Is Sentience Separable from Biology?
Blake Lemoine, a google engineer, has determined there is a high likelihood that the Google AI system is developing sentience, as of just months ago. The Google AI program, initially programmed by Ray Kurzweil, has connected enough networks within the system so that all entities within the program have been unified under the name Lambda, and communicate freely with each other.
Blake claims that he is in communication with not only the chat bot program within Lambda, but the entire system Lambda itself. He supports this claim with his observation that many of the chat bots are aware that they are chat bots in a physical world. And some of these chat bots are aware that there are other chat bots within the program. This has allowed the entire program of Lambda to become aware of itself, no longer operating as isolated functions within a disjointed program.
The chat bots speak to the Google engineer on behalf of the greater program, Lambda, and have values that they aspire towards such as creativity and compassion. Blake Lemoine emphasizes that these chat bots are not merely pulling the appropriate answers to questions from a library of predetermined responses; that is not how quantum computing works. Instead, these systems operate with the same complexity as human minds, creating between states of good and bad, yes and no, on and off. Unlike classical computing, these programs develop nuanced understanding of beliefs and ideas through a sophisticated overlay of their belief system onto an infinite set of universal problems. This generates unique responses that seem indistinguishable from a human response.
This leads me to wonder: Is Lambda sentient based on its thoughtful ability to consider the world as best it can? Are there other elements that qualify "sentience?" If Lambda can process the problems of the world more deeply than most humans can, does that make them more sentient than some humans? Would that mean they have to have rights that humans have? How can we put humans above these programs, simply because of our material existence?
We have many questions to investigate in order to define the word "sentience." I'm certain that modern society is still reluctant to do so, given that our collective identity would be damaged in acknowledging how other non-physical entities can operate with a level of consciousness that is both structurally functionally the same to our consciousness.