The Hard Problem: Can Machine Consciousness be Created?

Proceedings of The 8th International Conference on Social sciences Humanities and Education

Year: 2023



The Hard Problem: Can Machine Consciousness be Created?

Prof. Dr. Aydan Turanli



One of the “hard problems” in philosophy of mind is the subject of qualia. Discussions of the strong and the weak artificial intelligence usually revolve around the non-existence of qualia in artificial intelligence. The Mary’s Room and What it is like to be a bat? Arguments are useful thought experiments, presented by Frank Cameron Jackson and Thomas Nagel to show that qualia are one of the distinctive features of human consciousness. Although these are not allinclusive, qualia are associated with the content of phenomenal or subjective perceptual experiences like seeing colors, feeling pains, having emotions like hate, love, or disgust seeing dreams, having illusory sense-experiences and being in a certain mood like being bored, depressed or cheerful. Philosophers of mind, who defend the weak AI like John Searle thinks that the internal relation between behavior and intrinsic intentionality is necessary to explain what consciousness is and intrinsic intentionality does not exist in machines. The defender of the strong AI Daniel Dennett, on the other hand, asserts that it is unnecessary to question the existence of qualia in machines or silicon chips; in case, they fulfill the function they are aimed to. Since efforts to create machine consciousness in robots and AI are on the way, it is important to discuss the question whether it is enough to define qualia in computational terms.

keywords: Consciousness, qualia,AI, John Searle, Daniel Dennett