Posted: Jun 18, 2022 9:09 am
by Spearthrower

A fundamentally new psychology related to the ability to conceive of limited aspects of the self may have evolved in the ancestor of the great ape/human clade. Existing models of the evolution of primate intelligence do not provide an adequate explanation of the apparent restriction of this phenomenon. We propose that the capacity for self-conception evolved as a psychological mechanism enabling large-bodied, highly arboreal apes to cope with problems posed by the need to negotiate their way through a habitat that was fragile due to their body size. First, we briefly outline the case for believing that a new psychology related to self-conception evolved during the Miocene in the ancestor of the great ape/human clade. Next, we examine the existing models of the evolution of primate intelligence and assess their ability to account for the evolution of self-conception. Finally, we offer details of our alternative model, along with a series of predictions that can be derived from it.

It's an old paper, and didn't have too much impact in the field of anthropology, but it's relevant to discussions in other threads.

The question posed essentially is whether our kind of intelligence is molded and constrained by deep cognitive adaptations during periods of our evolutionary history. How much relevance does our ancestors' movement around a particular landscape (an arboreal one), favouring particular forms of problem solving both physical and mental, have on our specie-specific (tautology department) cognitive processes today?

The discussion about Lamda, for example, seems to assume that an AI that becomes self-aware would have an awareness that we would be able to automatically recognize, but is it likely that a future sentient AI arising spontaneously from interactions solely with non-physical data would have an intelligence or awareness of itself that would be anything like our own?