If you asked a dog whether Humans were conscious, would he say yes? I think probably not.  When a dog is asked whether a Human is "conscious", he might mention things like:

  • Human seem to be somewhat aware of their surroundings, but they are not conscious beings really. 
  • They seem to be up and awake so often, but spend almost all their time blankly staring into objects in their hands or on table tops, or randomly moving objects around in the den.
  • They have very little understanding about the importance of the pack, hierarchy, safety in numbers, etc.
  • They have nearly no understanding of the most important dangers in life. Like strange smells and sounds, or uniformed strangers approaching the den.

In this same way many (perhaps most?) AI experts might never agree that LLMs or AGI systems have achieved "consciousness"? As, "consciousness" is just a word used to describe how a specific being thinks, observes, prioritizes and takes action in the world, be it Human, other animals, AI, etc.

"Consciousness" operates so differently in different types of beings.  Depending on the being's ability to truly expand their understanding about intelligence, awareness, and perception, they may never truly agree on the consciousness of other types of beings or entities, beyond their own?

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I tried asking a dog whether a Human is conscious and he continued to lick at my feet. He didn't mention much of anything on topic. Maybe I just picked a boring, unopinionated dog.

I asked Chatgpt-3.5 if humans are conscious and it said in part: 'Yes, humans are considered conscious beings. Consciousness is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, and there is ongoing debate among scientists, philosophers, and scholars about its nature and the mechanisms that give rise to it. However, in general terms, consciousness refers to the state of being aware of one's thoughts, feelings, sensations, and the external world."

I tried asking a dog whether a Human is conscious and he continued to lick at my feet. He didn't mention much of anything on topic. Maybe I just picked a boring, unopinionated dog.


Yes, this is a common issue as the phrases for "human consciousness" and "lick my feet please" in dog sound very similar. Though, recent advancements in Human animal communications should soon be able to help you with this conversation?



https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-scientists-are-using-ai... (read more)

Gesild Muka


With their sharper senses I'd imagine that dogs experience the world in a much richer way than humans. Then, depending on your definition, you could say it makes dogs more 'conscious'. This opens the door for many other animals with bigger brains and more complex sensory organs than humans. Are they also more conscious?

Yes, agreed. Given the vast variety of intelligence, social interaction, and sensory perception among many animals (e.g. dogs, octopi, birds, mantis shrimp, elephants, whales, etc.), consciousness could be seen as a spectrum with entities possessing varying degrees of it. But, it could also be viewed as a much more multi-dimensional concept, including dimensions for self-awareness and multi-sensory perception, as well as dimensions for:

  • social awareness
  • problem-solving and adaptability
  • metacognition
  • emotional depth and variety
  • temporal awareness
  • imagination and
... (read more)
1Gesild Muka
I mostly agree with the last part of your post about some experts never agreeing whether others (animal, artificial, etc) are conscious or not. A possible solution would be to come up with new language or nomenclature to describe the different possible spectrums and different dimensions they fall under. So many disagreements regarding this topic seem to derive from different parties having different definitions for AGI or ASI.
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Would your thoughts on this issue be different if the question "Is X conscious?" turns out to be malformed malformed due to the way it collapses consciousness to a binary?

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