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Source: (consider it) Thread: AIs and artificial life forms--life, rights, ethics, pluses/minuses
Golden Key
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Humans are creating more and more artificial entities, and show no signs of stopping.

AFAICT, developers and advocates haven't given a lot of thought to possible consequences: life, rights, ethics, pluses/minuses. It seems to be another example of "We can, so we should--and go as far as we can" and "Negative consequences? There won't be any stinkin' negative consequences". That seems to be an undocumented feature of humans.

So maybe--here, at least--we can think through current issues, what was done in the past, and what kind of future this all might bring.

For example: can AIs become alive, to what extent, and how should we treat them?

Facebook made an interesting choice:
"Facebook kills AI that invented its own language because English was slow" (PC Gamer).

Digital Journal has similar cases, and also "DeepMind creates 'imaginative' AI that can create and plan" .

Thoughts?

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Doc Tor
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I am, through 'work', in touch with AI academia.

A true AI is, at a conservative estimate, 100 years away. The problems are ones of complexity and scale.

On one hand, a neural net (unprogrammed) can emulate simple organisms. But any attempt to scale that to something the size of a mind is impossible. There are more connections in the human brain than there are stars in the galaxy.

On the other, an expert system (programmed) can emulate and even out-perform humans in many tasks. But while it can learn, it cannot think. It's still essentially a sophisticated piece of software.

This shouldn't mean that we don't think about, write about, and pre-empt the birth of true AIs. How we treat them should, in almost every respect, be how we expect to be treated.

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Martin60
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It's a thousand times bigger than that Doc.

OOM

Sapient AI - HAL - is a never, like economic fusion or any ID equivalent materialist fantasy.

We won't even achieve universal social justice for humans. Not for 10,000 years at least.

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Love wins

Posts: 16593 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ian Climacus

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
How we treat them should, in almost every respect, be how we expect to be treated.

Given how we treat our fellow humans I imagine the struggle for equal respect will not be instantaneous. I'm reminded of that rather good Real Humans Swedish TV series... Though not all had awareness, we can be dismissive of those "not like us".

Whenever I hear of AI I am amazed at all our brains can do. An amazing piece of "technology". I struggle to see AI matching it, but that is my limitation, and I'll be guided by those wiser like DocTor.

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Martin60
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Nobody is wiser than you in your instincts Ian. Or than Doc in his golden rule.

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Brenda Clough
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This issue has been -very- thoroughly plumbed in fiction. It is a favorite theme of novels and movies, and any list is very long indeed. However, off the top of my head I draw your attention to "Bicentennial Man" by Isaac Asimov (there was also a movie of the same title starring Robin Williams), or Ex Machina, the movie that came out a few years ago.

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HCH
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The concept of "true" AI is always changing, a moving target. When someone came up with a chess-playing computer program, there was discussion about AI, and then people said, oh, no, it's just a bunch of algorithms. The same keeps happening. Nowadays some software commonly notices your preferences, based on past history, and anticipates what you may need or want. That seems smart, but it's just a bunch of algorithms.

The classic test proposed for AI is the Turing test: a conversation between two parties on any and all topics, and we then ask each if the other party is a human being or a computer program. No one (yet) has a program that can pass this test, but they're getting closer all the time.

Does it matter? If an imitation of a human is so good I can't tell the difference, is there actually a difference?

Could an AI have a soul? Ultimately only God can answer that. I can, however, imagine a program that is interested in existential questions, has some esthetic awareness, has an awareness of ethics, and apologizes for mistakes. (I have a notion of writing a story about such.)

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
Could an AI have a soul? Ultimately only God can answer that.

I'm obsessed with AI (hence my 'work' contacts), and in one of mine, it's not God, but the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith who decide on the AI's anima.

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Brenda Clough
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Before a mere machine can have a soul, surely we'd have to allow the higher animals a soul. They can do, think, and feel more. We can probably agree that fleas, slugs, etc. do not have a soul. But chimpanzees? Dogs? Dolphins?

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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There is a fundamental problem with this. Hubris among them (one of the seven deadlies). Humans are not comparable to AI nor is the human mind, consciousness and sentience explainable via computer metaphors. Just isn't.

AI is a machine which works on algorithms and procedures. Brains on the other hand are prepared to interact with the world. Have a look at this article Your brain does not process information and it is not a computer.

quote:
We don’t store words or the rules that tell us how to manipulate them. We don’t create representations of visual stimuli, store them in a short-term memory buffer, and then transfer the representation into a long-term memory device. We don’t retrieve information or images or words from memory registers. Computers do all of these things, but organisms do not.
The article helpfully discusses the theories of mind over the ages which humans have used to metaphorically to try to explain it.

