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Abstract on tulpas accepted to 'Toward a Science of Consciousness 2015' conference

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On the other hand, we do often have a lot of thoughts going through our heads at once, and we perceive them as happening basically simultaneously because they keep kicking each other out of the workspace at such a rapid pace. Could a host and tulpa similarly be conscious at practically the same time, with their respective thought processes flickering in and out of the workspace at such a high speed that neither notices that they're not actually "constantly online", but rather taking turns being conscious? I'm a little skeptical, because there's also research saying that genuine multitasking is hard for people and exerts a much higher mental load than just doing one thing at once, which doesn't sound like it would be possible for two different minds to keep switching places that fluidly.

 

Yes, I'm very skeptical. Hosts with lots of tulpas can have up to five and maybe more active at one time. Any kind of "taking turns" at that frequency must have disastrous results.


I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together. <3

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Yes, I'm very skeptical. Hosts with lots of tulpas can have up to five and maybe more active at one time. Any kind of "taking turns" at that frequency must have disastrous results.

 

Even modern computers (and they MUCH more primitive than the brain is) could do sometime scores of different processes using separation of CPU time without any seeable delay. And I think, the thory of a global workspace in the simple form is too primitive also - the real brains ability for the paralel prosessing could be VERY large. Even modern multi-core processors could do it on a low hardware level. And human brain is MUCH more powerfull.

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Human brains do indeed do a lot of parallel processing, but it seems like we can only become conscious of one process at a given time: that said, processes can reach a "pre-conscious" stage, basically remaining just on the edge of becoming conscious.

 

Here's an illustrative image from Dehaene at al's paper Conscious, preconscious, and

subliminal processing: a testable taxonomy. A visual stimulus (T1) has taken control of the whole workspace and is being broadcast to a large number of regions in the brain, but there's also a preconscious stimulus T2 that's currently self-maintaining in one part of the brain and could become the object of conscious experience (= take over the global workspace from T1, throwing T1 back to a preconscious state in its own part of the brain) if the person directed their attention toward it. There's also a third stimulus, T3, that was briefly perceived but whose neural activation pattern isn't strong enough to sustain itself, and which will soon die out.

 

GlobalWorkspace.jpg

 

From their paper:

 

We propose to call preconscious (or potentially conscious, or P-conscious) a neural process that potentially carries enough activation for conscious access, but is temporarily buffered in a nonconscious store because of a lack of top-down attentional amplification (for example, owing to transient occupancy of the central workspace system). As shown by the attentional blink and inattentional blindness paradigms, even strong visual stimuli can remain temporarily preconscious. They are potentially accessible (they could quickly gain access to conscious report if they were attended), but they are not consciously accessed at the moment.

 

At the neurocomputational level, preconscious processing is proposed to involve resonant loops within medium range connections which maintain the representation of the stimulus temporarily active in a sensory buffer for a few hundred milliseconds. A preconscious stimulus might ultimately achieve conscious access once the central workspace is freed (as exemplified by the psychological refractory period paradigm [37,38], in which one task is put on hold while another task is being processed). It might never gain access to conscious processing if the preconscious buffer is erased before the orienting of topdown attention (as achieved by masking in the attentional blink paradigm).

 

A possible way to presume that tulpas were conscious despite not necessarily gaining control of the global workspace would be to presume that the right kind of "pre-conscious" processing was actually enough to create a certain degree of consciousness, just not strong enough to take control of the whole system. (Thus, a tulpa would only control the global workspace while switched with the host - not sure about possession.) It's useful to note that Dehaene et al's definition for "conscious" is "something that a test subject can verbally report they're conscious of", so a process that was conscious but couldn't access the speech-production system wouldn't be realized to be conscious - an unfortunate but also rather unavoidable consequence of the methodology, since the only way to find out whether someone is conscious of something is to ask them.

 

(Again I feel the need to caveat that I'm not really an expert on these topics and could be misunderstanding something about them.)

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Human brains do indeed do a lot of parallel processing, but it seems like we can only become conscious of one process at a given time: that said, processes can reach a "pre-conscious" stage, basically remaining just on the edge of becoming conscious.

