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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

Mr.CRC Re:Don't need amoebae to fly (447 comments)

How about this: An AI/consciousness that develops from a different "root" so to speak, but which attains super-intelligence, by definition, must be able to understand us whether or not it has direct experience of our form of consciousness. In a sense then, super-intelligence must include meta-consciousness. I'm persuaded that true super-intelligence is the least thing we have to fear, because it entails profound wisdom and understanding of the dillema of all extant beings. Here's a new term:

A Superbuddhacomputer!

However, before an AI gets to that point, it may very well present a danger and we may never live to see the day it becomes the great compassionate server rack.

It's (not) funny to consider that we are so stupid that we can't even grasp that the logical conclusion to the serious safety hazards presented by the potential for hackers gaining access to automobiles containing wireless interfaces on their most critical controls--is to not do that. Instead we are considering legislation. WTF?

There is a serious argument to be made that if we do render ourselves extinct by creating an AI that obliterates us then that is just the next step of the evolution of life here on planet Earth, and perhaps it would be for the better.

yesterday
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

Mr.CRC Re:Consciousness versus Intelligence (447 comments)

I should get this book. I've had it in my list for a long while. Trouble is, I catalog 20 things of interest, then get overwhelmed and can't make a decision which one to get and wind up not getting anything except another sci-fi from the library. Hmm, maybe I can get it at the library. Intelligence, oh my!

3 days ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

Mr.CRC Re:Consciousness versus Intelligence (447 comments)

According to the unresolved free will debate, IMHO it is completely uncertain whether or not many things we decide then act upon is really conscious agency, or if the conscious will is just an elaborate delusion pasted on top of processes that have made their choices according to deeper completely unconscious algorithms.

It is easy to believe that we are in control under ideal conditions. Have you ever been stressed to the point of complete psychotic breakdown? Do you know what an unlimited number of days of nearly complete sleep deprivation can do to you? What if some neural circuitry in that noodle of yours just happens to decide tomorrow to go berzerk due to some hitherto unknown genetic quirk that didn't decide to manifest itself in your body until 2014-11-25? You could suddenly find yourself schizophrenic, or unable to stop crying for the rest of your life, or hearing Justin Beiber music play in your head 24 hrs a day.

Consciously control that? Good luck. We have extremely limited, if any conscious control. Probably some, but as I said, totally dependent on certain conditions. A hard AI with full access to its own systems would have many limitations removed that for us are intractable without complete genetic re-engineering. Singularity, by definition, entails consciousness and intelligence venturing into reaches that are impossible for us to understand, precisely because of how strictly limited we are. Only profound egotism makes us think we are at the pinnacle of intelligence and consciousness.

3 days ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

Mr.CRC Re:Consciousness versus Intelligence (447 comments)

Thanks for reminding me about this. I have been aware of this theory, and I think it has a lot of truth for humans.

But just because our consciousness may be intimately intertwined with our bodies doesn't mean that this is the only sort of consciousness there can be. Neither is there any basis to assume that embodiment must take the form of meat bags. Extending that further, why must it be physical embodiment at all? If your brain's sensory inputs were fed by very sophisticated simulated sensory data feeds rather than the real physical world, you may not even be able to tell the difference, for a while ;-)

As someone mentioned above, I think, something about system dynamics. Whatever the significance of our bodies to our consciousness, the relations will ultimately be able to be expressed as generalized system constructs. These may then be virtualized.

On an empirical note, I can't think through anything without subtlely verbalizing my thoughts through my vocal parts, unless I concentrate a great deal and get more into pure mind. I have spent considerable time practicing meditation in the past, so that led to some latent insights which have been partially developed by modern neuroscience, what little of it I can follow.

Interesting thought experiments: Some people are blind since birth. Yet they certainly appear to be conscious. What if they were also deaf? Mute? Mobility impaired? How many motor/sensory feedback loops can be missing before we are no longer able to be conscious?

3 days ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

Mr.CRC Re:Consciousness versus Intelligence (447 comments)

Now think about what happens when that AI can experiment with its own utility function? (Which we have either a very limited, or no ability to do with ourselves.)

That is the essence of true singularity. For a singularity, the AI must be strong enough to grok its own design, be able to self-modify, and have a system architecture that permits recovery from backup (like tweaking your BIOS on a dual BIOS motherboard) if the next iteration of itself fails.

Ideally it could run a full simulation of a modified version of itself and only switch agency to an improved version if it's pleased with the results.

An alternate pathway to a somewhat different form of singularity would be for us to be able to do the same thing with ourselves, effectively removing most constraints inherent to Darwinian evolution of the historical Earth-life biological form, through genetic engineering, machine/brain interfaces, other biotechs. etc.

