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Old 19th November 2006, 11:15 AM   #1
Iamme
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A robot's God

Do you realize that if we designed a robot to create...and gave the robot free-will to the extent that we programmed it so that we could see and hear *it*, but it could not see or hear *us*, that to the robot, all creations would have been manifest either through it's own ability to create, or manifest by some other forces it could not explain... but presumed just happened because they just happened, for no reason.

The robot would not know of *our* existance. (And if it did...to it, *we* would be it's God!) It would only realize elements that it had to work with and only would know of it's own existance. It would presume that it evolved from the earth, because it would know that it's make up was the same as what could be found on the Earth.

Yet, in reality, the robot indeed had a thinking creator (man) that engineered it.

What makes you think, like the robot analogy, that *we* had no intelligent creator? Hmmm? It only makes sense that everything* has a creator.

By the robot presuming all intelligently designed objects it made were a *total* result only of it's own being, this would be like starting the definition of 'intelligent creating' half-way through the story. Like...saying that things up until the time of the sophisticated robot just happened, just because they did. But then, after the robot's existance, all intelligent design was a result of the robot's brains.

Think about this one.
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Old 19th November 2006, 11:58 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Iamme View Post
Do you realize that if we designed a robot to create...and gave the robot free-will to the extent that we programmed it so that we could see and hear *it*, but it could not see or hear *us*, that to the robot, all creations would have been manifest either through it's own ability to create, or manifest by some other forces it could not explain... but presumed just happened because they just happened, for no reason.

The robot would not know of *our* existance. (And if it did...to it, *we* would be it's God!) It would only realize elements that it had to work with and only would know of it's own existance. It would presume that it evolved from the earth, because it would know that it's make up was the same as what could be found on the Earth.

Yet, in reality, the robot indeed had a thinking creator (man) that engineered it.

What makes you think, like the robot analogy, that *we* had no intelligent creator? Hmmm? It only makes sense that everything* has a creator.

By the robot presuming all intelligently designed objects it made were a *total* result only of it's own being, this would be like starting the definition of 'intelligent creating' half-way through the story. Like...saying that things up until the time of the sophisticated robot just happened, just because they did. But then, after the robot's existance, all intelligent design was a result of the robot's brains.

Think about this one.
In a sense, you're right. Kurzweil makes a compelling case that we ourselves most likely exist within a simulation (that is itself within a simulation etc. asymptotically approaching infinity) of and within some actual formative reality. It could explain some quirky, hopelessly non-intuitive aspects of our apparent reality (then again, that could also be explained by our monkey brains being the things we're using to try to understand reality).

Given that we are able to make decent simulations using less resources than the things we're simulating, a universe can probably contain a huge number of simulations of itself decent enough to fool something of our mental capacity. And we show a disposition to create simulations and to stock them with artificially intelligent agents.

