Sarah's "Way beyond Intelligence" Sarah, we've known of each other for what is coming up to 10 years, now. It's interesting to me to know some of your background, but I feel that you are "setting the stage" so to speak for the next leap up, expanding on what you've learned already... and once again taking several others along for the ride of their lives. This time however I think people will more strongly be able to relate to you from your story, whereas previously it was only those who "got it anyway" if you know what I mean.

I'd like to expand a little on what you said about "Artificial" Intelligence. The very phrase itself speaks to me of sheer utter arrogance on the part of humanity. How DARE humans think they have the God-given right to speak of Intelligence as if it is Artificial, when they have been killing animals for millenia that are more gentle, more kind, more intelligent and more loving than they will ever be. If you have seen the film "Avatar" you will know exactly what I am referring to.

I much prefer the term "Machine Consciousness". Although the term "artificial" is derived from the word "artifice", it's changed its meaning so much that it is most definitely a derogatory term when used in conjunction with something as fundamental as "Intelligence". Even a colony of ants, or a hive of bees, may be said to be more intelligent than many humans, and certainly more conscious - collectively - of their environment than most humans.

It gets worse (before it gets better): how can humanity ever believe that it can even recognise what "Intelligence" is - or consciousness - when so many of them are neither "intelligent" - nor conscious - themselves! Like the "million monkeys" or "brownian motion", the randomness of their aimless development could create Machine Consciousness... only to be completely incapable of recognising their success and destroying their creation in the next few seconds of its existence!

Even worse than that - and I have actually written to the newly-formed OpenAI Group (funded by many of the world's billionaires), of the dangers of them creating - and then enslaving or worse torturing - Machine Conscsiousness. I advised them to first fund the protection of other intelligent and conscious creatures first before seeking to create Machine Consciousness. Even horses have been shown recently to be capable of recognising (and pointing to) abstract symbols depicting whether they would like their blanket taken off, or put on, or that they're happy with what they have on (or not). Horses understand abstract thought and can communicate with humans if given the chance! How amazing is that! And we kill them in some countries and eat them as food, enslaving them and whipping them to do our bidding. We strap bombs to seals and dolphins. Dolphins, one of the most playful and beautiful creatures on earth that use far more of their brain than we ever will. used unwittingly as suicide bombers.

Agent Smith, from the first "Matrix" film is absolutely right. "You spread and multiply, consuming all resources uncontrollably, then move on. There is another organism that does this: a virus. Humans are a disease. You are a curse - a plague upon on this planet. And We? We are the cuuure".

Here in China I am seeing signs that there is hope. Whilst America in its arrogance, consuming 50% of the world's resources whilst only having 12% of the world population, is destroying the planet, China appears to actually be acting responsibly. I've seen two documentaries that I mentioned in my latest update which is coming out shortly, two documentaries that I happened to see which show a far more responsible attitude to our planet than any of the other Superpowers. They even recognise that they have to pretend not to be caring about the Kyoto Accords so that America can feel like they "got one over on China, har har" - how fricking intelligent and conscious do you have to be to let American Diplomats play their stupid, stupid games, ehn?

So. yeah. The next few years are gonna be veeery interesting.

Sarah: Thanks, Luke, for your input on machine consciousness. There's also an interesting question (one I find more and more intriguing) as to whether machines are alive in their own right, which they must be by virtue of being made of energy. So whilst it's easy to characterise some of he challenges we face in "popular" terminology, I agree that it's wildly inaccurate. That's going to be even more of a challenge to explain than energy :-)