"Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response.”
"Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism, the way you play it is free will."
In our rapidly accelerating times, humans become more machine-like, and sentient machines become more human-like. Before long, it might look like a typical generation gap problem, our AGIs, our "mind children", would grow up and develop features that we could find increasingly difficult to understand and control. Like all conservative parents, we might be puzzled and frightened by processes that appear completely alien to us. We would be intermittently nostalgic about the good old times, aggressive in our attempts to contain our "children" but at the same time proud of their phenomenal advance. Eventually, some of us may retire under their care, while blaming them for destroying our old-fashioned world. And only those of us who are the bravest and youngest at heart will join the next generation of life by becoming part of superintelligent posthumanity.
Your choice does matter! Although some neuroscientists contend that free will is an illusion, I would respectfully disagree by saying that free will may be slightly overrated but still indispensable for consciousness to function in our "physical world". In fact, free will and consciousness are inseparable. Free will, just like intentionality, is an integral feature of consciousness, "conscious choice" made by mind with the guidance of the larger consciousness system and our collective will in the space of all logically available probabilities (more on that in my book “The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution”).
All realities are observer-dependent. As John Wheeler, one of the brightest minds of the 20th century puts it, we live in a "participatory universe". Rephrasing Descartes’ famous principle, “I think therefore I am,” Quantum Physics would instead state, “I choose therefore I am.” In our computational Quantum Multiverse, an infinitely large number of alternate timelines and versions of you are mathematically possible, but your mind actualizes, "choses to observe" only a certain probabilistic outcome in this "multi-player virtual reality" of Tom Campbell, or "participatory universe" of John Wheeler. "Star Trek holodeck" analogy would also work just fine in that regard. Be mindful of your conscious choices - every time you play a violent video game or watch a violent movie, or overfocus on negative news or mundane negativity, every time you pay attention to negative news or hate propaganda or fear-mongering populism, you inadvertently skew your probable futures toward a less pleasant timeline, by default. Your linguistic choices, your beliefs and biases shape your subjective reality in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to evolve your consciousness and to transcend yourself...
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Tags: self-transcendence, transcendence, neuroscience, collective intelligence, sentience, self-awareness, strong AI, human psychology, human motivation, artificial intelligence, Mildred Barthel, John Wheeler, Tom Campbell, Quantum Multiverse, Syntellect Hypothesis, Quantum Mechanics, Star Trek, conscious experience, superintelligence, singularity, mind uploading, postbiological superintelligence, posthuman superintelligence, Syntellect emergence, technological singularity, dimensionality, multiversal fractality, conscious agent, human evolution, human condition, multiverse landscape, AI assistant, transcendent other, AGI, artificial general intelligence, transhumanism, participatory universe, experiential realism, philosophy of mind, science of mind, evolution of consciousness, phenomenology, posthumanism, transcendentalism, neo-transcendentalism
*Image Credit: Ecstadelic Media, Shutterstock
About the Author:
Alex Vikoulov is a neo-transcendentalist, cosmist, singularitarian, evolutionary extrapolist, digital philosopher, futurist, founder of Ecstadelic Media, painter and media artist, author of "The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution". Graduated from Armstrong University, Berkeley, CA. Lives in Burlingame, California (San Francisco Bay Area).