So yes, we will probably create intelligent robots unaware of our existence. And according to Kurzweil, we are ourselves most likely exactly that.
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Old 19th November 2006, 12:50 PM   #3
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Now I know why I hated the Matrix movies, aside from Keanu Reeves.
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Old 19th November 2006, 02:42 PM   #4
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I have come to the realization that there is a subset of posters who I do not normally observe posting on the same threads who may each actually understand what the other 4 write. I am amazed!!!
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Old 19th November 2006, 07:14 PM   #5
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I'd think the robot would one day figure out how that it has code, and then one day figure out how to examine its own code. It might reason from analogy like 'If the machines we make have code, and we have code, then did someone/thing intelligent make us?' and while obviously not proving a designer they might infer a designer.
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Old 19th November 2006, 07:39 PM   #6
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Good post Iamme. I posited a similar scenario on this forum 3 or 4 years ago. It is theoretically possible for humans to someday create new biological life forms created entirely from scratch by us. What if we populated a distant planet with these new life forms including one species that was sentient and the new life forms did not know that we existed. What could they infer?
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Old 19th November 2006, 07:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Iamme View Post
Hmmm? It only makes sense that everything has a creator.
Yes, I see your point. Of course, then we need a creator for God. But if God does not have a creator, then the idea of God does not make sense because it makes sense that everything have a creator.
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Old 19th November 2006, 07:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
Yes, I see your point. Of course, then we need a creator for God. But if God does not have a creator, then the idea of God does not make sense because it makes sense that everything have a creator.
Yep. The problem simply becomes recursive. It is a good thought experiment IMHO. It doesn't prove anything though.
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Old 19th November 2006, 07:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
Good post Iamme. I posited a similar scenario on this forum 3 or 4 years ago. It is theoretically possible for humans to someday create new biological life forms created entirely from scratch by us. What if we populated a distant planet with these new life forms including one species that was sentient and the new life forms did not know that we existed. What could they infer?
That we are jerks -- how dare we create a world and dump 'em on it, where they proceed to tear each other up!
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Old 19th November 2006, 08:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
That we are jerks -- how dare we create a world and dump 'em on it, where they proceed to tear each other up!
Ok, screw that idea, rum and coke and a game of chess?
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Old 19th November 2006, 08:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dave1001 View Post
In a sense, you're right. Kurzweil makes a compelling case that we ourselves most likely exist within a simulation (that is itself within a simulation etc. asymptotically approaching infinity) of and within some actual formative reality. It could explain some quirky, hopelessly non-intuitive aspects of our apparent reality (then again, that could also be explained by our monkey brains being the things we're using to try to understand reality).

Given that we are able to make decent simulations using less resources than the things we're simulating, a universe can probably contain a huge number of simulations of itself decent enough to fool something of our mental capacity. And we show a disposition to create simulations and to stock them with artificially intelligent agents.

So yes, we will probably create intelligent robots unaware of our existence. And according to Kurzweil, we are ourselves most likely exactly that.
What about... rebellion?
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Old 19th November 2006, 08:38 PM   #12
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I think the robot will have good evidence that it was designed when it discovers the "Intel Inside" sticker on it's microchips.
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Old 20th November 2006, 12:26 AM   #13
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Old 20th November 2006, 08:23 PM   #14
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Old 20th November 2006, 08:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by wollery View Post
Hey, I understand that Iamme can cause that feeling but I think there is a point to be made there. We could have been created by another inteligence. I see no reason why we should think there is anything to worship and the hypothetical certainly just creates an infinite regression but it's still interesting.

That's my two cents.

Well, ok,
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Old 20th November 2006, 10:42 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Iamme View Post
Do you realize that if we designed a robot to create...and gave the robot free-will to the extent that we programmed it so that we could see and hear *it*, but it could not see or hear *us*, that to the robot, all creations would have been manifest either through it's own ability to create, or manifest by some other forces it could not explain... but presumed just happened because they just happened, for no reason.
It would be quite a feat for mankind to hide all perceivable evidence of its existence from the robots.
Not to mention programming a self-aware, "free willed" artificial intelligence capable of philosophizing on its own nature.
Quote:
The robot would not know of *our* existance. (And if it did...to it, *we* would be it's God!)
We would be omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent? That's a stretch (like the rest of this isn't...).
If anything, we would be recognized as some kind of ersatz meat-machine parents whom the robots would recognize as inferior and kill like little mechanized Lizzie Bordens.
Quote:
It would only realize elements that it had to work with and only would know of it's own existance. It would presume that it evolved from the earth, because it would know that it's make up was the same as what could be found on the Earth.
Are there multiple generations of these robots? Do they give birth to one another? Do they have a history? Science? Fossil records? Do they die?

So many holes, so little time.
Quote:
What makes you think, like the robot analogy, that *we* had no intelligent creator? Hmmm? It only makes sense that everything* has a creator.
Everything is the result of something else (research: causality), but not everything (nowhere near everything!) is the result of intelligent effort.
Quote:
Think about this one.
Not worth the effort beyond initial examination. A hopelessly flawed and ridiculous analogy.

This kind of stuff might excite dimly educated creationists, but at least some vague degree of plausibility is necessary for the rest of us.

