-----Original Message-----
From: everything-list@googlegroups.com
[mailto:everything-list@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Telmo Menezes
Sent: Friday, October 25, 2013 2:38 PM
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Douglas Hofstadter Article

On Fri, Oct 25, 2013 at 10:30 PM, Chris de Morsella <cdemorse...@yahoo.com>
wrote:
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
> [mailto:everything-list@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of meekerdb
> Sent: Friday, October 25, 2013 10:46 AM
> To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
> Subject: Re: Douglas Hofstadter Article
>
> On 10/25/2013 3:24 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:
>> My high-level objection is very simple: chess was an excuse to pursue 
>> AI. In an era of much lower computational power, people figured that 
>> for a computer to beat a GM at chess, some meaningful AI would have 
>> to be developed along the way. I don' thing that Deep Blue is what 
>> they had in mind. IBM cheated in a way. I do think that Deep Blue is 
>> an accomplishment, but not_the_  accomplishment we hoped for.
>
>>> Tree search and alpha-beta pruning have very general application so 
>>> I
> have no doubt they are among the many techniques that human brains use.
> Also having a very extensive 'book'
> memory is something humans use.  But the memorized games and position 
> evaluation are both very specific to chess and are hard to duplicate 
> in general problem solving.  So I think chess programs did contribute 
> a little to AI. The Mars Rover probably uses decision tree searches
sometimes.
>
> Agreed.
> Some manner (e.g. algorithm) of pruning the uninteresting branches -- 
> as they are discovered -- from dynamic sets of interest is fundamental 
> in order to achieve scalability. Without being able to throw stuff out 
> as stuff comes in -- via the senses (and meta interactions with the 
> internal state of mind
> -- such as memories) -- an being will rather quickly gum up in 
> information overload and memory exhaustion. Without pruning; growth 
> grows geometrically out of control.
> There is pretty good evidence -- from what I have read about current 
> neural science -- that the brain is indeed, throwing away a large 
> portion of raw sensory data during the process of reifying these 
> streams into the smooth internal construct or model of reality that we 
> in fact experience. In other words our model -- what we "see", what we 
> "hear", "taste", "smell", "feel", "orient" [a distinct inner ear 
> organ]  (and perhaps other senses -- such as the sense of the 
> directional flow of time perhaps  as well)... in any case this 
> construct, which is what we perceive as real contains (and is 
> constructed from) only a fraction of the original stream of raw 
> sensorial data. In fact in some cases the brain can be tricked into 
> "editing" actual real sense supplied visual reality for example 
> literally out of the picture
> -- as has experimentally been demonstrated.
> We do not experience the real world; we experience the model of it, 
> our brains have supplied us with, and that model, while in most cases 
> is pretty well reflective of actual sensorial streams, it crucially 
> depends on the mind's internal state and its pre-conscious 
> operations... on all the pruning and editing that is going on in the 
> buffer zone between when the brain begins working on our in-coming 
> reality perception stream and when we -- the observer -- self-perceive our
current stream of being.
> It also seems clear that the brain is pruning as well by drilling down 
> and focusing in on very specific and micro-structure oriented tasks 
> such as visual edge detection (which is a critical part of 
> interpreting visual data) for example. If some dynamic neural 
> micro-structure decides it has recognizes a visual edge, in this 
> example, it probably fires some synchronized signal as expeditiously 
> as it can, up the chain of dynamically forming and inter-acting 
> neural-decision-nets, grabbing the next bucket in an endless stream
needing immediate attention.
> I would argue that nervous systems that were not adept at throwing 
> stuff out as soon as its information value decayed, long ago became a 
> part of the food supply of long ago ancestor life forms with nervous 
> systems that were better at throwing stuff out, as soon as it was no 
> longer needed. I would argue there is a clear evolutionary pressure 
> for optimizing environmental response through efficient (yet also high 
> fidelity) pruning algorithms in order to be able to maximize neural 
> efficiency and speed up sense perception (the reification that we 
> perceive unfolding before us) This is also a factor in speed of 
> operation, and in survival a fast brain is almost always better than a
slow brain; slow brains lead to short lives.
> But not just pruning, selective & very rapid signal amplification is 
> the flip side of pruning -- and this is also very much going on as 
> well. For example the sudden shadow flickering on the edge of the 
> visual field that for some reason, leaps front and center into the 
> fore of conscious focus, as adrenalin pumps... sudden, snapping to the 
> fore. And all this, from just a small peripheral flicker that the 
> brain decided on some local sentinel algorithm level was in some 
> manner out of place.... maybe because there was also a sound, 
> directionally oriented in the same orientation. Clearly the brain is 
> able to suddenly amplify a signal -- and also critically at any step 
> along the way to the final synthesis of the disparate sense signals 
> into a cohesive picture -- and jam it right up to the executive level, 
> promoting it up the brain's attention chain much more rapidly and
prominently than is normally the case.
> The survival benefits of this kind of alarming circuitry as well as 
> pruning is clear, and our brains circuitry is the outcome of billions 
> of years of selective pressure and I am fairly certain that both 
> signal suppression
> (pruning) as well as signal amplification are operating at all scales.

