Sentient machines. Thinking in wholes. The impossibility of AI.


Sentient machines may never exist, according to a variation on a leading mathematical model of how our brains create consciousness.

Over the past decade, Giulio Tononi at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his colleagues have developed a mathematical framework for consciousness that has become one of the most influential theories in the field. According to their model, the ability to integrate information is a key property of consciousness. They argue that in conscious minds, integrated information cannot be reduced into smaller components. For instance, when a human perceives a red triangle, the brain cannot register the object as a colourless triangle plus a shapeless patch of red.

But there is a catch, argues Phil Maguire at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth. He points to a computational device called the XOR logic gate, which involves two inputs, A and B. The output of the gate is “1” if A and B are the same and “0” if A and B are different. In this scenario, it is impossible to predict the output based on A or B alone – you need both. (1)

We try to think like computers.
But we have forgotten that science has proved computers cannot think… (see Godel or this analysis)
Thinking in “wholes” is what makes us unique.

How typical…

From Leibnitz (monads) to Parmenides (One) to Christianism (God), humans have for a long time thought they are just parts of something bigger.

People ask what the monads are made of.
People ask what God is made of.
People ask what One is made of.

But, as opposed to the particles* CERN hunts for, they are not made of “something”.
They are just… everything!

One we Are!

I am!
Just… being.
Shinning here.
For ever.

* If particles can be torn into as many pieces as we like, does that tell us that they are not… real? How can something be broken into parts by the human brain if the human brain cannot… break something into parts? 😉

Author: skakos

Spiros Kakos is a thinker located in Greece. He has been Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. In the past he has worked as a senior technical advisor for many years. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community. He has also worked as a phD researcher in the Advanced Materials sector related to the PCB industry. He likes reading and writting, not only philosophy but also in general. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans... Credo quia absurdum!

2 thoughts on “Sentient machines. Thinking in wholes. The impossibility of AI.”

  1. Tobias Ljungström – I write about things i like, enjoy and find interesting. Conveniently enough this includes almost every single thing on the planet.
    Tobias Ljungström says:

    A very interesting topic. Technology and philosophy are irrevocably linked nowadays it seems.

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