I was thinking about the following:

According to Sir Roger Penrose "No computer has any awareness of what it does.".

Now some context to his statement:

Penrose’s argument in summary in his book (The emperor's new mind: concerning computers, minds, and the laws of physics) is that:

  • We don’t understand physics well enough to use it to describe our brains.
  • We don’t understand the mind well enough to create a framework capable of accommodating human consciousness.
  • Since our minds do not operate ‘computationally’ and are non-algorithmic, our intelligence, therefore, can’t be recreated by computers (Source).

Let's look at the latest controversy started by a Google engineer who claimed that Lambda is self aware. But, then I came across Searle’s Chinese Room and realized that Lambda is not self aware.

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Then there are other self learning AIs like OpenAIFive that was really good in playing DOTA2.

But how do we know this AI understands what it's doing? If not then is there a possibility that a hypothetical AGI in future might be aware of its actions?

As a note I will add that the brain is still a big mystery and there's no unanimous consensus on a single definition of consciousness. And I think every definition out there is just a combination of thought and faith/belief. And Penrose as of lately does however thinks that there might be a connection between consciousness and quantum mechanics.


1 Answer 1


Are kids conscious?

I always say that if a human can do it, and AI will be able to do it. There is nothing special to us: no magic, no soul. We will eventually crack intelligence. I personally don't even bother with the term "conscious". It doesn't mean much.

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    $\begingroup$ Whilst I agree with the sentiment, this answer doesn't really engage with the question as asked. Stack Exchange is not a discussion forum, and we're not looking for opinions. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 17, 2022 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ @NeilSlater Aren't you asking in the wrong place then? $\endgroup$
    – Melanol
    Commented Jul 17, 2022 at 13:39
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    $\begingroup$ I am not asking anything. The OP has given references that they are trying to understand and resolve, and a good answer would reference and/or address them, or bring up equivalent references that the OP could use to understand the subject further. This answer so far expresses a personal opinion. I don't disagree with it, but I think it is not a good quality answer for our site in its current form. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 17, 2022 at 13:53
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    $\begingroup$ You are assuming functionalism. So this answer is just an opinion. I know this is an extremely popular viewpoint, especially among scientists, but you shouldn't make the mistake to think somehow that it's a "proven fact" or anything of the sorts. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 17, 2022 at 16:48

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