Questioner: Experts say that human intuitions are essentially biochemical responses of our body. It is like an inherent and inbuilt biochemical algorithm. If that is so, can artificial intelligence can be powered to recreate human emotions? Are human intuitions truly biochemical algorithms or are they something more profound?
Sadhguru: Well – does human intelligence have something to do with biochemical activity that’s happening in our system? Absolutely. Well, when you know today – that you being mentally balanced or imbalanced, you being stable or unstable, you being clear or unclear in your mind – has a chemical basis to it. Or even you being happy or unhappy, loving or not loving, joyful or miserable – all has chemical basis.
It is completely wrong to understand intelligence as thought
One way to understand this is – it is all a question of intelligence. Right now, as you sit here – or wherever you sit – whether you make this experience of sitting here beautiful or ugly, is a matter of intelligence. And, it is also a matter of chemistry. They are not different. It is completely wrong to understand intelligence as thought. It is just one small expression of intelligence.
This is a folly that modern societies have made, because the modern education system has made people believe that thought is the only form of intelligence. If thought is the only form of intelligence, you will naturally understand that accumulation of data, analysing data, and projecting this data according to your analysis, is intelligence. Well, this is a process that any machine can do. This you are beginning to understand now that even the most complex thought, that you think is phenomenal, today your computer can do it without effort.
Do you see, a simple calculator can do more mathematics than your teacher can do. Your computer can do much more mathematics than any… anybody can.. any mathematician can do. So, obviously what you thought as a very difficult intellectual process is being processed by a machine far more easily than you can imagine. Now, people argue – mathematics is one thing, literature is a different thing, music is a different thing. Well, I’m telling you, whether it’s literature or music, which are considered more… what to say… outpouring of human heart, even this can be done by a machine. Well, we’ve still not built machines good enough to do that maybe. But you will see in the next 25-50 years time, maybe I don’t know how long. But it will inevitably happen, you can’t make out. Or probably it will be more perfect.
Intuition is not a different level of intelligence. Intuition is just simply a different level of computing
So, this about intuition – first thing to understand about intuition is – intuition is not a different level of intelligence. Intuition is just simply a different level of computing. That is – let us say – let me make it very simplistic for you… just for the sake of understanding. Right now, let’s say you had a child, or you had an infant, whose grown up just inside a room. Never seen outside. Suddenly you bring him out and show him this tree [looking curiously]. You know what he is doing? He is gathering data. Colour, form, the way it moves, the way it is – just taking up data through his sense organs. Let him watch this tree for a few minutes.
Let’s say he’s grown up. After some time, you ask him to, let’s say depict the tree. Most probably he will depict it nearly 90% right. But, now the process of assimilating the tree in his mind is not logical. He is not saying – the leaf is 5cm x 7cm. The colour is ‘this kind of green’ which is a combination of that, that and that. No – there is no logical assimilation, it’s intuitive. Simply just like that. The picture comes to his mind. Because all the data is there, processed, and jumps all the steps of 1-2-3-4, and just gets there. So, intuition is just that, your computing is in such a way that you don’t go through the logical process every time. So, intuitive means – your computing is skipping the logical steps and arriving at the answer, which is definitely a more sensible way to conduct your life.
Is this just a biochemical algorithm? Well, I would say a 100% – Yes. So, when we say a biochemical algorithm – it is in a constant flux. You can set it the way you want. By genetics, by culture, by external influences – it’s set one way. But, if you are conscious, you can set it in another way. So, is it just biochemical algorithms? When you say ‘it is just’ – you are thinking that, am I just a mechanical process? Well, there is a mechanism. The question is whether this mechanism conducted consciously or not. Right now, there is an intellect, there is an intuitive dimension, and there are deeper levels of intelligence, which is the basis of the making of the creation itself. The very source of creation, that intelligence is also embedded within you. The question is only, at what level of access are you?
Everybody has an arm like ‘this’. Now, can everybody use their arm the same way? No. Different people use it different ways. Somebody is a ball player, he uses it one way. Somebody is writer, he uses another way. Somebody is an artist, he uses it another way. Somebody is a yogi, he uses it another way. Because you have figured out certain aspects of life. Somebody else has figured out another aspect of life. Depending upon how you apply yourself, accordingly your biochemical algorithm is constantly changing. It is not a set process. Well, there are certain settings, because otherwise you won’t have a starting place. Like I already said – genetics, cultural influences, sanskriti i.e. generations of learnings that has happened within you – all these things put together, there is a certain algorithm. But it is not set, it is fluid. You can change it every moment of your life.
So, your intuition – what kind of intuition do you have? People are just doing guesswork all the time and thinking it’s intuition. No. If you want to develop intuition, first thing is, you must learn how to simply sit here fully alert, and not think about anything.
Human attention can open up any doors in the universe
Somebody was asking me – when you are riding, what are you thinking about? Why the hell am I thinking about anything! I’m just riding. That’s why I’m still alive. Because, the kind of risks that I’ve taken on 2 wheels, I’m alive because I don’t think a damn thing. If you know how to simply sit here, alert but unthinking. Oh! How is that possible? I’m asking – how is it possible for you to think when so much is happening out here! If you pay attention, you will not think. So, the most important aspect of life is – your attention, not your thoughts. This is what a child, who saw the tree for the first time did – attention. If your attention is ‘on’, all the time. Without any kind of judgements about ‘what is this’, ‘what is that’ – simply attention, not thought, just attention. You will naturally become intuitive.
Human attention can open up any doors in the universe. But, the attention should become free from judgemental process. That means, from the limited data that you gathered, you should not go on judging everything around you. Because even if you think you know everything – the data that you have gathered is very very limited. If you observe this tree for one whole year – the entire process of it dropping leaves, and putting back new leaves, and everything – still I’m telling you, you do not even know a small percentage of what the tree is.
If you want to understand the biochemical algorithm of that tree – we do not know how long it will take you to grasp that. So, ‘this’ is much, much more complex mechanism than the tree. So ‘this’ – if you pay a lifetime paying attention to this, still what you know is very little. But as you become more and more conscious, you determine the biochemical algorithms. That means you determine the nature of the experience.
But now, the question was – can we build machines like this? Yes, we can. As we can build machines which can do Math for us, we can build machines which will write stories for us, we can build machine which will make music for us, we can build machines which are intuitive in nature. So, this is a very valid question.This is a question that needs to be looked at more profoundly than just talking about intuition, or emotion. It needs to be looked as a life process. Because life process is such – there is no separation between intelligence, intuition, thought, beat of the heart, function of the lever, function of the kidney, or what the spleen is doing, what the brain is doing – there is no differentiation. It is one seamless function. To grasp it that way is most important. Only then, you will know life. Only then you will experience life to its fullest. Only then. you will find that, you will be speechless about life. Because there is no word – what is there – is there a word, is there a vocabulary to describe a phenomena like this? There is no word to describe what is life, what it is about. There is no conclusion. When there is no word, there is no conclusion. When there is no conclusion, there is no death. This is the way of liberation.
Only thing is they [machines] can not become consciousness
I know you asked a simple question about whether machines can become like this or not? Machines can become everything that you are, can do everything that you can do – probably better than you. As you know, they are doing it better than you. Only thing is they can not become consciousness. Well, some people are saying, we will build consciousness into a machine. That’s not going to happen. Because that’s life. What you call as consciousness is the essence of life. That which can not be described. For that which we don’t have a word to say what it is. That – which is that indescribable force, which makes everything happen. That will not happen in a machine – 100%!