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[Discussion] What is required for Sentience?

Started by JTM³, March 24, 2009, 11:32:29 pm

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JTM³

"Sentience" is the adjective form of the noun "Sentient."


I'm wondering what you believe is required for sentience?


According to Merriam-Webster.com, "Sentient" means:

Quote

 
 
1
 
: responsive to or conscious of sense impressions
<sentient beings>

 
 
2
 
: aware
 
 
3
 
: finely sensitive in perception or feeling




2
 
: aware


 
3
 
: finely sensitive in perception or feeling





According to Dictionary.com, "Sentient" means:

Quote




-adjective
1.having the power of perception by the senses; conscious.
2.characterized by sensation and consciousness.


-noun
3.a person or thing that is sentient.
4.

Archaic
.
the conscious mind.





I ask because I have always believed only beings with a spirit can be fully sentient, therefore a situation like in the Terminator series can absolutely NEVER happen.

The personality resides in the spirit; we ARE our spirits, not our flesh.

Our flesh is a mere container.


But Dids post a while ago got me thinking. He said something kind of the opposite, so now I'm wondering.

The question is: Does sentience come from the spirit, or from the mind (brain)?


If sentience is merely a function of the physical, then perhaps someday an artificial construction can be made sentient?



[spoiler]

Job got HEALED, and YOU can be too!!

Pro tip: Read to the END of the book. Not just man's ideas. They're usually wrong. =P

Jesus = The revealed will of God for all people for all time.
[/spoiler]

Wordsmith

March 25, 2009, 12:27:51 am #1 Last Edit: March 25, 2009, 01:52:23 am by Wordsmith
Now this is heavy.

I don't know if this adds to what part would be considered
sentient. But I was taught that it's our soul that is aware of
what is around us, and has the since of self, and emotions and thought 
that our spirits are aware of what is above us. And is aware of what dwells in us, as being spiritual beings.
And the flesh...well it's supposed to be dead. LOL. I would sort of
think that this is true, that our soul and our spirits are sentient, but just
on a different plane and different awareness.
Be as loving as the Truth allows, even if it's
mis-interpreted,
because everyone  you meet is fighting
some kind of battle.

Truth

We are spirit, soul, and body. An animal for instance a pet,  each has a personality. You will notice they are all different if you've had several dogs, even if its the same kind.  But  he only have a body and soul, which is the mind, intellect , feelings, will. But he doesn't have a spirit. I don't think sentience is merely a function of the physical.  Since we are a spirit, if we are sensitive to the Spirit of God within us the soul and spirit works together. The soul will side with the flesh if we would rather do that than follow the Spirit of God. Our soul is neutral and will  go along with which other one is strongest.

bill16652

Quote from: JJ on March 25, 2009, 04:12:35 am
We are spirit, soul, and body. An animal for instance a pet,  each has a personality. You will notice they are all different if you've had several dogs, even if its the same kind.  But  he only have a body and soul, which is the mind, intellect , feelings, will. But he doesn't have a spirit. I don't think sentience is merely a function of the physical.  Since we are a spirit, if we are sensitive to the Spirit of God within us the soul and spirit works together. The soul will side with the flesh if we would rather do that than follow the Spirit of God. Our soul is neutral and will  go along with which other one is strongest.
Absolutely!  As we ewxercise our senses be they spiritual or physical they become stronger.  Gor instance if you blindfold yourself your hearing and other senses increase over time.  Same with walking at night, the more you are in the dark the more you learn that periphial vision is important and yo sense obstacles

Pete

It sounds like you're asking if artificial intelligence (AI) is a possibility...

Computers can only do what they are programmed to do.  They can "learn" things over time by "watching" (collecting data), but they can't reprogram themselves beyond what the limitations of the original program allows for.  In this sense, they are not "sentient", because they don't have reasoning abilities.  They can only look at their data sets (which can be quite large) and make "decisions" based on the program inside of them (which can create the illusion of "intelligence").  The program can appear to become "smarter" as the data set increases, but really it just has more data to work with, and so it's able to "predict" (guess) with a higher probability of being correct.

When I write computer programs, as the programmer, I have to take into account everything a user might do.  For example, if a field in a dialog box is expecting a numerical value and you type a text string, as the programmer I have to "handle" that situation and respond accordingly.  If I don't, the computer is not going to understand what it's supposed to do.  That's one of the greatest challenges a programmer faces; trying to account for every possible scenario.  If a computer were sentient, it could look at the input value and "reason" that it needs a number instead of a text string.  But I don't ever see that happening.

