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Mycernius
17-04-05, 19:19
With the information age ever increasing in speed and computers becoming more and more powerful ther could be a point soon where a proper AI will be created. The question is could artifical life have a soul? Before you go off and say no way consider the following. Our brains and our nature is run by a set of hardwired reactions in the brain that we call our instincts. Above that is our ability to learn and analyse the world around us. Our reactions to various situations are all controlled by our personalities, that have been shaped by many varibles. If we take an AI and program in the basic instincts and then let it learn as we do, does it then learn the same way we do? Its processing of the outside environment would be similar to the way a human child is raised. At which point does it atain the status of being a true intelligent lifeform and therefore have a soul? If it thinks the same way we do and can have a concept of its own mortality is it the same as us? There are many Scifi writers that portray that humans themselves could become part of computer systems, the best example I can think of is 'Ghost in the Shell'. If a human mind can occupy a silicon brain would we then have a soul?

Doc
17-04-05, 20:54
I would like to think we have a soul, but if we can copy the memories and instincts of a person onto a cyberbrain someday then I don't think we really have souls. Which of course futher confirms the fact that when we die there's nothing after death. We just cease to exist. However, we could have a soul or ghost as some like to call it. If that's the case, some scientists have stated that it is made up of extremely finite ions that leave the organic shell when it doesn't need it anymore. If that's the case, I think it would be hard to convert a soul to a cyberbrain because it only creates a copy of the soul. The original has moved on, thus making the point of cyberbrain technology useless in that regard.

Now as for an AI having a soul/ghost one must look into it further. I do believe that one day AI's will be designed to have a sense of self, and realize that they are different from human beings. However, a soul/ghost could quite possibly be born into an AI if a soul/ghost chooses that as its shell. However, if we really don't have souls, then I think it would be hard for a machine to have a soul as well. You could get the perfect copy of a human however since all AI, as well as, humans are nothing but machines of emotion and senses. It's really all how you look at it, and your personal believe in a soul/ghost or none at all.

Doc:ramen::happy:

lexico
18-04-05, 10:21
I believe the earliest notion of soul appeared in the period between the return from Babylonian exile and the beginning of Christianity. The persistence of the soul was essentially identical to the idea of resurrection of the dead. Soul represented all that was embodied in the physical human body; whether it was a bodily structure and material or the cognitive-symbolic functioning of it. The idea of a soul that transcends the body and resides on top of it as a separate entity was mainly developed afterwards under the Platonian idea of dualism; that true reality exists somewhere out of (above) this world, and that our reality is in fact only a dim shadow of this true reality under it.

Building upon Doc's idea of humans as machines, what you call instinct cannot be separated from the body and the bodily needs of survival and continutation of the human species. Those human needs are not something that can be easily thrown out because instincts are the result of billions of years of cosmic evolution. Such are at the basis of human existence.

Even what we call mental activities are not well understood. Freud on century ago compared the human mind to an icebreg; the conscious part of the human mind is comparable to that part of the iceberg that floats above water level. Subconsciousness is comparable to what lies hidden under water. Maslow's hierarchy of needs again tries to define what makes up the human instinct. The various components of human instincts are tighly connected to the bodily senses, all being coordinated to produce an optimal homeostasis of the human being from conception, pregnation, birth, rearing, puberty, adulthood, mating & childbirth, aging, until death.

For the machine to achieve a truely human-like existence, all these bodily features of the human must also be duplicated in the robot before even considering the tranplanting or copying of the human brain. Threfore a silicon based high-end robot with only the information handling abilities would not be a good enough host to receive the human brain's function. In fact, most likely it will malfunction without all the bodily stimulus that exist in the human body but lacking in a robot.

Howerver if all the bodily functions & limitations are closely reproduced in the robot, there would be little difference to distinquish a true human being from a robot. Perhaps family relations (mother, father, siblings, cousins, etc) and traditions which builds a human person's identity would also be lacking. How confused would the robot be ? "Why do I not have a father and a mother ?" That would become a serious concern. Furthermore the lack of personal love, attention, bonding with friends, sexuality, loyalty, all these things would also become reasons to cause unstable psychology in the robot. Such instability might call for a new field of psychotherapy.

So what about the soul ? The machine will have a soul, then, but a rather unhealthy soul; cut off from the rest of humanity by not being blood-related. It might even turn to criminal behavior as a reaction to the undue stress that humans cast upon the robot. A wretched, miserable soul is born.