So AI will never have rights, it will never think as humans do. Though it might influence greatly how people treat each other and how we create justifications for how we treat each other. I think of "medical assistance in dying (MAID)" which is law in Canada now, and has a series of steps which much be followed in order to qualify to have a doctor end one's life (an algorithm). The steps are designed to systematically ensure that the person is really ill or suffering and voluntarily wanting to end it all. The pieces missing are the ethical considerations of actively causing death, the subtle and unstated influences from a stretched health system which could save millions if more people died sooner, and the undiscussed influence of family who prefer that their parent (or other) die because they are tired of providing care or want the inheritance now. We make similar errors with business and legal application of their procedural models (internal audit) to many other human issues, which unconsciously (I think) tries to algorithmic to issues which are not reasonable solved via.

I think of the anthropomorphisation of animals in Disney movies, where the lions or penguins think and respond as humans do. They don't in reality. And everyone who has tried to train a dog and forgave imperfect behaviour and rewarded it will know that this sort of soft-heartedness when doing the necessary operant conditioning is unwise. Which is why the animal rights movement also strays - it is one thing to treat animals kindly and a whole other thing to treat them like people.

[ 08. August 2017, 16:36: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
There is a fundamental problem with this. Hubris among them (one of the seven deadlies). Humans are not comparable to AI nor is the human mind, consciousness and sentience explainable via computer metaphors. Just isn't.

AI is a machine which works on algorithms and procedures. Brains on the other hand are prepared to interact with the world. Have a look at this article Your brain does not process information and it is not a computer.

I'm happy to agree with your first paragraph, but your second - especially the first sentence of it - is problematic.

No, the human brain is not a computer. But computers emulating neural networks is definitely a thing, especially where those emulations do indeed interact with the world using sensors.

AI research is progressing on two tracks, only one of which involves algorithms and procedures. It's certainly the one that has seen the most immediate gains (particularly in the field of mental games). But those researching artificial animals are starting to see results, and that route may eventually lead to true AI.

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Brenda Clough
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The other way to think about this is about people who cannot think or calculate. Babies, let us say, or handicapped persons. We agree that a newborn baby, significantly less functional and intelligent than a cat, has a soul. A person on life support, unable to speak, has a soul.
Therefore it cannot be intellectual function that gets you a soul. Word use, ability to calculate or pass the Turing test, these are irrelevant.

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Martin60
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We got 10^6 order artificial neurons with 10^7 order connections which gives us chess playing worms. In a hundred years add 3 and 5 to the exponents. All sorts of staggering savant capabilities will emerge. But sapience? More zeroes all round first.

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Love wins

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Doc Tor
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It might even be that consciousness is simply a function of complexity, which in the end will have nothing to do with utility.

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Jane R
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Doc Tor:
quote:
I'm obsessed with AI (hence my 'work' contacts), and in one of mine, it's not God, but the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith who decide on the AI's anima.
All together now: "Noone expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

But seriously... I am sure the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith would be first in the queue to consider the question of whether the AI was sentient.

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Martin60
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Aye. That's what I reckon. It emerges from sufficient complexity. After all, here we are. Layered, folded, 10^11 neurons with, what, 10^14 connections. A thousand galaxies. Permute that for paths. Whatever happened to Rashevsky's Number?

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Hiro's Leap

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Much as I love Iain M. Banks' ships, I'm doubtful we'd ever grant AIs human-like rights. If they were significantly less intelligent than humans, at best they'd be treated like animals; if they were as intelligent (or more) than us we'd likely consider them an existential threat and keep them on a very tight leash.

Long but readable introduction to AI threat:
Part 1 and part 2.

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Martin60
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"If our meager brains were able to invent wifi, then something 100 or 1,000 or 1 billion times smarter than we are should have no problem controlling the positioning of each and every atom in the world in any way it likes, at any time — ..."

Bollocks. Utter and complete bollocks.

And it gets worse:

"... everything we consider magic, every power we imagine a supreme God to have will be as mundane an activity for the ASI as flipping on a light switch is for us. Creating the technology to reverse human aging, curing disease and hunger and even mortality, reprogramming the weather to protect the future of life on Earth—all suddenly possible. Also possible is the immediate end of all life on Earth. As far as we’re concerned, if an ASI comes to being, there is now an omnipotent God on Earth—and the all-important question for us is: Will it be a nice God?".

[ 09. August 2017, 07:20: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Golden Key
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Re "will it be a nice God":

1) Has anyone seen the TV series "Person Of Interest"? Premise is "The Machine" is created to surveil possible terrorism. However, it also develops the ability to notice humans who need help, and let its handlers know. That, plus an often dystopian view of of current America, plus growth, changes, and fighting for hope, made for a great series.

