ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology
 

Notices


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags A.I. , artificial intelligence , consciousness

View Poll Results: Is consciousness physical or metaphysical?
Consciousness is a kind of data processing and the brain is a machine that can be replicated in other substrates, such as general purpose computers. 81 86.17%
Consciousness requires a second substance outside the physical material world, currently undetectable by scientific instruments 3 3.19%
On Planet X, unconscious biological beings have perfected conscious machines 10 10.64%
Voters: 94. You may not vote on this poll

Closed Thread
Old 17th April 2012, 07:50 AM   #41
keyfeatures
Critical Thinker
 
keyfeatures's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 436
Originally Posted by Mr. Scott View Post
So far, I've seen no evidence that neurons are more than simple switches and need gazillions of internal quantum switches. A paramecium doesn't need a supercomputer to get around obstacles. I've written computer programs that let entities defeat obstacles in ways that really appear conscious, but in fact use simple algorithms.

There may be a difference between reception and transmission of signals. There's quite a bit of evidence for quantum events being significant at the level of smell. Yet there are already several machines that can distinguish smells - at least some things. However, here you are dealing with the receiver not the transmitter. Whether creating indistinguishable quantum signals is a necessary element for recreating human thought, I don't know.

I certainly think a robot is always likely to smell very different to a human.
keyfeatures is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 08:06 AM   #42
Mr. Scott
Under the Amazing One's Wing
 
Mr. Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,548
Originally Posted by keyfeatures View Post
There may be a difference between reception and transmission of signals. There's quite a bit of evidence for quantum events being significant at the level of smell. Yet there are already several machines that can distinguish smells - at least some things. However, here you are dealing with the receiver not the transmitter. Whether creating indistinguishable quantum signals is a necessary element for recreating human thought, I don't know.

I certainly think a robot is always likely to smell very different to a human.
Robots smell to us like metal, plastic, grease, and phenolic circuit boards

That's sensory, not computational. I'm talking about quantum computers. There's no evidence for them in nerve cells.

Last edited by Mr. Scott; 17th April 2012 at 08:12 AM. Reason: avoiding derail
Mr. Scott is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 08:15 AM   #43
Mr. Scott
Under the Amazing One's Wing
 
Mr. Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,548
Originally Posted by dlorde View Post
It seems to me that (with a suitably broad interpretation) both the first and the third option in the poll can be seen as valid from a physicalist viewpoint.

Planet X in the third option could be Earth, the unconscious biological beings could be our distant ancestors, and the conscious machines could be us...

Just a thought
The unconscious machine was evolution. The planet X option was my joke that turned out unexpectedly insightful.
Mr. Scott is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 08:27 AM   #44
Wowbagger
The Infinitely Prolonged
 
Wowbagger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Westchester County, NY (when not in space)
Posts: 14,693
Originally Posted by !Kaggen View Post
We have not achieved 100% altruistic behavior as a conscious species ourselves despite huge amounts of " programming" through research, education, communication and culture. What makes you think there is any possibility of programming 100% altruistic behavior into a conscious machine? Are you suggesting ethics is an objective science which can be mathematically proven? Because without 100% certainty of a conscious machine being altruistic, which conscious human wants to put there lives at risk to a conscious machine with superior brute force?
While it might not be impossible to achieve 100% altruism (There is nothing in the laws of physics to prevent it.), I don't think it is a goal we can realistically expect to achieve. Science shows us that when we get close, everyone loses out to the remaining selfish jerks, even more-so. This is a counter-intuitive idea. But, here are a small number of things leading to it:

* We know that altruistic behaviors can evolve out of fundamentally selfish systems: We have seen altruism emerge spontaneously (without being explicitly programmed) in several evolutionary and neural net simulations. We have good evidence that this happens in the wild.

* However, all successful systems have parasites. (Even successful parasites have parasites.)

* When altruism of a population reaches very high levels, close to 100%, but not quite there: They become too trusting. The whole population gets severely exploited by the remaining small population of parasitic and/or selfish entities in general. This becomes detrimental to the whole population, including (ironically) the exploiters (at least in the long run, not usually in the short term).

* Keeping a small percentage of non-altruistic members around actually benefits the population in the long run, because it keeps everyone on their toes a little more. A small number of entities get exploited, so that more of them don't.

* A small percentage of humans have significant sociopathic or psychopathic tendencies: Usually around 1 or 2%, depending on what factors you look at.

Chances are, a strong A.I. would follow the same patterns.

But, if I am wrong, and computer-based A.I. can achieve truly 100% altruism, without any risk of exploitation, then: What's wrong with that? Why would that imply that the history of humanity is a joke? We would still be around to enjoy our lives, even with 98% altruism.


Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
There's a thing about consciousness that people don't get. You aren't really conscious and in control. You only think you are.
If that's true, it's still worth exploring how that "sense of being in control" comes about.

It's still an odd little mystery, at the moment. But, what we find out about the brain along the way has been fascinating, and should continue to be so.
__________________
WARNING: Phrases in this post may sound meaner than they were intended to be.

SkeptiCamp NYC: http://www.skepticampnyc.org/
An open conference on science and skepticism, where you could be a presenter!