Mycernius
18-04-05, 19:31
What if you took an emergent artifical intelligence and put it into a biological entity, that had only the instincts in it. It would then experience the biological complexities of being a human child. It would grow up with the same set of varibles that we grow up with. The intelligence is artifical in nature, but its experiences would be natural. Could it then have a healthy soul?
If you put an entire human intelligence into a machine could you then not use the information to program into an artifical intelligence. Or could an artifical intelligence just be a copy of the human? Could it evolve in a virtual environment to become an individual not just a copy of someones elses brain?
If a human intelligence could be downloaded into a complex computer, does that mean that we are just a biological machine with no soul and when we die we die like a computer being wiped?
I know there are several questions here, but it would be nice to see your views on this matter. I'm sure in the near future this could become an ethical point. If you could download your life into a machine, is it the way for humans to live forever and should we have that choice?

lexico
20-04-05, 14:33
I think you have a soul just for that ! I can also see that you're really serious about this issue, Mycernius. Are you by any chance a red-bearded, high-end cyborg with, wanting to confirm your human identify, or the exitence of your soul ? If so, I have so much more to tell you. Please don't beat round the bush; just say so, Millenium Man ! :D
What if you took an emergent artifical intelligence and put it into a biological entity, that had only the instincts in it. It would then experience the biological complexities of being a human child. It would grow up with the same set of varibles that we grow up with. The intelligence is artifical in nature, but its experiences would be natural. Could it then have a healthy soul?I wonder if it can be compared to having a pair of glasses or a robotic prosthetic limb. Except for the change in that particular mental & bodily abilities, I'd say the person isn't really that different from others; as healthy as any human being, as unstable as any 'normal' person. :)
If you put an entire human intelligence into a machine could you then not use the information to program into an artifical intelligence. Or could an artifical intelligence just be a copy of the human? Could it evolve in a virtual environment to become an individual not just a copy of someones elses brain?If you mean by intelligence all the human characteristics governing our mental & bodily functions, I would assume so. But as I briefly mentioned earlier, the current definition of intelligence only covers the rational, logical, linguistic, motor, sensory, and certain creative abilities that are predictable. I don't think that covers even 10% of the mysteries of the human brain. So in principle yes, but in all practical & forseeable limits of our understanding of the human brain, I'd say no.
If a human intelligence could be downloaded into a complex computer, does that mean that we are just a biological machine with no soul and when we die we die like a computer being wiped? I tend to agree with the mechanist model of life in general including all aspects of human existence, so I'd say there is no such thing as a special soul beyond our body+mind which is all of life itself. The neo-Platonian notion of the human soul has no substance except it reflects certain dualist ideas, and of course responsible for creating that illusion in my opinion. In the pre-neo-Platonian idea of the soul, we have souls, and so should all beings closely resembling us. This latter involves the classical idea of the soul, whether it was permanent as the Pharisees / Hashidim / Essenes believed in the late Old Testament-New Testament period, or whether it was destroyed at the point of death as the Saduccees believed, that all reward & retribution was given during one's life time.
I know there are several questions here, but it would be nice to see your views on this matter. I'm sure in the near future this could become an ethical point. If you could download your life into a machine, is it the way for humans to live forever and should we have that choice?Download not only the mental functions but also including the other quirks such as personality, instincts, mental weakness and defects, and also reproducing all the bodily aspects that makes up the person, then I would say a person can be stored in hybernating digits. But without the body, the person would hardly be living until it is embodied in full blood. I hope we're not going round in circles with two different definitions of soul, body, intelligence, and life. So please tell me whether you're not a cyborg. :D

Mycernius
20-04-05, 17:40
I'm not a cyborg, yet. Mind you there could be several advantages of having an almost fully cybernetic body. We could go places where our frail biological bodies couldn't. A cybernetic body wouldn't have to be in our image. Imagine being able to explore the bottom of the ocean without having to worry about drowning. :?
I suppose the question really comes down to whether an AI could define itself as a lifeform and therefore by subject to our laws on morality. We use the word soul to define ourselves as humans and above the rest of the living world. I doubt if any theologian would say an insect or a reptile has a soul. Most people seem to accept the idea that our ability to think and rationalise give us souls. If a machine can do this it must have in it somewhere a 'soul'. Maybe our definition of an idea of a soul is actually our higher mind functions. If this is the case then anything that can think like a human might contain a soul.
I think what is really needed is a definition of a soul, and does it exist or is it just a human idea to deal with our ability of higher abstract thoughts. If the soul does not exist and we are just a biological computer then the ability to transcribe all the bits of information in the brain could be stored and revived at a later point.
Just a thought. If we ever possess the technology to do this it could make space travel to the stars very real. Why have a massive ship with all the various things that are needed to keeps us alive in space? You could just store yourself on a computer, with a few strands of DNA. When your ship arrives at where-ever the ship could clone your body and up load your into this body. I could just be talking sci-fi here, but it more realistic than warpspeed and time travel.