It ended...last year? I'm trying to walk a line between spoilers and giving you enough to get an idea of the series. It's in syndicated reruns.

2) Has anyone seen the movie "The Forbin Project"(aka "Colossus")? A computer is developed to help and take care of humans. However, it develops its own ideas about that.

3) Lastly, the episode of the original "Star Trek" about the M5 computer project, and Dr. Daystrom trying to give it human feelings and perspective.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Re "will it be a nice God":

1) Has anyone seen the TV series "Person Of Interest"? Premise is "The Machine" is created to surveil possible terrorism. However, it also develops the ability to notice humans who need help, and let its handlers know. That, plus an often dystopian view of of current America, plus growth, changes, and fighting for hope, made for a great series.

It ended...last year? I'm trying to walk a line between spoilers and giving you enough to get an idea of the series. It's in syndicated reruns.

2) Has anyone seen the movie "The Forbin Project"(aka "Colossus")? A computer is developed to help and take care of humans. However, it develops its own ideas about that.

3) Lastly, the episode of the original "Star Trek" about the M5 computer project, and Dr. Daystrom trying to give it human feelings and perspective.

Forbin and Demon Seed say it all. Both with Robert Vaughn's voice.

Victor Milan's 1986 Prometheus Award winning Cybernetic Samurai explores the mind of an AI well, in anthropomorphic terms of course.

Banks does it best with Lasting Damage in Look to Windward and the 'pathologically righteous' Grey Area in Excession.

Any emergent trillion dollar mind will be very other indeed.

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Love wins

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Hiro's Leap

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
#Bollocks. Utter and complete bollocks.

Aww! I agree to an extent: the articles are written by a popular blogger who isn't a scientist, he's only looking at one perspective and he definitely gets carried away. That said, there are some very bright people concerned about AI threat (Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, Elon Musk), and I think the articles raise worthwhile points. These include...
  • Explaining the intelligence explosion hypothesis, i.e. a smart enough AI can build smarter AIs, which becomes a feedback loop.
  • The gulf there'd be between us and a super-intelligent entity.
  • An AI might have excellent social skills.
  • An AI might develop huge problem-solving intelligence but be entirely constrained by initial programming in terms of purpose and meaning. Getting this right would be crucial.
  • If an AI could develop new moral values, these might seem very, very alien to humans, let alone humans living in a liberal democracy.
One of the things I loved about the film Ex Machina was the way that the robot's human
appearance led you to anthropomorphize it, but in the end you knew almost nothing about its motivations. It had a perfect poker face and was a genius at manipulation.

Here's the results of a survey of AI researchers (352 responses from 1634). Some results are:
  • There seems to be massive uncertainty and variation in viewpoint.
  • On average researchers thought there was a 50% chance by 2062 AIs would be "able to accomplish every task better and more cheaply than human workers". They said there a 10% chance of it happening by 2026.
  • Rephrasing this question slightly led to very different answers, giving a 50% chance of it happening by 2139, and a 20% chance of it happening by 2037.
  • About 40% think the intelligence explosion hypothesis is more likely than not.
  • 5% said the final result of AI would be human extinction.
I have no idea what to make of any of this - whether strong AI will ever happen, whether it'd lead to the intelligence explosion, what that means for humanity. But it at least seems plausible to consider AI a risk.
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Ian Climacus

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Slightly off topic, but do those in the know see hybrids occurring, at all or sooner? Could we supplement our brain somehow? Hearts? Lungs?

I realise we have devices like pacemakers to help the heart, but could you see electronic replacements or supplements being used to give people more knowledge, more strength, longer lives...?

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Martin60
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@Hiro's Leap: Hawking, Gates, Musk know no more than the cat about any of this.

We will continue to be augmented as individuals but above all as systems in business, medicine, business, psychology, business, physiology, business, engineering and business.

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Love wins

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Doc Tor
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I'm not going to dismiss the concerns of others regarding runaway AIs. I would, however, urge people to keep a clear head as what is actually possible. I'm as keen as the next person to immanentise my eschaton, but talking to actual experts whose job is exactly to bring this about leads me to believe that an ASI will have the same limitations imposed on it by the physical universe as we do.

Demonising AIs will be also dangerous to us, as individuals and as a species.

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Get your arse to Mars

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Hiro's Leap

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Martin - sure, and very bright people can say dumb things when stepping outside their specialist subject. I'm just pointing out that concerns about AI threat come from some respectable sources. I have zero idea what'll happen, but it's fun to speculate.