There is something unique in living beings that creates that sentience.  JJ raises a good point.  An animal doesn't have a spirit, but an animal is quite sentient.  They are very much aware of their surroundings, and their decision making process is highly affected by what is happening in those surroundings.  They are able to reason, because they have a soul.  They have an "instinct" that God placed in them for this purpose.

A computer can't see that you're about to hit it with a hammer and do something to intervene and stop you.    But an animal can.

So I believe that our sentience comes from our mind and intellect, which is not directly tied to our spirit.  That is why we are instructed in scripture to renew our minds, so that it will listen to the Spirit of God.

"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

Alpine

Each of my 3 cats have unique personalities and have a lot of emotion.

Rascal is stubborn, affectionate, playful and has some strange idiosyncrasies. He is not afraid of strangers, he finds them fascinating. I've never had a cat like him. He lays down in the hallway and refuses to move when we are walking towards him. He will let me pet him but he doesn't like laying next to people.

Emma is stubborn, angry, hates people and other cats and likes to urinate on furniture. I cannot pet her with my hand or she bites me. I have to pet her with my face.

Precious is loving to those she knows but fearful of strangers. She loves to play with strings and lay on top of me when I'm sleeping.  But, if someone walks into the apartment she does not know she hides for fear of that person.

My cats have emotion, awareness and perception. Each of them are unique in personality.
As long as the Steelers themes smileys exist so shall my protest last!

JTM³

Quote from: Pete on March 25, 2009, 10:23:17 am
It sounds like you're asking if artificial intelligence (AI) is a possibility...

Computers can only do what they are programmed to do.  They can "learn" things over time by "watching" (collecting data), but they can't reprogram themselves beyond what the limitations of the original program allows for.  In this sense, they are not "sentient", because they don't have reasoning abilities.  They can only look at their data sets (which can be quite large) and make "decisions" based on the program inside of them (which can create the illusion of "intelligence").  The program can appear to become "smarter" as the data set increases, but really it just has more data to work with, and so it's able to "predict" (guess) with a higher probability of being correct.

When I write computer programs, as the programmer, I have to take into account everything a user might do.  For example, if a field in a dialog box is expecting a numerical value and you type a text string, as the programmer I have to "handle" that situation and respond accordingly.  If I don't, the computer is not going to understand what it's supposed to do.  That's one of the greatest challenges a programmer faces; trying to account for every possible scenario.  If a computer were sentient, it could look at the input value and "reason" that it needs a number instead of a text string.  But I don't ever see that happening.

There is something unique in living beings that creates that sentience.  JJ raises a good point.  An animal doesn't have a spirit, but an animal is quite sentient.  They are very much aware of their surroundings, and their decision making process is highly affected by what is happening in those surroundings.  They are able to reason, because they have a soul.  They have an "instinct" that God placed in them for this purpose.

A computer can't see that you're about to hit it with a hammer and do something to intervene and stop you.    But an animal can.

So I believe that our sentience comes from our mind and intellect, which is not directly tied to our spirit.  That is why we are instructed in scripture to renew our minds, so that it will listen to the Spirit of God.




That's the point though, if sentience is derived from the physical and not the spiritual, then someone could someday devise an artificial sentience.

If our personalities, our emotions and our intellect are all physical, then it merely requires the understanding of each to develop computer algorithms or some type of machine that can learn and experience all these things itself.

The point is, if these things are purely physical in nature, and not spiritual, they will be eventually understood by science, and science WILL be able to produce artificial sentience.

I believe its called "irreducible complexity" or something.



Just don't give it control of military....



[spoiler]

Job got HEALED, and YOU can be too!!

Pro tip: Read to the END of the book. Not just man's ideas. They're usually wrong. =P

Jesus = The revealed will of God for all people for all time.
[/spoiler]

Pete

Quote from: JTM3 on March 25, 2009, 11:43:58 am
That's the point though, if sentience is derived from the physical and not the spiritual, then someone could someday devise an artificial sentience.

If our personalities, our emotions and our intellect are all physical, then it merely requires the understanding of each to develop computer algorithms or some type of machine that can learn and experience all these things itself.



Here's the problem though.  What you are describing is a larger data set  for the computer.  More algorithms for the computer to choose from.  This is still not "intelligence".  It requires a programmer to create those algorithms.  If a programmer misses something, it is nearly inconceivable that a computer could "reason" to create its own algorithm.  IOW, a computer program can only do what it is programmed to do.

That's what would denote "intelligence";  the computer doing something that it was NOT originally programmed to do.