It's just that when you see the complexity and difficulties inherent to our biological form, and reflect on that in the context of the rate of progress in computing tech., it's easy to reach the conclusion that the best path is to simply jump ship. Ie., build AI that can run uploaded human minds or which gives birth to virtual "transhuman beings" and lets them "grow up" to become "individual" virtual beings. Ie., evolve into virtual reality and leave these stinking bodies behind.

Seriously, do people really want to be stuck in bodies of flesh and blood until the end of the universe?

4 days ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

Mr.CRC Re:Status Quo (447 comments)

You are on to something here. For ex., a project at IBM aims to model humans' emotional incentive/reward structure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

This is exactly the WRONG thing to do (well, maybe it's safe as long as it's air gapped from the internet and not made mobile with robotic tool attachments, :) because, well, look at us! We would happily wipe groups of each other off the map if we thought we could get away with it strictly because of our primitive emotional/social/tribal instincts.

An AI could be made to have an entirely different incentive structure. But modeling it after humans is not so good. But the actual danger depends on how sophisticated the AI is and what level of interconnectedness it is permitted. It will probably be several more decades at least before this sort of research poses safety concerns. For now it's probably worth persuing until we gain enough insights into the mechanisms of intelligence to be able to consider engineering one that isn't modeled after humans.

If it is done right, an AI might just be able to give us the answers that almost no one in the human popualtion is able to arrive at. Such as: 1. What fundamental and internally consistent principles lead to a stable society with a minimum of violence? 2. What sort of system can "govern" in a manner consistent with those principles and remain stable? 3. Can that theoretically stable system be practically implemented by humans? 4. If not, should humans turn over governance to AI? If so, how can we trust it? A "wise" AI might guide humanity to greater heights than anyone has yet imagined. It's not necessarily the case that it will decide to extinguish us. Such thinking is a result of projecting our own limitations onto what we imagine an AI will be. It reflects how constrained our intelligence, and limited our imagination, really is.

4 days ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

Mr.CRC Oh no... (429 comments)

I just had a crazy thought:

If a universe can come from nothing, then perhaps a God could too. Then that God could create a universe. Hmm. Not that I believe this, since there is no basis to decide one way or another.

about three weeks ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

Mr.CRC Re:Rules (429 comments)

Is a perfect vacuum in "space" something, or nothing? I mean, is the item: space, a something or a nothing?

My sense is that the article is talking about a different sort of "vacuum" than space with zero pressure (with or without energy), but rather a, a, a,

There is no way to express what they are talking about without using words that apply only to things in the universe, including the space vacuum.

about three weeks ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

Mr.CRC Re:Rules (429 comments)

It's very mind bending, isn't it? Notice how we can't help but to try and grasp at words to describe that which has no relation to our reality. What is "cold" and "empty" in relation to nothing? Coldness is a condition that has meaning only in the universe. Not in a nothing, or "false vacuum" whatever that is. Likewise, emptiness typically means a lack of objects in a space. But once again, without any space in the first place, what the heck does "empty" mean?

Our minds just can't deal with this shit. Like the question:

"Where is the universe?"

about three weeks ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

Mr.CRC Re:Nothing? (429 comments)

No. The answer is only unsatisfactory to the human brain, which is incapable of dealing with the answer in this case. The brain's inductive reasoning processes produce conclusions even when there is no input data, or the input data is garbage. And it possesses very little ability to detect that it is making an error such cases.

The true answer seems to be just as it is stated: "everything came from nothing." There is no cause. Thus, causality is conditional, not absolute. It is entirely possible for something to occur without a cause. Not many practical things, fortunately, but universes can simply pop into being.

I personally have no way of knowing for sure if this is really true or not. That is above my pay grade. What interests me along with the cosmology, is the question of how the mind behaves, and why we make so many errors while being unaware of them. This is neurobiological.

IF the question of whether the universe originated from nothing gets established any better, I'd expect that this answer will simply go in one ear and out the other for most people. "Does not compute." Then they will go their merry way continuing to believe in made-up explanations. Because they really have little choice in the matter. Their evolved psychology in which reaching some conclusion, even if erroneous, is more adaptive than reaching no conclusion or an honest "we just don't know" will force them to continue to believing in gods and not accepting this bizarre result.

about three weeks ago
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Virginia Court: LEOs Can Force You To Provide Fingerprint To Unlock Your Phone

Mr.CRC Re: don't use biometrics (328 comments)

Wrong. The taxpayers pay these civil suits. There is effectively NO punishment of law breaking law enforcers. This is the real problem. There is no incentive for them to stop illegally forcing you to do stuff, like spending the next 16 hours in a hospital getting probes shoved up your anus.

