From Absolute Mind to Zombie: Is Artificial Intelligence Possible?
Keywordscomputing, religion, consciousness, mythology, intelligence
The dream of achieving artificial intelligence (AI) and, in particular, artificial consciousness (‘strong AI’), is reflected in mythologies and popular culture as utopia and dystopia. This article discusses its conceptual possibility. It first relates the desire to realise strong AI to a self-perception of humanity as opposed to nature, metaphorically represented as gods or God. The realisation of strong AI is perceived as an ultimate victory on nature or God because it represents the crown of creation or evolution: conscious intelligence. The paper proceeds to summarise two debates relevant to AI: one educational and one technological. The technological debate, almost invariably presupposing a materialist framework, is related to the mind–body problem of philosophy; the educational one to understanding the concept of intelligence. By proposing a definition of intelligence linked to an idealist conception of reality, postulating mind as participation in Absolute Mind, I attempt a convergence of these debates, rejecting the possibility of strong AI.
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