Where can one draw the line between sentience and the state of being just a random bunch of quarks? At what point is the 'conscience' generated?

post by Astaroth07 · 2021-04-01T00:30:20.332Z · LW · GW · 4 comments

This is a question post.

Answers

answer by jimrandomh · 2021-04-01T00:33:58.368Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Rob Bensinger wrote a pretty good summary of consciousness for the LW wiki/tag page [? · GW]. The short version is: When the quarks are arranged in a way that implements an algorithm, and that algorithm has certain properties (though the exact details of those properties are somewhat difficult to pin down, since we don't understand intelligence all that well yet).

comment by TAG · 2021-04-23T22:54:21.075Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The short version is: When the quarks are arranged in a way that implements an algorithm, and that algorithm has certain properties (though the exact details of those properties are somewhat difficult to pin down, since we don’t understand intelligence all that well yet).

No, Bensiger doesn't suggest anything as the one correct theory of consciousness in that article.Elsewhere, he backs illusionism, not the algorthmic theory you are ascribing to him.

answer by Josh Smith-Brennan · 2021-04-23T22:03:53.414Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

 I imagine there would be some sort of thermal limit, as above and below certain temperatures the matter required to host the consciousness could not survive. So far we don't have any proof of consciousness existing in matter other than carbon based life forms, and I think - at least for the time being - it's fair to exclude all quantum particles outside of the earths atmosphere from being considered sentient. Obviously the astronauts on the ISS would count as sentient as well, but the think a good line for starters to draw is the boundaries of the Earth's gravity. Quantum entanglement might also increase the amount of consciousness in the universe though. 

comment by Josh Smith-Brennan (josh-smith-brennan) · 2021-04-24T19:15:43.763Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm sure it's not the line you were expecting to be drawn, but I think it bears stating as a way to reduce the amount of the universe which needs to be considered when looking for an answer to your question. With relationship to the idea of energy at the quantum level and a range of temperatures at which 'consciousness' exists, contemporary processors run at a relatively high temperature, and-  for the time being - quantum computers run at an extremely low temperature. 

If, at the human level of perception, it is true that Consciousness requires temperatures which can support something like human physical form, I think that's an argument against being able to create Sentient AI with today's level of technological development. The mass to energy conversions and the particular limits of the human form in relationship to those conversions seem to be rather specific in their arrangements. 

At the Quantum level, we don't know enough about how it functions IMO to really hypothesize about those phenomenon and how they function to produce our limited human existence. As a Buddhist, I've got no quarrels with the idea that life is an illusion, and that our views of it are distorted. Maybe it really is all random with respect to our abilities to perceive it and to comprehend what we perceive. Science is the best way we know to prove our thinking about our perceptions of it, and expand our understanding of a less-illusive form, but I find it difficult to believe we will ever know 'it all.' 

I know I'm looking at this at a very basic level, but I appreciate the opportunity to get my feet wet in the discussions. I've got some new material to look at now which has given me an idea of where my thinking is in relation to some of the topics of discussion. I hope I at least gave you some satisfaction of an answer; a bit of wheat despite all the chaff.

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comment by Mitchell_Porter · 2021-04-01T06:14:58.242Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

You need electrons too (so you can have atoms, and not just atomic nuclei). 

Replies from: Astaroth07
comment by Astaroth07 · 2021-04-01T11:12:34.555Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yes you are right. Should've mentioned them since leptons are another family altogether