Author Topic: Synesthesia  (Read 196 times)

Offline Cavebear

Re: Synesthesia
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2017, 04:12:51 AM »
AI won't have synesthesia, it will have PhotoShop ;-)

An AI wouldn't have synthesia.  It would have all sensesprogrammed at once and others we don't have like mantism detection, ifrared, radio, and ultraviolet..  No sensory confusion.  Just more.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline trdsf (OP)

Re: Synesthesia
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2017, 12:34:23 PM »
An AI wouldn't have synthesia.  It would have all sensesprogrammed at once and others we don't have like mantism detection, ifrared, radio, and ultraviolet..  No sensory confusion.  Just more.
I wonder if giving an AI senses that we don't have might change it into a sentience we can't fully communicate with anymore.

The unspoken assumption, of course, when discussing AI is that we're talking about an artificial human-like intelligence.  It's entirely possible that if we add to the standard senses, an AI won't have the language necessary to communicate the additional data.  I'm generally not much on philosophy, but Wittgenstein had a point when he said "If a lion could talk, we couldn't understand him" because of the lack of a shared frame of reference between ourselves and the lion.

We can relate to radio, UV and IR sensitivity by extension -- some people are even able to perceive the near-UV (in the 300-400nm range) due to a condition called aphakia, the loss of the lens.  Often, new lenses are more UV-permittive than the natural lens is, so it's not uncommon after cataract surgery to be able to see in the near-UV.

But to what would one relate being sensitive to, say, magnetic fields?  For the AI, it would be the problem of explaining color to someone who's been blind from birth.  We can get a thorough mathematical understanding of magnetic flux, permeability, field strength and direction, but that gets us no closer to understanding what it's like to directly perceive magnetism.  We don't even have a verb for it, as we do for our existing senses.  We see light, hear sounds, feel things, smell and taste chemical compounds (two different ways of perceiving one input), and we... don't have a word for magnetism.  We have to borrow words, put them in air quotes to indicate we know we're straying from their accepted meanings.

And this does relate back to the original post.  For me, shades of gray are inherent in numbers.  I never have to stop and remind myself that zero is neutral gray, it just is.  It's an inherent property as far as my brain is concerned, every bit as much as a cloudless daytime sky is blue (we shan't get into the question of whether you and I perceive the same blue or not -- suffice to say we could each run a spectrographic analysis and come up with sufficiently similar results).

But that doesn't get you any closer to actually experiencing what I or any other synesthete does with whatever triggers our perceptions.  We don't really have the language for it, and even less the shared experience.
"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning." -- Calvin and Hobbes
"I thought I committed regicide today, but I committed deicide!" -- Sadie Doyle, Beyond Belief

Offline Cavebear

Re: Synesthesia
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2017, 02:26:10 PM »
I wonder if giving an AI senses that we don't have might change it into a sentience we can't fully communicate with anymore.

The unspoken assumption, of course, when discussing AI is that we're talking about an artificial human-like intelligence.  It's entirely possible that if we add to the standard senses, an AI won't have the language necessary to communicate the additional data.  I'm generally not much on philosophy, but Wittgenstein had a point when he said "If a lion could talk, we couldn't understand him" because of the lack of a shared frame of reference between ourselves and the lion.

We can relate to radio, UV and IR sensitivity by extension -- some people are even able to perceive the near-UV (in the 300-400nm range) due to a condition called aphakia, the loss of the lens.  Often, new lenses are more UV-permittive than the natural lens is, so it's not uncommon after cataract surgery to be able to see in the near-UV.

But to what would one relate being sensitive to, say, magnetic fields?  For the AI, it would be the problem of explaining color to someone who's been blind from birth.  We can get a thorough mathematical understanding of magnetic flux, permeability, field strength and direction, but that gets us no closer to understanding what it's like to directly perceive magnetism.  We don't even have a verb for it, as we do for our existing senses.  We see light, hear sounds, feel things, smell and taste chemical compounds (two different ways of perceiving one input), and we... don't have a word for magnetism.  We have to borrow words, put them in air quotes to indicate we know we're straying from their accepted meanings.

And this does relate back to the original post.  For me, shades of gray are inherent in numbers.  I never have to stop and remind myself that zero is neutral gray, it just is.  It's an inherent property as far as my brain is concerned, every bit as much as a cloudless daytime sky is blue (we shan't get into the question of whether you and I perceive the same blue or not -- suffice to say we could each run a spectrographic analysis and come up with sufficiently similar results).

But that doesn't get you any closer to actually experiencing what I or any other synesthete does with whatever triggers our perceptions.  We don't really have the language for it, and even less the shared experience.

I sure typoed THAT post to hell and gone, didn't I!  Wow.  Sorry.  Sometimes I get thinking faster than my fingers can work.  Sometimes I leave off contractions.  You can imagine the difference in a sentence with "would" vs wouldn't"! 

But yes, beware what you create.  I've read suggestions that the universe is filled with post-organic sentient machines of our/their own making.  I don't go with that ENTIRELY but the possibility is there.

Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!