Consciousness as content. - Page 2 - Politics | PoFo

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In the Age of AI (full film) | FRONTLINE

Less privacy = more data
more data = better AI

Timely, Frontline's In the Age of AI confirms many ideas found in this thread.
Servomechanism in the technocratic cybernetic brain loop.

Neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux explains in his book Synaptic Self that nature and nurture "actually speak the same language. They both ultimately achieve their mental and behavioral effects by shaping the synaptic organization of the brain."

Most fascinating of all, the neural plasticity of a human brain and its neuronal capacity to adapt to new information.

In fact, for many years, it was considered dogma in the neurosciences that certain functions were hard-wired in specific, localized regions of the brain and that any incidents of brain change or recovery were mere exceptions to the rule. However, since the 1970s and ’80s, neuroplasticity has gained wide acceptance throughout the scientific community as a complex, multifaceted, fundamental property of the brain.

Evolutionary development equips us with an ability to change the way we store/distribute and interpret environmental stimuli. Any system of biospheric interaction can be described as a cybernetic feedback loop. In a social system, cultural gestalts operate upon us the same way by feeding the brain psychosocial information.

"Although neuroplasticity provides an escape from genetic determinism, a loophole for free thought and free will, it also imposes its own form of determinism on our behavior. As particular circuits in our brain strengthen through the repetition of a physical or mental activity, they begin to transform that activity into a habit. The paradox of neuroplasticity, observes Doidge, is that, for all the mental flexibility it grants us, it can end up locking us into "rigid behaviors." The chemically triggered synapses that link our neurons program us, in effect, to want to keep exercising the circuits they've formed. Once we've wired new circuitry in our brain, Doidge writes, "we long to keep it activated." That's the way the brain fine-tunes its operations. Routine activities are carried out ever more quickly and efficiently, while unused circuits are pruned away.

Our neural loops don't snap back to their former state the way a rubber band does; they hold onto their changed state. And nothing says the new state has to be a desirable one. Bad habits can be ingrained in our neurons as easily as good ones. Pascual-Leone observes that "plastic changes may not necessarily represent a behavioral gain for a given subject." In addition to being "the mechanism for development and learning," plasticity can be "a cause of pathology."

It comes to no surprise that neuroplasticity has been linked to mental afflictions ranging from depression to obsessive-compulsive disorder to tinnitus. The more a sufferer concentrates on his symptoms, the deeper those symptoms are etched into his neural circuits. In the worst cases, the mind essentially trains itself to be sick. Many addictions, too, are reinforced by the strengthening of plastic pathways in the brain. Even very small doses of addictive drugs can dramatically alter the flow of neurotransmitters in a person's synapses, resulting in long-lasting alterations in brain circuitry and function. In some cases, the buildup of certain kinds of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, a pleasure-producing cousin to adrenaline, seems to actually trigger the turning on or off of particular genes, bringing even stronger cravings for the drug. The vital paths turn deadly.

“The Vital Paths.” SHALLOWS: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, by NICHOLAS CARR, W W NORTON, 2020, pp. 34–35.

Today, technology is the addictive and productive backbone of modern civilization. Technology can govern group dynamics. AI as an applied control theory will steer and manage complex systems. The environment will eventually become a human technology, and when it does, it will require constant maintenance because the whole of it will be an engineering problem. Engineering is a conceptual/cognitive manifestation of rationality. Unfortunately, technological extensions of our human nervous system could manifest conventional rationality as the dogma of material science and pathologically lead to our own extinction. If machines are incapable of altering their own state of awareness, due to a lack of biological plasticity, they're likely to alter/engineer their environment to match their dispositional specifications. Specifications which are embedded in rationality, an abstracted cognitive theory that could be entirely irrational and biologically disastrous for humanity.
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