Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The recreation of consciousness: Artificial intelligence and human individuation
by Loghry, John Brendan, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2013, 253; 3605083
Abstract (Summary)

Starting from Edward Edinger's portrayal of Jung's process of individuation as the creation of consciousness, this dissertation asks in what ways the creation of artificial intelligence (AI) can be seen as the recreation of consciousness, and specifically whether the AI's maturation from nonconsciousness to something equivalent to consciousness will have an analogous effect on humanity's development out of unconsciousness toward a greater state of cognitive freedom. Taking a functional perspective, this dissertation asks whether B. F. Skinner's metaphor of the human psyche as a black box, normally seen as expressing the belief that humans are mechanistic and determined, is in fact an attempt to insulate the most intimate of human experiences (the soul) from the intrusive gaze of the scientific mindset. Juxtaposing this black box metaphor with two other metaphors—that of the box that holds Schrodinger's cat and that of Pandora's box—this dissertation asks whether the presence of an entirely constructed entity that displays all the signs of soul will cause the artificially intelligent entity to act as a mirror, reflecting humanity's gaze past our inner defenses, to an inner absence where a metaphysical soul was once surmised to be. Although such a change in self-image would initially entail an apparent loss of meaning, this dissertation notes that such a lacuna of meaning is already growing in society and concludes that the loss of this concept would eventually result in a new concept of self that would represent an important milestone for the collective individuation of the species.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rowland, Susan
Commitee: Green, Matthew, Hockley, Luke
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 75/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Artificial intelligence
Keywords: Artificial intelligence, Baudrillard, Consciousness, Individuation, Jung, Nachbild, Vorbild
Publication Number: 3605083
ISBN: 978-1-303-61113-1
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