By the way, my first name is NOT Bowerick!!!!
Wowbagger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 08:40 AM   #45
!Kaggen
Illuminator
 
!Kaggen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,756
Originally Posted by Mr. Scott View Post
Prediction is a different realm than computability because of chaos theory. A computer can simulate the weather, the stock exchange, and wine yields. That it can't predict the future EXACTLY is a red herring.
Which weather, which stock market, which wine yields?
__________________
"Anyway, why is a finely-engineered machine of wire and silicon less likely to be conscious than two pounds of warm meat?" Pixy Misa
"We live in a world of more and more information and less and less meaning" Jean Baudrillard
http://bokashiworld.wordpress.com/
!Kaggen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 09:00 AM   #46
!Kaggen
Illuminator
 
!Kaggen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,756
Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
While it might not be impossible to achieve 100% altruism (There is nothing in the laws of physics to prevent it.), I don't think it is a goal we can realistically expect to achieve. Science shows us that when we get close, everyone loses out to the remaining selfish jerks, even more-so. This is a counter-intuitive idea. But, here are a small number of things leading to it:

* We know that altruistic behaviors can evolve out of fundamentally selfish systems: We have seen altruism emerge spontaneously (without being explicitly programmed) in several evolutionary and neural net simulations. We have good evidence that this happens in the wild.

* However, all successful systems have parasites. (Even successful parasites have parasites.)

* When altruism of a population reaches very high levels, close to 100%, but not quite there: They become too trusting. The whole population gets severely exploited by the remaining small population of parasitic and/or selfish entities in general. This becomes detrimental to the whole population, including (ironically) the exploiters (at least in the long run, not usually in the short term).

* Keeping a small percentage of non-altruistic members around actually benefits the population in the long run, because it keeps everyone on their toes a little more. A small number of entities get exploited, so that more of them don't.

* A small percentage of humans have significant sociopathic or psychopathic tendencies: Usually around 1 or 2%, depending on what factors you look at.

Chances are, a strong A.I. would follow the same patterns.

But, if I am wrong, and computer-based A.I. can achieve truly 100% altruism, without any risk of exploitation, then: What's wrong with that? Why would that imply that the history of humanity is a joke? We would still be around to enjoy our lives, even with 98% altruism.
Huh..chances are? You seem to have forgotten the basics of evolution which is the background to the data you presented on human behavior. There is no random mutations of AI machines and they do not self-replicate through sexual reproduction. How would they follow the same patterns of beings whose very existence depended on evolution? And if they somehow did follow these patterns because that's what we programmed them to do why in the world would we want to create an AI, with much greater physical strength than any human, which has the possibility of being a psychopath? You think two F16's with psychotic tendencies is a rational idea because the other 98 don't ?


The reason why human history is important is because its the only empirical evidence we have to judge whether a conscious being could achieve 100% altruism and as you rightly pointed out this is not the case.
__________________
"Anyway, why is a finely-engineered machine of wire and silicon less likely to be conscious than two pounds of warm meat?" Pixy Misa
"We live in a world of more and more information and less and less meaning" Jean Baudrillard
http://bokashiworld.wordpress.com/
!Kaggen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 09:02 AM   #47
Mr. Scott
Under the Amazing One's Wing
 
Mr. Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,548
Originally Posted by !Kaggen View Post
Which weather, which stock market, which wine yields?
Whichever you like. Which do you want?
Mr. Scott is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 09:03 AM   #48
!Kaggen
Illuminator
 
!Kaggen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,756
Originally Posted by Mr. Scott View Post
This programming for 100% altruistic behavior fails because it goes against our evolved nature, like our programming for healthy eating fails against our imperfectly evolved tastes.

We'd simply program HAL to be nice to people and follow Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics. It wouldn't be rocket science
Oh well that's a relief.
I thought the computationalists were going to create conscious robots who make mistakes like the conscious people they were modeled on.
__________________
"Anyway, why is a finely-engineered machine of wire and silicon less likely to be conscious than two pounds of warm meat?" Pixy Misa
"We live in a world of more and more information and less and less meaning" Jean Baudrillard
http://bokashiworld.wordpress.com/
!Kaggen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 09:04 AM   #49
!Kaggen
Illuminator
 
!Kaggen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,756
Originally Posted by Mr. Scott View Post
Whichever you like. Which do you want?
The ones which actually physically happen.
History does not count when it comes to physical reality it is all in the mind.
__________________
"Anyway, why is a finely-engineered machine of wire and silicon less likely to be conscious than two pounds of warm meat?" Pixy Misa
"We live in a world of more and more information and less and less meaning" Jean Baudrillard
http://bokashiworld.wordpress.com/
!Kaggen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 09:06 AM   #50
Mr. Scott
Under the Amazing One's Wing
 
Mr. Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,548
Originally Posted by !Kaggen View Post
There is no random mutations of AI machines and they do not self-replicate through sexual reproduction.
This is not true. Machines have been evolved with random mutation, selection, and reproduction techniques. It works! It also has the same problems and limitations as biological evolution.

Conscious machines could be evolved, though I'm not sure what would be selected for.
Mr. Scott is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 09:07 AM   #51
Mr. Scott
Under the Amazing One's Wing
 
Mr. Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,548
Originally Posted by !Kaggen View Post
The ones which actually physically happen.
History does not count when it comes to physical reality it is all in the mind.
I'm really discouraging derails like this, if you don't mind.
Mr. Scott is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 09:20 AM   #52
Mr. Scott
Under the Amazing One's Wing
 
Mr. Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,548
Originally Posted by !Kaggen View Post
Oh well that's a relief.
I thought the computationalists were going to create conscious robots who make mistakes like the conscious people they were modeled on.
Hey, unconscious computers make mistakes. Watch Watson play Jeopardy. Conscious computers would be less likely to make certain kinds of mistakes. We evolved through a highly error prone process, but I don't see how consciousness in and of itself causes our stupidity.

