In many ways, the human brain is known to assimilate and process information like a computer. Yet, even with our best technological designs, the computer still does not develop the same sense of consciousness as the mind of man. It cannot perceive beauty or generate moral judgments or come up with the kind of rationalizations known in any child. This concept of consciousness is essentially the difference between man and machine.
Because machines can only follow directions, they are not able to be self-aware. However, if artificial intelligence is to reach the levels of consciousness man is attempting to create, it must be asked what enables the human ‘machine’ to reach consciousness. The answer to this question might exist in the fact that the human brain is naturally self-organizing (Kak, 2005). A man’s brain responds to the independent nature of interactions that take place between itself and its environment. Computers can’t do this. Yet this is not necessarily considered a higher function because many types of simple ‘animals’ and all plant life can respond to their environment but are not aware of themselves. Thus, while self-organization is a building block of consciousness, it isn’t the source. One indication of artificial intelligence is the ability to solve a problem that requires generalization, but biological intelligence includes progression. To define progression, it is helpful to think of animals whose functions often depend on customary behaviors. “In cognitive tasks of the kind normally associated with human intelligence, animals may perform well. Thus rats might find their way through a maze, or dolphins may solve logical problems or problems involving some kind of generalization” (Kak, 2005). It can thus be argued that many animals possess at least a degree of human-like intelligence.
There are two major areas where ...
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