Hypothetically speaking, robots might become conscious once there’s an interface with consciousness. However, nobody knows what consciousness is. In my view, individual human consciousness is part of universal consciousness a.k.a. panpsychism. In my view, our soul is the likely “interface“.
Why are people so worried about artificial intelligence and/or machines (eg, robots)? In my view, we only worry because we project our human consciousness, including our fears, onto these machines. Clearly, our killer robots are unconscious machines that (thus) do not have – let alone know – fear.
In my view, consciousness has (at least) 4 levels; please see my 2017 blog:
- known knowns: eg, information, intelligence, knowledge (a.k.a. conscious);
- known unknowns: eg, beliefs (a.k.a. “unconscious“);
- unknown knowns: eg, intuition (a.k.a. subconscious);
- unknown unknowns: eg, fantasy, imagination (a.k.a. superconscious).
In my view (again), only level 1 is – and might be – available to artificially intelligent robotics (my blogs). To a large extent, my view can be compared with level 5 autonomous driving, which means that a vehicle can drive itself everywhere in all conditions without any human interaction (eg, JD Powers).
A decade ago, many car industry experts believed level 5 was possible. Nowadays, few experts believe so. Today, level 2 is only possible in excellent weather conditions (eg, no rain, no snow). However, the NHTSA probe into various one-sided car collisions even begs to differ about level 2.
The whole idea of conscious robots might well be absurd considering that we cannot explain any of the basic questions regarding consciousness: how, what, when, where, who and why; see my related blogs. Hence, my title: Is a conscious robot an oxymoron? Also see my blogs on oxymorons.
The fact that we can imagine conscious robots would imply that they could exist (eg, Leonardo da Vinci, Jules Verne). Solving the consciousness questions may take us a millenium – if ever. Uploading consciousness may take us another century. Some examples: Chappie (2015, IMDb) and Upload (2020, IMDb).
A rather cynical quote:
“We’re robots in the sense of being automatic machines, doing nothing more than following instructions… from the day we’re born until the day we die. No freedom. Just doing what we’re programmed to do.”A quote by “Paul Kwatz” from “his” 2017 e-book Conscious Robots: Facing up to the reality of being human
Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.