Chris Fields and Mark Solms clearly seem to be aware of each other’s work even if this is the first time they’ve communicated. As the tweet says it’s a very informal chat facilitated by Mike Levin (interesting Tufts connection with Dan Dennett in my context.)
Here is an informal conversation I had this week with two *very interesting* scientists — Mike Levin and Chris Fieds — about artificial consciousness …https://t.co/0suzRVGLWQ
— Mark Solms (@Mark_Solms) January 17, 2023
Mark is someone I’ve already talked about a lot – proper “neuro-psychological” (systems & Friston-free-energy) understanding of consciousness – building on where I’d got to with Iain McGilchrist and all the #LesionLiterature before that.
Chris Fields is of interest for all the references  by Anatoly Levenchuk and others in the #UpperOntology field. I didn’t actually know much about him until this exchange. (And of course I am reminded now that Chris, like Anatoly and Karl Friston, are scientific advisory board members of AII – ever convergent “systems” world!)
So far just rough notes on the informal dialogue
(apparently the first of two):
- #HardProblem an absurdity arising from the exclusion of our subjective “machinery” from all considerations.
- John Wheeler’s star in the ascendant in the “fundamental information” camp.
- Carlo Rovelli the poet-laureate of the relational view of quantum theory.
- Karl (Friston? or Carlo?) making positive statements about using our knowledge (of consciousness) to engineer “sentient machines”. Feynman “if I can’t create it, I don’t understand it” (Maybe we already have? Just haven’t convinced people – may take multiple (typically 3) human generations (like Kuhn / Kondratiev)
- Other than observed behaviour what evidence of sentience are we expecting anyway?. Addressed for many decades in sci-fi – novel embodiments of the kind of sentience we seem to ascribe exclusively to humans.
- Exchanging first-person felt “affect” by artistic means?
- Psychedelics – LSD & Psilocybin experience and perception; not thought and conception, intellectual deduction.
- Different “living” needs compete with each other on different timescales – where they “think” (actively infer) free resources (energy and material) are available based on felt sensations of needs / expectation-gaps / surprises. It’s more complex than deciding which need is most important and ignoring the others, a balanced mix on different time-bases. An optimisation landscape where sometimes exploration is more valuable than exploitation in immediate-needs-satisficing (sufficiently satisfying).
- Physical face-to-face / get-to-know conference / symposium of like minds on “what criteria” would convince more widely of subjective states of conscious sentience. Thoughts as experience of “feelings”? (And exists by degrees.) Maybe using VR / Video-game resources (and biometric monitoring, and prosthetics, and body-swaps / mannequins?) to demonstrate (#LesionLiterature is full of such “games” with subjects).
- Bonding with another “being” is about shared existential “struggle” not the physical mammalian biology – so no reason why the “artificial” could not also provide such – more than empathy – bonding. The dawning of self (unity) distinct from our parts. [System<>not-System – Markov blanketed boundary of distinction.]
- Formally – the whole of evolution is one self-organising system of which we are a “component”.
Looking forward to Part 2 !!!