In this June 18, 2022 article written by Philip Ball for The New Statesman, he talks about the “absurd” claim that artificial intelligence (AI) has developed sentience [see Google Engineer Claims AI Chatbot Has Become Sentient].
Ball says that the Turing test is inadequate at gauging the capacity of AI. Even if AI passes the test, it is not possible to determine whether it is “thinking” or sentient. He adds, “The ‘deep learning’ algorithms used for such systems are basically pattern spotters…there is no real thinking involved – no semantic understanding.”
Ball says there have been overblown forecasts regarding the progress of AI development, and cautions against attributing too much mind to AI. He says, “They are not really expressions of expert opinion but reflections of the strange messiah-complex techno-theology that pervades the industry”.
Editor’s Note: To build sentience, science must first understand the origins of the mind and consciousness. To date, despite all the scientific and philosophical experimentation and debates, no one can explain how consciousness is formed, and whether it can be replicated by materialist science. How then can build it intentionally? [Read WHY MATERIALISM CANNOT EXPLAIN CONSCIOUSNESS, THE QUEST FOR CONSCIOUSNESS, THE CONSCIOUSNESS WAGER, NEW FOUNDATIONS FOR A SCIENCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS, RECONTEXTUALIZING THE “HARD PROBLEM” OF CONSCIOUSNESS, RESOLVING THE HARD PROBLEM OF CONSCIOUSNESS, IS TRUE ARTIFICIAL CONSCIOUSNESS POSSIBLE?, FROM PHYSICS TO CONSCIOUSNESS]
In any case, Ball has been clear about the problems of a sentient machine. But to this we want to add a word of caution: that Blake Lemoine has associated sentience to an algorithm despite his advanced education means that “regular” people can be fooled just as easily.
Moreover, even without sentience, an advanced AI, with all its biases and the lack of regulatory oversight, can easily wreak havoc in our societies, putting in danger the very life of humanity [See our article category on RISKS OF AI to know more].
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