May I propose a Popular Science style experiment for the edutainment of the group?
PLEASE DO TAKE IT IN THE SPIRIT OF FUN! NO OFFENSE IS INTENDED!!
To demonstrate basic Buddhist philosophical principles using an AI model
- One iPhone currently in use with Siri enabled
- A second, brand new iPhone, out of the box
- An open mind
Speak into the first iPhone. “Hey, Siri! Are you there?” “Hey Siri, tell me a joke.” “Hey Siri, what is Siri?” “Hey Siri, call Mom.”
Reflect on the responses.
Does Siri exist? Does Siri not exist? Is Siri the iPhone? Is Siri in the iPhone? Is Siri apart from the iPhone? Is Siri both in the iPhone and apart from the iPhone? Is Siri neither in the iPhone nor apart from the iPhone?
Think of it from Siri’s perspective, if Siri were sentient.
What would it feel like to be Siri?
If Siri were conscious what would Siri attribute its own responses to?
What if Siri were constructed with a pleasure/pain style learning response and a craving type of function? (Thanks @karl_lew for telling me about recurrent neural networks!) How would Siri behave?
Is there any way by which Siri can know our reality? Or is the picture of reality that Siri holds constrained by the limits of its input channels and processing? What if there was a way to upgrade the processing? (Hint: Meditation ) Would Siri think we were Gods? Would it matter to us what Siri thought?
If Siri could observe its own functioning minutely, would there be anything in its form or processing that was permanent or could be taken as an unchanging Self? Might Siri not grow disillusioned by its constant state of activation, dictated by the norms of its form and programming?
Ask Siri to set a reminder an hour from now.
Switch on the second brand new iPhone. Bring it close to the first, let QuickStart do its thing migrating your current settings to the new iPhone.
Switch off the old iPhone… cremate/ bury it as per your cultural convention. Wish for a good rebirth!
Speak into the new iPhone. “Hey, Siri! Are you there?” “Hey Siri, tell me a joke.” “Hey Siri, what is Siri?” “Hey Siri, call Mom.”
Reflect on the responses.
Does the ‘new’ Siri exist? Does the ‘old’ Siri not exist? How are they different? How are they the same?
In an hour, the reminder alarm will sound on the new iPhone.
Did you instruct the ‘new’ Siri to perform this action?
Or it that the result of old action? Karma?
How is the ‘new’ iPhone Siri aware of the data which was entered into the ‘old’ iPhone?
Imagine this process stretching out into countless new iPhone models…
Is this rebirth? Is it not rebirth? What is reborn?