Let's take a real simple example.  When you shop at Amazon, it "watches" (collects data) about the things you view and purchase.  It records and prioritizes how much time you spend viewing certain items, and from that it is able to make suggestions (educated guesses) about what other products you might like.  But for that to happen, the web programmers at Amazon have to feed it the data for EACH product, so that it can compare similar keywords, etc. to come up with that list of "suggestions".

To the uninformed, this appears to be the computer "gaining intelligence" about what you like, but really, it's just a nifty in-line search engine, "learning" what you like to look at based upon the data you unwittingly provide with your browsing.  The programmers then are able to tell the computer to use that data to predict the probability that you will find another, similar, product interesting.

Netflix does the same thing.  That's why they ask me to rate movies all the time, because the more data I provide to their service, the more likely they are to be able to correctly guess what kind of movie I might enjoy.  The suggestions appear to be "smarter".

As groovy as that all is, it is not "intelligence"  The computer is doing just what it was programmed to do and nothing more.  Until a computer is able to "think", or rather, look at a specific circumstance and reprogram itself, the notion of AI is incredibly unlikely.
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

JTM³

Quote from: Pete on March 25, 2009, 12:00:49 pm
Here's the problem though.  What you are describing is a larger data set  for the computer.  More algorithms for the computer to choose from.  This is still not "intelligence".  It requires a programmer to create those algorithms.  If a programmer misses something, it is nearly inconceivable that a computer could "reason" to create its own algorithm.  IOW, a computer program can only do what it is programmed to do.

That's what would denote "intelligence";  the computer doing something that it was NOT originally programmed to do.

Let's take a real simple example.  When you shop at Amazon, it "watches" (collects data) about the things you view and purchase.  It records and prioritizes how much time you spend viewing certain items, and from that it is able to make suggestions (educated guesses) about what other products you might like.  But for that to happen, the web programmers at Amazon have to feed it the data for EACH product, so that it can compare similar keywords, etc. to come up with that list of "suggestions".

To the uninformed, this appears to be the computer "gaining intelligence" about what you like, but really, it's just a nifty in-line search engine, "learning" what you like to look at based upon the data you unwittingly provide with your browsing.  The programmers then are able to tell the computer to use that data to predict the probability that you will find another, similar, product interesting.

Netflix does the same thing.  That's why they ask me to rate movies all the time, because the more data I provide to their service, the more likely they are to be able to correctly guess what kind of movie I might enjoy.  The suggestions appear to be "smarter".

As groovy as that all is, it is not "intelligence"  The computer is doing just what it was programmed to do and nothing more.  Until a computer is able to "think", or rather, look at a specific circumstance and reprogram itself, the notion of AI is incredibly unlikely.


I see.



[spoiler]

Job got HEALED, and YOU can be too!!

Pro tip: Read to the END of the book. Not just man's ideas. They're usually wrong. =P

Jesus = The revealed will of God for all people for all time.
[/spoiler]

Pete

March 25, 2009, 12:14:54 pm #9 Last Edit: March 25, 2009, 01:19:03 pm by Pete
Here is a highly fictitious program to illustrate what I'm talking about



<?

if(
$stove == $hot)
{
  echo 
'Ouch!';
}

?>



So even if you don't understand programming, that's pretty self explanatory. 

Basically, if the stove is hot, say ouch.  That is what I just programmed the computer to do.

But what if the heater is hot?  Will the computer know to say ouch?

I could try to make this more inclusive by doing this;



<?

$hot_items=array('stove''heater''soup');

foreach(
$hot_items as $hot_item)
{
    if(
$hot_item == $hot)
    {
	
 echo 
'Ouch!';
    }
}

?>



This program may appear to be"smarter" (because I made it that way!).  Now, I can feed the program a list of items to check to see if they're hot.  But if I miss something, the program will not respond with 'Ouch!'.  IOW, the computer depends solely on its program to make choices.

OTOH, a sentient being literally learns that things are hot.  I don't have to tell you something is hot for you to respond with 'Ouch!' 

This may seem like a silly example, but it illustrates the obstacles that would have to be overcome for AI to become a reality.

"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

Wordsmith

Quote from: JTM3 on March 25, 2009, 11:43:58 am
That's the point though, if sentience is derived from the physical and not the spiritual, then someone could someday devise an artificial sentience.

If our personalities, our emotions and our intellect are all physical, then it merely requires the understanding of each to develop computer algorithms or some type of machine that can learn and experience all these things itself.

The point is, if these things are purely physical in nature, and not spiritual, they will be eventually understood by science, and science WILL be able to produce artificial sentience.

I believe its called "irreducible complexity" or something.



Just don't give it control of military....


