Showing posts from December, 2022

The Cartesian Theater of AI

The Cartesian Theater was an intuition pump proposed by philosopher Daniel Dennett to describe a false theory of consciousness. Inside the mind is a stage watched by a humunculus that observes what passes on the stage, hears the sounds, and controls the rest of the mind by responding to the action of what the smaller version of the self sees. Of course, what makes the smaller self conscious? It is an infinite regression. Our understanding of mind is that there is no such theater. There is no one place in the mind that is the locality of consciousness. I want to offer another thought experiment based on the concept of a Cartesian Theater. Imagine a theater containing a screen with a camera pointing at it, and a speaker with a microphone directed toward the speaker. The camera is pointing at the screen. The mic is pointing at the speaker. However, instead of there being an infinite loop due to a direct connection between the camera and screen, insert an AI in the loop. The imag