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Old June 4 2012, 07:00 PM   #91
sojourner
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Re: David Brin's latest novel, and a TED talk

This thread just inspired me to change my signature.
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Old June 4 2012, 07:02 PM   #92
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Re: David Brin's latest novel, and a TED talk

You're supposed to capitalize "Singularity." It's like the Resurrection.
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Old June 4 2012, 07:04 PM   #93
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Re: David Brin's latest novel, and a TED talk

Corrected.
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Old June 5 2012, 12:31 AM   #94
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Re: David Brin's latest novel, and a TED talk

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Why do I have to prove that you can't brute-force AI? Isn't the onus upon those who say you can?
You don't have to prove anything. You just have to give a reason that isn't the conclusion. On the other hand, there most certainly is one way a sufficiently powerful computing system can produce novelty, trial and error. Experience shows this! There is another reason, not as conclusive I think but still a point which must be refuted, which is a sufficiently powerful system can use a data base of background facts vastly in excess of anything remotely imaginable now. Given this, yes, the onus is on you.

The real difficulty in the Singularity concept is the extrapolation, not the assumption that AI is simulable. Your continued assumption that thinking cannot be copied is purely mystical.
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Old June 5 2012, 12:35 AM   #95
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Re: David Brin's latest novel, and a TED talk

stj wrote: View Post
Your continued assumption that thinking cannot be copied is purely mystical.
And your insistence that this intelligence can be brought out of practically nowhere by shoving in more power and parts isn't?
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Old June 5 2012, 02:02 AM   #96
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Re: David Brin's latest novel, and a TED talk

Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
Your continued assumption that thinking cannot be copied is purely mystical.
And your insistence that this intelligence can be brought out of practically nowhere by shoving in more power and parts isn't?
It's both uninformed and a matter of blind belief, like most traditional religious dogma.

Understanding that assumptions and terminology about "intelligence" are being tossed around by the cybernetic totalists without any close examination or real definition of those things - hell, one can't prove from their writings that they've thought much about what those things are - isn't "mysticism." It's accurate observation.

You want to see how dependent upon unexamined cliche these folks are? Ask them what would motivate an A.I.

It's a bit of a trick question.
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Old June 5 2012, 03:48 AM   #97
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Re: David Brin's latest novel, and a TED talk

stj, you keep missing the critical piece here: the algorithms to do what you're talking about don't exist yet, and we don't know how to create them. We are just now learning how to data mine effectively, and the problem gets more difficult the larger your dataset becomes.

This "trial and error" you speak of still has to be directed by humans, otherwise it won't amount to anything.
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Old June 5 2012, 02:07 PM   #98
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Re: David Brin's latest novel, and a TED talk

It's also not clear that the evangelists understand that the principles and processes of biological evolution have no real bearing on what they're suggesting nor do they function well as an analogy. Their oft pointed-out lack of understanding or interest in science outside the narrow spheres of their specialization is really obvious when they start talking about this kind of thing.
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Old June 5 2012, 06:04 PM   #99
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Re: David Brin's latest novel, and a TED talk

[QUOTE=stj;6427003]
stj wrote: View Post
There's no genuine reason to draw a categorical distinction between "expert systems" and "AI." It is quite true that there's no real reason to expect that computers will automatically write their own code for some sort of human intelligence somehow trapped in a quadriplegic, deaf/dumb/mute hell inside a CPU. But AI should really be read as "Alien Intelligence," (the only alien intelligence we are likely ever to really encounter, though the possibility of the flesh and blood [?] kind exists tenuously enough to serve as foundation for fiction.) An expert system that is expert enough will serve as an intelligence.

This conception of a "Singularity" really can be extrapolated from Moore's Law etc., though I think the proponents neither mean this nor are extrapolating prudently. An expert system/intelligence that can simulate a human personality is another question, taking us right back to the difficulty of modeling something you don't understand. Analog models can do this, however. Neural networks can be interpreted as doing this algorithmically (without human understanding.)
But here the Singularity advocates seem to be forgetting the distinction between a simulation and the original.
stj wrote: View Post
Also, it is still simply an error to insist that the "mind" has to be understood to be modeled. One may insist that one doesn't believe in "souls" but if they hold a concept that has supernatural powers, such as ineffability, no one else is required to take the claim seriously.

(Technically, one might claim that the "mind" is a QM phenomenon, hence uncopiable. Or one might claim that the "mind" is inseparable from the activity of the body and uncopiable for about the same reasons as one could not copy a flame. But no one has made such claims, have they?)...

