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Friday, February 14, 2020

Conscious Free Choice and AI

The very essence of conscious free choice is first of all the freedom to choose an outcome based on feeling and not on coercion or even reason. Therefore, conscious free choice is a very good definition for conscious action because conscious free choice has a simple meaning as opposed to the many complex and contradictory meanings for consciousness. For example, there is a medical definition and all kinds of tests to affirm a conscious state having to do with the thalamus. At the root of all medical tests, though, is still the action of conscious free choice. In contrast, the term consciousness has broader psychological, philosophical, religious, mystical, and neuro-scientific meanings that seem to be beyond action. As a result, the concept consciousness is much less useful while the simplicity of conscious free choice makes it a very useful definition of conscious action.

Artificial intelligence has choice determined by algorithms and so AI choice is not free choice. Unless AI has a feeling driven by emotion, there is no possibility for conscious free choice. Conscious free choice is most apparent with the issue of free will, but there are many descriptions about the hard problem of consciousness that do not seem to involve free choice. Some people describe consciousness as self-awareness or introspection while others define consciousness with a set of questions and answers like the Turing test. Others say that how we feel about seeing the color red as qualia is consciousness and different from the fact of something that is red.

Philosophical zombies are hypothetical people without consciousness, but with otherwise normal behavior including conscious free choice. People argue that just the possibility of philosophical zombies shows consciousness as distinct from the machine of the brain. However, since people freely choose to think about philosophical zombies simply means that they are conscious. People also freely choose to think about the color red and so all of these descriptions of consciousness all are all equivalent to conscious free choice. Philosophical zombies look and act like conscious people, but have no consciousness. Since a philosophical zombie does have conscious free choice, such a zombie would then be as conscious as anyone else.

After all, people make free choices based on feeling and not really based on rational thought at all. Free choice outcomes are often then rationalized afterwards in spite of the lack of any rational precursor for free choice. Furthermore, the persuasion of another person can strongly affect a free choice. Persuasion can certainly affect how a person feels and therefore can affect a free choice, but that does not change the mysterious nature of free choice.

There are many people who claim that they somehow know the world is determinate and so that there are really no conscious free choices. They argue that the mind is a neural machine and that free choice is simply a result of the mind machine inputs and so not free at all. Even when free choice comes from feeling, determinism argues that the free choice was always a fated outcome and so that people simply have the illusion of free choice. Science very often makes the claim that free choice is an illusion of an otherwise determinate universe despite the fact that science does not have a measurement of free choice. Science admits that quantum superposition exists and limits the certainty of any measurement. Therefore, it seems especially perplexing that science makes any claims about free choice without a measurement of free choice.

A free choice outcome based on feeling does not have completely knowable precursors. In other words, we simply do not always know for certain why we feel that way that we do. In fact, we cannot predict free choice since free choice depends on feeling and we cannot always predict how we feel, either.

Artificial intelligence is often cited as a form of consciousness since AI makes choices in games like Chess or Go. However, AI is based on deep learning and so each choice of an outcome has completely knowable precursors. Moreover, neural emotion and feeling were not involved in AI choice, although one version of the deep learning process did involve competing policy and value networks. While policy played with more probability to win by as much as possible, value played with lower risk to win as simply as possible by one piece. Later versions simply played the computer against itself and so learned to choose moves from scratch over time to make better and better choices using both value and policy for both sides.

The AI computer is then all about choices with more or less risk, but not free choice since there is no neural emotion or feeling involved, just completely knowable machine logic precursors. Free choice also involves more or less risk, but with neural emotion and feeling. Feeling simply does not have completely knowable precursors, which makes free choice different from machine choice.

Now suppose the machine used quantum superposition as part of its decisions. With quantum superposition, the machine would now have free choices that would be as unpredictable as neural free choice and therefore also involve unknowable precursors. Quantum computers would then be the first true AI and should then be conscious with complex emotions and feelings. The AI emotions and feelings would then be as difficult to understand as are human or animal emotions and feelings.

Monday, January 27, 2020

McTaggart Dynamic A and Static B Times

The Scottish philosopher John McTaggart described two different theories for time. His A time was a dynamic time that flowed from past to a knife edge present into an indeterminate future. McTaggart argued that this A time could not be real since the infinity of present moments was inconsistent with the past and future moments.

McTaggart’s B time was a static time of a series of determinate moments that exist like a videotape waiting to be played. Ironically, McTaggart concluded that neither theory of time was valid and so that time was therefore not actually a part of reality. Reality was, rather, timeless and changeless despite our experience and memory of change.

Emily Thomas has recent essay in Aeon discusses McTaggart theories, but she does not really say if she agreed with McTaggart. Rather, she is more interested in Mctaggart’s motivation in describing time in the ways that he did.

Of course, time has many very different definitions and many different people have struggled for a long time to define time. One of the difficulties of defining time is that a definition of time necessarily occurs in the same time that the definition tries to define. However, instead of first defining time as an independent dimension, it is important to first define the nature of physical reality. Since we do experience changes in a seemingly static world of matter, it is clear that time somehow must emerge from matter changes in physical reality. Furthermore, those matter changes are causally related to each other as precursors and outcomes and changes therefore have relationships to one another from which time then emerges.

