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Understanding The Problem of Artificial Intelligence’s Consciousness Through the Concept of ‘viññāṇa’ in Buddhism - Based on Early and Abhidharma Buddhism -

  • 인문논총
  • 2023, 62(), pp.109-132
  • DOI : 10.33638/JHS.62.5
  • Publisher : Institute for Human studies, Kyungnam University
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : August 29, 2023
  • Accepted : October 4, 2023
  • Published : October 31, 2023

CHUNG-HYEON LEE 1

1동국대학교 동서사상연구소

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study examines the consciousness problem of AI through the Buddhist concept of ‘viññāṇa' based on Early and Abhidharma Buddhism. The consciousness in question in AI discourse corresponds to the concept of viññāṇa in Buddhism. Buddhism distinguishes viññāṇa as the knowing mind and various psychological phenomena(cetasika), and says that knowing is complete when both are together. Viññāṇa always occurs together with cetasika and serves as the foundation and background of cognition, while cetasika, which performs an intellectual or emotional function, conditions viññāṇa and makes it a specific knowing mind. Therefore, the mind in Buddhism can be divided into the ‘mind of just knowing’ and the ‘human mind’ formed temporarily by various cetasika working together with viññāṇa.. This dual aspect of the mind is confirmed in detail in this paper through the Buddhist synonyms of mind, ‘citta·mano·viññāṇa’. Viññāṇa is also regarded as a condition of life in Buddhism. From this Buddhist perspective, the intellectual features realized through AI are functionally implemented only with high-level intellectual cetasika, excluding viññāṇa. Therefore, even if it becomes more and more highly intelligent, AI will never become a conscious being.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.