On Mon, Aug 15, 2011 at 12:13 AM, Colin Geoffrey Hales <
> Colin and Craig,
> Imagine that God has such a machine on his desk, which he uses to compute
> the updated positions of each particle in some universe over each unit of
> Planck time. Would you agree it is possible for the following to occur in
> the simulation:
> 1. Stars to coalesce due to gravity and begin fusion?
> 2. Simple biological molecules to forum?
> 3. Simple single-celled life forms to evolve
> 4. More complex multi-cellular life forms to evolve?
> 5. Intelligent life forms to evolve (at least as intelligent as humans)?
> 6. Intelligent life in the simulation to solve problems and develop culture
> and technology?
> 7. For that intelligent life to question qualia?
> 8. For that intelligent life to define the hard problem?
> 9. For those beings to create an interconnected network of computers and
> debate this same topic?
> If you disagree with any of the numbered possibilities, please state which
> ones you disagree with.
> Colin ============= ****
> I don’t know about Craig...but I disagree with all of them. ****
> Your premise, that the God’s-Desk Turing machine is relevant, is misplaced.
It was to avoid any distraction on the topics of run time, resources, tape
> A) The Turing Machine in the video is inside this (our reality) reality. It
> uses reality (whatever it is) to construct the Turing machine. All
> expectations of the machine are constructed on this basis. It is the only
> basis for expectations of creation of AGI within our reality.
Does it matter where a Turing machine is for it to be a Turing machine? Do
you think it matters from the program's point of view what is providing the
basis for its computation?
In any case, if you find it problematic then assume the Turing machine is
run by some advanced civilization instead of on God's desk.
> B) The Turing machine on your God’s desk is not that (A) at all. You could
> be right or wrong or merely irrelevant... and it would change nothing in (A)
> Until you de-confuse these 2 points of view, your 9 points have no meaning.
Can we accurately simulate physical laws or can't we? Before you answer,
take a few minutes to watch this amazing video, which simulates the
distribution of mass throughout the universe on the largest scales:
(Note each point of light represents a galaxy, not a star)
> The whole idea that computation is necessarily involved in intelligence is
> also likewise taken along for the ride. There’s no (A)-style Turing
> computation going on in a brain.
Either the brain follows predictable laws or it does not. If it does follow
predictable laws, then a model of the brains behavior can be created. The
future evolution of this model can then be determined by a Turing machine.
The evolution of the model would be as generally intelligent as the brain
its model was based upon.
You must believe in some randomness, magic, infinities or undecideability
somewhere in the physics of this universe that are relavent to the behavior
of the brain. Otherwise there is no reason for such a model to not be
> (A)-style Turing-Computing a model of a brain is not a brain for the same
> reason (A)-style computing a model of fire is not fire.
But the question here is whether or not the model is intelligent? Not what
"style" of intelligence it happens to be. I don't see how the "style" of
intelligence can make any meaningful difference. The intelligence of the
model could drive the same behaviors, it would react the same way in the
same situations, answer the same questions with the same answers, fill out
the bubbles in a standardized test in the same way, so how is this
"A-intelligence" different from "B-intelligence"? I think you are
manufacturing an difference where there is none. (Does that make it an
> To me, ****
> (i) reality-as-computation****
> (ii) computation of a model of reality within the reality
> (iii) to be made of/inside inside an actual reality, and able to make a
> model of it from within****
> (iv) an actual reality****
> are all different things. The video depicts a bit of a (iv) doing (iii),
> from the perspective of an observer within (iv). I’m not interested in
> simulating anything. I want to create artificial cognition (AGI) the same
> way artificial flight is flight.****
Your belief that AGI is impossible to achieve through computers depends on
at least one of the following propositions being true:
1. Accurate simulation of the chemistry or physics underlying the brain is
2. Human intelligence is something beyond the behaviors manifested by the
Which one(s) do you think is/are correct and why?
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