On 2/19/2018 12:27 PM, 'Chris de Morsella' via Everything List wrote:


    On Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 3:56 AM, Lawrence Crowell
    <goldenfieldquaterni...@gmail.com> wrote:
    On Sunday, February 18, 2018 at 10:00:24 PM UTC-6, Brent wrote:



        On 2/18/2018 6:26 PM, Lawrence Crowell wrote:
        Computers such as AlphaGo have complex algorithms for taking
        the rules of a game like chess and running through long
        Markov chains of game events to increase their data base for
        playing the game. There is not really anything about "knowing
        something" going on here. There is a lot of hype over AI
        these days, but I suspect a lot of this is meant to beguile
        people. I do suspect in time we will interact with AI as if
        it were intelligent and conscious. The really big changer
        though I think will be the neural-cyber interlink that will
        put brains as the primary internet nodes.

        Why would you suppose that when electronics have a signal
        speed ten million times faster than neurons? Presently neurons
        have an advantage in connection density and power dissipation;
        but I see no reason they can hold that advantage.

        Brent


    I think it may come down to computers that obey the Church-Turing
    thesis, which is finite and bounded. Hofstadter's book /Godel
    Escher Bach/ has a chapter Bloop, Floop, Gloop where the Bloop
    means bounded loop or a halting program on a Turing machine.
    Biology however is not Bloop, but is rather a web of processors
    that are more Floop, or free loop. The busy beaver algorithm is
    such a case, which grows in complexity with each step. The
    computation of many fractals is this as well, where the Mandelbrot
    set with each iteration on a certain scale needs refinement to
    another floating point precision and thus grows in huge
    complexity. These of course in practice halting because the
    programmer puts in by hand a stop. These are recursively
    enumerable, and their complement in a set theoretic sense are
    Godel loops or Gloop. For machines to have properties at least
    parallel to conscious behavior we really have to be running in at
    least Floop and maybe into Gloop.

    LC

    Not sure if this has been touched on in this thread but it seems
    to me that the emergent phenomenon of both self-awareness and
    consciousness depend on information hiding in some fundamental
    way. Both our self awareness and our conscious minds, which from
    our incomplete perspective seem to be innate and ever present (at
    least when we are awake) are themselves the emergent outcomes of a
    vast amount of neural networked activities that is exquisitely
    hidden from us. We are unaware of the Genesis of our own awareness.

    Evidence from MRI scans supports this conclusion that before we
    are aware of being aware of some objectively measurable external
    event, or before we experience having a thought, that the almost
    one hundred billion neurons crammed into our highly folded
    cortexual pizza pie stuffed inside our skulls have been very busy
    and chatty indeed. As the MRI scans indicate.

    We are aware of being aware and we experience conscious existence,
    but the process by which both our conscious experience and our own
    awareness of being arises within our minds is largely hidden from us.
    I think it is a fair and reasonable question to ask: Is
    information hiding a necessary an integral aspect of processes
    through which self-awareness and consciousness arise?


I think information hiding is looking at it the wrong way around. It would take more layers of neurons to record and interpret the neurons responsible for your thoughts...a total waste from an evolutionary viewpoint.  Taking my favorite example of designing an AI Mars Rover, one provides for internal monitoring of some systems, e.g. power, temperature, etc.  But what would you provide to monitor the computer(s) themselves.  In principle you could record every step, but what would you do with it?  If you have mulitple computers on board (as is likely) you'd just take one that was doing funny things off line...but you don't have to record everything to identify a computer that's flaky.  All you need is some error correction and majority voting.  So there's just no practical reason to try to "un-hide" all that information processing at the cost of a lot more information processing.


    In computer science the rather recent emergence of deep mind
    neural networks that are characterized by having many layers, of
    which only the input layer and output layer of neurons are
    directly measurable, while conversely the many other layers that
    are arrayed in the stack between them remain hidden offers some
    intriguing parallels that also seem to indicate a critical role
    for information hiding. The Google deep mind machine learned
    neural networks for image processing, for example, have 10 to 30
    (or by now perhaps even more) stacked layers of artificial
    neurons, most of which are hidden.

    Because of the non-linearity of the processes in play within these
    artificial deep stacks of layered artificial neurons it is
    difficult to really know in any definitive manner exactly what is
    going on. The outcomes from experimenting on the statistically
    trained (or in the vernacular, machine learned) models, by for
    example tweaking training parameters to experimentally see how
    doing so effects the resulting outcomes and by also subsequently
    forensically analyzing any generated logs & other telemetry are
    often surprisingly beautiful dreamscapes that are not reducible to
    a series of algorithmic steps applied by the many hidden layers to
    whatever input signals that have been fed to the input layer of
    neurons.

    It seems to me that the emergence of consciousness & self
    awareness as well is exquisitely nonlinear in nature. And that
    this outcome characterized by being non-linear, itself depends on
    information hiding in order to be able to operate. Each successive
    layer in the stack is mostly unaware of the vast array of
    activities occurring on the layers beneath it... or above it for
    that matter.

    Would consciousness or self awareness even be possible without
    introducing information hiding in the deep stack through which
    these phenomena emerge? Personally I do not think we could be
    conscious or self aware without the multiple degrees of
    non-linearity introduced into the sensorial signal + triggered
    memory recall processing stream by the fire wall of information
    hiding.

    It is by hiding away, by far most of the processing stack from us
    that we experience this seemingly magical state of being. We
    emerge in a non linear manner from a hidden world that we are (for
    the most part) blithely unaware of.

    The fact that a very similar kind of process seems to be taking
    place in these stacked layers of artificial neurons most of which
    are hidden supports this thesis.

    Is information hiding in fact, necessary to the emergence of
    self-awareness & consciousness?


It's necessary for the "illusion of free will", and under mining that "illusion" would also undermine the idea of self.  My idea is that awareness, consciousness, and self-awareness are just aspects of models of the world we make most of which are not conscious but a few of which our brain puts into a coherent story (in language or images) for memory and future reference.  We can't remember everything and even if we did we couldn't access it in reasonable times.  So learning requires that the past experience be summarized some stories, some of which is fabricated by making it coherent with other past stories.  That's the reason the more an event is recalled by a witness the more coherent but the less veridical it becomes.

Brent
"The world is made of stories, not atoms."
   --- Muriel Rukeyser


    This is the question I pose.

    -Chris



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