Kluge: The Haphazard Evolution of the Human Mind (Gary Marcus)
Mr. Scott is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 10:48 AM   #53
Wowbagger
The Infinitely Prolonged
 
Wowbagger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Westchester County, NY (when not in space)
Posts: 14,693
Originally Posted by !Kaggen View Post
There is no random mutations of AI machines and they do not self-replicate through sexual reproduction.
Wrong. In many cases, they do: The virtual entities, anyway, can go through functions in which they sexually reproduce, and could obtain random mutations, etc.

These virtual entities are not conscious, yet. But, it seems that hitting upon altruistic behaviors is a lot more fundamental than achieving consciousness.

Originally Posted by !Kaggen View Post
How would they follow the same patterns of beings whose very existence depended on evolution?
So, far, they already do.

Some clever person might come up with a realistic way to have 100% altruism emerge from an evolutionary system, without external intervention. But, the realistic simulations we have, so far, don't get there.

Originally Posted by !Kaggen View Post
And if they somehow did follow these patterns because that's what we programmed them to do
Absolutely NOT! I am ONLY referring to patterns that emerge without any explicit programming for those patterms!

I am only referring to emergent behaviors, here. I suspect consciousness is also an emergent property of our brains.

Originally Posted by !Kaggen View Post
why in the world would we want to create an AI, with much greater physical strength than any human, which has the possibility of being a psychopath?
Curiosity, for one thing. We might have better, more practical reasons than that. But, whether we should do this, or not, is not part of the discussion.

Originally Posted by !Kaggen View Post
The reason why human history is important is because its the only empirical evidence we have to judge whether a conscious being could achieve 100% altruism and as you rightly pointed out this is not the case.
I think this is a sad statement to make. And, also off topic. There are plenty of reasons to enjoy human history without worry how far from 100% we are in the realm of altruism.

For one thing, history is full of reasons why bad ideas and arguments are bad. And, I think we are getting better at figuring that out.
__________________
WARNING: Phrases in this post may sound meaner than they were intended to be.

SkeptiCamp NYC: http://www.skepticampnyc.org/
An open conference on science and skepticism, where you could be a presenter!

By the way, my first name is NOT Bowerick!!!!

Last edited by Wowbagger; 17th April 2012 at 10:49 AM.
Wowbagger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 11:22 AM   #54
!Kaggen
Illuminator
 
!Kaggen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,756
Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
Wrong. In many cases, they do: The virtual entities, anyway, can go through functions in which they sexually reproduce, and could obtain random mutations, etc.

These virtual entities are not conscious, yet. But, it seems that hitting upon altruistic behaviors is a lot more fundamental than achieving consciousness.

So, far, they already do.

Some clever person might come up with a realistic way to have 100% altruism emerge from an evolutionary system, without external intervention. But, the realistic simulations we have, so far, don't get there.

Absolutely NOT! I am ONLY referring to patterns that emerge without any explicit programming for those patterms!

I am only referring to emergent behaviors, here. I suspect consciousness is also an emergent property of our brains.

Curiosity, for one thing. We might have better, more practical reasons than that. But, whether we should do this, or not, is not part of the discussion.

I think this is a sad statement to make. And, also off topic. There are plenty of reasons to enjoy human history without worry how far from 100% we are in the realm of altruism.

For one thing, history is full of reasons why bad ideas and arguments are bad. And, I think we are getting better at figuring that out.
Virtual entities!!!
I see so mathematical models run on a computer are what we should judge AI progress by?
Okay now I don't care anymore about this discussion, it's irrelevant to everyone who lives in the real world.
Let me know when you think of building physical examples of your virtual entities that may impact reality and we can pick up the discussion again.
In the meantime have fun playing in virtual land.
Try not to use too
much electricity whilst you play it's bad for those who need rely on reality for survival.
__________________
"Anyway, why is a finely-engineered machine of wire and silicon less likely to be conscious than two pounds of warm meat?" Pixy Misa
"We live in a world of more and more information and less and less meaning" Jean Baudrillard
http://bokashiworld.wordpress.com/
!Kaggen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 12:11 PM   #55
Leumas
Master Poster
 
Leumas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,924
Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
There's a thing about consciousness that people don't get. You aren't really conscious and in control. You only think you are. This Horizon episode is well worth watching. It says "only 10 hours left to view", and maybe in some parts of the world you can't view it, but if you can it's well worth it.

Here is the same episode on Youtube... no time limits or country restrictions


It is VERY interesting.


YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE



I also recommend this video to see the facts of where we stand in regards to the possibility of Pinocchio becoming a reality.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
__________________
"I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for his reputation if he didn't" - Jules Renard
"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty" - Thomas Jefferson
"It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled" - Mark Twain

Last edited by Leumas; 17th April 2012 at 12:21 PM.
Leumas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 12:43 PM   #56
ingoa
Surfing on the relativistic brain wave
 
ingoa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 494
Originally Posted by !Kaggen View Post
The exact weather in London on January 21st 2013.
The exact movement of the NYSE from September 1st 2015 to November 2nd 2015.
The exact yield of wine grapes from the Loire wine region in France in 2012.

You know future physical events which are practically unpredictable.
3-body problem. Much simpler.
__________________
Suum cuique

I have no prejudices. I hate everbody!
ingoa is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 12:54 PM   #57
Leumas
Master Poster
 
Leumas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,924
Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
No.

There we go again..... repeating your behavior over and over again.... you remind me of that sphex wasp you like
Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
I hope you get the point. No matter how many times the researcher moves the prey insect, the wasp's behaviour will not vary. It has no capacity for reflection into its own processes.

