New Civilization News: Sentience    
 Sentience
picture13 May 2003 @ 14:08, by Christopher Puccini

Several years ago, projections based on then current computing industry growth rate indicated that computers would soon approach the eight terabyte (8 trillion byte) storage capacity of the human brain. There are now computers that possess this capacity but at that time, it got me to consider what attribute might enable man’s creation to qualify as sentient. Having been raised Catholic, the concept of free will came to mind as the quality in which we were ” created in the image and likeness of our creator”. So I started with a flow chart of free will, in attempt to understand the underlying algorithm. The backbone of that flow chart looked something like this:
[Diagram was aparently not formated in way that could be viewed as an embeded image.]

Next I had to develop a fractal pattern generating equation that would enable the unit cell of this flow chart to dynamically self propagate. The result was a model that, when initial values were assigned to the variables, exhibited the potential to develop the diversity of wills displayed in the general populace.

A colleague commented that computers would not be on par with man until they possessed the capacity to experience pleasure. Desire for pleasure is, after all, the engine that drives free will.

A response to this line of reasoning might be that computers will never rise to the stature of man because we are more than mechanisms, we are spiritual entities. I acknowledge the spiritual perspective to existence. The documentation of near death experiences, remote viewing etc. provide irrefutable evidence that the mind of an individual continues to function when the brain waves have “flat-lined”, however the brain, itself is none the less the organic computer whose soft ware provides the model of reality presented during our normal daily experience. That being the case, if man were to construct the appropriate architecture would a spiritual entity in the market for that sort of real estate take up residence?


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