Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 109 (8803 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 11-20-2017 10:18 AM
352 online now:
Coragyps, Diomedes, DrJones*, dwise1, halibut, jar, PaulK, RAZD, Tangle (9 members, 343 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: jaufre
Upcoming Birthdays: DC85
Post Volume:
Total: 822,689 Year: 27,295/21,208 Month: 1,208/1,714 Week: 51/365 Day: 7/44 Hour: 0/0

Announcements: Reporting debate problems OR discussing moderation actions/inactions


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Prev1
...
56
7
89
...
12Next
Author Topic:   The Social Implications Of "The Singularity Moment"
CosmicChimp
Member
Posts: 305
From: Muenchen Bayern Deutschland
Joined: 06-15-2007


Message 91 of 169 (604824)
02-15-2011 10:08 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
02-12-2011 10:39 AM


To me a kind of paradox emerges. If that kind of complexity were so close at hand for us here, then I would expect to see signs of the same but originating from elsewhere; other nearby planets. Assuming an affirmative in our case and elsewhere (where there should even be multiple instances) then why are we not seeing any signs of such AGI's? Is it because we are special or the first ones? No, we should expect to be right about in the middle of it all.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Phat, posted 02-12-2011 10:39 AM Phat has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 95 by Rahvin, posted 02-15-2011 11:34 AM CosmicChimp has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 10041
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 92 of 169 (604826)
02-15-2011 10:55 AM
Reply to: Message 86 by jar
02-14-2011 10:09 PM


Re: Fantasy Machines
jar writes:

the majority of the population will simply USE the products, accept any benefits, without thinking about them, understanding them or "absorbing" the technology.

It is always a minority of folks that actually want to go further. What is the purpose..the ongoing charge...for society in general, anyway? Not everyone is as excited about exploring the universe as you may be. People like to be served by technology...but few want to risk the cost of boldly going where no man has gone before.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by jar, posted 02-14-2011 10:09 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by jar, posted 02-15-2011 11:24 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
jar
Member
Posts: 29609
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 93 of 169 (604831)
02-15-2011 11:22 AM
Reply to: Message 87 by dwise1
02-15-2011 12:09 AM


Re: Fantasy Machines
dwise1 writes:

Oh, there will be other uses, likely unexpected ones that fall out from research, but the majority of the population will simply USE the products, accept any benefits, without thinking about them, understanding them or "absorbing" the technology.

That's almost always been the case.

True. When electronic pocket calculators hit the market shortly before 1970, my father said he knew exactly how they worked: "They've got chips!"

When I was a computer technician in the USAF, our training NCO's theory of how electronics works was that it's all FM (fracking magic -- yeah, they had "frak" in those days). An engineer at work says (admittedly jokingly) that electronic devices run on smoke, "If you let the smoke leak out, it no longer works."

In Isaac Asimov's first Foundation novel, the Foundation's rise to power was in exporting its technology, only they did it as a religion. They installed the tech and the local tech-priests they trained would operate it: to make it work you must say this particular prayer and then press the red button.

Gene Roddenberry's approach to explaining his technology to the audience was to not explain it, but rather just have the character use it and we'd see the results.

Stargate SG-1 had an even better approach. Carter would start to explain the science behind something and O'Neill would shut her up fast.

The last two examples seem to mirror reality closely. Use it and why it works is irrelevant.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by dwise1, posted 02-15-2011 12:09 AM dwise1 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by dwise1, posted 02-15-2011 2:36 PM jar has acknowledged this reply

  
jar
Member
Posts: 29609
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 94 of 169 (604833)
02-15-2011 11:24 AM
Reply to: Message 92 by Phat
02-15-2011 10:55 AM


Re: Fantasy Machines
Phat writes:

jar writes:

the majority of the population will simply USE the products, accept any benefits, without thinking about them, understanding them or "absorbing" the technology.

It is always a minority of folks that actually want to go further. What is the purpose..the ongoing charge...for society in general, anyway? Not everyone is as excited about exploring the universe as you may be. People like to be served by technology...but few want to risk the cost of boldly going where no man has gone before.

Of course, I have not mentioned either exploring the universe or going where no man has gone before.

