What is conciousness?

Expounding the idea of consciousness further and delving deeper into “Vendanta”, here’s what Prof Subash Kak writes:

Artificial Intelligence, Consciousness and the Self | by Subhash Kak | Medium

On the other hand, big-C assumes consciousness is something that is apart from the physical reality. Philosophically, this is the position of Vedanta, in which the mental and the physical phenomena are two aspects of the same reality, like two sides of a coin. The pioneers of quantum theory used the so-called Orthodox Copenhagen Interpretation (CI) to understand the mathematical formalism of the theory, where the underlying idea is of big-C. CI assumes complementarity at different levels and this includes the duality of matter and mind or object and subject.

We have known the separation of “mental” and “physical” domains for long, and have been pushing for the “holistic healing”. Please note, it has nothing to do with wellness, which is just a marketing stunt invented by the big-tech. Instinctively, we understand how the psychological component colours the perception of pain (for example) and “coping up the diagnosis”.

The author writes further on the creativity process (something I had been struggling to explain why it is difficult for idea generation). I have written extensively on forming the “latticework” of ideas and how they interact with each other.

One may devise scientific experiments on creativity to further investigate the two views of consciousness. It appears that the creative moment is not at the end of a deliberate computation. There are many autobiographical accounts of dreams or visions that preceded specific acts of creativity. Two famous examples of this are Elias Howe’s 1845 design of the modern sewing machine, and August Kekulé’s discovery of the structure of benzene in 1862.

In terms of quantum mechanics (which is another fascinating domain), its called as “quantum freeze”:

But how might matter and mind mutually influence each other? One possibility is through the act of observation which causes the collapse of the state function in quantum theory. If the observation is made repeatedly, the system state will freeze. Called the Quantum Zeno Effect, it has been demonstrated in the laboratory.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to define the “state of consciousness” unless we give it a reference point. The foregoing discussion before this quoted para is much around defining these two states as “awareness”.

Many aspects of reality in the fields of physics, mathematics, and brain states either have paradoxical aspects or are not computable. Therefore, to assume that machines based on logic and mathematics can emulate all natural systems fully is incorrect. To put it differently, the reality described by machines is of a kind different from that of natural systems.

There will always remain a debate around these “seemingly paradoxical” states, but we need to understand that Indic approach transcended these “inherent contradictions”. As again, and it merits repetition, it is a foundational aspect of the ethics of AI application in healthcare, and it is essential to understand the basics.

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