In case someone missed it... this is what Pixy means by his "no"
Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
A simple no only works when you have established your position and the other party is talking nonsense.
__________________
"I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for his reputation if he didn't" - Jules Renard
"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty" - Thomas Jefferson
"It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled" - Mark Twain

Last edited by Leumas; 17th April 2012 at 12:57 PM.
Leumas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 01:15 PM   #58
rocketdodger
Philosopher
 
rocketdodger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 6,929
I am currently almost done with the presentations in this:

http://www.aisb.org.uk/publications/...onsc_Final.pdf

Of particular interest are the two or three papers on research dealing with recurrent neural networks based on a very rough model of brain connectivity.

In two of those papers, they got a robot to effectively "imagine" what the results of an action would be, and use that "imagined" result to modify the choice of current action. All with series of recurrent ANNs.

I don't think it is a question anymore whether a suitably complex artificial neural network could display full consciousness, I think it is just a question of what the topography needs to be in order to get it to work.

EDIT: When I am finished with the whole packet I will provide a summary of each presentation, this stuff is really cool and it is 7 years obsolete. I can't wait to get my hands on the more recent stuff.

Last edited by rocketdodger; 17th April 2012 at 01:16 PM.
rocketdodger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 01:30 PM   #59
Leumas
Master Poster
 
Leumas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,924


This poll is a false dichotomy...especially when Scott himself has admitted that the third choice was

Originally Posted by Mr. Scott View Post
...The planet X option was my joke ...

The false dichotomy is
You either agree with his SPECULATIONS and CONJECTURES or you are a WOO BELIEVER
It is not just a false dichotomy...it is an egregious insult to anyone who sides with the scads of scientists who disagree with his FAITH in SCIENCE FICTION.


Before this thread degenerates into more nonsensical armchair speculations from laymen along with vitriolic hubristic defense of these conjectures by citing scifi fanfic along with adamant unwavering “monumentally simplistic” “operational definitions” that are “of no practical value”... and before it gravitates towards hypotheses of how the characters in the Sims video game are conscious entities if only you could redefine reality to suit.... and before it settles down to wishful thinking and aspirations of some laymen for becoming Deos Ex Machinas.... I suggest you watch this video to see the facts of where we stand in regards to the possibility of Pinocchio becoming a reality.

The following minutes are of salient relevance
  • 30:10 to 32:20
  • 34:55 to 41:45
  • 42:12 to 45:05 (especially 44:43-45:00)
  • 56:55 to 57:35
  • BUT....ABOVE ALL.... minutes 48:50 to 50:40.....especially the sentence the scientist says at minute 50:08 to 50:10.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
__________________
"I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for his reputation if he didn't" - Jules Renard
"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty" - Thomas Jefferson
"It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled" - Mark Twain

Last edited by Leumas; 17th April 2012 at 01:49 PM.
Leumas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 01:35 PM   #60
xtifr
Graduate Poster
 
xtifr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,298
Originally Posted by dlorde View Post
The Penrose-Hameroff Orch-OR (orchestrated objective reduction) consciousness theory has been widely criticised and generally found to be a chain of unsupported speculation (e.g. Gaps in Penrose's Toilings). Doesn't mean it can't be true, but there's no good reason to think it might be; it's an unnecessary and unnecessarily speculative hypothesis. There are also good QM reasons to doubt it, e.g. Max Tegmark calculated that quantum decoherence is many orders of magnitude too fast for QM to play a direct role.
As the person who mentioned Penrose--I completely agree with calling it "an unnecessary and unecessarily speculative hypothesis". I'm not trying to defend the hypothesis. I also shan't try to defend hypotheses two and three of the present poll. I'm just saying that Penrose's theory doesn't appear on this poll, and therefore those who do subscribe to it, for whatever reason, don't really have an option to vote for here.

Assuming that the poll items are listed in order from least to most woo-ey, I'd put Penrose's hypothesis between one and two. Something like:
  1. Consciousness depends on known physical processes, and can be simulated, at least in theory, on a general purpose computer
  2. Consciousness depends on known physical processes which are too "quantum" or "chaotic" or otherwise, somehow, inherently beyond our ability to compute.
  3. Consciousness depends on elements beyond physics, possibly beyond our known universe, and beyond our ability to detect.
  4. On Soviet Planet X, Consciousness thinks you.

I'd still pick the first one, but at least everyone would have an option to pick.

Last edited by xtifr; 17th April 2012 at 01:43 PM. Reason: clarify items one and two
xtifr is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 02:05 PM   #61
Leumas
Master Poster
 
Leumas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,924
Originally Posted by xtifr View Post
As the person who mentioned Penrose--I completely agree with calling it "an unnecessary and unecessarily speculative hypothesis". I'm not trying to defend the hypothesis. I also shan't try to defend hypotheses two and three of the present poll. I'm just saying that Penrose's theory doesn't appear on this poll, and therefore those who do subscribe to it, for whatever reason, don't really have an option to vote for here.

Assuming that the poll items are listed in order from least to most woo-ey, I'd put Penrose's hypothesis between one and two. Something like:
  1. Consciousness depends on known physical processes, and can be simulated, at least in theory, on a general purpose computer
  2. Consciousness depends on known physical processes which are too "quantum" or "chaotic" or otherwise, somehow, inherently beyond our ability to compute.
  3. Consciousness depends on elements beyond physics, possibly beyond our known universe, and beyond our ability to detect.
  4. On Soviet Planet X, Consciousness thinks you.

I'd still pick the first one, but at least everyone would have an option to pick.

And how does that make it any less valid than the just as speculative other hypotheses?

