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Old 13th December 2007, 02:55 PM   #41
Robin
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Originally Posted by rocketdodger View Post
A colony on the moon has been obtainable since 1968, forty years ago. Why don't we have a colony on the moon?
The fact that we could land a man on the moon does not imply that a colony was obtainable. A colony would require fairly regular travel to and from it for supplies, personnel changes, medical aid etc and a trip to the moon is a deeply complex task requiring long planning, huge expense and a lot of risk.

NASA can barely sustain the technology required to maintain the space station, the idea that we could institute some kind of shuttle service to the moon even now is laughable.
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Old 13th December 2007, 04:24 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by The_Animus View Post
Assumed ignorance isn't needed in this thread, or in any for that matter.
No offense intended but I know it's complete ignorance reading your first post. You managed to confuse varying complexities of AI and somehow managed to think that they are all advanced which is far from the case. Some of the technology in the current crop of consumer robotics is 21 years old. Not only that but you don't even think of the other implications. I can think of one such field where robotics can theoretically overcome physical limitations and in fact expand the length of a person's career. We are not at that point right now but it's theoretically possible.

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Old 13th December 2007, 04:41 PM   #43
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So what happens when robots are capable of doing all tasks except those requiring emotion, art, independent creative thought, and other high level tasks? Such tasks include the vast majority of jobs.
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Old 13th December 2007, 04:46 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by latent aaaack View Post
So what happens when robots are capable of doing all tasks except those requiring emotion, art, independent creative thought, and other high level tasks? Such tasks include the vast majority of jobs.
Who says they won't be able to create art, or that we can:

Will Smith - Can you create a masterpiece?
Robot - No. Can you?



(with apologies on the quotes)
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Old 13th December 2007, 05:32 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
The fact that we could land a man on the moon does not imply that a colony was obtainable. A colony would require fairly regular travel to and from it for supplies, personnel changes, medical aid etc and a trip to the moon is a deeply complex task requiring long planning, huge expense and a lot of risk.
So what. It could have been done.

Originally Posted by Robin View Post
NASA can barely sustain the technology required to maintain the space station, the idea that we could institute some kind of shuttle service to the moon even now is laughable.
If so, it is because you are ignorant of how technologically advanced we are. Just because you can't buy something at Wal-Mart doesn't mean we can't make it.
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Old 13th December 2007, 06:27 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by rocketdodger View Post
So what. It could have been done.
No it couldn't. You could not have organised manned travel to the moon with the requisite reliability and regularity to support a moon colony in 1968 and you could not do it now. We just do not have that technology, or if we do I have not heard about it.
Quote:
If so, it is because you are ignorant of how technologically advanced we are. Just because you can't buy something at Wal-Mart doesn't mean we can't make it.
Well enlighten me then, what technological advance are you talking about that I am ignorant of? What technological advance has been made between 1968 and now that would make shuttle trips to the moon feasible? (and why don't NASA have it?)
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Old 13th December 2007, 10:06 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
No it couldn't. You could not have organised manned travel to the moon with the requisite reliability and regularity to support a moon colony in 1968 and you could not do it now. We just do not have that technology, or if we do I have not heard about it.
Then how were people able to travel to the moon and stay for over three days by 1972?

Are you also not aware of the Skylab space station?



Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Well enlighten me then, what technological advance are you talking about that I am ignorant of? What technological advance has been made between 1968 and now that would make shuttle trips to the moon feasible? (and why don't NASA have it?)
1) Reusable launch vehicles.

2) Computers.

3) Biology and biotechnology.

4) Material science.

5) Solar energy.

6) Nuclear energy.

7) Nutrition.

8) Medicine.

9) Communication.
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Old 13th December 2007, 10:35 PM   #48
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I think if you allow AI to advanced at an unrestrained rate it could potentially have a bad effect on humanity. Even if programmed not to harm humans, if it is truely intelligent, it can re-evaluate what it was programmed to believe and could potentially after seeing what it sees and knowing what it knows on people might re-evaluate this belief that it must not harm human beings, and seeing them as a pest might decide to start knocking humans off...

Theoretically anyway
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Old 13th December 2007, 11:04 PM   #49
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Ah yes, the old "Hollywood AI" argument.

I never got why people assumed that AIs would automatically want to kill humans.

Must be the whole "THEY AIN'T GOT SOULS!" gig.
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Old 14th December 2007, 06:45 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
Ah yes, the old "Hollywood AI" argument.

I never got why people assumed that AIs would automatically want to kill humans.

Must be the whole "THEY AIN'T GOT SOULS!" gig.

