All atoms and molecules, all living beings and human made things are emergent property devices, all chemical reactions and human mental processes are emergent property processes. We are accustomed to say that the systems and processes are complex or complicated, especially, when we don’t understand them good enough, e.g., when we talk about consciousness. This comes because of lack of good models we usually create in order to represent and understand the reality.
In order to understand and agree with what we are talking about, we must define the basic notions. Here I will propose one possible way of defining and measuring complexity.
System’s complexity can be measured: 1) by the number of different parts and links it contains; 2) by the number of new properties, emerging in a system.
For example, the popular example of emergent property system, a mechanical mouse trap. Its physical structure has 4 different parts and 4 connections: the spring (part), which hits the mouse (connection) when released, the spring’s fixator (part), released when touched (connection), the place for food (part), connected with fixator (connection), and the base (part & connection) connecting all parts.
Mousetrap’s new or emergent properties are: 1) the ability to accumulate mechanical energy, introduced into the system; 2) the ability to release the accumulated energy when touched.
Models are mental representations of the external world, humans and animals create in order to cooperate with it. They are cooperation algorithms between the conscious system and environment, created using previous experience and the known (learned) properties of physical environment, allowing to predict the next cooperation events. When our predictions are true, we say that we understand the process.
Our models for the analysis and understanding more complicated systems are incomplete and unexact, e.g., the models of elementary particles (dual nature, the particle and the wave), in these fields we are flooded with mystical theories and explanations, beginning with declarations ‘nobody knows’ and ending with ‘we will never understand it’.
The models of consciousness: in most current ‘scientific publications’ the basic notions of proposed models are not defined. If the notions are not defined, it is possible to say anything – nobody can doubt or deny it.
Intelligence is the emergent property of the system with much more (as in a mouse trap or other human-made devices) distinguishable parts and emergent properties. We don’t know exactly all the necessary parts for the intelligence to emerge but we must start defining them. Parts and functions more or less present in all living beings:
1) sensormechanisms for the external world: vision, touch, hearing, smell, temperature sense; the ability to sense own body’s states and moves;
2) the body distinguished from the external world;
3) actuators used to cooperate with external world (EW);
4) inherited (or pre-programmed in AI devices) ability to create the external world models (EWM) by using own sensory experience;
5) preprogrammed or evolutionary developed punishing and award system which facilitates or inhibits all activities.
The main emergent property of intelligence is the ability to create and use millions of models of the external world. The last hurdle for GAI is the creation of EWM : it is impossible to program millions of EWM necessary for cooperation with the external world. One more narrow aspect of intelligence is consciousness: it is the model of self.
There are many secondary emergent properties of intelligence, e.g., millions of human created EWM, culture elements and processes. Taking part in these processes creates positive emotions and wellness.