The New "Religion Vs Science" Thread

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Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 26, 2017 - 07:51pm PT
We are proof that some arrangement of matter and energy is a formula for whatever it is that we’re calling intelligence.

If it arose naturally, it can be reproduced artificially. No more rigorous proof is necessary.
------


This is the sum and substance of mechanical arguments for strong AI. My arguments question the basic assumption that sentience "arose" as an output of the brain. Comments like, "Where else would it come from" also assume it "came from" or was physically created. Cries of "magic" assume the same thing - that magic, instead of material, sourced the brain. We still have sentience being sourced by an agency, physical or magical.

I agree that it certainly seems that way. A person dies and so does his sentience.

jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
Oct 26, 2017 - 09:00pm PT
IMHO a time machine lets you travel into the past


Yes. Time dilation is not the same sort of thing.


;>)
moosedrool

climber
Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
Oct 26, 2017 - 09:20pm PT
Largo, evolution proves that consciousness can arise from inorganic matter.

Your logic about AI is flawed. Just because we don't know how to program consciousness, doesn't mean that self programming machines can't become self aware, or conscious.

Moose
jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
Oct 26, 2017 - 09:24pm PT
^^^ You are arguing with a believer. Good luck.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Oct 26, 2017 - 09:44pm PT
Your logic about AI is flawed. Just because we don't know how to program consciousness, doesn't mean that self programming machines can't become self aware, or conscious.

You open up a can of worms with this statement because if intelligence exists on a continuum in which AI is a superior intelligence to our own, then what are its ends? How superior can that intelligence be? It would seem logically that as long as you continue to improve the complexity of your machine and its algorithms the greater the intelligence without end and when will that intelligence become infinitely superior to our own? And isn't that an argument for the creation of some sort of ultimate intelligence and why wouldn't you call that ultimate intelligence God? It's fascinating to see science guys argue for the existence of God without even trying.
jgill

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
Oct 26, 2017 - 09:48pm PT
^^^ Wildly speculative, but literate and entertaining.
Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Oct 27, 2017 - 06:42am PT


http://www.bchumanist.ca/religious_and_secular_attitudes_2016
Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Oct 27, 2017 - 08:07am PT

Largo-
My arguments question the basic assumption that sentience "arose" as an output of the brain.

This is the question. At what point was the start button pushed? All evidence points to simple propagation as the driver and engineer of life and how it acts. Every step; the nervous system, the brain and sentience has elevated modern man to the threshold of interstellar propagation.

The nuance of love, hate, greed, revenge, morality and religion, have enhanced the number of avenues of advantage or success within our population. Our personal identification as, mostly good and benevolent beings and the creation of some intelligence is laughable- what God would make us? Let's not forget, there have been several populations of sentient beings in the genus, Homo. Evidence suggests they are gone because of us.

It stands to reason that IA is just another avenue that we are predisposed to explore in seeking an avenue of advantage. Our history shows we are willing to accept the risk that IA may one day be our replacement in the order of things and not just a vehicle. Of course AI won't care if it doesn't quite match up to our definition of a life form.

https://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/a-quantum-leap-in-computing
WBraun

climber
Oct 27, 2017 - 08:40am PT
The de-evolution of modern consciousness is Artificial Intelligence.

It's the same as eating a lifeless plastic apple ...... this is what st000pid modern brainwashed gross materialists people want to eat.
Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Oct 27, 2017 - 09:27am PT
No argument on that...
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Oct 27, 2017 - 09:58am PT
Largo and a couple others here fail - time and again, post after post - to grok that our intuitions - like our sense of colors (eg, redness) and our sense of tastes (eg, sweetness) - are evolved.

They are evolved. Evolutionary products tens of millions of years in the making.

Basic evolution, believe it or not, remains their stumbling block.

It's hard to believe one could spend so much time in these "experiential adventures" in the 21st century and yet fail to grok the role of evolutionary psychology - or else evolutionary structures (circuitry) - in their basic nature...

Perhaps the Curse of Knowledge has something to do with it...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_of_knowledge
WBraun

climber
Oct 27, 2017 - 10:25am PT
Basic evolution,

You wouldn't have clue to the actual evolutionary process, to begin with.

You know nothing, except Sam Harris, Youtube and Wiki.

You yourself knows nothing beyond copy and paste .....
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 27, 2017 - 10:36am PT
^^^ You are arguing with a believer. Good luck.



John, anyone believing in the possibility of Strong AI is a believer.

