eldin raigmore wrote: ↑
15 Jul 2019 19:36
I think my conpeople might say the question “do AIs have souls?” is a mystery.
But they’d say the question “do AIs have minds?” was
a problem; but now the answer is known to be “some of them do, yes”.
So I’m going to replace the mystery “do AIs have souls?” with the problem “do AIs have minds?”.
Given that "do other people have minds?" is one of the great unanswered questions of philosophy, I don't share your optimism.
If you don't mind, I'd point to John Wisdom's notion of four species of doubt (I'll explain them differently, but I think faithful to his intent).
Let's say we want to know whether P is true. We look at the evidence, and we have doubts. Are these doubts always the same? No - they can be of at least four different kinds...
Or, let's use a concrete example: does Alice love Bob?
Empirical doubt: I'm not sure Alice loves Bob. I've seen a few bits of evidence - I saw them kiss the other day - but I'd have to observe them a lot more to be sure.
Conflict doubt: I'm not sure Alice loves Bob. In some ways, she seems really head-over-heels in love... but she also hits him, and cheats on him, and I'm not sure whether you can do that and still love someone? But on the other hand, she risked her life to save him and it seems like he's the most important thing in the world to her, so... is that love?
Anxiety doubt: everything I've seen says that Alice is head-over-heels in love. I've not seen even the slightest indication that she's not. But... can I be sure? Maybe she's just pretending. Maybe she thinks she's in love but tomorrow she'll come to her senses. Maybe I'm missing something?
Criterial doubt: Alice behaves exactly like I would if I were in love. But does she really feel
love, or am I the only one who can feel that? Maybe other people just look like they feel things. Or maybe everyone else feels, and it's just Alice who doesn't? Does Alice even think? She says she does, but she would say that if she were just a robot, wouldn't she?
Now, what sort of doubt is the doubt whether an AI has a mind? Well, obviously first there's an empirical doubt. You'd have to show evidence. But would that be enough? No! Some people would have a conflict doubt - yes, this computer acts like it has a mind, but only humans have minds, so it can't really have a mind can it? But more fundamental is the criterial doubt:there's no list of observable exterior facts that means the same as, equates to or entails the interior
fact of consciousness.
To put it all much more simply: Alice says that her computer has a mind; Bob says that Alice's computer is programmed to perfectly simulate all the behaviours of something that has a mind. What evidence could Alice or Bob possibly assemble to persuade the other? All the evidence either could collect equally well justifies
both their theories!