samedi, octobre 12, 2013

Andrew Basden: Artificial Intelligence

Professor Andrew Basden takes a brief look at the debate over artificial intelligence, basing his observations on Herman Dooyeweerd's ground-motives, ie:

Hellenistic: Matter v Form
Medieval: Nature v Grace [Basden: "Nature v Supernature"]
Humanistic: Nature v Freedom
Biblical: Creation, Fall, Redemption [Basden: "Meaning"]


Andrew Basden mentions Dooyeweerd's "aspects", and in particular the "analytical" aspect. In the chart above, this aspect is located just below the middle of the yellow column.

Red column A shows the aspects in which (or to which) the human is subject (ie all).
Brown column B illustrates to which aspects the (sensory) animal is subject.
Green column C,  to which aspects the (organic) plant is subject.
Purple D, to which aspects non-living (mineral) matter is subject.

It will be noted that while animals, plants, and minerals function as "subjects" in the foregoing designated aspects, they function only as "objects" in the remaining analytical and post-analytical aspects. A computer (artificial intelligence) would seem to be qualified in this chart's terminology as "mineral". And even if we consider entirely plausible the development of organic, sentient, "androids" (or Bladerunner-type "replicants"), such consciousness would seem still to function in the analytical aspect as "object" rather than "subject".

The notion that "consciousness" is just a matter of physical "wiring" is problematically reductionist. It is important to appreciate that in Dooyeweerd's view no aspect can be reduced to (or derived from) any other (this resistance reflects what he calls the "sphere-sovereignty" of each aspect). To attempt to reduce all aspects to, for instance, the logical aspect (ie "logicism"), or the physical aspect ("materialism"), reflects a mis-description of reality which must impede balanced human progress.

The stumbling-block for all of us who are products of a (default) humanistic education and media is to escape the preconception (the idée fixe) that consciousness is an "emergent-property" of matter (we are entirely products of time plus chance). For Dooyeweerd, you and I as human, as image of God, transcend time in our deepest self, but act "into" time via our temporal bodies. We are not simply machinery.

Visit Andrew Basden's extensive "The Dooyeweerd Pages" site HERE