This speculation
Can be simulated, at least in theory, on a general purpose computer
Is nothing but CONJECTURE and wishful thinking by "programmers" who have FAITH that they can create Pinocchios by typing a few lines of code because they have been deluded by too long an immersion into science fiction programs on TV and movies and literature and by too much video game playing and programming.
__________________
"I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for his reputation if he didn't" - Jules Renard
"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty" - Thomas Jefferson
"It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled" - Mark Twain

Last edited by Leumas; 17th April 2012 at 02:10 PM.
Leumas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 02:21 PM   #62
Mr. Scott
Under the Amazing One's Wing
 
Mr. Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,548
Originally Posted by !Kaggen View Post
Virtual entities!!!
I see so mathematical models run on a computer are what we should judge AI progress by? Okay now I don't care anymore about this discussion, it's irrelevant to everyone who lives in the real world. Let me know when you think of building physical examples of your virtual entities that may impact reality and we can pick up the discussion again. In the meantime have fun playing in virtual land. Try not to use too much electricity whilst you play it's bad for those who need rely on reality for survival.
I figure you are involved in consciousness threads to preach, and since we won't let you without challenge, you are exiting. That's OK with me, but it might be better if you were explicit about the message you wanted to share with the world and showed some interest in learning from others.
Mr. Scott is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 02:30 PM   #63
Mr. Scott
Under the Amazing One's Wing
 
Mr. Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,548
Originally Posted by Leumas View Post


This poll is a false dichotomy...especially when Scott himself has admitted that the third choice was [a joke]

The false dichotomy is
You either agree with his SPECULATIONS and CONJECTURES or you are a WOO BELIEVER
It is not just a false dichotomy...it is an egregious insult to anyone who sides with the scads of scientists who disagree with his FAITH in SCIENCE FICTION.
Yikes! It's JREF Forum culture to add a joke final choice "on planet X..."

I did not intend to pose it as a false dichotomy, although after posting I did regret my bias in the wording, but polls cannot be edited.

I'm not sure that the essential question (consciousness can or cannot be achieved in general purpose computing machines?) is a false dichotomy. Are you suggesting that quantum consciousness is detectable by today's scientific instruments?

What are some other possibilities?

Last edited by Mr. Scott; 17th April 2012 at 02:50 PM.
Mr. Scott is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 02:44 PM   #64
Mr. Scott
Under the Amazing One's Wing
 
Mr. Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,548
Originally Posted by xtifr View Post
As the person who mentioned Penrose--I completely agree with calling it "an unnecessary and unecessarily speculative hypothesis". I'm not trying to defend the hypothesis. I also shan't try to defend hypotheses two and three of the present poll. I'm just saying that Penrose's theory doesn't appear on this poll, and therefore those who do subscribe to it, for whatever reason, don't really have an option to vote for here.

Assuming that the poll items are listed in order from least to most woo-ey, I'd put Penrose's hypothesis between one and two. Something like:
  1. Consciousness depends on known physical processes, and can be simulated, at least in theory, on a general purpose computer
  2. Consciousness depends on known physical processes which are too "quantum" or "chaotic" or otherwise, somehow, inherently beyond our ability to compute.
  3. Consciousness depends on elements beyond physics, possibly beyond our known universe, and beyond our ability to detect.
  4. On Soviet Planet X, Consciousness thinks you.

I'd still pick the first one, but at least everyone would have an option to pick.
My problem is I've seen no evidence to support #2 or #3. I don't think we have any evidence computers could NOT simulate ANYTHING in the known world, do we?

I just finished watching a history of computing documentary, and it reminded me of this thread that the first electronic computers were built to simulate ballistic trajectories, which they did beautifully. You can draw a line from that to current AI simulations. Sure, someone will say that the ENIAC's simulations did not destroy targets, but the brain is a control mechanism for the body, and a simulated mind could control a body, achieving the same effect as a biological conscious mind. To continue to refute that is, to me, an argument that consciousness has some kind of other metaphysical energy or substance as its output (epiphenomenalism as per the OP). I equate it with woo because it is, conveniently, not measurable.

Last edited by Mr. Scott; 17th April 2012 at 02:52 PM.
Mr. Scott is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 02:58 PM   #65
dlorde
Philosopher
 
dlorde's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,311
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
In fact, you put the title in the URL rather than the URL itself.
Oh, I'm sorry! a schoolboy error... At least it made for an amusing result

I wonder if a conscious machine would blunder like that, and, if so, how useful it wold be...
__________________
Simple probability tells us that we should expect coincidences, and simple psychology tells us that we'll remember the ones we notice...
dlorde is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 03:01 PM   #66
case#46cw39
Muse
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 609
Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
And how does that make it any less valid than the just as speculative other hypotheses?

This speculation
Can be simulated, at least in theory, on a general purpose computer
Is nothing but CONJECTURE and wishful thinking by "programmers" who have FAITH that they can create Pinocchios by typing a few lines of code because they have been deluded by too long an immersion into science fiction programs on TV and movies and literature and by too much video game playing and programming.
Forget classic syntax-only simulations. Even Rappaport who thinks semantics can be derived from syntactic machines he is designing (Sneps) using syntax-semantics systems says semantics (meaning) must be provided for true artificial consciousness. The two options are that or a semantics based machine. But that's a programmer's design problem.

But in general allow me to show you how easy it is to build artificial (man made) consciousness. There was a post in other thread that began the operational definition of consciousness. The biological psychologists said it it "synonymous with attention".

