Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Contribution:

Minds, souls and Turing machines  
Carles Salazar (Universitat de Lleida)

Contribution short abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to explore ways in which anthropology can contribute to the analysis of AI through what we might call the subjectification of Turing machines: the human capacity of humans to turn Turing machines into subjects and/or the capacity of Turing machines to be subjects.

Contribution long abstract:

Since the inception of modern computer science, a persistent inquiry has revolved around the potential for computers to attain consciousness. Alan Turing introduced the renowned 'imitation game' or Turing test in 1950, explicitly aiming to unveil the hypothetical subjective nature of a computer. However, only in recent years—perhaps even recent months—have the astonishing advancements in AI, particularly in LLM, thrust the issue of 'consciousness' or 'subjectivity' of computers into the spotlight once again. The crux of the matter posed by these innovative developments is twofold: firstly, can AI machines achieve consciousness? Secondly, how can we discern it? The challenge we face is to explore avenues through which anthropology can contribute to this discourse, which, thus far, has predominantly engaged philosophers, computer scientists, and cognitive scientists. I propose five possible lines of discussion:

1. Roger Penrose’s theory of consciousness, positing that Turing machines inherently lack the capacity for consciousness.

2. Giulio Tononi’s IIT of consciousness, which delineates the physical conditions fostering the emergence of qualia in information-processing devices.

3. Anthropological theories of animism/anthropomorphism, which investigate the circumstances under which subjectivity is ascribed to non-human entities.

4. Structuralist theory of mind and meaning, as developed by Lévi-Strauss, elucidating binary oppositions as the genesis of meaning, intentionality, and human subjectivity.

Roundtable RT032
Artificial intelligence: the Oppenheimer moment?
  Session 1 Thursday 25 July, 2024, -