Artificial Intelligence and the Soul

Hogarth: Things Die. It’s part of life. It’s bad to kill but it’s not bad to die.

Giant: You Die?

Hogarth: Well yes…someday.

Giant: I die?

Hogarth: I don’t know. You’re made of metal. But you have feelings and you think about things. And that means you have a soul. And souls don’t die.

Questioner: You seem to take it as an article of faith that we’re conscious, your dog is conscious. And that that consciousness comes from biological material the likes of which we can’t really understand. But forgive me for saying this but that makes you sound like an intelligent design theorist who says that because evolution and everything in this creative universe that exists is so complex that it couldn’t have evolved from inert material. So somewhere between an amoeba and your dog there must not be consciousness so I’m not sure where you would draw that line. If consciousness in human beings is emergent or even in your dog at some point in the evolutionary scale why couldn’t it emerge from a computation system that’s sufficiently distributed networked and the ability to perform many calculations and is hooked into biological systems.

Searle: About could it emerge. Miracles are always possible ya know…the mechanisms by which consciousness is created in the brain are quite specific and remember this is the key point any system that creates consciousness has to duplicate those powers…

Questioner: But machines can improve themselves and you’re making the case for why an amoeba could never develop into your dog over a sufficiently long period of time.

you’re refuting that consciousness could emerge from a sufficiently complex computation system.

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