So, attending to what? Obviously the next question. In the AISB pdf file quoted above it says the following:

"A machine, in order to be conscious, has to be able to perceive the world, its bodily self, and also the flow of it's own mental content. ... It is a straight-forward task to design a robot that reacts to sensory stimuli; it is even able to learn something and can adjust its responses. It is another thing to design a robot that ALSO generates and actively seeks to perceive the external world according to the needs of this inner life. Yet it is this inner life [this "attending to"] that would provide a robot with "self', "mind", and personality. ... Recently there have been some attempts towards that direction. ... Nevertheless, robots with true inner life remain yet to be demonstrated."
Page 19 Haikonen http://www.aisb.org.uk/publications/...onsc_Final.pdf

Well "programmers," what a delicious little challenge. Does that make it easier to imagine? It should. There's the state of the art, circa 2005 and common knowledge to all robotic AI researchers. That 41% who claim it is impossible just are not up to speed on the subject. That's plenty for any programmer to get busy. The problem should be obvious. Artificial consciousness is synonymous with attention, and that requires meta-programs or programs about programs. Do you think they are impossible? Of course not. It just takes time because the base programs all have to be written to have something for the meta-programs to process! Voila!
__________________
LET'S START SAVING TAX MONEY AND GAINING TAX REVENUES! END THE BS POT WAR!

Last edited by case#46cw39; 17th April 2012 at 03:42 PM.
case#46cw39 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 04:26 PM   #67
Brian-M
Daydreamer
 
Brian-M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 6,540
Originally Posted by keyfeatures View Post
Not so. Quantum observations can be mirrored. This is not necessarily the same as quantum states. It depends what we are actually getting with quantum observations - i.e. is the observation the complete system? If they are the complete system, no problem. If they are not, that could well be a problem.
If the observed quantum behavior of the model is the same as observed quantum behavior in the real world then the quantum model is accurate, regardless of any hypothetical unknown states underlying the real-world quantum behavior.

Originally Posted by !Kaggen View Post
The exact weather in London on January 21st 2013.
The exact movement of the NYSE from September 1st 2015 to November 2nd 2015.
The exact yield of wine grapes from the Loire wine region in France in 2012.

You know future physical events which are practically unpredictable.

These things may be practically unpredictable (or in other words, unpredictable in practice), but that doesn't make them unpredictable in theory. In chaotic systems (such as weather) the outcome can vary considerably based on minute differences in initial conditions. The problem here is not that it can't be computed, but that we don't have anywhere near enough information about exact details of the system being modeled to generate a reliable prediction. (And it would be effectively impossible to collect the required information.)

But whether or not a computer model will produce the exact same outcome it the real-life system it was created to imitate is irrelevant to this discussion. The important thing is that the model behaves the same manner for the same reasons, regardless of differences in outcome.

Originally Posted by !Kaggen View Post
Which weather, which stock market, which wine yields?

Any, real or imagined. Computers are theoretically capable of simulating any possible system.

And therein lies the problem. The limited information we are capable of collecting on specific real-life systems like these could match any of billions of slightly different hypothetical systems, all of which can have different outcomes. So without complete information, the simulated system will probably not be exactly identical to the real system it was created to predict.

Plus we don't have computers anywhere near powerful enough, or information storage devices vast enough to create a complete model even if we had the capacity to collect the information on these things. (You'd pretty much have to model the entire planet, and maybe even the sun too, because variations in solar activity can affect the weather.)

(Well, in theory do we have computers powerful enough, if you don't mind waiting a few eons for next month's weather prediction.)
__________________
"That is just what you feel, that isn't reality." - hamelekim
Brian-M is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 05:10 PM   #68
Leumas
Master Poster
 
Leumas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,924
Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post

Any, real or imagined. Computers are theoretically capable of simulating any possible system.


It depends on what you mean by "simulating"....

If you mean simulating by producing images on a screen....then that is a TRIVIAL issue.

If you mean emulating as in actually replicating the system's function....then do you think computers can emulate the solar system?

Do you think that a computer can simulate a galaxy or a black hole in a manner so as to BE a solar system or galaxy or black hole?

I would love to see you build a computer ("real” not “imagined") that can REPLICATE the physics of a black hole or a Sun.

By the way....when you've finished writing the amazing lines of code that create the SIMULATION of a star so as to replicate it and you can get some usable energy out of it please inform all those fusion researchers that you have managed to CREATE a FUSION REACTION inside your laptop.... they might award you a Nobel Prize... that is if they manage to stop laughing first..... not to mention the gazillions of dollars you can make from your computer program running on your laptop producing all this clean energy.

Unless of course it is all IMAGINED….. just like we can imagine all sorts of impossible things which nevertheless remain impossible despite us imagining and wishfully thinking them to be real.

By the way…. If you can also get your computer ("real” not “imagined") to make reality out of the system pictured below you might be in on some amazing new UNIVERSE…. see… imagined computers can even replicate new universes with a whole new physics not just some paltry black holes and galaxies.

__________________
"I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for his reputation if he didn't" - Jules Renard
"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty" - Thomas Jefferson
"It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled" - Mark Twain

Last edited by Leumas; 17th April 2012 at 05:17 PM.
Leumas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 08:07 PM   #69
Mr. Scott
Under the Amazing One's Wing
 
Mr. Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,548
Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
Do you think that a computer can simulate a galaxy or a black hole in a manner so as to BE a solar system or galaxy or black hole?
This is key. Why is that an apt comparison?

It's like Pigliucci's assertion that consciousness is like photosynthesis, in that a computer could simulate photosynthesis, but it would fail to produce real sugar. Likewise, a computer that simulates consciousness would fail to produce real consciousness.

What, therefore, is the output of consciousness, the substance it produces, and what evidence is there that it's real?
Mr. Scott is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 08:14 PM   #70
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 14,808
Originally Posted by Mr. Scott View Post
Yikes! It's JREF Forum culture to add a joke final choice "on planet X..."