Emotions are the motors of thought. Expert systems and AI are not like human thinking precisely because they do not have human emotions. What will serve as drivers to compel programs to the necessity of making intuitive leaps, then drawing conclusions upon unclear parameters is unkown. Which is why if and when such programs are devised, they will surely have "emotions" unlike those of human beings. Hence, as I said, AI should be read "alien intelligence."

Another way of putting it is to recall that "consciousness" can be substituted with "point of view." How can a CPU have a human point of view? How can its sensorium possibly be like that of a hairless primate?
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The feedback processes in the human mind rewire the brain. Neural networks do this in a sense, which is why they were regarded with such fascination by AI researchers. But at this point, very little is allowed/attempted in the way of self-reprogramming. Additionally, the feedback in human minds pertains to the effects of their actions on the environment in pursuit of their goals. As yet very few programs are given general goals and their abilities to affect their environment are quite limited. The thing the Singularity believers do have right is that advances in processing speed and memory capacity and in programming will indeed increase this kind of feedback. And they are very likely right the increase will be exponential, at least to begin with. It is reasonable to suspect the results will be incalculable....

As expert systems become more and more expert, interacting with more and more of their environment in pursuit of more and more goals, an expertise indistinguishable from intelligence is likely to emerge, just as it does in human minds. Not human personality, mind you, but intelligence....

Why would you simulate a human brain, except to study the brain? If you succeeded, would it be murder to turn off the program? Or, as seems more likely, would creating a mind which is essentially a deaf, dumb, mute quadriplegic be a shockingly cruel thing to do? I think any real AI would be remarkably alien from human intelligence. Perhaps it would not be self-aware in our sense at all. I don't think the Singularity people are extrapolating correctly but nor do I see how such possibilities can be dismissed solely as flights of fancy.
stj wrote: View Post
Human creativity derives from fairly mundane processes. There is no reason given so far to decree that these processes or homologues for them cannot be recreated by nonorganic systems....

Oh, I think intuition is very important in practice. But I don't think it is intrinsically different from boring, step-by-step thinking. It's "merely" automatic thinking, in which we don't consciously articulate reasons for our conclusions, don't consciously trace the path of thought....

Seriously, since so much human intelligence isn't aware, why is it so necessary to insist on this?

As I said before, "consciousness" can be substituted by "point of view." The supposed illusion of consciousness can somehow enable a person with closed eyes to identify the location of a limb and communicate this to another human. Quite aside from the peculiar ability of an illusion to generate true information, if I had written "The supposed illusion of a point of view can somehow...." you'd have supposed I'd lost my mind. Now, a human needs its neural homunculus, it needs its point of view to regulate its body and navigate the world. Why would a CPU need a point of view?

Possibly the most important practical obstacle in the long run to AI is our desire that programs do only limited things, i.e., the tasks we want done. By our standards, if in a world of thousands of expert systems embodied in furniture, houses, implants constantly interacting in increasingly complex tasks, programs that start to rewrite themselves to achieve whatever bizarre aims emerge from this chaotic mass would be ghosts in the machine, fit only for exorcism.
stj wrote: View Post
... there most certainly is one way a sufficiently powerful computing system can produce novelty, trial and error. Experience shows this! There is another reason, not as conclusive I think but still a point which must be refuted, which is a sufficiently powerful system can use a data base of background facts vastly in excess of anything remotely imaginable now. Given this, yes, the onus is on you.

The real difficulty in the Singularity concept is the extrapolation, not the assumption that AI is simulable. Your continued assumption that thinking cannot be copied is purely mystical.
Given that people cannot even understand this thread, I'm sadly confident they don't understand science. Certainly they don't grasp the meaning of exponential. They will continue preaching to the choir, no matter what.
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Old June 5 2012, 08:21 PM   #100
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Re: David Brin's latest novel, and a TED talk

Reposting all of that proves nothing, your basic points have been refuted, you simply refuse to see that.

And accusing everyone else of not understanding science, while only posting puesdo-mystical bullshit yourself and having each post in turn point for point proven wrong, just makes you look even more ridiculous.

Just quit now before you make a bigger fool of yourself.
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Old June 5 2012, 08:41 PM   #101
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Re: David Brin's latest novel, and a TED talk

All right, so stj has established that he doesn't understand how computers and programming actually work.

You can say "trial and error," you can say "exponential growth" ...but given the way you use buzzwords to evade logic you might as well just say "a wizard did it."

It's pretty much a case of "God/Kurzweil said it, I believe it, that settles it."
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Old June 5 2012, 10:08 PM   #102
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Re: David Brin's latest novel, and a TED talk

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
Exactly so. This is where irrational faith in the Singularity stands in for knowledge and analysis.

