A person might say an apple is red but his color-blind friend sitting next to him may argue it is not. We usually see this happen with all other sensory perception.
With the help of a transistor radio, we can hear the waves that are otherwise inaudible. Some mystics claim to transcend their physical limitations to do magical things beyond common sense. Can we think of our world and our response to its events as our own creation based on the natural or augmented sensory perception?
Some psychological studies like MBTI state that while some people prefer to Judge and others prefer to Perceive. Irrespective of whether we agree with these studies, humans have natural psychological preferences and instinctive drives in how they understand and respond to events. Can we think of our world and our response to its events as our own creation based on the psychological preferences?
When we are dreaming or in deep-sleep, our imagination creates for us different worlds than the one we experience in awake state. Each of them are as real as the other. It is interesting to note that almost 1/3 of human life is spent in these “non-real” worlds. Can we think of our world and our response to its events as our own creation based on our imagination?
We notice different people reading the same book interpret it in their own manner with different meanings. Are we conditioned to respond to situations based on what each of us consider the world to be?
These questions have been part of the philosophy for a long time – Plato in Greece, to Adisankara in India, to Immanuel Kant in Europe. Albeit in different forms, both the eastern and western philosophy has been trying grasp the phenomenon called human consciousness.
Cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am) – René Descartes
Some one else might argue that Iam, therefore I think.
Age old question, which comes first?
Are these questions still relevant? Is understanding reality an important discussion for true progress in Artificial General Intelligence or replicating human consciousness?
Obviously these are some important esoteric discussions.
But for now, Artificial Intelligence will need to to focus on the low-hanging fruits of the logical world. We need some quick wins before the world gives up once again on this technology. Majority of the businesses and investors will focus money and efforts on developing augmented AI systems for quick returns.
Progress in computing and data over the past couple of decades will help the development in the areas of expert systems, computer vision, speech and speaker recognition among other sub-fields under the broader AI umbrella. Artificial General Intelligence may have to wait for some more time.