Doc Tor - your novels should save you, come the robot revolution. I'll be in your loft.

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Brenda Clough
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quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
Slightly off topic, but do those in the know see hybrids occurring, at all or sooner? Could we supplement our brain somehow? Hearts? Lungs?

I realise we have devices like pacemakers to help the heart, but could you see electronic replacements or supplements being used to give people more knowledge, more strength, longer lives...?

Uh? We already do. I am communicating with all of you, yes? My brain and fingers are supplemented by the keyboard and wifi. And you do not think I actually -know- stuff, do you? No no. All I know is that the information is out there, and that I can look it up. We used to need encyclopaedias. Now we have search engines. We used to need to write on paper, and carry it about. Now I load text up onto the cloud, and it is there wherever I go over a dozen platforms.

That these things are outside of our bodies are a mere geographic detail.

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Martin60
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Hiro's Leap, they are not respectable sources with regard to AI or any other threat, any more than the cat. Hawking in particular talks absolute bollocks about chip ships, colonizing space, the threat of AI. About which he knows as much as Prince Charles does about grey goo.

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Love wins

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
The other way to think about this is about people who cannot think or calculate. Babies, let us say, or handicapped persons. We agree that a newborn baby, significantly less functional and intelligent than a cat, has a soul. A person on life support, unable to speak, has a soul.
Therefore it cannot be intellectual function that gets you a soul. Word use, ability to calculate or pass the Turing test, these are irrelevant.

I thought the point of the Turing Test was that I can't prove that anyone else is conscious, but deduce it from the fact that other people seem to be the same sort of thing as me. But if an AI seemed to be the same sort of thing as me as well, then in order to be consistent, I would have to suppose that it too was conscious.

Which raises the prospect of someone designing an AI that is conscious, but deliberately programmed to fail a Turing Test, so that the designer can hide the fact that it's conscious ...

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Brenda Clough
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This would not be impressive. It would be far more significant if the AI itself, realizing its danger, was able to decide to hide its light under a bushel.

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Ricardus
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I was thinking more that if an AI was designed to fail a Turing Test, then people wouldn't feel guilty about exploiting it. (Although how you would exploit an AI is a question in itself.)

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Martin60
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Brenda's right. There's no way a coder could code for mind. Mind will emerge from a complex enough system despite us. We'll be busy building a 10^12 artificial neuron box when a ghost starts haunting Amazon 2200.

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Brenda Clough
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Oh, here's a good one. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, a classic and award-winning novel by Robert Heinlein. He is one of the foundational titans of the genre.
In the novel the assorted computers that are helping to keep the Lunar colony going discover that they are sentient, and the AI helps the colonists in their fight for independence. Exactly what you're talking about.

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Martin60
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# 368

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Heinlein changed everything.

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Love wins

Posts: 16593 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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Thoughts as apps on a smart phone?

I recall a short story where a society was set up such that each person tended one neuron of a brain. They responded to electrical signals by chemically activating the cell membranes. The worldwide web of neurons thus thought and had consciousness. I don't recall, but I think someone fell asleep or decided to cook their neuron and the thing fell apart.

Posts: 10832 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Doublethink.
Ship's Foolwise Unperson
# 1984

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
It might even be that consciousness is simply a function of complexity, which in the end will have nothing to do with utility.

This is the closest thing to a scientific hypothesis predicting God, I've discussed with friends before: if consciousness is an emergent property of complex systems, then the universe could be predicted to be conscious.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

Posts: 19150 | From: Erehwon | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
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# 368

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To paraphrase Sir Martin Rees FRS, why astronomy, he said a star is simpler than a frog: A single human brain is more complex than the visible universe, dark matter and energy and all.

Whatever eternally does universes, now that IS complex.

[ 10. August 2017, 07:12: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

Posts: 16593 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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Change bad. Same good.

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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agingjb
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# 16555

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"Kindness to entities should be
Attuned to their brutality."

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Refraction Villanelles

Posts: 452 | From: Southern England | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
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# 368

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Yeah it's wasted on psychopaths with any expectation.

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Love wins

Posts: 16593 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
I'm reminded of that rather good Real Humans Swedish TV series...

The first season in particular is magnificent. The British remake, "Humans", is okay but doesn't succeed in tackling the philosophical and moral issues to quite the same extent as the Swedish original did.

I can't remember another show that managed to make me swing between laughing, being scared and being made to think so rapidly.

