2012/5/29 Colin Geoffrey Hales <cgha...@unimelb.edu.au>

> Here's a story I just wrote. I'll get it published in due course.
> Just posted it to the FoR list, thought you might appreciate the
> sentiments....
>
> ========================================================
> It's 100,000 BCE. You are a politically correct caveperson. You want
> dinner. The cooling body of the dead thing at your feet seems to be your
> option. You have fire back at camp. That'll make it palatable. The fire is
> kept alive by the fire-warden of your tribe. None of you have a clue what
> it is, but it makes the food edible and you don't care.
>
> It's 1700ish AD. You are a French scientist called Lavoisier. You have
> just worked out that burning adds oxygen to the fuel. You have killed off
> an eternity of dogma involving a non-existent substance called phlogiston.
> You will not be popular, but the facts speak for you. You are happy with
> your day's work. You go to the kitchen and cook your fine pheasant meal.
> You realise that oxidation never had to figure in your understanding of how
> to make dinner. Food for thought is your dessert.
>
> It is 2005 and you are designing a furnace. You use COMSOL Multiphysics on
> your supercomputer. You modify the gas jet configuration and the flames
> finally get the dead pocket in the corner up to temperature. The toilet
> bowls will be well cooked here, you think to yourself. If you suggested to
> your project leader that the project was finished she would think you are
> insane. Later, in commissioning your furnace, a red hot toilet bowl is the
> target of your optical pyrometer. The fierceness of the furnace is palpable
> and you're glad you're not the toilet bowl. The computation of the physics
> of fire and the physics of fire are, thankfully, not the same thing - that
> fact has made your job a lot easier, but you cannot compute yourself a
> toilet bowl. A fact made more real shortly afterwards in the bathroom.
>
> It is the early 20th century and you are a 'Wright Brother'. You think you
> can make a contraption fly. Your inspiration is birds. You experiment with
> shaped wood, paper and canvas in a makeshift wind tunnel. You figure out
> that certain shapes seems to drag less and lift more. Eventually you flew a
> few feet. And you have absolutely no clue about the microscopic physics of
> flight.
>
> It is a hundred years later and you are a trainee pilot doing 'touch and
> go' landings in a simulator. The physics of flight is in the massive
> computer system running the simulator. Just for fun you stall your jetliner
> and crash it into a local shopping mall. Today you have flown 146, 341 km.
> As you leave the simulator, you remind yourself that the physics of flight
> in the computer and flight itself are not the same thing, and that nobody
> died today.
>
> No-one ever needed a theory of combustion prior to cooking dinner with it.
> We cooked dinner and then we eventually learned a theory of combustion.
>
> No-one needed the deep details of flight physics to work out how to fly.
> We few, then we figured out how the physics of flight worked.
>
> This is the story of the growth of scientific knowledge of the natural
> world. It has been this way for thousands of years. Any one of us could
> think of a hundred examples of exactly this kind of process. In a modern
> world of computing and physics, never before have we had more power to
> examine in detail, whatever are the objects of our study. And in each and
> every case, if anyone told you that a computed model of the natural world
> and the natural world are literally the same thing, you'd brand them daft
> or deluded and probably not entertain their contribution as having any
> value.
>
> Well almost. There's one special place where not only is that very
> delusion practised on a massive scale, if you question the behaviour, you
> are suddenly confronted with a generationally backed systematic raft of
> unjustified excuses, perhaps 'policies'?, handed from mentor to novice with
> such unquestioning faith that entire scientific disciplines are enrolled in
> the delusion.
>
> Q. What scientific discipline could this be?
>
> A. The 'science' of artificial intelligence.
>
> It is something to behold. Here, for the first time in history, you find
> people that look at the only example of natural general intelligence - you,
> the human reading this - accept a model of a brain, put it in a computer
> and then expect the result to be a brain. This is done without a shred of
> known physical law, in spite of thousands of years of contrary experience,
> and despite decades of abject failure to achieve the sacred goal of an
> artificial intelligence like us.
>
> This belief system is truly bizarre. It is exactly like the cave person
> drawing a picture of a flame on a rock and then expecting it to cook
> dinner. It is exactly like getting into a flight simulator, flying it to
> Paris and then expecting to get out and have dinner on the banks of the
> Seine.


You always put that level confusion on the table. You could expect to have
dinner in a virtual paris if you were in a virtual world. If you want an
computational AI to interact with you, it must be able to control real
world appendices that permits it to *interact* or likewise if it was in a
virtual world, you should use a interface with this virtual world for you
to interact.

You can't expect level to be mixed without an interface and I don't see any
problem with that.

Quentin




> It is exactly like expecting your computer simulated furnace roasting you
> a toilet bowl.
>
> Think about it. If there was no difference between a computed physics
> model of fire and fire, then why doesn't the computer burst into flames? If
> there was no difference between a computed model of flight and flight, then
> why doesn't the computer leap up and fly? These things don't happen! Not
> only that, any computer scientist would say you were nuts to believe it to
> be a possibility. Then that same computer scientist will then got back to
> their desk, sit down and believe that their computer program can be brain
> physics.
>
> Now I am all about creating real artificial general intelligence. Call me
> crazy, but I find I am unique in the entire world. I am set about literally
> building artificial inorganic brain tissue. Like the Wright Bros built
> artificial flight. Like the caveperson built artificial fire. I will build
> artificial cognition. There will be no computing. There will be the physics
> of cognition.
>
> Ay now here's the rub.
>
> When I go about my business of organising and researching my artificial
> brain tissue I get questioned about my weird approach. I find that I am the
> one that has to justify my position! For the first time in history a
> completely systemic delusion about the relation between reality and
> computing is assumed by legions of scientists without question, and who
> fail constantly to achieve the goal for clearly obvious reasons..... _and I
> am the one that has to justify my approach_? If I have to listen to another
> deferral to the Church-Turing Thesis (100% right and 100% irrelevant) I
> will SCREAM! Aaaaiiiiieeeeeiiiiuuuuaaaaaaarrrrgggggh!
>
> I am not saying artificial general intelligence is impossible or even
> hard. I am simply suggesting that maybe the route toward it is through
> (shock horror) using the physics of cognition (brain material). Somebody
> out there..... please? Can there please be someone out there who sees this
> half century of computer science weirdness in 100,000 years of sanity?
> Please? Anyone?
> ==================================================================
>
> By Colin Hales
>
> Natural physics is a computation. Fine.
>
> But a computed natural physics model is NOT the natural physics....it is
> the natural physics of a computer.
>
>
>
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>


-- 
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

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