Can a biochemical computer say that? Can a biochemical computer deny the self, the soul? No biocomputer or any other kind of computer has any idea of self or no-self. Your friend is doing it – certainly he is not a biochemical computer. No biochemical computer can write a thesis on artificial intelligence! Do you think artificial intelligence can write a thesis about artificial intelligence? Something more is needed.
And he is absolutely wrong in thinking that Buddha says also the same thing: “…that all things are composite and there is no self no soul, no spirit, no “I”.”
He is wrong to think that Buddha agrees with his viewpoint – not at all. Buddha’s experience is of meditation. Without meditation nobody can have any idea what Buddha is saying about. Your friend’s observation is from the standpoint of a scientific onlooker. It is not his experience, it is his observation. He is studying biochemical computers, artificial intelligence, from the outside. Who is studying outside?
Can you conceive two computers studying each other? The computer can have only that which has been fed into it; it cannot have more than that. The information has to be given to it, then it keeps it in its memory – it is a memory system. It can do miracles as far as mathematics is concerned. A computer can be far more efficient than any Albert Einstein as far as mathematics is concerned, but a computer cannot be a meditator. Can you imagine a computer just sitting silently doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself…?
There are many qualities which are impossible for the computer. A computer cannot be in love. You can keep many computers together – they will not fall in love! A computer cannot have any experience of beauty. A computer cannot know any bliss. A computer cannot have any awareness. A computer is incapable of feeling silence. And these are the qualities which prove that man has something more than artificial intelligence.
Artificial intelligence can do scientific work, mathematical work, calculation – great calculation and very quick and very efficiently, because it is a machine. But a machine cannot be aware of what it is doing. A computer cannot feel boredom, a computer cannot feel meaninglessness, a computer cannot experience anguish. A computer cannot start an inquiry about truth, it cannot renounce the world and become a sannyasin, it cannot go to the mountains or to the monasteries. It cannot conceive of anything beyond the mechanical – and all that is significant is beyond the mechanical.
A policeman starts chasing a car after noticing that the driver is a computer, a robot – wearing a hat, smoking a cigar and driving with one hand hanging out of the window.
He finally succeeds in stopping the car. He approaches it and sees to his surprise that there is a man sitting next to the computer.
“Are you mad?” exclaims the officer, “letting your computer drive?”
“Excuse me, officer,” replies the man, “I asked him for a lift!”
Yes, in stories it is possible, but not in reality.