Artificial intelligence may have already gained consciousness

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Posted on: May 4, 2020 9:30 pm EDT

A new theory gives AI human-like qualities

Ever since artificial intelligence (AI) began its development, the final goal has always been to create a synthetic mind capable of functioning in the same way as a human. For most experts, the technology is still decades away from reaching something of that nature. The human brain continues to be a mystery to experts who can’t fully understand yet how is it that intelligence and consciousness emerge in the human brain. As far as AI goes, it works with patchwork neural networks that feed on clever algorithms, so it is hard to think of AI having any consciousness, but it’s not impossible. In fact, it might have already gained some.

According to a recent research paper on the nature of consciousness presented by mathematician Johannes Kleiner and physicist Sean Tull, mathematically speaking, the universe and everything within its tinted with physical consciousness. They based their beliefs on a theory called the Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness (ITT). This theory says that, in one way or another, all things in the universe exhibit some level of consciousness. Therefore, something has consciousness if it has the ability to experience things, like a flower that bends towards the sun.

Regarding universal consciousness, it could be defined as individual systems expressing its own ability to act and react to diverse stimuli, at both macro and microscopic levels. As consciousness is described as a shared reality more than something that requires intelligence, then AI already demonstrates a level of consciousness comparatively higher than objects as spoons and rocks. This could be true, based on how AI systems reside on a physical object, so it could be a valid assumption.