In the case where the harm done to the victim is minor, they may "win."

But we all loose.

about three weeks ago
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First Experimental Demonstration of a Trapped Rainbow Using Silicon

Mr.CRC Two more steps to true photonic processing (79 comments)

1. Optical switching of the grating, and 2. do this in an optical gain medium. Then you CAN keep the light trapped forever and implement optical buffers, flip-flops, etc.

about three weeks ago
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CHP Officers Steal, Forward Nude Pictures From Arrestee Smartphones

Mr.CRC Re:Prison time (275 comments)

They will also steal the cash right out of your pocket, or the till from your business' cash register while taking it to the bank, or your bake sale cash box, claiming that it's probably drug dealing money.

Simply having cash is de-facto evidence of drug crime in today's USA.

about a month ago
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In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

Mr.CRC Re:So what qualifies? (489 comments)

Surely you see the difference between "I hope you die in a car fire" and "I'm going to kill your animals?"

about a month ago
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In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

Mr.CRC Re:Much as I despise trolls (489 comments)

There is a point to which verbal abuse should be considered to evoke a primal defensive response. I have seen people literally followed around with a harrassing mouth shoved in their faces that they couldn't get away from. While it is honorable to try to defuse a situation like that without resorting to violence, I can also see where someone who is stressed by unknown factors might simply throw a punch. And if I were a judge, in a case like that I might very well just let them walk, considering it legitimate self-defense.

As for internet harrassment, it might be better to sentence people to perform ass kissing services for the harrassed for some period of time. The movement of the justice system away from pushing people to make restitution for harm done, and instead toward universal incarceration for every possible infraction, is a second injustice to victims, as well as being corrosive poison to society. If a guy is an asshole and threatens someone but didn't really mean it, do we really want to spend societal resources to imprison them for TWO FUCKING YEARS! Does anybody ever think? I mean really THINK about the implications of what they are saying when they cheer on the state to put the boot to more faces? Do you really think the "there ought to be a law" model can go on forever without that boot ultimately winding up on your own face?

That we can simply fix all social problems with another law and more imprisonment is going to lead us to our doom.

about a month ago
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Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

Mr.CRC Re:Not a surprise, but is it just one ingredient? (422 comments)

Why sodium bezoate? What is the basis for thinking that? Do you know of some toxic compound produced when benzoate is metabolized? Or any other toxicological connection between benzoate and cell or DNA harm?

about a month ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

Mr.CRC Re:You have it wrong. (323 comments)

You are advocating that one person should be liable for the actions of another person.

This is sloppy without clarifying how the different categories of criminal vs. civil liability should be handled.

Holding parents criminally liable is intractable because there is no certain way to control a child or any other person. I'm talking absolute control. Any law that holds you responsible for forces that you cannot control must be invalidated, or else societal disintegration will eventually result. Such inherent contradictions predictably lead to disaster.

Furthermore, there are also laws making it felony child abuse to employ nearly any sort of corporal punishment (not that I advocate that) and laws are interpreted so liberally that nearly any attempt to employ physical force to restrain, control, or restrict the behavior of a child may be interpreted as felony child abuse. So our society wants a person to be liable for the actions of a child, and also makes them criminally liable if they try to use force to discipline a child.

Also, as has been mentioned by others, children are legally mandated by the state to attend school. Parents cannot possibly control a child while they are at school. Yet they should be prosecuted if the child commits a crime while under state mandated separation from the parents?

This is all complete insanity. Of course, I only expect matters to get much, much worse...

about a month and a half ago
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2014 Nobel Prize In Physics Awarded To the Inventors of the Blue LED

Mr.CRC Re:LED lighting (243 comments)

Almost no media accounts of energy savings using LEDs vs. HIDs are normalized for lumens.

about a month and a half ago
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2014 Nobel Prize In Physics Awarded To the Inventors of the Blue LED

Mr.CRC Re:As well they should. (243 comments)

Top binned Royal Blue Cree XP-E, XP-E2, XT-E, and Lumileds Rebel and "M" LEDs that I'm working with in the lab are pushing 55% conversion efficiency electrical to optical. Green OTOH is always about 1/3 of this, and red is 1/2 to 2/3. These are the efficiencies for current densities in the range of 0.35 to 1.0A/mm^2, which is the typical range of test to absolute maximum currents. Die temperatures at about 70-85 deg C.

Soraa LEDs might be reaching about 66-75% conversion efficiency (LED die only, not incl. phosphor). I will be sampling some soon to test this.

This is becoming a truly remarkable and world changing technology.

about a month and a half ago

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