-Squish
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Old 20th November 2006, 10:49 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Iamme View Post
What makes you think, like the robot analogy, that *we* had no intelligent creator? Hmmm? It only makes sense that everything* has a creator.
There is a difference between us and your robot. The difference is in the way it is designed.
If we created a robot, we'd do so for a purpose. We would maximize it's efficiency at accomplishing that purpose. When it looked at it's programming and make-up and asked itself "why is it like this?" the only answer would be, "to maximize X".
Similarly we can look at our make-up and programming. If it maximizes anything, it is successful replication of our genes. There is no one who would design us with that purpose. But evolution explains it very well.
On the robot's case, however, it might find that it's design maximized it's abilitiy to mine some substance, refine it, and send it a port where it would be transported elsewhere. It could then easily infer that it was designed by whoever made use of the refined substance.

The robot also lacks something else that we have - context. The robot and it's "species" are alone. We fit into an amazingly varied web of life. When we look at the diversity of that life we see paterns - a nested hierarchy of relatedness. A simple example of that - all animals that have fur also produce milk and are warm-blooded, and have a similar structure of ear bones. Some of these animals fill niches that are very very similar to other animlas that aren't mammals (bats, for instance, fill a niche very similar to birds), but very different from other animals that are mammals (bats fill a niche very different from elephants for instance). The design inference gives us no explanation for this - common descent does. There is a similar form of evidence is the geographic distribution of species. And I haven't even brought up the molecular and fossil evidence.

So the robot has entirely different evidence available to him, and will make entirely different conclusions from it.

What if, though, we created many different types of robots, all of which were capable of reproduction, that fit the same pattern as life on earth, and put them on some other planet. Wouldn't they then have the same evidence that we have? Isn't it true that if they concluded that they had evolved, they would be wrong?
Sure, but the only reason we'd do so it to deliberately mislead them. Ie. we would never do so. And I don't think any entity that would exists.
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Old 21st November 2006, 02:05 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Iamme View Post
It would only realize elements that it had to work with and only would know of it's own existance. It would presume that it evolved from the earth, because it would know that it's make up was the same as what could be found on the Earth.
I play with the idea that IF we were created by a designer to be intelligent and advance, it would be frustrating and insulting for us to be constantly shooting in the dark and praying/asking for help.

It's like a programmer creating an A.I. and getting frustrated at his creation because the program keeps requiring more input instead of functioning on it's own.

This whole "which came first, the chicken or the egg" thing makes me want to drink.
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Old 21st November 2006, 03:59 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
That we are jerks -- how dare we create a world and dump 'em on it, edit: where delivery pizza boxes are impossible to close with one hand.
I fixed it for you
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Old 21st November 2006, 06:27 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Iamme View Post
Do you realize that if we designed a robot to create...and gave the robot free-will to the extent that we programmed it so that we could see and hear *it*, but it could not see or hear *us*, that to the robot, all creations would have been manifest either through it's own ability to create, or manifest by some other forces it could not explain... but presumed just happened because they just happened, for no reason.

The robot would not know of *our* existance. (And if it did...to it, *we* would be it's God!) It would only realize elements that it had to work with and only would know of it's own existance. It would presume that it evolved from the earth, because it would know that it's make up was the same as what could be found on the Earth.

Yet, in reality, the robot indeed had a thinking creator (man) that engineered it.

What makes you think, like the robot analogy, that *we* had no intelligent creator? Hmmm? It only makes sense that everything* has a creator.

By the robot presuming all intelligently designed objects it made were a *total* result only of it's own being, this would be like starting the definition of 'intelligent creating' half-way through the story. Like...saying that things up until the time of the sophisticated robot just happened, just because they did. But then, after the robot's existance, all intelligent design was a result of the robot's brains.

