The ‘machine’ that scientists are looking for already exists snd stands behind human history and the evolution of civilization. It is so complex and elusive that we are hard-pressed to understand what we can see it does. This is a mystery that bobs between theistic hallucination and some kind of future AI system. In fact it is the riddle of evolution in plain sight, yet still invisible.
By comparison the mcaro effect of the eonic evolution of civilization bestows civilization with many blessings, problems half solved, manifold innovations and a directonality of evolutionary futurism, now our present, with a now ambiguous future.
It does not follow that this ‘process’ is conscious or alive. It does seem to operate at a gain level. The term ‘conscious’ is barely understood. As Bennett noted ‘conscious’ is like electromagnetism: it is going to have many variant forms, and it may well exist in nature in a way we don’t understand.
But in any case, the macro eonic effect is involved in ethical histories, aesthetic judgments never imposes control over man and stimulate his creativity and freedom. Actually, the Greeks understood it in a way, but with a theistic myth: they could see that their mysterious masterpieces were the result of a muse, or so they thought, and Homer made sure he said so at the start of his great masterpiece. That’s another myth but the Greeks were humble in this case.
That is a far cry from the sadistic monsters in the nightmares of AI ‘mad scientists’