The charge is that the future will be dictated by those who understand and manipulate the technology.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 92 by Phat, posted 02-15-2011 10:55 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 776 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 95 of 169 (604835)
02-15-2011 11:34 AM
Reply to: Message 91 by CosmicChimp
02-15-2011 10:08 AM


If that kind of complexity were so close at hand for us here, then I would expect to see signs of the same but originating from elsewhere; other nearby planets. Assuming an affirmative in our case and elsewhere (where there should even be multiple instances) then why are we not seeing any signs of such AGI's? Is it because we are special or the first ones? No, we should expect to be right about in the middle of it all.

Ah, the Fermi Paradox. I've never seen it used as an argument against AI, though, and there's good reason.

AGI is irrelevant to the Fermi Paradox. You don't need AGI to be bleeding radio and other transmissions all over the Universe. We've been doing it since the 30s, long before we even conceived of such things as Turing tests. Hell, that was before transistors.

Why should we expect to see "signs" of extraterrestrial AGIs? Why would not seeing such signs be evidence against the possibility of AGI, as opposed to simply evidence against intelligent life existing? What does the existence or nonexistence of extraterrestrial AGI have to do at all with how close we are or are not to developing our own? I'm pretty sure that extraterrestrial solutions to the speed of light limit would have absolutely nothing to do with predicting how close we would be to our own solution. What signs do you think we'd even see?

It's interesting that you've conflated the Fermi Paradox, which is a form of evidence against the existence of extraterrestrial intelligent life (at least developed to the point of radio transmissions, and it assumes that some of the extraterrestrial intelligences should have reached that technological point early enough in time to have their speed-of-light transmissions reaching Earth) with a potential argument against the possibility of AGI. I'm curious - even if we are totally alone in the Universe, and there's no extraterrestrial intelligent life anywhere, what exactly does that have to do with whether AGI is possible or not?

Further, whether AGI's are spamming interstellar space with transmissions or are completely nonexistent, what does that have to do with whether we are close or far away from developing AGI?

You're looking for things that are irrelevant to the Singularity.

If you want to look for signs that we, here on Earth, may be approaching the dawn of AGI, then you need to look here, at Earth. You should expect to see scientists working on developing AGI. Those are definitely here. You should expect to see non-generalist applications of AI being developed and used in modern society. We have those, from Deep Blue to Google to video games.

But as to whether AGI is possible at all, well, there's simply not an effective argument against that. The human brain is a general intelligence, therefore general intelligences are possible. It's absurd to thing that it's impossible for humans to ever duplicate artificially what already exists in nature - therefore AGI must be possible, even if we haven't figured it out yet. To refute that basic chain of logic, you'd need to either prove that human minds are not general intelligences, or to show a mechanism that prevents humanity from ever duplicating a natural phenomenon. Good luck with that.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by CosmicChimp, posted 02-15-2011 10:08 AM CosmicChimp has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 96 by Straggler, posted 02-15-2011 11:41 AM Rahvin has responded
 Message 103 by xongsmith, posted 02-15-2011 8:41 PM Rahvin has not yet responded
 Message 105 by CosmicChimp, posted 02-16-2011 8:08 AM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 96 of 169 (604836)
02-15-2011 11:41 AM
Reply to: Message 95 by Rahvin
02-15-2011 11:34 AM


'Singualrity Moment Vs The Great Temptation
You can argue that Fermi's paradox and the question posed here are related. As is done in The XBox Challenge (Message 90)

At least in the sense of The Great Temptation offering an interesting counter-point-alternative to the inevitability of the Singularity Moment under discussion.

Which one of the two do I subscribe to? Probably neither. Maybe a bit of both. I dunno.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by Rahvin, posted 02-15-2011 11:34 AM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 97 by Rahvin, posted 02-15-2011 11:53 AM Straggler has responded

  
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 776 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 97 of 169 (604837)
02-15-2011 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 96 by Straggler
02-15-2011 11:41 AM


Re: 'Singualrity Moment Vs The Great Temptation
You can argue that Fermi's paradox and the question posed here are related. As is done in The XBox Challenge (Message 90)

At least in the sense of The Great Temptation offering an interesting counter-point-alternative to the inevitability of the Singularity Moment under discussion.