Change seems to occur as a dynamic reality not unlike A time and this dynamic change seems to likewise occur in a backdrop of a seemingly static reality of matter, much like B time. These two realities indeed seem reminiscent of McTaggart’s time definitions and so there are actually two dimensions for matter-action time. The static reality really just represents very slow changes since the universe changes only very slowly. This very slow time is then universe time and differs from the dynamic or very fast atomic time, which changes on the order of the speed of light.

This two dimensional matter-action time means that there are two kinds of changes in physical reality and the two time dimensions emerge that are not the same. Our feeling of time then emerges from changes that we remember and so those changes do not occur in time. There are very slow changes along with very fast changes and so there are two different time dimensions that emerge from the nature of physical reality.

Light exchange is the glue that holds matter together and both space and time then emerge from that light exchange. While the speed of light does not depend on the velocity of its source, light does accelerate very slowly over the very slow universe time. Quantum gravity relativity emerges from the very slow acceleration of light, which makes gravity relativity seem determinate, while quantum charge emerges from the very fast speed of light. While the very slow acceleration of light binds neutral matter with light exchange, the very fast speed of light binds charge with light exchange.

The Scottish philosopher John McTaggart described two different theories for time. His A time was a dynamic time that flowed from past to a knife edge present into an indeterminate future. McTaggart argued that this A time could not be real since the infinity of present moments was inconsistent with the past and future moments.

Mind-Body as Idealism versus Materialism

The mind-body problem is about the limits of what we can ever subjectively know with our mind about the objective nature of our body, which is physical reality outside of our mind. Sometimes people use the words idealism-materialism instead of mind-body and sometimes mysticism and the soul creeps into idealism as well. The mind-body question is among the many questions that people often ask that really have no unique answers and the mind-body problem is just such a question about idealism-materialism without a single unique answer.

Rather, there are two kinds of answers;  a subjective idealism and an objective materialism, and idealism can include not only mind, but mysticism and soul as well. However, both idealism and materialism are limited by the same subjective mind since what we know about any objective materials outside of our mind is necessarily limited by our subjective minds. The figure below shows the mind's retina subjectively seeing mirror reflection of that same retina at the same moment as an objective part of the body that others can see as well. However, no one will see exactly the same retina since their eyes and minds see differently.

Note that people do not seem to associate morality with either the mind or the body even though there are both objective as well as subjective moralities.Thus, the world necessarily starts off for each of us with our subjective mind and it is only the narratives and images like retinas that we share with others and the free choices that we make that show an objective reality outside of our minds.

While materialism supposes that there is an objective world of matter like retinas outside of the mind, idealism supposes that there is only each mind's retina seeing itself despite the fact that the mind and free choice are made up of neural matter actions. Furthermore, there are other minds that share narratives about the nature of reality that include retinas. Materialism further supposes that the mind’s mental states and free choice are results of material interactions of the body and so the mind is then just a product of that objective physical reality. The definition of materialism also includes the changes due to material interaction. It is after all only with the duality of both matter and action that the universe exists and so it is important to also consider action or change as a part of any physical reality.

In contrast to objective materialism, subjective idealism is the simple assumption that the mind and free choice are actually what determines the illusion of objective materialism. Idealism supposes that the subjective free choice of the mind sees its own retina and determines the illusion of objective matter changes as a retina. Subjective idealism further argues that objective materialism is an illusion of the mind and that the subjective actions of the mind determine the only true reality. Even though the mind and free choice are made up of the action potentials of neural matter, idealism somehow still assumes that there is no objective materialism outside of the subjective mind.

Free choice is a mystery of the mind and is how we affect matter action and while there are many different definitions of consciousness, in contrast, free choice has a simple definition. Free choice is how we make the world more desirable given a feeling that we have about a choice. Since we only perceive the objective world of retinas with the subjective mind's retina, the mystery is whether objective materialism of retinas exists outside of subjective free choice of the mind's retina or whether subjective free choice of the mind's retina is how objective materialism of retinas seems to exist.

We use knowledge of the world of objective materialism of retinas to predict likely outcomes from precursors, like seeing a retina with a retina, but knowledge has no meaning without free choice. There is a free choice of the mind's retina to see an objective retina, but without knowledge of retinas and mirrors, the image would have no meaning. The very meaning of free choice is tied to a lifetime of knowledge and experience.

Very simple organisms have likewise very simple neural networks that nevertheless also provide free choice to those organisms. The neural networks of the hydra or nematode both freely choose outcomes that depend on precursors, but those free choice outcomes are never completely predictable or determinate from those precursors. Classically, it is the chaos of random noise that limits the precision of predictions and there is no limit to the possible precision of a prediction. However, there are quantum limits to the precise prediction of all action in the universe is subject to a well-defined and discrete quantum limit.

Objective materialism predicts most likely outcomes from matter, action, and quantum phase given a set of precursors. Since we can share those predictions with others, these predictions are an objective reality of materialism. However, materialism still means free choice based on a set of precursors that determine feeling and so those objective materialist choices are still part of the same subjective reality of idealism.

Subjective idealism also chooses an outcome based on a set of precursors that determine feeling and that feeling is not possible to completely know. Since we choose based on feelings and feelings are unique for each person, free choice forms a subjective reality that is unique for each person. Feeling is a neural action that derives from the action of a moment of thought, a lifetime of precursor memories, and sensations of the moment. Even though we can share measurements of matter action with others, idealism still supposes that objective reality is just an illusion of our subjective reality.