TEDx Cardiff has an excellent talk on how Google can be qualified as a conscious entity. Drawing parallels between Google search functions and the ability to gain plant information from the DMT-ayahuasca search engine, the speakers show that consciousness is not only a property of living organisms.
In the meme “Google Consciousness” – we could say that if each neuron is a machine, then likewise each computer or website in the world can function like a neuron. Yet each of these neurons is also connected to one of us, a ‘meta neuron’ in comparison that is also an intrinsic agent of the ‘internet’. The internet is the ever expanding exchange of information between humans and machines.
We use the machines to display our ideas, many of them which naturally are also engaged in a competition for truth values. Our content is used to communicate various levels of information meaning (semantics), only with which the human agents can experience or determine while we assume the machines cannot.
Part of collective intelligence is indeed extremely conscious because each of us is extremely conscious. Yet none of us as individuals controls the internet, the process, the flow, the internet itself is run by unconscious machines in combination with a collection of conscious agents. Just like us as individuals.
And these conscious agents in turn maybe run by the very same process that the unconscious machines are… an algorithm something like Google search.
To clarify: In materialism Google’s algorithm and the collection of behaviors it governs both human and machine may be a contender for consciousness. If dualism as a model of consciousness is true, then Google could be considered conscious anyway since everything could have consciousness.
That the Google algorithm also ironically enough provides a description to how the Ayahuasceros of the Peruvian Upper Amazon claim to access plant consciousness is an entirely other rabbit hole. We highlight this in the talk to describe the distinctions between a dualistic model of consciousness and a materialistic model of consciousness.
The ultimate irony is that both of these models of consciousness which completely contradict one another, share a metaphor in common – Google.
This is an absolutely fascinating talk and asks the question: are spirits metaphors for memes?
Meanwhile the rise of Internet search engines like Google has changed the way our brain remembers information, according to research by Columbia University psychologist Betsy Sparrow.
Sparrow’s research reveals that we forget things we are confident we can find on the Internet. We are more likely to remember things we think are not available online. And we are better able to remember where to find something on the Internet than we are at remembering the information itself. This is believed to be the first research of its kind into the impact of search engines on human memory organization…
Art by Luke Brown