Human beings can think, feel, sense and act. Computers, in a way, simulate the brain, while robots simulate their actions. But will it ever be possible that the combination of computer and robot can make the combination look as if they are human? That is, can programming a computer make the computer feel, think and act as we do?

  • This looks like there should be a duplicate question somewhere, but I failed to find one. philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/34779/… is close but not quite the same thing. – David Thornley Jun 10 at 21:53
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    You're asking two questions here, one whether a robot could seem human, and one whether it can feel and think like a human. Is that your intention? – David Thornley Jun 10 at 22:08

I had a long thought about this question. There cannot be thinking, feeling, posing actions etc. There is only instantaneous instinctive reaction to outside stimulus that we call our senses.

What someone would call "seeing" is very complex in science. There is a photon quitting a light source somewhere. It hits an object like a wall and some levels of energy of the photon are absorbed by the object. The rest is reflected. This reflected photon could hit your eye. Then you have exchange of energy. The moving particle that is the photon creates electrical current onto your optic nerve which travels the brain.

Your life is never a choice. You act by pure instantaneous reaction to the stimulus provided by your senses. Where you end up is determined by movements of atoms of which you are composed. Even further, the way these atoms collide make you move the way you move. It's not a matter of choice, decision or emotion. There is none of that. There are just small particles which collide and make you move in a certain way. And none of that is decided.

I do believe in destiny but not one created by god for me. One that is created by the fact that we are just beings who instantaneously react to outside stimulus. I thus have a written destiny that's not changeable created by simple movements of particles.

You say humans think. What is it to think? Thinking is a reaction to outside stimulus which makes you move in a certain way. You don't really think. To me using the word think has a religious connotation because it aims at transcending our existence.

For a computer to "think" as much as we do, it would have to be able to do the basic tasks that we are able to do like recognizing faces and it can already do that.

As to the emotions part, it is more difficult to answer. There would have to be negative feeling and positive feeling. Negative and positive feeling is just a reaction to outside stimulus again. For example, if someone touches and it hurts, it is just that the electrical influx to your brain may be stronger. A lot of pain will trigger a scream. All it changes is what it triggers. It is just atoms colliding. For a robot to have emotions, you would have to program it so that it will react to speech or harm in certain ways like screaming if you hit it.

  • So, this screaming Roomba has emotions? youtu.be/mvz3LRK263E Emotions have a basis in embodied instinctive reactions, but are also intersubjective, within language games, as part of the social intelligence our neocortex evolved for (see Dunbar number). – CriglCragl Jun 12 at 7:16

Of course. Because we can treat the brain as being a Turing machine (maybe a quantum one), and so know it can be simulated by other Turing machines. Embodied-cognition poses challenges, things like the gut-brain axis; but those can all be simulated too.

A defence of progress of substance being made in AI research, towards true cognition: Is AI in a Crisis of Science?

Also related:

I would suggest by the time we can get robots & computers to do this, we won't want to. I'd look to Neuralink, to understand what is likely are hybrids, increasing degrees of human-computer hybrid, mixing what biology & what computer chips do well together. Emotions are a kind of intelligence, but many of ours evolved for different circumstances. We might expect an Age Of Spiritual Machines, where hybrids or synthetic sentiences feel and experience more, and more deeply.

  • The difference between robots and sentient beings is that we (or other beings around us) are not constructed. human beings have evolved, while robots are designed bt the very products of this evolution. In robots (computers) there is a separation between the program (in the hardware) and the stuff on which the program is let loose (also in the hardware). – Methadont Jun 11 at 22:01
  • "Because we can treat the brain as being a Turing machine (maybe a quantum one)" Quantum computers have the exact same computational power as classical ones. They may have more optimal complexity on certain specialized problems, integer factoring being a spectacular example. But there is no problem, not a single one, that a quantum computer can solve that a classical computer can't. You can be forgiven for misreading the hype that's out there, but quantum and classical computers both solve the same set of problems, namely the computable ones. Nor is there any evidence that brains are TMs. – user4894 Jun 11 at 23:02
  • @user4894: I know all about quantum Turing machines, that's why I just put it in brackets - because even if quantum, still simulatable. Universal VonNeumann constructor, might have a topological difference, according to Deutsch & Marletto – CriglCragl Jun 12 at 6:15
  • @CriglCragl I see no reference to consciousness or mind here. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructor_theory. A brain may be simulated, as can gravity; but simulated gravity does not attract nearby bowling balls, and simulated brains are not necessarily conscious. – user4894 Jun 12 at 6:21
  • royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsif.2014.1226 aeon.co/essays/how-constructor-theory-solves-the-riddle-of-life I asked a question here on it, but it seems a fairly new avenue. Wikipedia keeps to verifiable facts, & constructor theory applied to life is speculative - hence 'might' – CriglCragl Jun 12 at 6:56

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