Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Free Will - Part II

We saw that free will is the power to chose whether we wish to follow our programming or not. While Part 1 were mostly Stephen's thoughts, Part 2 is my own extension of the concept.

The talk of only humans having free will got me thinking. Not only do animals not have this power to choose their programming, they are not even aware that this programming exists. So what changed so drastically from animals to humans? How did we evolve free will? Its obvios as to why we evolved it. Creatures with free will had infinitely larger capabilities than ones which didn't so naturally, selection favoured them. But I was more interested in knowing how this transition was made in the first place. What is fundamentally different in the programming of a human compared to an animal? More specifically, if I am to code a robot with free will, what would be the nature of that code? How do I program free will?

But wait a minute! What did I just say? Code free will into a robot? Program it? Can free will be a programmed thing? Can I program a robot to not follow its programming? This opens up a can of paradoxes, which can be philosohically very stimulating. Very similar to a sentence which proclaims itself to be false... a liar who calls himself a liar... a law saying that all laws are meant to be broken.

But these paradoxes apart, I feel it might just be possible to teach a robot free will, if not code it.

To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. That last para got me into thinking. But are you sure that only we have free will. Animals exhibit it sometimes, not always ofcourse but to say that they don't have it is extreme. And hey, looking forward to the next installment...