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Thread: The Turing Test, Consciousness and Imago Dei

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    Undergraduate Smash Boy's Avatar
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    The Turing Test, Consciousness and Imago Dei

    Hey guys, Iím new here, recently registered. Okay now that thatís outta the way, I wanted to bring a philosophical problem regarding consciousness, so as you see, itís about AI and the Imago Dei. For those not familiar with the Turing Test, this is basically what it is in a nutshell:

    You have three individuals, one has to interact with two (who he/she canít see), and writes down certain questions a human being would ask. The two individuals interrogated are a conputer and a human being. The goal of the interrogator is to be able to find a way to distinguish between the two as he/she asks the questions and receives answers (that donít have to be true or false). If the interrogator fails to distinguish between the machine and the human being, the computer passes the test.

    The implications here is not only if the computer passes the test, will it show it can think, but that it can be said to have comsciousness like us. There are objections to the assumptions and methodologies on this Test, one is Mark Halpern who criticized the Test in an article published on The new Atlantis, but before we get into that, I wanted you guys, particularly Christians in here; to tell me what are your thoughts. Can it really be said that a machine has genuine consciousness and thus, an imago Dei, or is it mereley a simulatin. If the latter, how can you tell (epistemically)?

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    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smash Boy View Post
    Hey guys, Iím new here, recently registered. Okay now that thatís outta the way, I wanted to bring a philosophical problem regarding consciousness, so as you see, itís about AI and the Imago Dei. For those not familiar with the Turing Test, this is basically what it is in a nutshell:

    You have three individuals, one has to interact with two (who he/she canít see), and writes down certain questions a human being would ask. The two individuals interrogated are a conputer and a human being. The goal of the interrogator is to be able to find a way to distinguish between the two as he/she asks the questions and receives answers (that donít have to be true or false). If the interrogator fails to distinguish between the machine and the human being, the computer passes the test.

    The implications here is not only if the computer passes the test, will it show it can think, but that it can be said to have comsciousness like us. There are objections to the assumptions and methodologies on this Test, one is Mark Halpern who criticized the Test in an article published on The new Atlantis, but before we get into that, I wanted you guys, particularly Christians in here; to tell me what are your thoughts. Can it really be said that a machine has genuine consciousness and thus, an imago Dei, or is it mereley a simulatin. If the latter, how can you tell (epistemically)?
    Many animals pass the mirror test, suggesting a lower form of consciousness, that does not mean they are created in the image of God. It is God alone who endows men with His image. And as far as I know computers do not have an immaterial spirit.
    ďThe essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.Ē D.H. Lawrence

  4. Amen Cerebrum123 amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Many animals pass the mirror test, suggesting a lower form of consciousness, that does not mean they are created in the image of God. It is God alone who endows men with His image. And as far as I know computers do not have an immaterial spirit.
    Nor are humans capable of creating such a spirit.

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
    Nor are humans capable of creating such a spirit.
    Exactly...
    ďThe essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.Ē D.H. Lawrence

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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Many animals pass the mirror test, suggesting a lower form of consciousness, that does not mean they are created in the image of God. It is God alone who endows men with His image. And as far as I know computers do not have an immaterial spirit.
    So biblically speaking, they not having an immaterial spirit (ruach), they donít have the imago Dei. Okay, fair enough. I agree, however, the fundamental question is how do we distinguish, say, an AI that displays emotion, understanding of concepts and even sexuality, from us? Iím not talking about weak AIís (e.g: Siri), Iím talking about a strong AI (e.g: Sophia [*Although, we donít have yet confirmation she has qualities of a strong AI to the point of being indistinguishable from a human being but letís go with this example still]).

    Are you perhaps saying consciousness is not a legitimate criteria to endow any being with a mind as human or even have human-like properties?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smash Boy View Post
    So biblically speaking, they not having an immaterial spirit (ruach), they donít have the imago Dei. Okay, fair enough. I agree, however, the fundamental question is how do we distinguish, say, an AI that displays emotion, understanding of concepts and even sexuality, from us? Iím not talking about weak AIís (e.g: Siri), Iím talking about a strong AI (e.g: Sophia [*Although, we donít have yet confirmation she has qualities of a strong AI to the point of being indistinguishable from a human being but letís go with this example still]).

    Are you perhaps saying consciousness is not a legitimate criteria to endow any being with a mind as human or even have human-like properties?
    Ever heard of a "philosophical zombie"? I don't personally think "strong" AI will ever get to the point of being human like to the degree many are saying, but it would at best be a "zombie". It looks and acts like a human, but isn't truly experiencing anything. At least not like humans do.

  9. Amen Jedidiah amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
    Ever heard of a "philosophical zombie"? I don't personally think "strong" AI will ever get to the point of being human like to the degree many are saying, but it would at best be a "zombie". It looks and acts like a human, but isn't truly experiencing anything. At least not like humans do.
    Yeah, because so many of our responses are based on emotion rather than logic, and often even illogical. How can that be simulated where there are no real emotions?

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smash Boy View Post
    Are you perhaps saying consciousness is not a legitimate criteria to endow any being with a mind as human or even have human-like properties?
    No, I do not think consciousness alone makes a human being. We are primarily spiritual beings in a physical "tent." So the gulf between what humans are and what animals or AIs are will never be bridged.
    ďThe essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.Ē D.H. Lawrence

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
    Ever heard of a "philosophical zombie"? I don't personally think "strong" AI will ever get to the point of being human like to the degree many are saying, but it would at best be a "zombie". It looks and acts like a human, but isn't truly experiencing anything. At least not like humans do.
    I am aware of the philosophical zombie, but my follow up question to seer was that if computers or AIís donít have an immaterial spirit, or a soul to qualify as being a bearer of the Image of God, then we are essentially calling into question the legitimacy of our assumption that anyone that has a mind or consciousness has human like properties or are, in some way, just as human as us. But on a philosophical point of view, a human zombie can be an image bearer because although he/she isnít conscious, he/she has the image of God. But then this becomes more a presuppositional approach rather than a more epistemic approach in which we are forced to construct a criteria to distinguish us from machines who think,act and behave and even have Ďfeelingsí just like us to differentiate us even when both cases they have consciousness. Thatís why I asked seer if he, in some way, calls into question our daily assumption in attributing anyone with a mind with a humanity like ours.
    Last edited by Smash Boy; 12-18-2017 at 12:47 PM.

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