Panning for Nuggets 2

In one section of my research, I am going to define the actual consciousness of machines vs humans, and make the border that differentiates robots from us.  I believed that I could not write a paper without defining the different standards and the different interactions between robots and humans.  If there is no comparison between two innate objects or nouns that I want to explore, than there is no argument, and there is no purpose in writing a research paper.  Here, I found three nuggets, exploring the artificial intellects, and what draws the line between human’s consciousness versus robots.  Initial question: What actually differentiates humans vs. robots?  (I am asking this question, because a lot of robotic engineers are creating robots that will think and act just like human beings.  What actually differentiates us from robots, if we are creating robots that will think just like us?)

“Robots are artifacts, and consciousness abhors an artifact; only something natural, born not manufactured, could exhibit genuine consciousness.”   -Consciousness in Human and Robot Minds By Daniel C. Dennett-

Just as Dennett states, by definition robots are inorganic, and consciousness can only exist in an organic brain.  Today, we can’t create atoms from the limited elements, which means that we can’t create biochemically designed brains to robots.  Possibly, robots may have the knowledge to control and overthrow original programing codes, but robots cannot replace our actually human consciousness.  How can we trust the robots in military, when they don’t even have consciousness?  How do we know robots will not “accidentally” kill humans?  However, the quote below this paragraph disagrees with Dennett’s view point in machines’ consciousness.   Haikonen believes in creating robots entailed with cognition and consciousness exactly like the humans: “the ultimate goal of machine cognition research is to develop… robots and systems that know and understand what they are doing, and are able to plan, adjust and optimize their behavior”.

“The ultimate goal of machine cognition research is to develop autonomous machines, robots and systems that know and understand what they are doing, and are able to plan, adjust and optimize their behaviour in relation to their given tasks in changing environments. A system that succeeds here will most probably appear as a conscious entity. Here the issues of the apparent properties of the human consciousness and those of the proposed machines are discussed.”  –Robot Brains: Circuits and Systems for Conscious Machines By Pentti O. Haikonen-

Haikonen’s statement of having artificial soldiers (robots) with actual brain capacity changes the view of robots.  Now, the author suggests new topic of robots: self-controlled robots.  In this case, we are assuming that the robots have consciousness that can determine and judge whether their actions are wrong or right.  In this case, these robots will be smart enough to out run a human brain’s capacity.  The argument shifts from “robots are inhuman, so they can’t have consciousness” to “robots have different concept of consciousness”.

“While artificial intelligence of this sort is far from a reality, robots do play a crucial role in our everyday lives. The engineering definition of a robot is “an electromechanical intelligent agent that can perform tasks either autonomously or semiautonomously.  In contemporary society, there are two main types of robots. The first is the preprogrammed robot, which performs a task or series of tasks again and again, exactly same way each time. These robots have replaced human hands with the precise and tireless movements of machines on most assembly lines. The next type of robot, far less common, is based on a command-control platform. Rather than being preprogrammed to perform a defined function, these robots are remotely controlled, in real time, by human beings.”  -Telemicrosurgery Robot Assisted Microsurgery By Philippe A. Liverneaux-

In Liverneaux’s argument, now he defines the different concept of consciousness: robots are electromechanical intelligent agent that can perform task either autonomously or semiautonomously.   Liverneaux defines robots as machines, and can disagree with Haikonen’s argument that it is impossible to create a robot with human’s morals and human’s consciousness.  Robots are either preprogrammed or remotely controlled by a command-control platform approach.  In a sense, Liverneaux is approaching that there could not be any thoughts in machines, because they are like drones, acting what the controllers wants to display.

Most of the military used robots are preprogrammed or is approached in command-control method; however, we can’t say that not all of the robots are created by computer codings and programmers.  In this case, the argument of robotic use in military is shifted into another section of robotic research: what defines robots as conscious, and where is the line we draw to differentiate robots vs. humans.  In my research, I will have robots and human’s border on whether or not the robots or humans can function by themselves without the main controller.  For example, the robots that are preprogrammed to finish a certain task will not be a conscious robot, but can be called a drone.  In a case with robots with their own minds and their thoughts to perform an action, can be said to have consciousness of a human (just like how humans have mind of their own to perform out their own tasks).

One thought on “Panning for Nuggets 2”

  1. Nice, Helen. A lot of the definitions/concepts you’re bringing forward here seem very useful to establishing the framework–or methodology–for your project. This seems to be the section you’re referring to: one that will follow your introduction to help the reader understand what you’re bringing to the table to set up how you understand your topic.

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