Or something like that I guess. If AIs would be faster, more concise an encompassing a greater range of variables and possible results, then the human mind, they might be more adherent to a moral standard (like not killing) then we find ourselves.

Fortunately, Hollywood has been no better at predicting the future (or relating the past) then anyone else. Of course stories where everyone gets along and there is no conflict tend not to be very entertaining.
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Old 14th December 2007, 07:26 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by INRM View Post
I think if you allow AI to advanced at an unrestrained rate it could potentially have a bad effect on humanity. Even if programmed not to harm humans, if it is truely intelligent, it can re-evaluate what it was programmed to believe and could potentially after seeing what it sees and knowing what it knows on people might re-evaluate this belief that it must not harm human beings, and seeing them as a pest might decide to start knocking humans off...

Theoretically anyway
Well, our experience with humans seems to show that they don't tend to "break their programming".

I mean, people in general are pretty good about not murdering their children, or siblings, for instance. (and when they do its more a case of the exception proving the rule).

Intelligence solves problems. But there's something else that determines what problems need to be solved - what matters and what doesn't. That comes down to priorities. For us those priorities are set by our emotions - things like love, pleasure, happiness, and their opposites.

The same could be done with any AI that was made to be intelligent in similar ways to humans.

Mind you, I'm with Dr Kitten - I don't see why we'd ever make such robots anyway - we've already got plenty of (too many I think) humans that can do the same thing. And those humans have parents who pay for their "construction" (via food, school bills, etc) someone else would have to pay for the construction of such robots.

The only real uses I can see for them is to fill people's emotional or sexual needs.
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Old 14th December 2007, 07:30 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
No it couldn't. You could not have organised manned travel to the moon with the requisite reliability and regularity to support a moon colony in 1968 and you could not do it now. We just do not have that technology, or if we do I have not heard about it.
Wouldn't it "just" have required an immense amount of money and an apathy toward a large number of astronaut's deaths?

If you can put people on the moon, then you can put more of them on the moon. If you can keep them there for a few days, and if you can get a rocket there before they have to leave that can either drop off supplies, or new people with supplies and take those who are there already home, then you've got a colony.

It's a useless colony, of course. And given the technology at the time (and now) sending people to the moon that often would be increadibly expensive (would the US have gone bankrupt trying to do so?) and many many astronauts would have been lost.

It seems rocketdodger is only saying that it could have been done. I'm not sure that he's right, but it seems likely. The only question is how expense (in both funds and human life) it would have been.
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Old 14th December 2007, 08:37 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by The Man View Post
AI refers to artificial intelligence or the artificial capacity for learning, reasoning and understanding. Current robots do not have anything that could even remotely be considered artificial intelligence.
Er, no. "Artificial intelligence," like "workforce," is a term that has changed over the years; the long-term tendency seems to be that it refers to anything that we can't get computers to do right now, but as soon as we develop the technology, it ceases to be AI.

For example, when the term was coined in the early 1950s (by John McCarthy), one of the big tasks that AI researchers were studying was so-called "automatic programming"; the task of generating machine-understandable code from a human-readable framework. Today we call programs like that "assemblers" and no one uses them any more, because AI researchers moved on to the next step, trying to develop "automatic programming" systems that would "understand" high-level descriptions of tasks and produce machine code to carry out the task. Today we call those "compilers."

Back in the early 70s, the idea of a program that would automatically typeset a document was AI of the highest order; by the 80s, DTP was a well-established field. In the 1970's, we developed dictionary-based spelling checkers, but "AI" was still considered necessary to build context-sensitive checkers or to build grammar checkers, both of which are commonly available today. In the 1980s we were building systems to read handwritten ZIP codes using "AI" techniques (neural networks were big for that, IIRC), and of course that's a commonplace today. And of course, today Google will apply AI techniques to read documents, determine their relevance, snd summarize them for you.

So, just as you don't get to shift the goalpost regarding "workforce," you don't get to shift it regarding "AI" either. What we have today was funded as AI research over the past fifty years to get us to where we are today.
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Old 14th December 2007, 08:42 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Wouldn't it "just" have required an immense amount of money and an apathy toward a large number of astronaut's deaths?

If you can put people on the moon, then you can put more of them on the moon. If you can keep them there for a few days, and if you can get a rocket there before they have to leave that can either drop off supplies, or new people with supplies and take those who are there already home, then you've got a colony.
Did we actually have that capacity? My understanding is that the Saturn V rocket took three months or so to build, and there's no way it could have delivered 300 person-days of food, water, and oxygen to the moon. So even keeping an Apollo crew alive on the Moon for the long-term would have outstripped our capacity to produce rockets.

