《西部世界》的理论基础

《西部世界》即将迎来第一季的大结局1,之前埋下的伏笔和悬念或将一一展开。这部备受瞩目的 HBO 美剧有太多可以探讨的主题,绝大多数人会将人工智能、机器人当作本剧的重要组成部分,但事实并非如此。

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Inverse 编辑主管 Andrew Burmon 写了一篇文章,试图揭开《西部世界》背后的理论基础:

Introduced in the blockbuster 1976 treatise, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, bicameralism suggests that the human brain hasn’t always functioned in the same manner. As recently as 3,000 years ago, the theory goes, men and women lacked what their ancestors came to define as self-awareness because they didn’t yet have the linguistic tools for introspection. In essence, bicameralism states that humans needed better code to function like individuals rather than like horny defecation machines. That code was metaphorical language.

In introducing the concept, Westworld’s writers make it clear that the show’s artificially intelligent robots aren’t breaking out of pre-programmed bondage because of a glitch or a virus — as was the case in the original film. They’re breaking out because of their exposure to increasingly complex language. They are being given the code mankind developed over millennia on parchment and papyrus. Not only does this explain why one of Westworld’s most powerful engineers is so furtive about providing a bot with access to Lewis Carroll, it explains why the show seems to vacillate between literary and technological ideas at neck-breaking speed.

In short, bicameralism, as a concept, organizes the show’s key ideas into a narrative line. And yes, it’s a straight path toward confrontation.

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这段话并不好理解,还好,中文世界里已经有人将其大意编译出来了:

Jaynes质疑的就是意识的本质性。首先,意识不是无处不在的,它作用于我们的行动,其实范围很小。此刻你拿着手机看这篇文章,你在思考「意识」这个概念,但你不会去思考刚刚你摸了一下脖子,或者把屏幕亮度调低这些行为的理由,因为人类大部分的行为都来自于本能。而意识是什么?意识是对思考的知觉,对思考的思考。比如「他在撒谎」这可以不是意识支撑的念头,但「我不能相信权威」,则是一个基于对「权威」概念的理解,以及过去经验而形成的综合,这是对思考的思考,是谓意识。

因此,Jaynes认定,没有意识的远古人类,是可以生存的。

从这个角度去理解,《西部世界》的编剧们以 Jaynes 的理论为基础,这些没有意识的机器人几乎也等同于远古那些没有意识的人类,而整部剧的所谓「迷宫」、「游戏」,最后指向的,都是意识的觉醒。


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