On 2/22/2018 7:06 PM, 'Chris de Morsella' via Everything List wrote:
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On Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 1:37 AM, Bruno Marchal
On 19 Feb 2018, at 21:27, 'Chris de Morsella' via Everything List
On Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 3:56 AM, Lawrence Crowell
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
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.
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?
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
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?
This is the question I pose.
The mechanist answer to this is “yes”. The more you have neurons,
the less conscious you are. The brain is a filter of the
(arithmetical) information. I will not insist now, as it is
shocking and quite counter-intuitive, but somehow, the Löbian
machine, which is more complex than the usual universal machine
(she knows that she is universal) is more deluded, it soul is
already”falling”, and it is less conscious. The math explains why
the machine will tend to believe the contrary, and why nature
benefits of that ignorance in some way. Now, the hidden
information is not necessarily related to the hidden layers of a
neural network, at least not at first sight. The hiding is more
logical/modal, at a deeper level, independent of the
implementations used in the computation.
In some ways, I think you are correct. One of the brain's
functions is to throw out information that it decides is
irrelevant or unimportant from it's own peculiar Darwinian
perspective. It is a filter, and necessary one, in order to
survive and thrive within the sensorial onslaught of reality.
Sometimes less is more.
However though perhaps a spider may exist in a less filtered
internal state of being than a mouse, I don't see how it is more
conscious. Is an amoeba even more conscious then than a spider. Is
the simplest most elementary particle the most conscious entity of
Now, I grant that consciousness & self-awareness may themselves be
an elaborate and necessary, schism & illusion arising from and
within the labrynthian neural networks of our brains and resulting
in our hermetic selves being cutoff by the very act of self
identification from the wellspring of a much vaster, deeper
ineffable being. So in this particular sense the very emergence of
self identification becomes a veil that cuts us off from direct
experience. We exist in reified mental constructs, inside a
filtered mind-generated virtual reality. We don't see, hear,
touch, smell or taste directly; instead we experience that which
our mind serves up to us.
Then you're granting what nobody asked for.
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