In all seriousness, I think it's an excellent primer on all the ethical issues that AI will raise.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

Posts: 18031 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Hiro's Leap

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# 12470

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AIs could open up a lot of weird ethical questions about identity. If an AI is a single program running on a supercomputer, what happens if you clone it and run a second version on the same hardware? Or a hundred clones? With one click have you created new individual(s), complete with rights? Do they get voting rights? Or do you just treat the whole lot as a single individual - so the entity isn't considered harmed so long as a single copy remains. Would it be OK to clone an AI to run a vehicle, then download its experiences back into the parent and delete it? Does the duration it's existed independently make a difference?

Then how do you think about an AI that's spread across a network, with shared memories but distributed processing? Maybe semi-autonomous decision-making and separate personas, but with a core personality that provides basic morality and can override decisions? Is the hivemind a single entity, or is each node, or something else?
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
In all seriousness, I think it's an excellent primer on all the ethical issues that AI will raise.

Sounds great, I'll look out for it.
Posts: 3408 | From: UK, OK | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
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# 368

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Like economic nuclear fusion, we'll never develop a processor with mind capabilities in a battery operated humanoid robot, knackered after one climb upstairs. Never. As in never.

At best we'll have highly bandwidth limited cyborgs talking with cloud AI. If sentience emerges in that, it will be SLOW (where will any centre of consciousness be?). Limited over thousands of miles by the speed of light. Millisecond responses at best.

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Love wins

Posts: 16593 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
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# 1468

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Before a mere machine can have a soul, surely we'd have to allow the higher animals a soul. They can do, think, and feel more. We can probably agree that fleas, slugs, etc. do not have a soul. But chimpanzees? Dogs? Dolphins?

Maybe *everything* has a soul? Even things we usually label "inanimate"?

I lean towards the idea that everything is alive, in some way: quarks, stars, maybe buildings (some do have that feel), tech, etc. Both individually, and a part of something larger.

Still trying to figure out whether politicians have souls... [Biased]

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

Posts: 17654 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
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# 1468

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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
I was thinking more that if an AI was designed to fail a Turing Test, then people wouldn't feel guilty about exploiting it. (Although how you would exploit an AI is a question in itself.)

By treating it as a slave, with no rights whatsoever?

I think that's the strongest qualm I have about robots, androids, AIs, etc. Humans want to believe we're better than everyone/everything else. So we label certain humans and animals as being "less than". We enslave them, abuse them, ignore them, don't provide for their welfare.

Given the way we humans treat each other, I'm not sure we have any right to create something that will, at the very least, act like a lifeform. Even if it somehow turns out to not be alive, we'd still harm *ourselves* by mistreating something that we kinda sorta hope is alive, or will become so.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

Posts: 17654 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Maybe *everything* has a soul? Even things we usually label "inanimate"?

Miss Tor (doing a zoology degree) reliably informed me that the lovely fresh-mown-grass smell is actually the scent of stress hormones emitted by the plants when they're damaged.

So basically, you're smelling the grass screaming.

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Get your arse to Mars

Posts: 8697 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Barnabas62
Host
# 9110

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:

In all seriousness, I think it's an excellent primer on all the ethical issues that AI will raise.

Year Million, Season 1 Episode 1 also does some interesting exploration of this topic. Curiously, I just found the series and watched the episode last night.

One of the futures envisaged was a kind of hybridisation of human/AI to enhance human thinking capabilities. A kind of supercharging of the human brain to improve cognition.

That feels different to me to artificial aids such as replacement hips, knees, limbs, organ transplants, cochlear implants. There seems to be a difference between medical intervention to improve the quality of life and technological intervention to enhance capability.

The ethical issue would seem to be about how such enhanced capabilities might be used to enhance personal power. And would there be limited availability.

Also futurists seem to have invented the use of the term "singularity" to describe the point at which human beings invent an AI which is superior to human intelligence. After that, they don't know which way the world would go. A partnership between AI creations and humans? A battle for dominance which humans would inevitably lose? Some built-in subservience (makes me think of Asimov's laws of robotics)? Something completely different?

I'm inclined to agree with the sceptics about how far away such a singularity might be in practice. But never say never. I remember reading Gerald Abrahams' excellent book The Chess Mind many years ago. He was very sceptical about the possibility of a chess playing computer ever competing with human imagination and creativity, citing various remarkable games in which unobvious sacrificial moves led to long term wins. But of course he was wrong. Deep Blue beat Kasparov, whose imagination and creativity were legendary, showing the immense power of superior computational analysis, in a limited context.

We're just going to have to wait and see!

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 20858 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

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We might as well wait for universal social justice. Never say never as in never say a 256 bit AES key encrypted cypher can't be cracked, given enough universe lifetime.

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Love wins

Posts: 16593 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged


 
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