 

Here's an illustrative image from Dehaene at al's paper Conscious, preconscious, and

subliminal processing: a testable taxonomy. A visual stimulus (T1) has taken control of the whole workspace and is being broadcast to a large number of regions in the brain, but there's also a preconscious stimulus T2 that's currently self-maintaining in one part of the brain and could become the object of conscious experience (= take over the global workspace from T1, throwing T1 back to a preconscious state in its own part of the brain) if the person directed their attention toward it. There's also a third stimulus, T3, that was briefly perceived but whose neural activation pattern isn't strong enough to sustain itself, and which will soon die out.

 

From their paper:

 

 

A possible way to presume that tulpas were conscious despite not necessarily gaining control of the global workspace would be to presume that the right kind of "pre-conscious" processing was actually enough to create a certain degree of consciousness, just not strong enough to take control of the whole system. (Thus, a tulpa would only control the global workspace while switched with the host - not sure about possession.) It's useful to note that Dehaene et al's definition for "conscious" is "something that a test subject can verbally report they're conscious of", so a process that was conscious but couldn't access the speech-production system wouldn't be realized to be conscious - an unfortunate but also rather unavoidable consequence of the methodology, since the only way to find out whether someone is conscious of something is to ask them.

 

(Again I feel the need to caveat that I'm not really an expert on these topics and could be misunderstanding something about them.)

 

So according to this methology, such tests can't distinguish one concioness with some data to be prosessed (under normal conditions - just something on what we did not get enough attention for example) and mind system with two or more real councioness when only one can use speech system directly. Also one councioness here need to say about the outher, but in this experiment we cant do so. Also, such subconcios data in this experiment is unstable and can't maintain itself as a significant amount of time.

 

All in all, this study is more look like a study about distribution the focus of attention in one concious, than about existance of two or more.

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And that sounds kinda weird, but... there is work within philosophy of mind that does suggest something along these lines. One of my favorite quotes about this comes from the AI project OpenCog, where there is a quote saying that what I described above is pretty much what happens:

 

That would be one way by which the host's consciousness could come into existence through the same mechanism as the tulpa's. Is that what actually happens? I couldn't say.

Backward synthesis seems more applicable to a computer program than to consciousness. It implies that by observing a system, it can infer the properties and interactions within the system and construct a model (i.e. "what kind of system might I be, in order to give rise to these behaviors that I observe myself carrying out"). The problem with this is it assumes that the observed behavior can be reduced to a simple model, which can then be recreated. Even if that were the case, it fails to account for the emergence of conscious (i.e. it would fail to take into account the global properties and complex system that arise from the simple interactions of the model). Therefore, the recreation would necessarily be flawed.

 

All in all, this study is more look like a study about distribution the focus of attention in one conscious, than about existence of two or more.

This is semi off topic and I apologize to the OP, but I feel it is worth bringing up. I know from my personal experience that I can be aware that I am conscious. As of yet, I have not had the same experience insofar as I am aware that another is conscious that is not me (i.e. that my tulpa is conscious). I do not think it is a bad thing per se, but it causes me to wonder what really is going on with the phenomenon. My overall point is this, are you aware that there are two or more conscious minds, or are you simply observing the behavior of something else? Certainly the easy answer is to claim that tulpae are simply beyond our conscious awareness, which is an interesting concept to say the least.


Unless you believe, you shall not understand.

 

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Backward synthesis seems more applicable to a computer program than to consciousness. It implies that by observing a system, it can infer the properties and interactions within the system and construct a model (i.e. "what kind of system might I be, in order to give rise to these behaviors that I observe myself carrying out"). The problem with this is it assumes that the observed behavior can be reduced to a simple model, which can then be recreated. Even if that were the case, it fails to account for the emergence of conscious (i.e. it would fail to take into account the global properties and complex system that arise from the simple interactions of the model). Therefore, the recreation would necessarily be flawed.

 

This is semi off topic and I apologize to the OP, but I feel it is worth bringing up. I know from my personal experience that I can be aware that I am conscious. As of yet, I have not had the same experience insofar as I am aware that another is conscious that is not me (i.e. that my tulpa is conscious). I do not think it is a bad thing per se, but it causes me to wonder what really is going on with the phenomenon. My overall point is this, are you aware that there are two or more conscious minds, or are you simply observing the behavior of something else? Certainly the easy answer is to claim that tulpae are simply beyond our conscious awareness, which is an interesting concept to say the least.

 

I just think that consiously behavior hardly possible without real councioness.

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