Which one of the two do I subscribe to? Probably neither. Maybe a bit of both. I dunno.

You cannot at all argue that no extraterrestrial transmissions have been picked up, therefore AGI is impossible. It's a blatant non sequitur. It's like saying, since we don't hear alien transmissions, it's impossible to develop computers at all.

You cannot at all argue that the presence or absence of extraterrestrial AGI means that we here on Earth are closer or farther away from developing our own AGI - unless aliens are intending to help us speed up the process, the two are completely separate.

Even if the so-called "Great Temptation" has affected every other species in the universe, it still has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not AGI is possible, nor whether we on Earth are close or far from developing it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 96 by Straggler, posted 02-15-2011 11:41 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 98 by Straggler, posted 02-15-2011 12:03 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 98 of 169 (604838)
02-15-2011 12:03 PM
Reply to: Message 97 by Rahvin
02-15-2011 11:53 AM


Re: 'Singualrity Moment Vs The Great Temptation
Dude - Calm down!! I am not saying anything is impossible. 'The Great Temptation' just suggests that we might go up our own technological arses before the point that we get round to achieving AGI. It suggests that our technological efforts might be focussed in directions that run counter to us developing AGI for psychological reasons.

The Fermi paradox bit comes in when it is suggested that any evolved intelligent species would also be susceptible to this same failing.

Like I said - I'm not even really agreeing with it. But it definitely does provide a counter-view to the inevitability of the 'Singularity Moment' doesn't it?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by Rahvin, posted 02-15-2011 11:53 AM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
onifre
Member (Idle past 540 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 99 of 169 (604843)
02-15-2011 1:05 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by crashfrog
02-13-2011 5:59 PM


Re: Maybe read some of what Kurzweil writes?
Do you think that our culture's ability to absorb technological change is increasing?

In an effort to try and understand your position, and Theo's too, who are they selling the technological changes to - like facebook and iPhones - if not to our society?

Our culture has shifted the way it buys products, communicates with itself, and even meets future spouses, to mostly only through the use of technological advancements. That's how I see it, I don't know if that's what Theo is looking at, or if you disagree with it.

So where am I wrong, if you do disagree?

- Oni


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by crashfrog, posted 02-13-2011 5:59 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by Theodoric, posted 02-15-2011 2:05 PM onifre has not yet responded
 Message 106 by crashfrog, posted 02-16-2011 4:11 PM onifre has responded

    
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5772
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 8.8


Message 100 of 169 (604851)
02-15-2011 2:05 PM
Reply to: Message 99 by onifre
02-15-2011 1:05 PM


Re: Maybe read some of what Kurzweil writes?
That's how I see it, I don't know if that's what Theo is looking at

It would help to get a clear idea of what Crash and CS seem to think absorption means. Crash seems to want to run away from that remark, but not getting a clear answer as to what cultural absorption of technology is, is a big part of my issue. That and the throwing round of absolutes and claiming something is obvious when there has been no explanation or defense of why it is obvious.

Crash seems to not understand that communication is a two way street. He can claim all he wants that he has explained it, but if you and I still are not sure what he means then there is obviously a communication problem and he has not explained it clearly.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by onifre, posted 02-15-2011 1:05 PM onifre has not yet responded

    
dwise1
Member
Posts: 2994
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 101 of 169 (604853)
02-15-2011 2:36 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by jar
02-15-2011 11:22 AM


Re: Fantasy Machines
The last two examples seem to mirror reality closely. Use it and why it works is irrelevant.

Well, in ex-cop Roddenberry's case, he used the analogy of a police show. When the officer draws and uses his weapon, he doesn't stop to explain the gun's mechanical mechanisms nor the chemical reactions of the ignited powder nor the physics of the expanding gases accelerating the projectile against the friction of the barrel nor the balistic flight of the bullet once it leaves the muzzle. He just uses it and we see that it works.

In COL O'Neill's case, he'd immediately shush Carter's scientific explanations because science gives him a headache. He also could never understand science fiction.