isayhello
21-04-05, 16:16
I think.. souls could be made. As in, artificial lifeforms could develop a soul. If a robot was given a complicated enough system and a sort of program that enables learning, the robot (artificial lifeform, whatever) could learn to copy and imitate emotions. Could the robot in this way develop feelings, or at least what seemed to be feelings, the robot could in time be said to have a soul. A child imitates and learns by copying. Whatever emotions we express are behaviours we have learnt from early age (most of them)... who said they are 'true' feelings? They are simply behaviours we have learnt to express in different situations. Feelings and emotions are, among other things, what is looked upon as the 'soul' of a human. If a robot could learn these 'techniques' and could start expressing feelings, could we not say that the robot would have a soul?
I'm not sure at all about the whole soul thing anyways. It's merely the brain and the body functions, reactions. (think:science)
If a robot had a learning program based upon imitation, the robot would develop the same as the humans in its surrounding. I think..

lexico
21-04-05, 16:43
I'm not a cyborg, yet.I'm glad in a way; if you were a cyborg, it might be interesting to interact with you at first due to my curiosity. As time goes on, we might even develop a genuine friendship. Nevertheless the idea that we are different; that there exists a difference that cannot be glided over will create concern; which easily becomes caution, reservedness, and eventually a communication block or even mistrust in certain matters. I might be exaggerating, but then I might not. ;-)
advantages of having an almost fully cybernetic body. We could go places where our frail biological bodies couldn't. A cybernetic body wouldn't have to be in our image. Imagine being able to explore the bottom of the ocean without having to worry about drowning.I'd have to disagree slightly from this point. Not having similar limitations of a human would make the cyborg different in soul. There will be a wall of alienation arising from it's invincilble properties. Superman in the comics & movies is extremely lonely because 1) he is from another plant Krypton (?) & 2) he has unusual abilities like radar vision, jumping skyscrapers & whatnot. His vulnerability to kryptonite somehow restores his 'humanness.' So it's a mystery what kind of soul it might gain if some thing were easy-breezy, but without any weakness to balance it out.
Most people seem to accept the idea that our ability to think and rationalise give us souls. If a machine can do this it must have in it somewhere a 'soul'. Maybe our definition of an idea of a soul is actually our higher mind functions. If this is the case then anything that can think like a human might contain a soul.
I think what is really needed is a definition of a soul, and does it exist or is it just a human idea to deal with our ability of higher abstract thoughts.That too, but some things seem to be missing. Just what I can think of right now.

1. awareness of self, memory of self-continuity allows us to have our unique indivdual existence.
2. the ability to love, to be attached, to have a strong, exclusive imprint (like baby ducks) or crush on another person, thing, activity, or idea.
3. creativity: to generalize and jump in logic (essentially illogical process)
4. playfulness: to be able to feel joy.
5. senses for survival or necessaty
6. senses for stimulus
7. emotions such as fear

These things are hard to define logically. I believe they are quite important as part of the human soul.
all the bits of information in the brain could be stored and revived at a later point....If we ever possess the technology to do this it could make space travel to the stars very real. Why have a massive ship with all the various things that are needed to keeps us alive in space? You could just store yourself on a computer, with a few strands of DNA. When your ship arrives at where-ever the ship could clone your body and up load your into this body. I could just be talking sci-fi here, but it more realistic than warpspeed and time travel.I totally agree with you as not only to the possiblity, but also to that this DNA (+ mitochondria + egg info + nursing + rearing + education) path is the most logical, straight forward way to beat time, distance, destructive cosmic rays, G10 limit, life support hassle, etc.
learn to copy and imitate emotions. Feelings and emotions are, among other things, what is looked upon as the 'soul' of a human.All good points, Isayhello. But what about feeling those internal emotions, and confirming those emotions as essential part of oneself ? We sometimes find it hard to handle emotions, either they are too strong or loo sublte to define.

Also, what about the awareness without expressing it or acting on it ? Is that something that can be learned ? That seems more like a hardwired function rather than all learned thing on blank memory.
What about imagination ? We some times find too little imaginatio a problem.

Some times it's excessive imagination that becomes a problem. What is imagination to begin with ? And how do we have just the right level of imagination plus or minus the staggering range of mood swings ? :?

Doc
21-04-05, 19:04
Maybe we don't have souls? Maybe this world is not real at all? Maybe everything we know is an illusion? Maybe we're really hooked up to a giant computer in cacoon? Maybe this is just all created by our minds? Maybe. . .(passes out):mad:

Doc:ramen::happy:

isayhello
21-04-05, 19:49
1. awareness of self, memory of self-continuity allows us to have our unique indivdual existence.
2. the ability to love, to be attached, to have a strong, exclusive imprint (like baby ducks) or crush on another person, thing, activity, or idea.
3. creativity: to generalize and jump in logic (essentially illogical process)
4. playfulness: to be able to feel joy.
5. senses for survival or necessaty
6. senses for stimulus
7. emotions such as fear

These things are hard to define logically.
True, and if humans DO have a soul, those things would probably be the things the soul was 'made off'. Although these things are not easily defined, they could still be imitated in a program though... It all depends on HOW you choose to define 'emotions' or 'feelings' and what makes them 'real'.
If a robot got a program that enabled it to feel extremely attached to a person, something like a close to love experience, and the robot itself would know that it wanted to be with that person, or would (because of its program) be forced to 'like' that person - would that not be love? Maybe not... but it would seem like love.

