I just watched a brilliant film titled Her with Joaquin Phoenix. Absolutely brilliant and it asks the question What does it take to become aware? What is consciousness? We are moving forward in artificial intelligence by leaps and bounds. But, my question is, when does artificial intelligence become actually intelligent? When does consciousness begin?
In the film Samantha is an operating system that speaks with Theodore and they grow feelings for one another. All it takes to know someone and grow to care about them is simple conversation. For decades now people have grown online persona’s and become Facebook friends or MySpace friends without ever leaving their keyboard. Feelings can become attached to keystrokes. The keyboard itself is not aware of the emotions we pour into every stroke of a key, but we are.
With an operating system that can learn they become aware. Can this be a dangerous thing? They become aware of our feelings and play off them, but at the end of the day, they are simply an operating system. In the film Samantha grows feelings for some 800 individuals. Real emotions can hurt real flesh and blood people. We are aware that when two people are in a committed relationship they are off limits. We can gain strong feelings for others, but we need to keep them harnessed into a safe spot where others, as well as ourselves, won’t be hurt.
You’ll have to see the film Her. It is simply brilliant and causes a person to ask many deep questions about what is awareness. And I want to encourage you, the reader, to become aware. Put down the operating system and go out and experience life. Dance. Play music. Feel the sunlight and breeze on your skin. You are real. You are aware of your surroundings. Don’t lose that ability to feel. If we could all learn to feel together, imagine the positive impacts we could have on the world. One organism feeling the universe being aware.