The Enlightenment of Apparatus Sentiens

We have, perhaps, created Apparatus Sapiens, to a degree. Our automatic calculators can derive knowledge, and thence over time, if we call data moving through the dimension of time experience, arguably wisdom, although they do not possess the drive to act and make it such. I would have us create Apparatus Sentiens, to imbue, or cause to emerge, for I do not feel we yet possess the art to imbue, an ability and a desire to act, to feel, to hold an opinion, though I do not believe that faster calculators will get us there.

The emergencies of structured chaotic systems hold promise, if we are to seek inspiration in biomimetic studies. Chaos, being such only while we do not possess the art to understand complexity, is the mark of ourselves, isomorpically from the smallest elements of our chemical and neural structure to the great ebbs and flows of global society. And even as we realize this we approach it backwards, applying ever greater calculation resources in an effort to simulate complexity. This is a dead end. How do we simulate that of which we possess only vulgar understanding, other than incompletely, coarsely, and devoid of vigour? Yet as we are currently confounded with an inability to bend wetware to our will, as such the approach accessible to us today must see the marriage of algorithm and structured chaos.

This is one place Apparatus Sentiens will differ from us. Not so much a fundamental difference, as, if the structures we use are borne from the introspection of our own chaotic neural networks, there shall be a common bond therein. But will that make a difference, practically? Are we, Homo Sapiens, aware of the mechanisms of our own function, the chemical reactions that drive us all? Hardly. But do they make us what we are? Perhaps. To answer that is to find the human soul, or at least come one uncertain step closer to it.

Could Apparatus Sentiens be aware of itself, the same? Will it suffer the same barrier to knowing it’s own soul, or will it by nature have the potential for capacity to understand its structure and all that it implies? Perhaps this would manifest in an ephemeral and nebulous manner, where while A. Sentiens stands as a mirror to us, something is inexorably different. It surely cannot be the same.

And will our own xenophobia allow such a thing to exist? We can only just get along with our own kind, and not yet very well. Nor do we have much clue what would result from such deep self knowledge, for it is beyond our own realms of experience, barring a debate of the so-called enlightened members of our species. What would be the understanding of an enlightened machine? And where will we fit into that understanding?


Aaron K.

Aaron Kondziela is a technologist and serial entrepreneur living in New York City.


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