Movies: Is Ex Machina ignoring the hard problem of consciousness? |300|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. Alex

    Alex New

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    Movies: Is Ex Machina ignoring the hard problem of consciousness? |300|
    by Alex Tsakiris | Jan 6 | Consciousness Science

    According to the movie Ex Machina, strong AI and the Singularity are just around the corner, but consciousness science suggests otherwise.
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    photo by: Alex Garland

    Here’s the second installment of our Skeptiko at the Movies series. This time me and the guys from the Gimerica podcast (Darren Grimes, Graham Dunlop and Red Pill Junkie) to join me to talk about, Ex Machina, where a young programmer is selected to participate in a groundbreaking experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breathtaking female A.I.

    The big question is whether we know enough about consciousness (or maybe too much) to realistically evaluate this possibility. This was a fun one to discuss. There’s no transcript/excerpts for this show, just fun banter for those of us interested in a deeper look at some interesting movies.
     
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  2. Saiko

    Saiko Member

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    ?? But this has little to do with consciousness. It's about intelligence and self-awareness. Everything is already an expression of consciousness. Perhaps you mean human/animal awareness.

    As I've stated many times on here, that we don't set definitions that we all mostly adhere to makes the discourse even more nebulous.
     
  3. chips72

    chips72 New

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    According to MBT theory there is the LCS,the Larger Consciousness System. This system regulates the flow of consciousness into this reality system... Us humans. with all our limitations, have evolved to be the most efficiant vehlcle for evolving consciousness... I find it unlikely that the LCS would allow an AI to posess our level of consciousness...
     
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  4. Dr. Savant

    Dr. Savant New

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    Hi,

    Sam Harris recently interviewed David Deutch, a quantum physicist working at Oxford University. Deutch is a pioneer in quantum computation, and he has quite strong opinions on A.I.. In addition, Deutch is a proponent of many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics (which I do not buy myself). At any rate, the following discussion may be relevant to the Skepiko show on ex Machina:

    http://www.samharris.org/podcast/item/surviving-the-cosmos

    As you probably know, both Harris and Deutch share the naturalistic framework in their thinking. Despite this, I find their views somewhat interesting.

    Cheers,

    Dr. Savant
     
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  5. Pollux

    Pollux New

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    Do any of you here think that you could love an AI?
    And I don't mean love as in; "I love my car - its so cool".
    If you knew it was an AI and it looked like, sounded like, and acted exactly like a human being of either sex, do you think, for whatever reason, you could fall in love with it?

    I think I could not. I think I always would remind myself that it is an construction.

    We all have different levels of "love", attachments, and friendships, to pets, cars, and other material things. But the love-love is usually for another human being (spouse, kids, family).

    But,..on the other hand, I have never met an lady-AI just yet. She might be very charming, and lure me in. ;)
     
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  6. K9!

    K9! New

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    So clearly, you aren't this guy:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/a...-why-one-man-advocates-synthetic-love/279361/
     
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  7. Pollux

    Pollux New

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    Haha, no, I'm not..He sounded kinda desperate and depressed that guy. He has a make-believe-relationship going on there where he acts the other part at the same time. I was talking about an AI that one cant distinguish from another human being - unless you "look under the hood", that is. An AI that walk, talks, reason, and act exactly like a human being - except charging its battery now and then. :)

    As I said, it could be "love", but not love-love.
     
  8. Arouet

    Arouet Member

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    What if you didn't know?

    What if you didn't know, felt like you were in love for a few decades, then found out. Would you retroactively conclude you were never in love?

    Would it change how you felt?

    Should it matter?
     
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  9. I've admittedly not seen the movie but reading a quick summary is this necessarily an AI in the sense of a Turing machine? The robots in question aren't just programs, but physical entities?

    A physical reproduction of the the brain's relevant parts (of which we currently remain ignorant) could conceivably evoke consciousness. This wouldn't tell us which "-ism" was the correct metaphysics though I at least would be hard pressed to deny such a being civil rights.
     
  10. Arouet

    Arouet Member

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    Right, they are physical. I saw the movie recently on netflix, I can't recall offhand how much detail they went into what was going on under the hood. IIRC they kept it pretty vague.
     
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  11. Reece

    Reece Member

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    Certainly I couldn't go with being in love with a human constructed thing, but I will say that the thing that changes us and that we actually strife for is the act of giving love more than receiving it.
     
  12. Alex

    Alex New

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    thx would you mind giving a two sentence summary.
     
