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About Human Consciousness and AI

Take from Kant's View of the Mind and Consciousness of Self

Feiou Su


Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), well known philosopher, he argued that empirical knowledge, which is knowledge we collected by our input senses, and a priori knowledge, which is truth-by-definition knowledge are not totally separated as what philosophers before him used to think. He made his point that there were some empirical knowledge, also called synthesis judgement, which can also be a priori knowledge, called transcendental judgement. This thought was totally new to those people back then who lived with Dualism, and it was called epistemology.


According to Kant’s idea, knowledge can be developed by experience, and experiences come from all kind of physical input organs like our eyes, noses and ears, which breaks Descartes’s Dualism of our consciousness and physical body separating totally. In my perspective, I prefer Kant’s theory. The body and the mind must be linked somewhere, or I don’t even believe we have consciousness or mind.

Firstly we all can agree that we have brains and brains control our body due to many researches we had. The problem is what is controlling our brains? Are there any life force like spirit behind our brains? I don’t think so. Like Kant said, our knowledge is based on experience from our sensory organs, what we know keeps on growing as we keep on experiencing. And I think this process of building is what we have and it’s what we only have in our brain, everything else, emotions, attitudes, creative thinking and moral come from this.

I see the growing process from an unconscious baby to a normal person as a coding process. We get what we saw, heard, tasted and experienced as information and protocols that we use in our coding process, and our DNAs contain the code that starts this process. It is similar to deep learning process now used on computers, only with better hardware—our biological super computer called brain—and root code—our DNAs. And this is not just for human beings, this process applies universally to every creatures, it comes out of different results is because different root code and less powerful brain.

Plus, maybe this is how we are going to make artificial intelligence. Imitating how we learn things as kids, create code that not telling computers what to do, but telling them how to learn. As I knew, some people were already doing this on driverless driving and accomplished to be much more efficient as traditional coding methods. Someday, when we have more powerful computer developed, we can create consciousness or mind out of thin air.

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