My wife Wendy and I are currently watching a series called “HUMANS“ (with an inverted A) from AMC on Amazon Prime. Artificial intelligence and the moral paradoxes which come with it…
In a nutshell, it’s about a handful of synthetic humans/androids/robots who have been given consciousness, or “true A.I.”
Kind of a next generation “Commander Data” from Star Trek.
Turns out 17 pages of code gave 5 robots human consciousness; something all of the other ones lack.
Is that all consciousness is? Code? A more complex, intelligent computer, at some point, crosses the line into self-awareness?
Intuitively, dogs and cats have some level of consciousness. But I doubt we can create this phenomenon through souping up a computer. My laptop, which I am now using, is in some ways more intelligent than I am; but it is not self-aware in the same sense my cat is conscious.
But the show, although pretty dark (don’t watch it if you deal with depression), raises some interesting moral and philosophical questions:
- What is the soul? And can you build one?
- Is it really cheating on one’s spouse to have sex with an android?
- Could we project human thoughts/traits onto robots in the same way we do so with pets?
- If robots are ever developed to a high level, with they replace the need for human labor? How would we find meaning without work? A great quote from a teenage girl on the show: “So are we all just supposed to become poets or something?”
Have not seen the entire first season yet, but I may update this at a future time….