition for "consciousness."
What does it mean to be conscious and how do you encode it and what is the minimum amount
of consciousness necessary to animate something else?
This raises questions for artificial intelligence because some people in the field of AI believe
that one day we will be immortal; we will live forever.
But the question is what will live forever?
The atoms that make up our body, that give us consciousness, that give rise to our personality
and our fears and desires—that may die, but yet the essence of the neural circuits
Now there are many ways to do this, so let’s break some of them down.
The most ambitious has been proposed by people who believe that one day we will create a
robot body that is perfect, a Superman, beautiful, elegant, super-powerful body with no brain.
Then we will start to extract our brain tissue neuron-for-neuron and duplicate it with transistors.
So for every neuron we take out of our brain we replace it with a transistor.
Sooner or later chunks of our brain are removed and inserted transistor-for-transistor inside
this robot body.
Now we’re fully conscious during this process.
Part of our brain computes here and part of our brain computes over there connected by
Well, after a few hours large portions of the brain are gutted and huge chunks of transistors
are added to this robot of silicon and steel and when it’s finally finished you now have
no brain in your head and here is a robot with a complete brain and a complete body.
That is one of the most ambitious ways to transfer consciousness from our body to another
body and then the question is: is that really you?
Well there is another way to do it and that way was explored in "The Sixth Day" with Arnold
In that movie the bad guys get killed, but each bad guy was cloned, cloned.
And somebody was able to somehow photograph all the memories of our brain and insert these
memories into the clone.
Now we don’t know how to do that, obviously.
That is way beyond our technology, so don’t expect Arnold Schwarzenegger to come back
fully-formed, with all his memories, as a clone.
That is not going to happen anytime soon.
However, the initial steps are once again being made at CalTech for example.
They’ve been able to take a mouse brain and look at a certain part of the brain where
memories are processed.
Memories are processed at the very center of our brain and they’ve been able to duplicate
the functions of that with a chip.
So again, this does not mean that we can encode memories with a chip, but it does mean that
we’ve been able to take the information storage of a mouse brain and have a silicon
chip duplicate those functions.
And so was mouse consciousness created in the process?
I don’t know.
I don’t know whether a mouse is conscious or not.
But it does mean that at least in principle maybe it’s possible to transfer our consciousness
and at some point maybe even become immortal.
by: Michio Kaku