I did not intend to pose it as a false dichotomy, although after posting I did regret my bias in the wording, but polls cannot be edited.

I'm not sure that the essential question (consciousness can or cannot be achieved in general purpose computing machines?) is a false dichotomy. Are you suggesting that quantum consciousness is detectable by today's scientific instruments?

What are some other possibilities?
I think the false dichotomy comes from assuming that consciousness is either replicable in computers or non-physical.

It may be physical (or supervenes on the physical) without being replicable in computers.
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 09:23 PM   #71
Leumas
Master Poster
 
Leumas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,924
Originally Posted by Mr. Scott View Post
My problem is I've seen no evidence to support #2 or #3. I don't think we have any evidence computers could NOT simulate ANYTHING in the known world, do we?

I just finished watching a history of computing documentary, and it reminded me of this thread that the first electronic computers were built to simulate ballistic trajectories, which they did beautifully. You can draw a line from that to current AI simulations. Sure, someone will say that the ENIAC's simulations did not destroy targets, but the brain is a control mechanism for the body, and a simulated mind could control a body, achieving the same effect as a biological conscious mind. To continue to refute that is, to me, an argument that consciousness has some kind of other metaphysical energy or substance as its output (epiphenomenalism as per the OP). I equate it with woo because it is, conveniently, not measurable.

Good.... at least you admit that it is YOU who is the problem and lacks a wider more informed view.

But as you probably might not agree... YOU are not the AUTHORITY on any of this despite your, I am sure, quite impressive programming abilities.


If I had a dollar for every person who believed things just because he could not conceive or comprehend any alternative to what he thinks I would have about 7 Billion dollars.... and that is not counting all the dead ones who did the same.
__________________
"I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for his reputation if he didn't" - Jules Renard
"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty" - Thomas Jefferson
"It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled" - Mark Twain

Last edited by Leumas; 17th April 2012 at 09:58 PM.
Leumas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 09:28 PM   #72
quarky
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 20,135
It might be something else altogether.

(No)
I wrote that 'no' so Pixy wouldn't need to.

Rather than label me wooish for suggesting that consciousness might be something of a background energy field, let's consider where it has sprung from.

A singularity?
Spontaneous generation?
Phlogistan?

Please, don't even bother to assume I'm in the I.D. crowd. I'm not.
However, there is something fabulously wooish about the very existence of everything from nothing.

We tend to skirt around that and get all excited about the details that follow.
We know plenty about what probably happened after the 'big bang'.
Yet, as of today, we seem to know nothing about the underlying reality that everything hatched from. Its not even pleasant to contemplate...especially for those that are cock-sure about what followed.

I find it odd that the notion of a conscious planet is outrageous, yet, the notion of creating artificial consciousness is relatively reasonable.
The only horse I have in this race is rejecting arrogance.

Perhaps that is arrogant, except my conjectures are merely conjectures.
Some of us here act like they don't expect any major surprises in their knowledge and understanding, yet, if we are willing to extrapolate on the long ride to scientific understanding, we are almost always wrong. And the 'flavor' of our historical wrongness is nearly predictable in one regard:

The truth we slowly uncover is always more fantastic; more bizarre; more complex; older; larger; less predictable than the previous level of truth we tend to settle for.
In some ways, this tendency to settle in with the latest revision, however correct it might be today (relative to yesterday) reminds me of religious fundamentalism.

I suspect we're in for some surprises.
The realm of consciousness is apt to supply some of those surprises, as we understand almost nothing about it.

Its also strange (to me) that Penrose has become something of a wooster, relative to the jref zeitgeist. With Sheldrake, i can understand it, though he isn't a moron. But Penrose?

Even Einstein was more open to the overall mystery of existence than the average jref skeptic. The Higgs boson particle that we seek to tidy up the math is likely to be discovered and created simultaneously. It may have no reality without our fantastic manipulations and observations.
quarky is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 09:32 PM   #73
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 14,808
Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
Good.... at least you admit that it is YOU who is the problem and lacks a wider more informed view.

But as you probably might not agree... YOU are not the AUTHORITY on any of this despite your I am sure quite impressive programming abilities.


If I had a dollar for every person who believed things just because he could not conceive or comprehend any alternative to what he thinks I would have about 7 Billion dollars.... and that is not counting all the dead ones who did the same.
I personally can't see how you could know that.
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 09:38 PM   #74
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 14,808
Originally Posted by quarky View Post
Its also strange (to me) that Penrose has become something of a wooster, relative to the jref zeitgeist. With Sheldrake, i can understand it, though he isn't a moron. But Penrose?
I am not that sure why it is but I have noticed that there is often a correlation between those who like Sheldrake's ideas and those who like Penrose's. Same with (strong) Gaia, which I think you were hinting at before.

I recently had an argument with someone who was constantly going on about Penrose, Sheldrake, Gaia and Amit Goswami PhD and telling me that my world view was hopelessly materialistic and that Penrose had proved that human minds are "non-algorithmic" and that Lovelock had proved Gaia was true and that Sheldrake had proved morphic fields and Goswami had proved a self-aware universe that looks at us and creates and all of this. I just said that I don't think any of that had been proved and that I probably thought none of it was true.

I realize that this is my own prejudice but when I see Penrose I tend to see "woo" (although I hate that word).
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 09:44 PM   #75
Leumas
Master Poster
 
Leumas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,924
Originally Posted by Mr. Scott View Post
This is key. Why is that an apt comparison?

I am going to respond to this in a way you seem to prefer…

1- I was responding to the post that claimed that
Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
Any, real or imagined. Computers are theoretically capable of simulating any possible system.
Notice the emphasis on “Any computer” and “any possible system”.

