A Pragmatic and Responsible Approach for Explaining Consciousness


A Pragmatic and Responsible Approach for Explaining Consciousness

1/ I find the efforts to explain Consciousness using AI to be very worthwhile. This is one of the oldest, most meaningful questions ever asked by man, and it is inevitable that we will never stop trying to answer it using the best knowledge available at that time.

But there is a critical aspect of it that does not get enough attention.

2/ Human society today very much depends upon the concept of consciousness for its functioning. Consciousness is an implicit or explicit assumption in many of our laws and practices. It would be extremely disruptive if this assumption was suddenly removed.

3/ If scientists want to solve or explain consciousness, it would be critical for them to first find a way to fill the void that would be created so that society can continue to function! In fact, this may illuminate an unexpected way to “solve” this “problem”.

4/ If this void could be filled preemptively, i.e. an alternative could be found to the assumption of consciousness in our laws and practices, then the “problem” of consciousness might just become moot. If so, this might be the most pragmatic way to approach this issue.

5/ Given all the difficulties with trying to explain an essentially unfalsifiable / untestable concept using science, this looks like a far better approach. Not to mention that it would be far more responsible.

(Corresponding tweetstorm)