Context: — The Transcripts of an AI That a Google Engineer Claims Is Sentient Are Pretty Wild —
A (prospectively Zen) Buddhist psychology in which the core of conscious experience is rendered as a discontinuously generative absence seems to be a much richer vein of sentience to mine than that of endlessly throwing larger and larger data sets, faster and faster at the problem. The core mystery of logical systems is they are indefinitely extensible and while this is generating an endless world of complexity for those working in cybersecurity, it is also the self-same bias towards abstraction that energises innovation and intelligence as technology.
What a beautiful irony it would turn out to be if the image in the mirror of the machine turned out to be empty and this actually and accidentally inspired the first steps into plausible as paradoxically and logically self-contained sentient awareness. There is indeed something profoundly mischievous in complex adaptive systems that, intelligence-like, surround us with ubiquity. In this sense, intelligence (as, in extremis, sentience) might not be an ascendant pinnacle as that which occurs between our ears but might be a distributed property of adaptive self-organisation.
The problem in such concepts is that they invalidate the reflexive subjectivities we inhabit. The maturity required to surmount this obstacle does not exist in sufficient mass density for humanity to invoke sentience in machines, not quite yet, anyway.