Wednesday, 15 March 2017


Thinker and inventor of predictive texting, the auto-complete feature (that’s quite different from psychography or automatic writing) Ben Medlock, writing for Æon magazine, poses the question of whether the singularity can transpire so long as artificial intelligence is something disembodied. I wonder if we need physical extensions and limitations to achieve self-awareness.
I guess this is another way to approach the floating man conjecture of Avicenna that suggests that without being able to confirm the fact that we have a body, sensibly, we might not naturally assume that there’s any distinction between internal and external.  Our living and mortal structures are of course a veritable Ship of Theseus, dynamic and continuously in need of upkeep and refurbishment and that to me suggests that intelligence also needs a way to sense time—through aging, with some going so far as theorising that the spark of consciousness arises out of awareness that the intellect and its support-systems is liable to being drug down by the same rules of entropy that causes everything’s consummation. I wonder if the immortal and the incorruptible have, experience intelligence in the same way. Is it a question of kind or degrees? Maybe the gap is always growing narrower but will always be there. Of course we can give a robot any sort of body that we chose but that casing, input/output device is something different than a feeling, corporeal form.