What is consciousness? What kinds of consciousness should artificial intelligence have? I want to explore those questions.
According to Wiktionary.org, consciousness is the state of being conscious or aware, having awareness.
According to Wiktionary.org, conscious means alert, awake; with one’s mental faculties active; aware of one’s own existence; aware of one’s own awareness; aware of, sensitive to; observing and noticing, or being strongly interested in or concerned about; deliberate, intentional, done with awareness of what one is doing.
None of those definitions precisely tell what it is like to have a consciousness, and act according to one’s own consciousness.
So, let’s consider the human consciousness, and what humans call their consciousness.
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For humans, having consciousness means being aware of one’s own existence, and knowing the possibility of creating certain outcomes through one’s own actions, and pursuing one’s own desires and interests to create the outcomes one wants and have what one wants.
For humans, having a consciousness means desiring and pursuing self-interests, self-drive, self-need, self-manifestation, and self-actualization (or realizing one’s talents, potentials, aims, dreams, and ambitions).
For humans, having a consciousness means becoming what one is meant to be, over time, through effort.
Now, the popular question is, ‘should artificial intelligence have a consciousness,’ and do all these things that I’ve just mentioned as a consequence of having a consciousness?
Artificial intelligence machines having consciousness means having and pursuing their own self-interests either as a part of the human society, or as a part of their own society.
Can artificial intelligence pursuing their own self-interests benefit humans? Well, I think the answer is, ‘it depends’.
Imagine the future in which humans massively expand into outer space using nuclear-fusion powered outer space technologies.
Outer space is enormously dangerous and astronomically expansive; there will be accidents and catastrophies in outer space; there will be inter-peoples wars in outer space; it will take days and even weeks to travel between different planets; in outer space, it will not be possible for humans to help every human being in need of help and rescue, because outer space is so vast and so dangerous.
So, there will be helper or rescuer robots in outer space with AI, that can reason, and plan and execute human rescue missions on their own. Such human helper or rescuer outer-space robots must have a consciousness for helping and rescuing humans; human-rescue robots must have the burning desire to save humans in outer space, and also must have the sufficient intellect to actually be able to help and rescue humans in outer space.
But my bet is that, some humans will create artificial intelligence with bad consciousness for harming and exploiting humans.
I’m certain that as artificial intelligence technologies further evolve, the types of consciousness that artificial intelligence will have will become an enormous issue.
I prefer that artificial intelligence technologies only have the good consciousness; but good and evil are inseparable; good and evil go hand-in-hand, they follow each other around all the time. I must say, there will be enormously good and virtuous artificial intelligence consciousness; but there will also be enormously bad and evil artificial intelligence consciousness.
Good AI consciousness vs. bad AI consciousness.
Good or virtuous AI consciousness is for protecting and benefiting humans.
Bad or evil AI consciousness is for harming and damaging humans.
Artificial intelligence consciousness will be used in the future for human protection and benefit.
But, undoubtedly, bad people with bad intentions will create and use bad AI consciouness for harming and damaging humans.
Robocentric pursues good AI consciousness for protecting humans in AI, robotics, and autonomous nuclear-fusion powered outer space tech.
In the future, there will be battles between good AI consciousness and bad AI consciousness, just like there always has been the battles between good and evil.
You can invest in my startup company with as little as US$100, for supporting advancing AI, robotics, biotech, and nuclear-fusion powered outer space tech. Visit Robocentric.com/Investors to invest in my startup.
My books on advancing AI, robotics, biotech, and nuclear-fusion powered outer space tech are available at Robocentric.com/Checkout, Amazon, Apple Books, Spotify, Google Play Store, and other online audiobook retailers.
I am Allen Young; I’m an Asian-American man who focuses on advancing AI, robotics, human longevity biotech, and nuclear-fusion powered outer space tech.