Artificial Intelligence (AI) we have now. Artificial Consciousness (AC) we will have soon. Yes, Consciousness will become a science…

Novels, movies and techies often depict monster Artificial Intelligence, taking the world over. This is unlikely. Instead what we observe is a small oligarchy using AI to take over the world. A confusion has arisen between AI and what I call AC, Artificial Consciousness. Often AI is presented as if it had AC. AI can mimic AC 

The confusion arose from no less than Turing. Turing in his 1950 paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” opens with the words: “I propose to consider the question, ‘Can machines think?‘” Because “thinking” is difficult to define, Turing chooses to “replace the question by another, which is closely related to it and is expressed in relatively unambiguous words.” Turing describes the new form of the problem as a three-person game called the “imitation game”, in which an interrogator asks questions of a man and a woman in another room in order to determine the correct sex of the two players. Turing’s new question is: “Are there imaginable digital computers which would do well in the imitation game?” Turing believed this could be answered: he argued against what he viewed as  all the major objections to the proposition that “machines can think“.

Turing was wrong. His error comes from the fact that he forgot about consciousness (scientifically impossible to define at the time)… and speech is digital, discrete, even finite… and the biological support of speech, humans, can be easily out-computed by a classical supercomputer, enumerating any finite list, like a Q&A session. Simply because the classical supercomputer can write more sentences than a human, and anticipate all human sentences. The fact that a machine can write down more numbers than a human doesn’t prove that it “thinks”. To say that thinking reduces to doing more in the matter of long lists, is as intelligent as saying a bulldozer thinks because it can build a bigger road.

Exit Turing.

AI, as presently engineered, is made of programs, sets of sequences of openings of gates and closing of channels carrying electrons. Intelligence literally means reading between the lines: a machine can do that. In practice all this classical machinery is hard to anticipate. Yet, in theory, AI is simple and predictable, it will not get up one day and decide to take over the world.


Artificial Consciousness (AC) will be neither simple nor predictable, and could certainly do that, because it will have a soul (so to speak)

What is AC?  Consciousness is known to occur, but its physical nature is unknown. However it will involve what we should call SUB Quantum Mechanics, the mechanics of Quantum Entanglement (QE). We know this, because Quantum Entanglement, being all over the place at once, has started to explain otherwise completely mysterious phenomena, such as photosynthesis, or birds seeing the Earth’s magnetic field (without little compasses, and or magnetized substances in their heads… and humans can do it too!)

Moreover consciousness has a lot in common with the Quantum, in its general behavior (such as the fact that it cannot be shared).

Quantum Computers harness QE. We have some, with a few “Qubits”. The (distant) aim is to have Quantum Computers with billions, or even thousands of trillions of Qubits…. As we, conscious animals, may already have. At this point my prediction is that we will have created Artificial Consciousness. AC, like normal consciousness, will be unpredictable, but even much more so, because it will not have been finely honed by more than half a billion years of social evolution.

Scary? Yes. But there is no alternative.

Or, rather, there is one alternative, the disintegration of civilization [1].

Artificial Intelligence should be distinguished from Artificial Consciousness. Turing confused them both with “thinking”. Well the most important question for the survival of civilization is: “what is thinking?” 

Patrice Ayme


[1] In Dune a revolt of intelligence machines have turned humanity against them, and it has learned to do without them. Well, that’s unlikely. A merger and acquisition is more likely…

We appreciate the beauty. Today’s AI does not. Nor could it ever appreciate it, as long as it is only a bunch of canals (for electrons) mechanically, classical-mechanically, opening and closing with not fundamentally more intelligence than an avalanche going down a mountain, AI would make no sense beyond that.
What is it, when we have a feeling, an e-motion? We perceive a whole, beyond just a point of input… Exactly what the Quantum does, which computes with the integrated whole (before the wave packet collapses!)  (San Francisco skyline, lower left; 10/29/2021 picture…)



  1. D'Ambiallet Says:

    Roll over Turing? I was skeptical but I read carefully. So you’re saying the Turing test can be easily passed by a classical supercomputer, which obviously can’t think? That’s the idea?


  2. Hammad Syed Says:

    Hammad Syed
    Thinking is a illness and while we think, our soul is in prison and as soon as we let go of all thoughts, our soul gets free, our soul knows it all, get to know it, see it, your life will change


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Hammad Syed: Thanks for the fascinating contribution… Is wisdom free of thought? What religion is that? How can one be free, see and know without thought? Do rocks have it all?


  3. Adam David Welch Says:

    Adam David Welch
    The ability to combine simple thoughts created from sensations into complex thoughts (Locke, Essay on Human Understanding Part II). Issue is just processing power


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Are you saying that Locke said thinking was just from quantity? Is the soul just processing power? Is a planet going around a sun “processing power”? Classical computers have processing power, not consciousness… AI not AC…


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