>>I'm not arguing against any of these things.

Nor am I suggesting you were :)
Just jumping into things.

>>
>> I believe there will be an AI renaissance and I hope to be alive to 
>> witness it.
>
> You may be disappointed, or even dismayed.  I don't think there's much 
> reason to expect or even want to create human-like AI.  That's like 
> the old idea of achieving flight by attaching wings to people and make 
> them like birds.  Airplanes don't fly like birds.  It may turn out 
> that "real" AI, intelligence that far exceeds human capabilities, will 
> be more like Deep Blue than Kasparov.
>
> Brent
>
> Brent -- I tend to agree with you here as well, much as it would be 
> flattering to us if super-AI was like us, but well, just better...

>> This part tends to triggers ideological reactions. The doubt is if it's
going to be leftist or religious :)

Super AI could be so alien to our limited capacity of perception that our
threads off existence would barely intersect, if they ever did. Even our
perception of reality -- occurring within a four dimensional matrix with a
one way flow of time -- may be so reduced and flattened as to be
incomparable with reality for super AI. Who's to say we even would inhabit
the same reality.


> there is
> no guarantee that the actual outcome of a self-emergent process that 
> generates a self-perpetuating AI will have much resemblance to us on 
> an emotional/empathetic level.

>> There are a lot of false dichotomies going on here. I would bet there are
many different types of intelligence, some more human like, some less, that
can be engineered by a number of different processes, some more
self-emergent, some more controlled.

Agreed. AI will arise first as domain specific AI -- for example the
self-driving car; or the autonomous hunter-killer drone... or on the other
end of the spectrum from death machines -- the robotic nanny that can also
call for help and care for infants or Alzheimer's patients. These would bear
little resemblance to each other -- at least on a functional level. 

Perhaps however there may be some underlying algorithmic similarities --
some design patterns for consciousness. I would not rule this out either.. 

> The prime driver for the evolution of AI is currently and has for a 
> long time been for military applications. This is where the big money 
> is.
> If it becomes a Darwinian process and the evolutionary pressure is to 
> develop effective & increasingly autonomous killing machines then the 
> kind of AI that I am guessing eventually emerges out from these 
> selective pressures could potentially behave in an exceedingly 
> unpleasant & deadly manner towards humans and in fact may not like us at
all.

>> I have some hope that violence diminishes at higher levels of
intellectual development.
 
I share your hope, but my heart is saddened by how we do not seem to as a
species be fulfilling this hope of yours, which I share in.
-Chris



Telmo.

> -Chris
>
>> But for this renaissance to take place, I think two cultural shifts 
>> have to happen:
>>
>> - A disinterest with the "science as the new religion" stance, 
>> leading to a truly scientific detachment from findings. Currently, 
>> everything that touches the creation of intelligence is ideologically 
>> loaded from all sides of the discussion. This taints honest 
>> scientific inquiry;
>>
>> - New economic structures that allow humanity to pursue complex goals 
>> outside the narrow short-term focus on profit of corporatism or the 
>> pointless status wars of academia.
>>
>> Best,
>> Telmo.
>
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