Edited by dwise1, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by jar, posted 02-15-2011 11:22 AM jar has acknowledged this reply

    
dwise1
Member
Posts: 2994
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 102 of 169 (604855)
02-15-2011 2:45 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by crashfrog
02-14-2011 9:49 PM


Re: "Absorb Technological Change" - Huh?
When we invent technology for inventing technology, though, that allows for the singularity. I suspect that's what leads Kurzweil to assume that the singularity is coincident with the dawn of Artificial General Intelligence.

It's already been played with in experiments I read about over a decade ago. Using genetic algorithms, researchers "evolved" a design for a balanced amplifier in a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). The design that evolved was both irreducibly complex and unlike anything that any intelligent designer would have designed, in that it made use of the electrical properties of a digital device. Nobody could even begin to understand how it worked, but it did work.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by crashfrog, posted 02-14-2011 9:49 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

    
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1819
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 103 of 169 (604906)
02-15-2011 8:41 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by Rahvin
02-15-2011 11:34 AM


Rahvin writes:

AGI is irrelevant to the Fermi Paradox. You don't need AGI to be bleeding radio and other transmissions all over the Universe. We've been doing it since the 30s, long before we even conceived of such things as Turing tests. Hell, that was before transistors.

Say we have been sending out electromagnetic radiation for ~100 years out of 4.5 billion years of Earth's existence.

Considering Arthur C. Clarke's approximate saying, "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic", the implications of another technological existence out there in space still using something so arcane as to be limited by the speed of light is ludicrous. Ursula LeGuinn has many stories set in 1 ficton where communication is done instantaneously via the Ansible. Surely any sufficiently higher level of technology would have long ago abandoned using electromagnetic waves. It would be like a country today, anxious to communicate with other countries, setting up some watchmen in towers, looking for horses on the horizon - horses of the Pony Express.

In other words, we may have already missed the signal shell, expanding at the speed of light, as it's 100-200 light-year thickness went through the earth's neighborhood millions of years ago already.

However, the Von Neumann machines, being some kind of AGI or even less, could be a different story, since no one would be out there to shut them all off. Perhaps the FTL technology would allow them to do it.


- xongsmith, 5.7d
This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by Rahvin, posted 02-15-2011 11:34 AM Rahvin has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 104 by cavediver, posted 02-16-2011 4:30 AM xongsmith has responded

    
cavediver
Member (Idle past 1233 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 104 of 169 (604918)
02-16-2011 4:30 AM
Reply to: Message 103 by xongsmith
02-15-2011 8:41 PM


the implications of another technological existence out there in space still using something so arcane as to be limited by the speed of light is ludicrous.

Not really. To start, FTL is a meaningless concept without extensive qualification. If you are "simply" talking about the ability to move between two space-time points that are not causally connected, then you are talking about space-time manipulation of almost god-like proportions, and the idea that anything with such ability would be concerned with something as trivial as "moving" is bizarre.

Ursula LeGuinn has many stories set in 1 ficton where communication is done instantaneously via the Ansible.

And again, this is complete nonsense for the simple reason is that there is no such thing as "instantaneously" in a universe like ours where there is no such thing as "simultaneity"...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 103 by xongsmith, posted 02-15-2011 8:41 PM xongsmith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 107 by xongsmith, posted 02-16-2011 4:26 PM cavediver has not yet responded

  
CosmicChimp
Member
Posts: 305
From: Muenchen Bayern Deutschland
Joined: 06-15-2007


Message 105 of 169 (604925)
02-16-2011 8:08 AM
Reply to: Message 95 by Rahvin
02-15-2011 11:34 AM


Hi Rahvin,

Most of your post revolves around the idea that I'm arguing against the possibility of AGI. Hmm, sorry that you got the wrong idea from my short post. I can see how you got the idea though, as you made clear, due to its similarity to the Fermi Paradox and its application on this thread. But that reason, your given reason is only one among several for a seeming "paradox." I would say the main reason is that AGIs are not sending anything we can ascribe to them, rather than they do not (or cannot) exist at all. On the contrary I have long held the opinion that some form of AI would be the next stage of human evolution. Some of my musings about it have even landed here on EvC.

I have been able to only read a few posts in total on the thread and so will do that before I look into the details of your previous post 95.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by Rahvin, posted 02-15-2011 11:34 AM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
Prev1
...
56
7
89
...
12Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2015 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2017