And it is incumbent upon people making preposterous claims to produce some evidence-based reasoning for them. Thus far, they can't.

So far the evidence for potential human-level AI (and I don't mean personality, emotions necessarily) is the strongest evidence out there, it's been calculated by cyberneticists and researchers since the 80s and 90s, it coincides with claims made by those supporting transhumanism with a date ranging from 2035-2050. Anything after that is speculation, but the fact is, computers will surpass human intelligence at some point. I would say the preponderance of evidence for the possibility of the Singularity is there both from past history and with projections, some of it is inevitable, some of it is not. I've supplied technological, economic, political, and rationale supporting it, and answered direct criticisms, so far the detractors haven't been very convincing with similar evidence.

http://commonsenseatheism.com/wp-con...and-Import.pdf

sojourner wrote: View Post
This thread just inspired me to change my signature.
I think my signature is a perceptive observation why even intelligent people or those involved in technological endeavors have difficulty accepting the Singularity. People love playing safe and thinking in the box. Yup, computers and AI will be exactly the same in 30 years, only with different doo-dads and blinkies.

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Old June 5 2012, 10:17 PM   #103
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Re: David Brin's latest novel, and a TED talk

Yep, Kurzweil discounts everyone else. Only he can "stretch" his imagination.
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Old June 5 2012, 10:25 PM   #104
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Re: David Brin's latest novel, and a TED talk

There is a brief David Brin article in the latest SFX magazine, the one with the STNG 25th anniversary cover. Its on page 13. He does confirm my inference earlier in the thread that he is working on another Uplift novel. I've talked with Brin several times on Facebook and he kept this information rather quiet!

http://www.sfx.co.uk/2012/05/30/sfx223-on-sale-now/
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Old June 6 2012, 12:02 AM   #105
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Re: David Brin's latest novel, and a TED talk

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post
If you think there are no differences from IE 2 and my current Chrome of Firefox then you really haven't been paying attention. I do realize some people want to remain firmly rooted in safe observances of past change.
No, you're exaggerating the virtues of the few basic improvements that have been made in Internet browsers in order to support your largely-unsupported religious faith. Browsers themselves, with their clumsy load of legacy code and design are a good example of one of Lanier's basic criticisms of cybernetic totalism: since human beings have shown no evidence of being able to write the kinds of software that would make strong A.I. possible, it's necessary for evangelists to posit a magical moment at which computers will somehow begin to write their own software and create their own successors.

There is no reason based in evidence to expect this to happen soon, if ever.

So, what is this assumption based on? Faith. Wishful thinking. Nothing more, no observations drawn from history or the real world.

Attempting to use the applicability of Moore's law to computer hardware as a starting assumption and basis for extrapolating a similar exponential growth and evolution in processes of a different sort and order exposes the essential laziness in the thinking of Kurzweil and his ilk. As others have pointed out, it's worth considering that biological evolution (the touchstone model here) has not, despite a head start of billions of years, stumbled onto the "algorithms" which would support exponentially accelerating change of this kind (despite the self-evident utility of such for the adaptation and survival of living forms).

The basic presumption underlying groundless faith in the Singularity is that it will happen now because we're special and living in a special time. Also, we don't want to die. As someone said, it truly is "the Rapture for geeks."
As I have already proven, AI is already billions of years ahead of natural evolution in equivalent organic computing power.

No, even now recent browsers are far less sophisticated, the newest tools which allow for compatability cross platform, can't even be run by them much less the ancient browsers I started with in the 90s.

http://blog.chadallard.com/2011/11/d...and-html5.html

One of the criticisms I didn't mention was that software would not match the hardware of a computer that equals human intelligence, say circa 2030...Vernor Vinge in particular suggests this may be an eventual failure if the Singularity does not comes to pass...however, this perceived weakness in AI has been found to be unwarranted by a science and technology group advising the White House:

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/0...m_medium=email

Factual information that software BEATS Moore's hardware law. This makes it far more likely that the advancements in the field will match date range claimed.

Kurzweil answers Lanier on page 435 of The Singularity is Near, and counter to Lanier's claims of a software deus ex machina, Kurzweil gives a specific and detailed response on how software intelligence can be achieved. He counters several of Lanier's other claims in the same section, including software price-performance:giving text-to-speech programs as an example of increased complexity(an area he has actually developed technology in), and also mentions that software code already exceeds that of the human genome in autonomic computing. Remember, Kurzweil is also a software developer..
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