Humans are an unbelievable occurrence. Life in general is, too. There's so much we don't understand about the existence of ourselves and everything around us. Most of it, honestly. We attribute mystical origins and fantastic mechanisms to the unknown. Our misunderstanding of these broad and fundamental concepts lead to a view that uses terms like spirit and dark matter in order to categorize the pieces of existence that confuse us the most. While this very well may all be magical, there's a viewpoint that can offer more discussion, though it might challenge the status quo.
The following is a conversation recorded live with host Humpty Calderon and several web3 builders on the Ontology Spaces.
For the full conversation you can listen to the recording here.
Humans have a physical structure and a mental awareness. We know that we exist, or we know that we are. We feel sensations that seem to be somehow totally separate from our physical body. Love, anger, fear and complex pieces of our personalities seem to defy the natural vessel we inhabit. But how in the world would we find mates, deal with raising children and avoid personal harm if we weren't somehow compelled to complete all of these tasks? What we call emotion and spirit may just be the only inherent mechanism that makes sense to keep our species alive. So, by this view, all of human emotion may be a series of mechanisms to keep us avoiding death and chasing reproduction.
I know this feels a bit reductionist, but if we're to roll with it, how does this affect our outlook on artificial intelligence? Can we then program a self-learning AI bot to favor its own survival and reproduction? We'd never know if it feels its urges in the same way we do, but an AI bot programmed to have this ability might find itself just as confused by the way it operates as we are. Difficult for the machine to know its own parts-- we're a great example of this. So, if an AI bot can be programmed to execute the same base goal structure that we have, who's to say that the AI doesn't end up with emotions from a traditional standpoint? And if that's the case, who's to say that humans aren't just robots or AI bots made of meat and utilizing a complex series of power sources ultimately fueled by the sun.
This is not to downplay the importance of the human experience, but rather to expand it to other creatures we assume couldn't possibly share our emotional complexity. Do ants not have Aunts, bees not partners and lizards not the same reproductive and preservative inclinations? Human depth isn't made less important by this potential worldview, but it might serve to help us include and empathize with not only pre-existing but also future life-forms that we otherwise might somehow view as inferior.
Some cows probably think of we humans as a cruel and absurd bunch. One can never fully know the experience of another, but it may be foolish to think that artificial intelligence isn't capable of a sentience very similar to ours.
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