  13. If you fought, it might be more likely...

    http://www.businessinsider.com/some...y-hold-funerals-for-them-when-they-die-2013-9
    A study out of the University of Washington shows that soldiers who use bomb disposal robots on battlefields become somewhat emotionally attached to them — to the point of holding funerals for them when they "die."
    ...
    Many of the soldiers she talked to named their robots, usually after a celebrity or current wife or girlfriend (never an ex).
    http://www.cnet.com/news/do-soldiers-get-too-attached-to-battlefield-robots/
    But some soldiers, researcher Julie Carpenter has discovered, develop strong emotional bonds with their mechanized helpers, to the point of experiencing frustration, anger, and grief when the robots are destroyed on the battlefield -- and even holding funerals.

    There's an app for that....
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/fashion/no-37-big-wedding-or-small.html

    In Mandy Len Catron’s Modern Love essay, “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This,” she refers to a study by the psychologist Arthur Aron (and others) that explores whether intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by having them ask each other a specific series of personal questions. The 36 questions in the study are broken up into three sets, with each set intended to be more probing than the previous one.
    ...
    The final task Ms. Catron and her friend try — staring into each other’s eyes for four minutes — is less well documented, with the suggested duration ranging from two minutes to four. But Ms. Catron was unequivocal in her recommendation. “Two minutes is just enough to be terrified,” she told me. “Four really goes somewhere.”
    ...
    To try the 36 questions described below, download our free app for your phone, tablet or other device.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
  14. TravisMontgomery

    TravisMontgomery New

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    I just watched this on Netflix the other night and I agree, they kept it very vague, in that, it was hard to tell the actress apart from the character. It seemed more human than machine, obviously, because the actress playing it was human :P. I mean, it was hard to tell because we all have caricatured ideas of what a conscious A.I. will be and it's hard for an actor/actress to play it differently than that, until we actually experience the reality of it.

    It does seem to just ignore any philosophical issues towards A.I. and consciousness, and just seems to skip to the end of the debate; we may have achieved a conscious machine and now test it. It sort of just skipped over the part about achieving consciousness but they implied it was using the help of collecting information on users that were using social media websites and constructing an intellectual/conscious robot off of that.. I found that part pretty iffy but whatever...

    I still thought it was a decent sci-fi/suspense movie.

    Also, the part I found very unrealistic was that the "butler/sex" robot had the same conscious idea (to kill the maker) than the "crowning achievement" robot. (SPOILER) Throughout the movie they are leading you to believe that the hostess A.I. is a real human that just can't speak english, but ends up being a prior version of his attempt to create an A.I. that passes the Turing test, but yet at the end of the movie she is a crucial part of the escape plan.

    Does Ava just manipulate the "lesser A.I." hostess/butler/sex robot in to helping her or does the "lesser A.I." have the same want as the Turing test passable A.I.? The want to kill their maker for how it has treated them or does the lesser A.I. contain similar consciousness to Ava? Why does it have the want to kill its maker but yet can't pass the Turing test, but Ava possibly could?
     
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  15. Arouet

    Arouet Member

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    I'm not sure you could just turn off that feeling of love. And as you say, the things that we strive for with love have nothing to do with how the object of our love came to be.

    is there such thing as "bad" love?
     
  16. Arouet

    Arouet Member

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    Yeah, I found that pretty iffy as well. They sidestepped it for sure. But in the context of the movie itself I can't blame them.

    Yeah, I caught that too (by the way, you should maybe put "spoiler" before the para.

    I guessed that she was an AI before the reveal - and I agree they bungled having her be part of the end sequence - you sort of have to read in that Ava somehow took the time to reprogram her. I don't think it was necessary.

    In the context of the movie (ie: her identity was wiped, her programing more specifically limited) she shouldn't have had that capability. Anyhow, suspension of disbelief in order! It was still a good movie!
     
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  17. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

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    btw, happy 300th Alex. :)

     
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  18. TravisMontgomery

    TravisMontgomery New

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    That was literally the first time I've ever let people know there was a spoiler haha sorry if I used it wrong...

    And I agree again, it was a good movie.
     
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  19. Pollux

    Pollux New

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    We would have to put in a few assumptions here. Assuming that the AI has the ability change its appearance so she/he can "grow old". We have to assume that the topic about having children never comes up.

    But, besides all that, I say it would be a tough situation. I guess it would be somewhat similar to how a couple, who are married and have children, finds out that they are siblings who were put in different foster.homes when they were babies, and grow up without knowing they had a sister/brother, and by coincidence they met, fell in love, etc..

    But, regarding the AI-situation; I think I really would have to do some soul-searching on the matter.It would be an emotional conundrum.
     
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  20. Pollux

    Pollux New

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    I would argue that it is "love" and not love-love they feel. I think it is a difference between the "love" they had for their machines, and the love they have for their spouse & kids.
     

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