On 30 Oct 2013, at 17:08, Chris de Morsella wrote:



-----Original Message-----
From: everything-list@googlegroups.com
[mailto:everything-list@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Telmo Menezes
Sent: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 8:50 AM
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Douglas Hofstadter Article

On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 5:34 AM, Chris de Morsella <cdemorse...@yahoo.com >
wrote:


-----Original Message-----
From: everything-list@googlegroups.com
[mailto:everything-list@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Telmo Menezes
Sent: Monday, October 28, 2013 2:32 AM
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Douglas Hofstadter Article

On Sun, Oct 27, 2013 at 10:49 PM, Chris de Morsella
<cdemorse...@yahoo.com>
wrote:


-----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.

Cool. And I like what you say, btw.

Thanks, and likewise, btw :)


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.

Agreed.


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.

My contention though, is that impressive as these things may be, I'm
not
convinced that they belong to the track that will produce what I
consider to be true AI -- or at least no more in its track than any
other computer science achievements.

I take your point. A generalized self-aware intelligence is a much
more formidable goal. But perhaps these increasingly smart and
self-learning expert systems will develop the techniques and toolsets
in which some day an AI will emerge.


My opinion is that Löbian machines like PA or ZF are already as clever and conscious as us. It is our own dumbness, or laziness, which prevents our consideration of this. But AUDA illustrates that we can talk with them, interview them on theological questions, and that they are already comparable to ... Plotinus, which is in advance on theology compared to the Aristotelian.

Of course today, such dialog, needs a lot of work, so it is not transparent.

Bruno






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.

Perhaps we can be more optimistic here. We had two global wars in the
first half of the XX century but the third world war never came.
Notice that in the midst of the second world war, there was a real
concern
that we could be in this state of total war forever -- that modern
weaponry had removed the possibility for peace. It was partly this
fear that lead to the horrendous decision of dropping atomic bombs on
Hiroshima and Nagazaki.
I'm not trying to be an apologist here, I abhor violence. I'm just
trying to recover some context.

Then we survived the cold war and its extinction level threat of
thermo-nuclear war. In the great scheme of things, we seem to be able
to increase the wisdom of our species when confronted with new levels
of destructive power.

Telmo.

All true, but we have also kicked off the greatest planetary
extinction event of many millions of years.

Not sure what you are referring to?

To this: It's frightening but true: Our planet is now in the midst of its sixth mass extinction of plants and animals - the sixth wave of extinctions in the past half-billion years. We're currently experiencing the worst spate of species die-offs since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
Although extinction is a natural phenomenon, it occurs at a natural
"background" rate of about one to five species per year. Scientists estimate we're now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate, with literally dozens going extinct every day [1]. It could be a scary future indeed, with as many as 30 to 50 percent of all species possibly heading
toward extinction by mid-century [2].
http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/biodiversity/elements_of_biodive
rsity/extinction_crisis/

And this planet is running out of easy oil and the struggles over the
last remaining mega fields could get intense...
the pre-amble wars have already been fought in the Persian Gulf. Oil
is the heroin of industrial society; and junkies in need of a fix do
crazy shit. We have amassed such terrible weaponry and can behave so
irrationally and violently when cornered. I very much hope you are
right and that I am wrong.. btw.

Yeah, I agree. The dependence on fossil fuels is our greatest existential
threat, in my opinion.
The earth's oil reserves may be a "do or die" opportunity for human
civilisation. We should be using this energy free-ride to bootstrap the next
generation of energy generation tech. I don't think we are.
There are plenty of interesting ideas but they require a lot of initial energy investment. Once we really need them, we might not have the energy budge to pull them off. Depressingly, this might be an explanation for the Fermi paradox -- the idea that overcoming fossil fuel dependence is a great
filter that civilisations are very unlikely to survive.

Yeah I fear we are staring at a pretty narrow bottleneck and instead of
having been taking the necessary steps and making the necessary
infrastructural and technology investments -- many which require lead times of 30 to 40 years from planning to final deployment of full scale systems -- we have been on a blind rush to burn this fossil treasure up as quickly as possible for now particular good reason. Not a wise course of action and one
which is going to really sink us.

The upside is: if one believes in the MWI or comp, it's all good anyway.
:)

Yeah... no worries here... I will take it as it unfolds.
Cheers,
-Chris

Best,
Telmo.


.

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