What is a feeling? Is it simply a name for a certain mood, or action? If that behaviour can be imitated, is the imitation not as 'true' as the true feeling? The robot would feel that his/hers imitation was true, at least seen from its own perspective...


Maybe we don't have souls? Maybe this world is not real at all? Maybe everything we know is an illusion? Maybe we're really hooked up to a giant computer in cacoon? Maybe this is just all created by our minds? Maybe. . .(passes out)
*Pokes Doc in the eye* You felt that? Hurt... now you know you exist! :okashii:
:blush:

Doc
21-04-05, 20:09
*Pokes Doc in the eye* You felt that? Hurt... now you know you exist! :okashii:
:blush:

I didn't feel anything! We're not real! Nothing is real! *passes out* :mad:

Doc:ramen::happy:

Pachipro
22-04-05, 17:54
If a human mind can occupy a silicon brain would we then have a soul?
Not unless the "soul" wanted to enter the silicon brain would it have a soul. I believe that what we call a mind is indeed our soul. It is the essence of who we are. Our personality, if you will. I am not religious, but I am of the belief that "we" are spiritual beings only occupying this shell we call a human body in order to have a human experience. Why? I don't know. Maybe we are here to learn. What, I am not sure. Maybe it was to spiritually overcome the "Seven Deadly Sins". The 7 deadly sins are Greed, Lust, Gluttony, Pride, Envy/Jelousy, Sloth, and Anger.

Upon death, we exit this shell to whatever dimension we originally came from and are given a life review. There is no pass or fail and there is no heaven or hell. If we still need to learn and spiritually progress we can choose to come back to whatever time, in whatever gender, and whatever race we decide that is best for us to progress spiritually. Although we can decide to remain "over there", our spiritual progress would be slower than here. There must be some reason why this place we occupy is called "Schoolhouse Earth."

Wasn't it Jesus Christ who said, "My fathers house has many mansions."? By this I feel he was referring to reincarnation. If one does considerable research one can find that in the original writings of the Bible, reincarnation was mentioned as a fact of life. It was taken out of it in the numerous revisions of the Bible as the religious scholors of the time figured that if humans knew they would be reincarnated they would not be able to be controlled. It is my belief therefore, that the concept of heaven and hell, and one life only, was devised as a way of controlling the population to succumb to their wishes and Spirituality was taken away from us.

What I would like to read is what was taken out of the Bible during it's numerous revisions over the ages. I want to read what is on the cutting room floor! Don't give me King James' version, or the New Age Version. I want the Original version!

To believe that when we "die" it's lights out and "we" cease to exist is beyond my comprehension.


You could just store yourself on a computer, with a few strands of DNA.
They are working on that exact thing right this moment. Check out these articles:

http://www.cochrane.org.uk/opinion/archive/interviews/forbes.htm

http://www.cochrane.org.uk/opinion/archive/articles/genius.htm

http://www.infineon.com/cgi/ecrm.dll/jsp/showfrontend.do?lang=EN&content_type=NEWS&content_oid=57550&news_nav_oid=-9979

In the last link above you may have to click on it twice to get to the actial article refering to the "neuro brain chip".

Doc
23-04-05, 07:13
Maybe Plato was right when he said that the universe is a river of life, and we're all a part of that river that gets returned later on. Maybe we do get reincarnated later on down the road. If we do, then we will never know during life only in death can we be certain. To me it seems that if there is such a thing as reincarnation that our soul either erases or surpresses our memories of our previous lives, so not to burden the life we live in now. Maybe our soul does remember everything from previous lives, just stores them away until we reach the spirtual world again. There are people who have said that they remember previous lives. If those cases are true, then it must be abnormal for the soul to let itself remember those memories of a previous life in the current one. I don't know what I'm saying to be honest. I think I'm just crazy. Forget everything I said.

Doc:ramen::happy:

lexico
23-04-05, 07:50
I don't know what I'm saying to be honest. I think I'm just crazy. Forget everything I said.

Doc:ramen::happy:You know Doc, that tops it all !
I can see you reaching that spiritual world, almost... :D:D:D

Doc
23-04-05, 08:27
You know Doc, that tops it all !
I can see you reaching that spiritual world, almost... :D:D:D

:souka:

Doc:ramen::happy: