I think that my consciousness and intelligence remains located inside me, in my body or brain.

I know that I am a stalwart of a dualistic nature: mind and material.

But let's suppose that an artificial intelligence can be created purely from the material (e.g. by programming a neural network).

Where will the consciousness (and intelligence) of this AI be within it: its RAM, its processor, or will the programming itself create a bi-location with no precise boundary or absolute position within the machine?


There are still many different interpretations of the terms intelligence and consciousness. For the sake of this discussion I would define intelligence as the problem solving capabilities and consciousness as the state of being aware of and responsive to one's surroundings, including the experience of qualia.

If I understand your question correctly, you are focused on consciousness and not intelligence (based on the definitions above).

In the case of humans - the only species where we have first hand knowledge about what consciousness feels like - it feels like the consciousness resides inside the respective body. Most people experience it like "being" inside their head. Although debated, consciousness is most likely a simulation created by the human brain. Qualia is heavily - if not exclusively - influenced by the sensory input from the human senses. Therefore it only makes sense that it feels like the consciousness resides in the center of the sensors (eyes, ears, etc.).

Science hasn't figured out the nature of consciousness yet, so there is a lot of speculation involved. Applying above this logic to artificial consciousness and qualia, it would make sense that the machine will feel like being at the location if its sensors as well. If there is no dominant area of sensors, maybe a distributed system, it might be a split consciousness spread across several locations.

If the creation of consciousness happens accidentally - like it did during evolution - emergence at the sensors feels most likely. Should the creator of artificial consciousness do it on purpose, he should be able to shape the simulation in other ways as he sees fit.

  • $\begingroup$ intelligent answer I agree consiousness and intelligence could be distinguished you see other creatures react similarly to humans in similar situation that reaction is a response to the physical world and I don't think that is down solely to consiousness problem solving yes can be programmed and algorithms applied via that programming can perform tasks that simulate the behaviour of creatures in a machine. now if you attribute that problem solving as intelligence yes machines are now. But you can also attribute behaviour other than problem solving that only a consience would do. $\endgroup$
    – Bobs
    Nov 2 '17 at 22:00
  • $\begingroup$ Not only in man but other creatures if you have a faith in your own interpretation of it fundamentally because that's all you got to judge it by $\endgroup$
    – Bobs
    Nov 2 '17 at 22:01
  • $\begingroup$ I also agree that the location of consiousness is a function of the senses and is result of transmission and destination of the information received by those senses but I will add that the transmission of this information requires a medium that will be unable to replicated in machines and also forms a question as to the possible location within them $\endgroup$
    – Bobs
    Nov 2 '17 at 22:15
  • $\begingroup$ Never come across the word qualia before having looked it up I have always been aware of what is attempting to describe and yes I think it will be unable to be replicated with reductive methods . Even if it were the existence of qualia within machines would be just as difficult to detect as it is in other humans because of the nature of it. Describing the sensation of taste etc is impossible to communicate and similarly would be from a AI to convey it if indeed had similar experiences from its senses that humans do. $\endgroup$
    – Bobs
    Nov 4 '17 at 20:09

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