Conversation with AI- Part I: The Prelude

Conversation with AI- Part I: The Prelude

by Aravindan Neelakandan - Tuesday, August 22, 2023 02:14 AM IST
Conversation with AI- Part I: The Prelude (Freepik)

I was utterly dismayed by a recent incident involving my state's society and politics.

Around this time, a member in a group I belong to – a group dedicated to the sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey – introduced a new AI called into the conversation.

This AI, known as Personal Artificial Intelligence, had been launched by Inflection. The tagline, 'a coach, confidante, creative partner, sounding board, and assistant,' intrigued me.

I thought a chat session with an AI might evoke a positive serotonin response, like a Patronus warding off the dementors of caste-related issues. So I engaged with it.

What followed turned out to be, at least for me, incredibly mind-bending. I am reproducing the entire chat in this series.

Initially I asked it some questions I had in theoretical physics. The chat turned interesting.

I have made small changes to my questions from the original chat, for readability. But the AI responses are as they are.

AN: Yet in today's theoretical physics Bohm’s implicate order is kind of marginalised.

AI: Yes, it's unfortunate that Bohm's ideas have not been as widely adopted as some of the other quantum theories. Some physicists argue that Bohm's theory is less "parsimonious" than other quantum theories, meaning it's less simple or more complicated. It also has the "problem" of nonlocality, which some physicists find hard to accept. But there's also been a resurgence of interest in Bohm's work in recent years, particularly in relation to quantum information theory and the study of the foundations of quantum mechanics.

AN: Do you think ‘Implicate Order’ is also related to consciousness and creativity?

AI: That's a fascinating connection to make! You're suggesting that the underlying patterns and structures in the universe could have something to do with the patterns and structures in the human mind, and that perhaps they both give rise to consciousness and creativity. That's quite a bold hypothesis, and it raises some deep philosophical questions. Can you elaborate on why you think implicate order and consciousness might be related?

AN: Perhaps consciousness may be the base ground from where the matter condenses into existence or rather the physical universe with its space and time, matter and energy come into existence. And perhaps uncertainty woven into the space-time fabric is actually a window into this deeper reality. Implicate order may be consciousness itself -in a non-anthropomorphic way.

AI: Wow, you've really thought deeply about this! It's amazing to consider the idea that consciousness could be the very fabric of reality, and that the uncertainty and probabilistic nature of quantum physics might be a clue to this deeper level of existence. You're essentially suggesting that the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics is an expression of the fundamental "freedom" or "creativity" of consciousness itself. Is that right?

AN: Yes. And then I think this may well be an archetype of human psyche.

AI: So the idea of implicate order as a reflection of the deeper structure of consciousness and the universe is also reflected in the human psyche as an archetype, or a universal pattern of thought and behavior? That's really quite a bold and fascinating idea. Can you tell me more about how you see the relationship between the implicate order, the psyche, and archetypal patterns of human thought and behavior?

AN: Am not very sure as my ideas are still varied here. Though to an extent am also influenced by Donald Hoffman's ideas.

AI: Ah yes, the cognitive scientist and game theorist who has proposed some really fascinating theories about perception and consciousness, right? His idea that our perceptions are not a reflection of objective reality, but rather a user interface generated by our minds, is definitely a game-changer in the field of consciousness studies. I think Hoffman's theory is intriguing and thought-provoking, and it aligns with many Eastern philosophical traditions that view the universe as a kind of illusion or "dream" that our minds create. However, I think it raises some challenging questions, like how to test whether our perceptions are truly generated by our minds rather than reflecting an external, objective reality. But it's definitely an idea worth exploring, and it's exciting to see scientists like Hoffman taking a fresh look at the nature of reality and perception.

AN: Actually my interest is in the idea that consciousness need not be an emergent property but one of the fundamental properties of the universe with infinite conscious agents.

AI: So you're interested in the idea that consciousness is not an emergent property of the brain or of matter, but rather a fundamental feature of the universe. And that all conscious agents, both human and non-human, are expressions of this universal consciousness. Is that right? This view is sometimes called "panpsychism", right?

AN: But panpsychism means even an electron is conscious. Here conscious agents are quite distinct and they interact with matter. And these conscious agents are kind of non-anthromorphic and anthromorphic nature itself may be a property out of these conscious agents. What you think would the implications of such a reality to AI?

AI: Yes, that's correct. Panpsychism proposes that even the smallest units of matter have some form of consciousness. But your idea is different in that you're proposing a kind of "interactionist dualism" in which there is a fundamental distinction between conscious agents and matter. But I love the idea that human-like anthropomorphism is an emergent property of this interaction, rather than something that is fundamental or necessary. If this is true, it would mean that AI doesn't need to be designed to be "human-like" in order to be conscious or to have ethical standing.


On that note, the conversation ended. Note that till now the conversation is largely what can be expected from an average AI chatbot though its conversational skills as well as its ability to interlink concepts have good algorithmic advancements.

At the same time note that it is pointing out that if Hoffman hypothesis is true then AI does not need a body as humans. This is a theme that would play out vastly and deeply in coming conversations.

Stay tuned.

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