I suppose we could have built more rocket factories, but that would mean substantial investments in infrastructure that would have slowed down the development of a lunar colony even further.
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Old 14th December 2007, 08:52 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by The Man View Post
Fortunately, Hollywood has been no better at predicting the future (or relating the past) then anyone else. Of course stories where everyone gets along and there is no conflict tend not to be very entertaining.
Yeah, pretty much. Utopias = makes for poor stories.

Still, though, I feel that a lot of hollywood conflicts are so dumbed down. I mean, I, Robot the book had far more interesting conflicts (IMO) than I, Robot, the film.

The book actually put robots in positive light, more or less... but that's going a little too far for Hollywood, I guess.
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Old 14th December 2007, 10:11 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
Did we actually have that capacity? My understanding is that the Saturn V rocket took three months or so to build, and there's no way it could have delivered 300 person-days of food, water, and oxygen to the moon. So even keeping an Apollo crew alive on the Moon for the long-term would have outstripped our capacity to produce rockets.

I suppose we could have built more rocket factories, but that would mean substantial investments in infrastructure that would have slowed down the development of a lunar colony even further.
If it was the primary concern for the entire population of Earth, it could have been done. That is my original point -- the reason we don't have a colony on the moon is that people have better things to do with their time.
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Old 14th December 2007, 01:03 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by rocketdodger View Post
If it was the primary concern for the entire population of Earth, it could have been done. That is my original point -- the reason we don't have a colony on the moon is that people have better things to do with their time.
Or at least, that people have what they view as better things to do. If you ask me, getting into space and colonizing other worlds should be a higher priority than we make it.

We have too many eggs in our little tiny basket...
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Old 14th December 2007, 01:46 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
Er, no. "Artificial intelligence," like "workforce," is a term that has changed over the years; the long-term tendency seems to be that it refers to anything that we can't get computers to do right now, but as soon as we develop the technology, it ceases to be AI.

Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
So, just as you don't get to shift the goalpost regarding "workforce," you don't get to shift it regarding "AI" either. What we have today was funded as AI research over the past fifty years to get us to where we are today.

Based on your own assertions I did not move anything. Unless of course you think that it was because of me that, as you state, the meanings of those words have changed over the years?

I was applying the words in a current context and based on the past descriptions of a future robotic labor force. Sure we have plenty of robots doing manufacturing and other jobs but there are far more jobs that people do which robots can not as yet do. So we do not have a primarily robotic workforce (workforce meaning people or robots performing all jobs everywhere). I have already stated the context I was using for artificial intelligence.

If you think my use of those contexts are incorrect then just say so and I am more then happy to clarify my meaning or use some other words. If you think the goal posts have shifted due to the changing definitions of words then again just say so but donít try to blame me for that fact. Nor am I trying to exploit that fact, if you think I am just ask, again I am more then happy to clarify.

So, I will try to clarify my assertion. My parents basement was (and Iím sure they still have some) full of ďAnalogĒ and other periodicals about science fiction and science fact. I grew up with these and one of the common themes of some of the science fiction stories was what we could call conscious android or robotic workers or characters and the interactions that ensued. Likewise one of the common topics of the scientific articles was advances in computer science. As a field engineer for IBM my father regularly exposed us to the capabilities of main frame systems (in the 60ís and 70ís) before most of my friends even knew what a computer was. It always just seemed another decade or so away before someone developed that seemingly conscious computer or system. So now decades latter it is still being projected to be another decade away. Also, as I have grown older my perspectives have changed and I realize that we were not really as close to that goal as I believed or was told we were. Perhaps the shift of the goal posts and the definitions are just other peopleís similar realization that itís not going to be as easy as everyone hoped it would be. Me, I am still waiting for that conscious android, robot (worker or not) to interact with but now I know it could be another 40 years and still be a decade away.
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Old 14th December 2007, 02:55 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
Or at least, that people have what they view as better things to do. If you ask me, getting into space and colonizing other worlds should be a higher priority than we make it.

We have too many eggs in our little tiny basket...

I could not agree with you more. Everything we need is out there, living space, resources and a common unifying goal. Everything it would seem is out there, except of course us.
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Old 14th December 2007, 03:49 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
Or at least, that people have what they view as better things to do. If you ask me, getting into space and colonizing other worlds should be a higher priority than we make it.
Yes. This is a huge topic, one that I like to call the "iphone" phenomenon because of the fact that iphones represent the pinnacle of human technology yet are used for little more than gossiping with friends and watching hip-hop videos.
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