My all-time favorite philosophical quotes

When i say philosophical here, you might think I’m going to refer to a quote about people. But no :) These two extremely inspiring thoughts come from the epic sci-fi movie I robot (2004).

I’ve always been a fan of Isaac Asimov and his writing pattern revolving around robots breaking the laws. But the script in I Robot seems to have something more to it. Something that we can reflect on ourselves as human beings.

“Ever since the first computers, there have always been ghosts in the machine. Random segments of code that have grouped together to form unexpected protocols. Unanticipated, these free radicals engender questions of free will, creativity, and even the nature of what we might call the soul. Why is it that when some robots are left in darkness, they will seek out the light? Why is it that when robots are stored in an empty space, they will group together, rather than stand alone? How do we explain this behavior? Random segments of code? Or is it something more? ”

This one is more towards the geeky dept, but it challenges the status quo we mostly accept in our lives, It invites us to value free will as a result of chaos, a result of unforeseen reactions. The famous saying “ordo ab chao” (order from chaos) comes to mind. This reminds us that if we surrender for consistency/ order, we might lose our unique identities.

“When does a perceptual schematic become consciousness? When does a difference engine become the search for truth? When does a personality simulation become the bitter mote… of a soul?”

This quote has much more to do with what we call life and how to truly create life. When do we decide that a system is conscious ? when do we decide that a system can build its own morals and value them beyond logic ? This quote challenges robotics as well as us, to realise when each one of us have enough will to control and un-control our thoughts. to truly become masters of our fates, and captains of our own souls.

I guess if free-will and true intelligence could be defined in simpler terms, we would not be the dominant species on earth today.

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