On 29 May 2012, at 09:49, Quentin Anciaux wrote:

2012/5/29 Quentin Anciaux <allco...@gmail.com>

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.

For example, a "real world" robot in a "real world" car factory builds real cars... still the program that controls the robot is *a program* 100% computational... yet it builds real cars... how ? Simply because it has interface with the "real world" which permits the program to handle "real world" objects, that assembled correctly makes a car...


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


Some people, like Colin in his post here, seems to have difficulties in understanding that digital processes can be digitally emulated (i.e. exactly simulated) by other digital processes. Comp assumes that the brain (whatever that is) simulates (exactly or not) a precise digital process, and that this digital process is what will support the conscious person, or makes its consciousness capable to manifest itself relatively to our neighborhood. If that is the case, then we can substitute a digital brain for the physical brain, even if we cannot simulate the "real hardware" of the physical brain. (And that is the case with comp because the real hardware is "made-of" all computations leading to our actual digital state).

That the brain is a simulator is illustrated by the existence of realist dreams. The brain is already able to make us believe that we are "really" drinking a cup of hot coffee, when we are "really" sleeping in our bed. Dream research has confirmed that during such realist dream, the activity of the sleeping brain mirrors the activity of the corresponding task if done when awake. Then it is doubtful that the brain uses genuine non Turing emulable subprocesses to do such task, although we cannot logically exclude such a possibility (in which case comp would be false). It is doubtful because such a "non-computable real number sensitive machine" would be incapable to have the observable flexibility of the known brains, which is based on super-redundancy in the means to handle information processing. That would also makes Darwinian type of explanation spurious. Indeed such explanations are based on the fact that we can survive very easily the deviation from a normal type of functioning, which allows the molecules used in the brain to evolve through sequences of mutations. A genuinely non Turing emulable analog machine would need a conspiracy of luck to get the "correct" infinitely precise needed configuration, and that would need some miracle (infinitely non probable event).


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.

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

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