"Why the sense of falling make us feel uncomfortable? We have been falling for quite a while. (...) We better transform the sense of loss and trouble with our critical and creative capacity and start to build colorful parachutes. Stop thinking of space as a confined place, and look at it as the cosmos where we can plummet in colorful parachutes. "
"From where the idea of parachutes came from? It comes from the place where visions and dreams are possible. Another place that we can inhabit besides this hard land: the place of the dream."
"The type of zombie humanity which we are being asked to integrate does not tolerate so much pleasure, so much enjoyment of life. So they preach the end of the world as a possibility to make us give up our own dreams"
Ailton Krenak, 2020 ("Ideas to postpone the end of the world," Companhia das Letras, excerpts translated by Elen Nas)
Consciouness, Time and Alternate Realities
Elen's Brainstorms - September 2021
Robots started to be trained on the basic aspect of consciousness: be aware of their own existence.
Artificial Intelligence started to be trained to dream, that is, to 'imagine' alternate scenarios in order to gain 'phenomenological' experience and be more prepared to make decisions.
Since the decisions of an AI can impact many lives, from healthcare to law enforcement or autonomous vehicles, investigations to discover possible patterns of consciousness are on demand.
The core of the philosophical discussion separates the dualistic vision (mind-body division) from the monistic, which includes idealists and materialists among other bifurcations.
Idealists can question reality itself advocating that we create reality from the perspectives we are either trained to see, what sounds plausible, or what we want to see.
Materialists seek to explain consciousness by the already known scientific parameters, from biochemistry to any other measure (supposed that could be also algorithmic).
For the research I am proposing, a physicalist perspective (which is also a materialist and monist) is closer because to look for patterns through EEG supported by other measures - analogical and digital - is to seek knowledge of physical aspects that are as complex as consciousness itself.
Because of that, a physicalist perspective is also nourished by the idealist and vice versa.
Let's take, for instance, the idea of time.
Consciousness is a multilayer of sounds, images, memories and they are constantly evoking different times: now, a minute ago, hours ago, hours in the future, days and years in the past, perspectives of the future. Imagination, subconscious, unconscious, phantasies, intuitions, instinct reflections.
We live many lives each second. At the concept, I started to develop, the Bioethics of Nonpresence, I mention the interesting distinction between Act and Potency as taught by Aristotle.
Alternate realities are present in every moment as a potentiality in every breath and step we take.
We can so believe that simulated realities such as AI are expressions of potentialities. What has been already imagined and, in consequence, incorporated into our desires.