Monday, 29 August 2011

Grades of Sentience

I recently got into discussion about qualifying and quantifying sentience, especially as it applies to Artificial Intelligence.
These are my thoughts on the subject.
Credit to Zach Schindler, who helped crystallize my thoughts and broaden the definitions of some Grades, and who added some Grades I didn't even think of.

Grade # (Summary) - Minimum requirements, if previous levels are fufilled. (Examples)
0 (Non-sentient) - inanimate objects, with absolutely no reaction to their environment. (Rocks etc)
0.5 (Basic Reactive)- unconscious reaction. (Aspects of plants)
1 (Reactive) - semi-conscious reaction to simple external stimuli. (Microscopic animals, Roomba vacuum cleaner)
2 (Proactive) - awareness of their environment, and proactive interaction for survival. (Insects and birds)
3 (Endeavoring) - solves simple problems in the environment through trial and error. (Small mammals, human infants)
4 (Predictive)- uses past experience to predict an outcome to an action, rather than trying each action in turn. (Primates, human children, Deep Thought)
4.5 (Advanced Predictive)- Learns by watching others as well as through personal experience, can think of multiple possible outcomes and plan for them.
5 (Empathetic) - Understands that other intelligent beings exist, and is capable of inferring emotions. (Social mammals, basic Artificial Intelligence)
6 (Sympathetic) - Expresses concern for the well-being of other creatures. (Human adults, great apes, dolphins, true Synthetic Intelligence)
7 (Enlightened) - Can apply ethical rules and guidelines in order to determine action based on morality. (Humans, advanced Synthetic Intelligence)
7.5 (Advanced Enlightened) - Applies multiple ethical systems to moral issues.
8 (Independent) - Applies original thought to morality.
9 (Interdependent) - Collective thought is the norm, ranging from committee to total integration of a group consciousness. Individuals are Grade 8 but share thoughts freely.
10 (Ascended) - Transcendent intelligence, hyper-longevity or immortal.
X (Deity or equivalent) - Omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipotent, transcends dimensions.

I'm not certain I'm happy with these, I can imagine some grades could be melded with the grades above or below them, or new grades I haven't thought of slotted in.
I'd be pleased to hear your thoughts on the subject, so as always, comment or message me.