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Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences ​do you remember the taste of the last orange wait do you remember the warmth without welcoming cup of tea that you had when you came in from the cold November rain do you remember the smell of the hair of the first love that you kissed well I'd like you to try and hold on to these sensations because I'm going to combat them but first I'd like to try and take you on a little journey to the farthest reaches of science fiction robotics and artificial intelligence when we talk about artificial intelligence what we basically mean is the science and engineering the China engineered machines to do things that we might say is clever and if we position the birth of the subject with Alan Turing's first attempts to draft a program to play chess in 1948 then the subjects almost seventy years old and I've been working in it for 35 years that's over half its life and over that time I've seen fashions and fads come and go scene hype hit the press and show you the way but nothing has been like the excitement around AI that is crescendoing now and that excitements there for a reason in 2015 the Financial Network company tungsten cooperation chose to invest 1.5 million with me at Gulf this to launch a new center to use artificial intelligence to do financial data analytics the sort of thing that Tesco's do and when you're buying all these cards to see what you might want to to buy next last year Google invested over 400 million in the young London startup called deep mind and they did that for a reason they wanted to get their hands on the very latest they are neural network technology that deep mind were developing this year in 2015 Daimler tested a driverless lorry on a motorway now you just sit and reflect about that for a minute a driverless lorry on a motor and think about the potential that has to disrupt a hell of a lot of people's lives think for a second how many people are involved in transport and their living from transport black cab drivers uber drivers mini cab drivers delivery people and now we're having cars and lorries that drive themselves well it's in this context that in 2013 the European Union elected to invest over 1.35 billion you a billion dollars with Honore Markram to fund his human brain project now the idea with the human brain project is that these guys would get together and women would get together to develop a computational infrastructure to support the development of first a rodent brain and then within the 10-year funding period a full computational simulation of a human brain through this new in silico neuroscience there will be nothing we cannot measure no aspect of the model we cannot manipulate there will be no question we cannot ask well this is just some advertising blurb from the human brain project but it they're basically saying in this little video that if they're successful there will be no question about the brain that we can't answer with a computational simulation and that's kind of weird are these people really saying that when they're finished they'll have a computer that will really feel that will really have emotions that will have beliefs that will taste that orange that will enjoy that warmth of the cup of tea and that will experience the first love that they will build a machine that's genuinely conscious well some believe that machine consciousness is here already indeed in 2002 professor Kevin Warwick at the University of Reading led a team of cyber nutritions and robot ears to develop a fleet of small mobile robots that he called the Seven Dwarfs these were simple cybernetic learning robots now these robots had two little robot eyes on the front pointment ma later at the front there these are ultrasonic eyes that tell the robot the distance to the nearest object on its left in the nearest object on its right and these robots have a small cybernetic brain this is a small neural network we call them these are simple computational simulations of a small slice of neural or brain tissue a mini robot brain if you like and the output from this mural network is used by keV to control these robots limb their little wheels and the strange thing is you could put one of these robots in its corral being sort of circular space with its chums when you turn them on these robots know nothing they don't know how to interpret the data from their little robot eyes the distances they're getting to the nearest object they don't know how to interpret that data about their environment to enable them to move their wheels and move around without bumping into things but one of the mysteries and magics about neural networks is if you watch them before if just a few minutes these robots learn to coordinate the data from their distant sensors with their wheels and actually move around without bumping into things the size of these robot brains these little neural networks was roughly the same size as a simple animal like a sea slug and so Kevin Warwick once said to me that it's purely raw human bias that stopping widespread acceptance of my seven dwarf robots as being as conscious as a slope because their brain sizes are roughly the same and they're learning for themselves to do interesting things to walk around without bumping into things and I said you really saying to me that you think these machines are conscious they're there's something it is like to be one of these robots as it explores its Corral and Kevin said yes I I think that's it say you zoom around their little Corral they're these little robots reduces a experiencing zooming this they've got this feeling of zoom as they whizzing around their Corral so I

thought for a minute so looking at these robots moving around out there imagine if I'm gonna pick one of your robots out of its Corral and I'm gonna put a little data recorder between the two robot eyes which is giving the robotic the distances the newest objects on the left and right and I'm going to record that data as it comes into the little robot sprang put the robot carefully these machines have already learned to whistle and it doors on its way zooming around experiencing zoom Eunice so I said to Kevin do you think it's still if I don't anything to stop it experiencing that sensation and kind of says now this is that robot is still experiencing zooming this what it's like to be a little cybernetic robot so I grabbed the robot again and being an evil nasty Robo surgeon I carefully snip the connections between the robot's eye and its brain and I then replay it 10 seconds of the data I captured as the robot was a zooming around the corral on its own so the robots now getting information pumped into its brain for her that was recorded and I said to Kevin what do you think's happening now and Kevin said well nothing is exactly the same the robots imagining or dreaming if you like it's still zooming around it's kind of it's corral it's still experiencing zoo meanness nothing has changed but I found this kind of problematic but to understand why it's a little problematic I've got to take you down to the very very very foundations of computing and introduced to you a machine with a very weird title called a finite state automata now these machines are at the heart of all computing every computer that you use is a finite state automata all real computers are finite state automata so let's have a look at them now perhaps you've seen an automaton yourself on on TV or perhaps at a museum or on the video there's an example of one called Nancy Nancy was a complex 19th century stage automata that seemed too so if you I don't know you can see on the video but she's got a needle and some