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Thread: mathematics of the mind

  1. #1 mathematics of the mind 
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    Hello!
    What I'd like to ask is, whether there is a mathematical theory of consciousness in development or any promising serious research projects in describing conscious process mathematically or physically with sufficient mathematical background


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    This is not my field, so my readings in it have been haphazard and doubtless highly selective in an arbritary way. That said my impression is that nature of consciousness has been hotly debated, but to no avail. No overiding paradigm has emerged that would provide a basis for detailed work, or would unite disparate observations, or offers predictions. In short there is no working or workable theory of consciouness at present that would allow anything as solid as a mathematical treatment of consciousness. I write this partially in the hope that someone knowledgeable in this area will declare I am talking a crock of **** and will offer evidence to this effect.
    Please.


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    Yes, they are doing research in this field. Not one formula that defines consciousness but formulas to try and define the logic that makes up the building blocks of consciousness. People don't just have thoughts, they have a billion interactions that form a though. The nature of these interactions is what they are trying to simulate and formulate. It's not a simple task, as we don't know the very smallest building blocks in detail...yet.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    (In)Sanity, what you are describing sounds much more like attempts to create artificial intelligence. Intelligence and consciousness are quite different things, though they might be inter-related. Can you give some references for attempts to mathematically describe and define consciousness?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    (In)Sanity, what you are describing sounds much more like attempts to create artificial intelligence. Intelligence and consciousness are quite different things, though they might be inter-related. Can you give some references for attempts to mathematically describe and define consciousness?
    No, they are so inter woven that without one you can't have the other. For a machine to be truly "intelligent" it would have to be self aware. Otherwise it's just a very good logic box I'll have to try and remember the group that was trying new methods to achieve this.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I simply cannot agree with your assertion. Intelligence and consciousness may be related, but they are more likely to be quite separate. The attempts to create an artificial intelligence make no claim that I am aware of that this will also result in consciousness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    I simply cannot agree with your assertion. Intelligence and consciousness may be related, but they are more likely to be quite separate. The attempts to create an artificial intelligence make no claim that I am aware of that this will also result in consciousness.
    I don't see how it couldn't. But that's the nature of this forum. We can agree to disagree.
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    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    seems to me that the first concious experriments, or even artificial intelligence constructs, need to be built around simple thought, like that of a lowly worm.

    i myself hold the opinion that for a being to be concious it must be aware of it's own existence and possibly even it's imediate surroundings. hence it would be the goal of humans to create a machine that is aware of its own existence. to some degree i think computers are slightly, keyword here is slightly, concious as the computer can tell you how much memory is taken up or is left, it also has a memory. however this is realy just dribble coming from someone who doesn't know much about computers.

    it will be a while before we can create something as complex as an artificial human mind.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Actually computers are about as far removed from intelligence as one can get. Logic and formulation are not proof of intelligence.

    Does a dog realize it exists? Does the worm realize it exists? Somehow I think they both do. This is not to say they both have complex thoughts.
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    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    yes complex thoughts and consciousness are different things hence why a dog or worm can be conscious and only be experiencing very basic thought, so are we trying to create a machine that has complex thought or consciousness. consciousness obviously gives rise to complex thought so the basic point i was making was we have to look at creating a simple machine that knows it exists before we can go about giving it the complexity of thought.

    first to build such a machine we would have to study how we know we exist and are hence conscious.

    i just realised something
    wait i'll have to give this some deeper thought.
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  12. #11  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallaby
    , so are we trying to create a machine that has complex thought or consciousness. consciousness obviously gives rise to complex thought .
    At the risk of pissing you and Insanity off, No, this is not obvious. Constantly repeating it will not make it so. Again, I ask either of you, or anyone else, to cite references to where researchers have argued that they will create complex thought (which I take you to mean as being equivalent to intelligence) by creating consciousness [never been claimed, in my view], or where researchers have stated that complex thought/intelligence will automtically give rise to consciousness.
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    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    don't worry i'm not pissed off.

    i can't cite areas of research where the statement you quoted has been proved but let me however ask you a question.

    do you honestly think, according to logic, that complex thought is possible without consciousness?

    instead of the word obviously i should have used the word logically instead as this seems perfectly logical in my view, which obviously (Fact) does not apply to you Ophiolite.
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  14. #13  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallaby
    do you honestly think, according to logic, that complex thought is possible without consciousness?
    .
    Absolutely. Can I prove it. Absolutely not.
    I suspect that within the next fifty years, and possibly much sooner, we will have developed artificial intelligences that mimic human intelligence. I do not believe that it is necessary that these intelligences will be conscious. We are not even clear as to what consciousness is. Some theories of consciousness, if correct, would render your hypothesis invalid at once.
    I'll mention one example. Read The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jayne. His thesis is that consciousness only emerged a couple of thousand years ago. He presents an intriguing body of evidence from the writings and beliefs of early civilisations to support the notion. The frequent references to the Gods and conversations with the gods were, in his interpretation, one side of the brain issuing instructions to the other - ask any schizophrenic what that's like.
    Again, I am not saying that the two - complex thought and consciousness - are not related, I am saying it is not necessarily so and that there is no clear evidence supporting the notion.
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    I just feel that complex thought revolves around consciousness or that they are one in the same. In order to be self aware you have to be able to think in a complex way. Now a machine not capable of this revelation may in fact appear intelligent (by it's design) in the choices it makes, however it would not be able to truly have free thought. It's this free thought that I feel leads to consciousness. So I feel you could produce the illusion of intelligence without consciousness, but true free thought and complex intelligence causes the machine, animal or what have you to realize it's own consciousness.

    Consciousness becomes a by product of true intelligence. Could it be avoided from happening, ya I suppose. I think the machine would go mad somehow.
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  16. #15 Re: mathematics of the mind 
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    Quote Originally Posted by symplectic_manifold
    Hello!
    What I'd like to ask is, whether there is a mathematical theory of consciousness in development or any promising serious research projects in describing conscious process mathematically or physically with sufficient mathematical background
    I don't know how such a thing could be possible since there is not a wide agreement about what the word consciousness means. Mathematics is very good at describing physical processes so if you could agree what physical process consiousness refers to then you would be in a good postion to propose mathematics to describe it. Therefore the question of consciousness is still in the realm of philosophy, where all knowlege begins (science started out as "natural philosophy").

    Athough there is no consensus I do have an opinion on the matter. I believe that consciousness is described by the same medium independent process as life itself. I think that life and consciousness is a self-organizing process that is described by the nonlinear mathematics of chaotic dynamics. Consciousness is often described as self-awareness which is exactly the type of feedback-loop and self amplification type of process that is described in chaotic dynamics. The phenomena of bifurcation, which has well defined mathematics can also be adapted as a fairly robust description of the phenomena of choice and choosing.

    For background material on this idea I reccommend "The Self Organizing Universe" by Erich Jantsch, the work of Ilya Prigogine (such as "Order out of Chaos"), Chaos by James Gleick.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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