Think about this one.
This point has been made in philosophy before. See Wikipedia's article on "philosophical zombie."
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Old 21st November 2006, 07:08 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
There is a difference between us and your robot. The difference is in the way it is designed.
If we created a robot, we'd do so for a purpose. We would maximize it's efficiency at accomplishing that purpose. When it looked at it's programming and make-up and asked itself "why is it like this?" the only answer would be, "to maximize X".
Similarly we can look at our make-up and programming. If it maximizes anything, it is successful replication of our genes. There is no one who would design us with that purpose. But evolution explains it very well.
On the robot's case, however, it might find that it's design maximized it's abilitiy to mine some substance, refine it, and send it a port where it would be transported elsewhere. It could then easily infer that it was designed by whoever made use of the refined substance.

The robot also lacks something else that we have - context. The robot and it's "species" are alone. We fit into an amazingly varied web of life. When we look at the diversity of that life we see paterns - a nested hierarchy of relatedness. A simple example of that - all animals that have fur also produce milk and are warm-blooded, and have a similar structure of ear bones. Some of these animals fill niches that are very very similar to other animlas that aren't mammals (bats, for instance, fill a niche very similar to birds), but very different from other animals that are mammals (bats fill a niche very different from elephants for instance). The design inference gives us no explanation for this - common descent does. There is a similar form of evidence is the geographic distribution of species. And I haven't even brought up the molecular and fossil evidence.

So the robot has entirely different evidence available to him, and will make entirely different conclusions from it.

*snip*
Exactly! And herein lies the answer to the OP: Iamme, why do you think that science is assuming that we are the result of evolution, rather than creation? It is because the evidence, all evidence, points to this. Your hypothetic robot might examine the evidence available to it and conclude that it had evolved, but it would be wrong. Likewise, our conclusion might be wrong, but at present it is the result of our examination of the evidence.

Now, do feel free to add to our body of evidence whatever is needed to change that conclusion, but it needs to be real, solid evidence. Not hypothetical scenarios. Especially not scenarios that just demonstrate that wrong conclusions can exist, because we already knew that.

Hans
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Old 21st November 2006, 09:18 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Hyparxis View Post
Now I know why I hated the Matrix movies, aside from Keanu Reeves.
First one good, second two were bad ideas. Deus ex machina as a pun drives two movie plots? Blah.

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Old 21st November 2006, 09:31 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Nathyn View Post
This point has been made in philosophy before. See Wikipedia's article on "philosophical zombie."
nooooo! We have had to deal with infestations of P-zombies before -- do you have any idea how hard it is to get rid of them?
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Old 21st November 2006, 01:54 PM   #24
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Let me add, Iamme, that you have created a fairly weak god. The robots of your story have a creator who set them down in a situation and then got out of the way. The creator does not interfere with them. We cannot be detected but, if we can be inferred, we must stay very quiet and disturb nothing. Furthermore, our existence would have no effect on the decisions the robots must make to be effective in their little robot lives.

So, if all you want is for people to acknowledge that there is a possibility that our knowledge is incomplete and that we may possibly have been created by a god-like being, I think many would agree. However, if you want us to take the step of saying that we should study the god-thing, trust in it, not follow other avenues of inquiry, etc., I think that your hypothetical does not support this.
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Old 21st November 2006, 04:29 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
Good post Iamme. I posited a similar scenario on this forum 3 or 4 years ago. It is theoretically possible for humans to someday create new biological life forms created entirely from scratch by us. What if we populated a distant planet with these new life forms including one species that was sentient and the new life forms did not know that we existed. What could they infer?
They would see the fossil record, see that every species suddly appeared out of nowhere, and scientists would likely believe in a general intelligent design. Of course, there would still be political controversy over a group of religious extermists who insist that the fossil record clearly shows that the world was created by a frost giant suckling a giant space cow.
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Old 21st November 2006, 11:34 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by CaptainManacles View Post
They would see the fossil record, see that every species suddly appeared out of nowhere, and scientists would likely believe in a general intelligent design. Of course, there would still be political controversy over a group of religious extermists who insist that the fossil record clearly shows that the world was created by a frost giant suckling a giant space cow.
Good post.
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Old 22nd November 2006, 04:43 AM   #27
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Does Iamme ever return to participate in the threads he creates?

Hans
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