The suggestion that a totally non-biological medium will replace humans is non-sensical. Although I believe in trans-humanism, I don’t believe in post-humanism. I think it would be impossible for any AI method to emulate the essence of being human.
To be human is not just to have consciousness, but also to have the mechanical and physical capabilities needed to alter the environment.
To parody Turing’s test, let me suggest, partly for amusement, partly seriously, the ‘Kyriazis Test of the Erect Nipple’, which is this:
We will know when technological developments have matched human capacity when they will be able to emulate the exact set of abstract, conscious, mechanical, physical and emotional events that happen during a simple action, such as when one is gently biting an erect nipple.
Consideration of these SIMULTANEOUS, reciprocally causal events should include:
1. Sensory information from the lips to the brain
2. Exact information sensed by proprioceptors embedded in the masseter muscle
3. Information passed from the teeth and gums to other muscular regulatory feedback loops
4. Olphactory information emanated by the receiver and by the performer
5. Input from the taste receptors
6. Input from unrelated environmental smells
7. Self-awareness of the process
8. General memory of previous experiences (not the same as point 26 below)
9. Feelings of discomfort, embarrassment or otherwise
10. Softness of action based on love, in order to avoid causing pain
11. Visual inputs
12. Sensory information from the rest of the face
13. Sensory information form the fingertips to the brain
14. Sensory information from existing body posture during the action (all joints, all muscles and ligaments everywhere, all tactile, pressure
and temperature information etc.)
15. Auditory information from external sources (a passing ambulance, soft-talk, the neighbours shouting) and assessing its relevance
16. Auditory information from internal sources (blood pounding in ears, bowels rumbling)
17. Other unrelated simultaneous events (feeling hungry, a fleeting thought of your lecture assignment during the action)
18. Sexual arousal (and full physical/chemical implications thereof)
19. Hormonal interplay
20. Immune system consequences
21. Obvious feedback clues from partner, and how to action these
22. Subtle feedback clues from partner, and how to action these
23. Subconscious and not immediately clear feedback clues from partner
24. A judgement whether pain is being inflicted, and the nature of the pain
25. An assessment whether to let go or proceed, based on abstracts thoughts or expectations of a likely response from the partner
26. Thoughtful memories of previous conversations (to assess whether that nipple was reported as being particularly sensitive, or whether the
partner likes a bit more pain, and for how long, and at what stage), and comparison and assessment of previous similar events with other
partners, and an assessment of the personality of these partners according to what stage during the procedure were likely to feel pain or
pleasure and to apply the result of this assessment non-linearly during this particular procedure….
27. Assessment of the security of the location where the action is performed
28. Assessment of the legality and morality of the action
29. A subconscious assessment of the degree of pleasure generated by the receiver and perceived by the performer
30. A subconscious assessment of the degree of pleasure generated by the performer and the interaction between the two degrees of pleasure in
a composite way in order to create an abstract Form (see Plato’s Theory of Forms)
All of the above (including their individual sub-set events) need to be processed in parallel and simultaneously, obeying the laws of reciprocal causality, recorded, instantly analysed singularly and in combination (two at a time, three at a time etc. until and included x to the power of 30 in my example…- and I could probably think of another 10 simultaneous events associated with this apparently simple action).
No, I can’t see how any technology (AI plus mechanistic capability) will mimic humans in a way that is ‘worthwhile’ in the foreseeable future.