cloth and she's actually sewing and when these devices were exhibited 100 200 years ago they caused great shock people were genuinely freaked out by these lifelike or Thomasson going through everyday activity Oh in 1950 the English polymath Alan Turing published some work that gives the mathematical foundations for what's going on when we look at devices like Nancy the automaton he described a machine called a discrete stanked machine but I'm going to talk to you about now I now call that cheering's discrete state machine because that was the first time I read about it in his work our cheering's discrete state machine please don't switch off yet because he's really easy peasy it's like a clock with an hour hand and this clock on every tick of the clock the hour hand will go from the 12 o'clock position to the eight o'clock to the four o'clock to the 12 o'clock to the eight o'clock to the four hop to the twelve o'clock to the eight o'clock to the four o'clock you get the idea now cheering realize that characterized the behavior of this device computationally he said let's imagine that when the machine hand is at the 12 o'clock position I'm gonna call up being in computational state 8 when it's in the 8 o'clock position I'm going to say it's in computational state P and when it's in the floor o'clock position computational state C now to describe what's going on we just give it a couple of simple if statements I think you might guess what they are if the machines in computational state a at the next clock tick it goes to B and if the machines in computational state B and the next clock ticket goes to computational state C if the machines in computational state C and the next clocks tick it goes back to computer computational state C now cheering also imagined that we could get these devices to do things to control things like Nancy the automatons so just imagine that whenever the clock the tunes discrete state machines in computational state a a light is made to come on perhaps when it's in computational state B a hooter might sound if you have a lot more computational states than three you might sequence in that way a whole list of calm flex actions in that way you can program a list of complex actions to unfold over time now recall I said that finite state automata discrete state machines lie at the heart of all computing but before you want to throw away your shiny new powerful laptop and replace it with a toothed discrete state machine reflect that is discrete state machine without any input it's actually a pretty boring device all this thing can do is go through the states ABC ABC ABC you'd have a job playing quake or doom or a flight simulator on that device for cheering a kind of gain this a bit he imagined having some input to his device and he imagined what he was thinking mechanically thought I'll have imagined having a great big mechanical break that can come on if the machines in computational state a and the brakes on the next clock tick guess what happens it stays in computational say hey if the machines in computation otherwise it goes to computational state B if it's in computational state B at the next clock tick it will stay in B and if the breaks off it will go to see if the machines in computational state C and the breaks on it will stay and C otherwise it will go back to a now this mirror addition of an input has transformed the computational power of this device from a simple system that could only go through and unchanging sequence of state transitions ABC ABC with input it becomes sensitive to its input and it transpires that the number of possible state sequences that Turing's machine can generate with input where I was combinatorial with time and basically what that means is after a very short period of time the number of different state sequences it can generate exceeds the number of atoms in the known universe now what's perhaps not quite so obvious is that we can simulate the behavior of any discrete state machine with any other discrete state machine let's take one that you're all filming familiar with a modern cars digital Marlo meter to simulate cheering screech state

machine without input with a Maya lammeter all we need to do is to set it so that when the manometer is in state one when there's one mile on the clock we say that this Chili's machines in state hang when there's two miles on the clock we say it's in state B when there's three miles on the clock we say it's in state C and there's four miles on the clock with so it's back in state aid when that's five it's in billion when the sixth it's in state C so over any short time period we can replicate the behavior the different state transitions of chewings discrete state machine with any other ones such as a digital micrometer but because when we added input the number of possible state sequences grew exponentially we can't easily do the same thing when you have a machine with input but then I realized that if we know the input to one of these machines just like we knew the input to one of Kevin warrants robots when I played back the data at the center to it if I know the input to one of these machines a combinatorial state structure collapses again just to a simple list of state transitions imagine cheering's machine that's in if i know that the brakes on for the first clock ticking off thereafter and i know it starts in stay hey I know it's gonna go a a b c a b c know that i can predict it i can predict what it's going to do it's just a simple list of state transitions and that means i can replicate the behavior of that with a maya lammeter I just have to say when the mission monitors reading one it's in a when it's reading two is also in a this time when it's reading three goes to be when it's written before it goes to C and there are replicated the behavior of turns discrete state machine with input with the cars Maya lammeter now in 1988 the influential American philosopher Hilary Putnam published a paper in which he showed that under the influence of gravitational waves and cosmic rays the subatomic particles that make up all the objects of our world your seat the seat is sitting on the very clothes you're wearing the room that were in they're all containing a rich dance of subatomic particles a dance that never repeats itself and putting them realized that this is analogous to a state machine going through an infinite series of non repeating states it's kind of analogous to a lot you can't see these slides that coming up very weird today but this is kind of analogous to the behavior of these lotto balls you'll see them dancing around in the pattern that never repeats so if we can think that the particles in this room are going through a series of states that never repeat that's the equivalent to saying water systems that goes through an infinite number of non repeating States so it then seems to me that if a computer Terminator perhaps is conscious purely as a result of moving through series of computational state transitions then if I know the input to that machine with input fixed I can generate exactly the same series of state transitions with any large counter like the cars milometer or following Hilary putnams move with any open physical system so if a machine is conscious merely as a result of following some computation then consciousness is everywhere in the bricks of this building the clothes that you're wearing the very seat you're sitting on they are all experiencing the zing of that orange the warmth of that cup of tea and the memory of your first love's kiss if machine consciousness is possible everything even the smallest grain of sand is filled with an infinitude of conscious experiences Marist Brothers.