So a computer is only as good as the human that programs it. What happens to the human element of decision making?  Say..5 people have the same problem, but not all those 5 people have the same special set of circumstances that created it. Will a computer come up with the same answer, for all 5 people, regardless of the human element of dealing with people? How does a computer have the ability to show grace, love, concern, forgiveness etc..That's a scarey thought. To me that
is just a machine that can only answer yes, or no, minus the human element.
Be as loving as the Truth allows, even if it's
mis-interpreted,
because everyone  you meet is fighting
some kind of battle.

lovesblessing

Excuse me for butting in here.....but......animals have a spirit of some type, because in Genesis the Lord said that he would hold the animals responsible for the death of a human being.  If they don't have a spirit life of some sort, why would God say that?  Just because they aren't in the same class as human beings, doesn't mean they don't have spirits.  Angels are a different class of spirit life than humans.....does that mean they don't really have a spirit too? 
Faith is having a good opinion of God!


Pete

Quote from: Wordsmith on March 25, 2009, 01:17:29 pm

So a computer is only as good as the human that programs it.


Exactly.

Quote from: Wordsmith on March 25, 2009, 01:17:29 pm

What happens to the human element of decision making?  Say..5 people have the same problem, but not all those 5 people have the same special set of circumstances that created it. Will a computer come up with the same answer, for all 5 people, regardless of the human element of dealing with people? How does a computer have the ability to show grace, love, concern, forgiveness etc..That's a scarey thought. To me that
is just a machine that can only answer yes, or no, minus the human element.


A computer would only have the ability to show grace, love, concern, forgiveness, etc...  IF the programmers include it in the program.  IOW, the programmer has to anticipate EVERY scenario for this to happen.

A simple example of "computer forgiveness"....  I use a program called ImgBurn for burning CD's.  The programmers of this program have a sense of humor, and it is shown all throughout their excellent (free!) program.  If you select the wrong file type for a certain operation, the program scans the directory to find the right file type and responds with, "You should have picked the XYZ file instead.  We'll go ahead and select it for you this time, but don't let it happen again."

To the untrained eye, this could appear as though the computer is showing "grace" or "forgiveness" for choosing the wrong file type, but in reality, the application has been programmed to respond that way.

Another example I've run across is when you click the "Cancel" button.  I was burning a DVD that didn't appear to be burning properly.  So, I clicked the "Cancel" button.  The program dutifully asked me if I was sure I wanted to cancel, and I responded with yes.  After about 2 minutes, it seemed to me like it wasn't responding, so I clicked the "Cancel" button again.  This time, the program responded with, "I heard you the first time!  Be patient!".  Again, this can appear to be "intelligence", but the program is only responding the way its programmers told it to.

Back to your original comment, the computer is only as good as the person that programs it.

The reason I see true AI as an impossibility is because one would need to duplicate God's "design".   I just don't see that happening.

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

Pete

Quote from: lovesblessing on March 25, 2009, 01:30:51 pm
Excuse me for butting in here.....but......animals have a spirit of some type, because in Genesis the Lord said that he would hold the animals responsible for the death of a human being.  If they don't have a spirit life of some sort, why would God say that?  Just because they aren't in the same class as human beings, doesn't mean they don't have spirits.  Angels are a different class of spirit life than humans.....does that mean they don't really have a spirit too? 


True.  The Bible also talks about the lion and the lamb lying side by side in Heaven.  How the heck did they get to heaven if they have no spirits?

It's probably more accurate, like you said, to say that animals have a spirit life, but not equivalent to the spirit life of human beings.

"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

Wordsmith

QuoteBack to your original comment, the computer is only as good as the person that programs it.

The reason I see true AI as an impossibility is because one would need to duplicate God's "design".   I just don't see that happening.


I ran into the same type program when I did my taxes online. Everytime I made a mistake or pushed the wrong key, it had very funny inter-action to my every move. I just thought is was
a cute program. And it really sort of made me relax and not feel so alien to the task. But I agree, or at least I hope AI never is accomplished to that degree.
Be as loving as the Truth allows, even if it's
mis-interpreted,
because everyone  you meet is fighting
some kind of battle.

JTM³

Quote from: Pete on March 25, 2009, 01:36:01 pm
It's probably more accurate, like you said, to say that animals have a spirit life, but not equivalent to the spirit life of human beings.




Try telling that to peta.



[spoiler]

Job got HEALED, and YOU can be too!!

Pro tip: Read to the END of the book. Not just man's ideas. They're usually wrong. =P

Jesus = The revealed will of God for all people for all time.
[/spoiler]