2- It is in fact quite an applicable comparison....even though you do not see why… see steps 3 to 9 for an explanation

3- Do you think that there is something WOO about solar systems and galaxies?

4- So why are they not replicable in a computer?

5- Is it something metaphysical about suns that we cannot replicate them in laptop simulations?

6- Or is it perhaps you do think that one day we might be able to simulate a fusion reactor inside some silicon running some code?

7- Are you able to conceive of why a computer is unable to replicate a fusion reaction?

8- If your answer to step 7 is yes.... then good... can you therefore comprehend that maybe there are things that might also make it not applicable for a computer to replicate consciousness due to limitations that despite YOU being incapable of comprehending might nevertheless be quite an obstacle?

9- Can you see how it is a false dichotomy to claim that either one believes that fusion reactions should be theoretically replicable in computers or else he must be a woo bagger?


Originally Posted by Mr. Scott View Post
What, therefore, is the output of consciousness, the substance it produces, and what evidence is there that it's real?

When you figure that out please go inform the scores of scientists working on the subject and don't forget to collect your Nobel Prize on the way.

In the meantime, please don’t let your incapacity to think of answers other than the ones you are able to think of drive you to precipitous fictive speculations.

BUT ABOVE ALL…. more importantly….STOP INSULTING people who disagree with you by attributing to them woo beliefs just because they do not have the same FAITH as you do in your FICTIVE SPECULATIONS about creating Pinocchios.
__________________
"I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for his reputation if he didn't" - Jules Renard
"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty" - Thomas Jefferson
"It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled" - Mark Twain

Last edited by Leumas; 17th April 2012 at 10:21 PM.
Leumas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 09:49 PM   #76
case#46cw39
Muse
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 609
Originally Posted by quarky View Post
Rather than label me wooish for suggesting that consciousness might be something of a background energy field, let's consider where it has sprung from.

A singularity?
Spontaneous generation?
Phlogistan?

I find it odd that the notion of a conscious planet is outrageous, yet, the notion of creating artificial consciousness is relatively reasonable.
You are confusing essence with function, operationalism based on explanatory theory with operational definitions only interested in empirical function. As I said in a prior post, essence we don't have to know in order to figure out and re-create function. There is that other view:

Does Our Brain Really Create Consciousness? physicist Peter Russell http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-..._b_873595.html

I understand that view is out there. But that question or answer do not impact on re-creating the function of consciousness in a different substrate. (It doesn't rule it out. The two can co-exist peacefully.)
__________________
LET'S START SAVING TAX MONEY AND GAINING TAX REVENUES! END THE BS POT WAR!

Last edited by case#46cw39; 17th April 2012 at 10:12 PM.
case#46cw39 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 10:03 PM   #77
Leumas
Master Poster
 
Leumas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,924
Originally Posted by quarky View Post
The only horse I have in this race is rejecting arrogance.

Then I am afraid your horse is going to drop dead from exhaustion...
__________________
"I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for his reputation if he didn't" - Jules Renard
"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty" - Thomas Jefferson
"It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled" - Mark Twain
Leumas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 10:24 PM   #78
case#46cw39
Muse
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 609
By the way, if you are looking for a way to quickly write the base programs for a robot (to which the meta-programs or consciousness are added) try Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio. You can now do so on the macro, high level programming level (a long way from assembler) Enjoy, the future is all around us. I was at a medium sized town's public library and there were many good, new books on robotic AI. I was surprised; I didn't think there would be many.

http://www.microsoft.com/robotics/
__________________
LET'S START SAVING TAX MONEY AND GAINING TAX REVENUES! END THE BS POT WAR!

Last edited by case#46cw39; 17th April 2012 at 10:31 PM.
case#46cw39 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 10:50 PM   #79
quarky
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 20,135
Here's 2 problems I have:

A. There is a tendency amongst we humans to lump things into cozy categories. if someone (like me, for example) tosses out a conjecture in a discussion about something that is poorly understood, we are apt to be labeled. It hasn't happened in this thread, particularly, but it is very common. I find that tendency to be fundamentally non-scientific.

B. What i call 'arrogance', for lack of a better word, is a proclivity amongst the skeptical to focus on the fantastic; i.e., creating artificial consciousness before we know what consciousness is; discuss interstellar space travel before we know what's under the Antarctic ice cap or at the bottom of the ocean. I find that trend to be disturbing, or at least intellectually lethargic.

When i was in college, it was thought that biology was more or less done; we'd discovered all the species on the planet. Now, we have new kingdoms.
Lovelock and Penrose aren't the enemies. They are both quite brilliant, actually.
Their speculations are reasonable, regardless of their validity.

Human arrogance is a curse. The study of cetaceans, for instance, was nearly crushed by our knowledge of whaling. There was scant curiosity concerning other large brained mammals on this planet, except in matters of killing them. It took a grass roots movement to keep some whales around long enough to learn about them. And we still know almost nothing about wild whale behavior. We're barely curious. We're far more curious about new weapons. So i sing Kumbaya, I guess, while marveling at the species die-off as we hold tightly to the crown of creation, with little regard for any potential contenders.
quarky is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Old 17th April 2012, 10:59 PM   #80
Brian-M
Daydreamer
 
Brian-M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 6,540
Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
It depends on what you mean by "simulating"...
By "simulating" I mean reproducing the processes by representing the elements involved in these processes as numerical values and providing instructions (a program) describing how these elements affect each-other.

And what are intelligence and consciousness if not processes performed by the brain?
__________________
"That is just what you feel, that isn't reality." - hamelekim
Brian-M is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Back to Top
Closed Thread

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:55 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.