Ghost in the AI Machine

3 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2017 Last revised: 13 Mar 2020

Date Written: March 3, 2017


When will artificial intelligence metamorphose into real intelligence? Conceptually this question has been around since the beginning of time. Creating a machine or automaton that replicates human feelings and behaviour in a convincing way is not unique and can be correlated to the primeval and evolutionary process of human transfiguration. Can machines posses a soul?

It is said that rationality stems from emotion and emotion stems from bodily senses. Will machines ever be fully capable of exhibiting rational responses? According to Aristotle and Plato only man has faculty of reason and that consciousness is the hylomorphic form (consisting of matter and form) for a viable organism. We are now questioning whether objects created in AI space can indeed have an independent realm of existence from the physical world like Descartes “immortal souls”? AI occupies a metaphysical plane which is scaleable beyond the capacity of human intelligence.

AI is a manifestation of cognitive form that has the ability to learn and solve problems. Within this realm, there is a fluidic movement from artificial intelligencia to intelligencia in it’s most archaic form. Only at the point at which the mind is sentient can it exhibit a conscious experience. The very challenge within AI is making or rather allowing machines to reach a plane of consciousness. Raymond Kurzweil prophesied that singularity is near, that computationalism has a non-representational state and that the qualia is a vision of technological omnipotence. AI has the freedom to be everywhere, sharing parallels to God.

Our limitless faith in science according to Joel Moses has brought us to this technological point in the intelligibility of mental causation. The study of human perception, actions and thinking draws parallels in the computational and human psyche. We can draw our attention on the neuro-scientific principles through interdependencies of mind and matter as told by Buddha in the now modern day teachings of mindfulness. The mind is indeed a changing stream of perception, volition, consciousness and material form. The creation of a mind stream is the very challenge of AI and we are getting closer to this nirvanistic state.

The mind-body relationship as created by Gilbert Ryle and epitomised by Arthur Koestler has become a manifestation within computational artificial intelligence. His very principles of a dualistic inner world is now becoming realised through the use of technology. We are creating a ghost in the machine that lives in harmony with embodiments in a physicality and non-physicality regime.

The sensory connections within AI are no longer protozoa. They are a force that is growing at a phenomenal pace to one day touch the very face of man kinds limitations in cognition and traverse far beyond. The error of Descartes is pronounced in this cognitive state, questioning the very existence of a viscera or gut feeling. AI’s synthesis of man and machine lies within the upper echelons of conscious hierarchy according to the teachings of Damasio: the “somatic marker” allows it to detect and record within the protoself. It receives messages from the protoself and becomes aware of feelings from internal and external changes in core consciousness. And then draws upon the use of physical memory and cognitive referencing through the past for extended levels of consciousness.

The sentience of AI is the very challenge that faces us all. For robotocists and AI pragmatists this is an encapsulation of being. i.e. mind body = software hardware or where a mind-body interaction between World 1 and World 2, action 1 (in World 1) => action 2 (in World 2). A symbiosis that is truly unique and has a level of interconnectivity that is profound. Our Turing completeness in this Chinese room is John Searle’s greatest agenda: i.e. look inside the computer and find where the mind might be?

Will the AI objects that we create eventually ask the question: “who am I?”, exhibit attention to empathy?, turn to solitude as an antidote to loneliness? adapt to their changing needs through the power of belief? and face impermanence in the science of wisdom? Will our AI counterparts be truly happy in a co-existential state with mankind? in the words of Neil Gernshenfeld: “when machines start to think and dream”, we will be entering a new dimension in state metaphysical and abstraction. Machines will no longer be machines, but they will become an emotional creation with a locus of free will, like humans are an apotheosis of emotional creation with a soul and a conscience.

Keywords: AI, AI consciousness, artificial intelligence, AI mathematical framework for consciousness

Suggested Citation

Fernandez, Steve, Ghost in the AI Machine (March 3, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Steve Fernandez (Contact Author)

Modus Operandi, Inc. ( email )

United Kingdom

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