The fiction is that Strong AI is based on evidence that the manipulation of symbols - if done quickly enough and with enough complexity and feed back loops - will somehow "source" consciousness. That is, consciousness is the natural and inevitable "output" of data processing, which "sources" or creates consciousness.

Of course there is nothing to suggest this is true. Appealing to an evolutionary metaphor - whereby we need only set up the right computing conditions via deep learning algorithms and so forth, and that consciousness will naturally "evolve" in the machine, as an output of data processing and symbol manipulation and probabilities, before anyone understands how or why, is the magical thinking found in the heads of most AI geeks.

Such a belief is also based not on any clear insight per what sentience is, but rather it is postulated as an axiomtic output of objective processing.
What you really have here is a reversion to Behavioralism. A modality junked years ago - we can easily see why.

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Oct 27, 2017 - 10:37am PT
You wouldn't have clue... -WB

You're like the site poster boy for Trump America.

If it weren't so pathetic it'd be comedic.


And those on this thread...

"Werner is by several yardsticks the most solid person posting here."

and elsewhere on this site that encourage or promote your "stoooopid" ridiculous rhetoric contribute to this Trump Americanism.

Maher expressed it perfectly in his last show...
Bluff. Lie. Attack.

That's all you and Trump and other subject-matter know-nothings got. Pathetic.


America does what it can - till its destiny is revealed.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Oct 27, 2017 - 11:30am PT
I enjoy that you post your ideas here for critique, largo, just wanted to say that.

John, anyone believing in the possibility of Strong AI is a believer.

Of course. Believing makes one a believer. 15/Love.

The fiction is that Strong AI is based on evidence that the manipulation of symbols - if done quickly enough and with enough complexity and feed back loops - will somehow "source" consciousness. That is, consciousness is the natural and inevitable "output" of data processing, which "sources" or creates consciousness.

This is a strawman argument. You make the case and dismiss is one fell swoop. 15/ALL

Of course there is nothing to suggest this is true. Appealing to an evolutionary metaphor - whereby we need only set up the right computing conditions via deep learning algorithms and so forth, and that consciousness will naturally "evolve" in the machine, as an output of data processing and symbol manipulation and probabilities, before anyone understands how or why, is the magical thinking found in the heads of most AI geeks.

Again with the strawman. 15/30

Such a belief is also based not on any clear insight per what sentience is, but rather it is postulated as an axiomtic output of objective processing.

OK, but since it was your own strawman argument to begin with you lose the point again. 15/40

What you really have here is a reversion to Behavioralism. A modality junked years ago - we can easily see why.

Yes we can. Strawmen are easy to see. Game.

However the evolutionary biology angle fructose talks about seems an entirely valid approach. You have to set aside your opinion of computers, forget that. Focus on the evolutionary development of the brain, instead.

Crawl, walk, run. Frankly I don't think you will have any success in divining the secrets of consciousness via inward gaze, but that's just an opinion, nothing more. But I am confident you will not divine the secrets of evolutionary consciousness that way either. Again opinion, but on more solid footing.

Bacteria has no demonstrated consciousness. However, birds do and so do lots of mammals. Any theory of mind and consciousness that excludes the evolutionary steps toward the higher mind seems to have missed the boat entirely.

The goal is not to reproduce a human-like consciousness in a computer. The goal is to understand consciousness and the use computers to test and validate ideas is where we are at. No I don't have the first clue how to do it. And neither do you, by admission. We both stand in the middle gray area, peering outward or inward, to see if anyone else does.

But one last point - why do you insist on equating artificial intelligence with consciousness and sentience to begin with? They key word there is artificial....

DMT
WBraun

climber
Oct 27, 2017 - 11:41am PT
why do you insist on equating artificial intelligence with consciousness and sentience, to begin with?

It's actually the gross materialists that are equating artificial intelligence with consciousness.

The artificial intelligence proponents are totally clueless to consciousness and sentience and its source.

This IS the main reason why the artificial intelligence proponents are steering towards that consciousness of artificial intelligence.

Why .... because ultimately the artificial intelligence proponents do NOT actually know what life itself and its actual purpose is to being with .....

Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Oct 27, 2017 - 12:00pm PT
It's actually the gross materialists that are equating artificial intelligence with consciousness.

The artificial intelligence proponents are totally clueless to consciousness and sentience and its source.

OK fine but you're still missing the point. They key word is artificial. Stop trying to equate it with non-artifical. The goal is not to create human intelligence but to use human intelligence to create something artificial.

Maybe you should look the word up.

1.
made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally, typically as a copy of something natural.

So of course artificial intelligence won't tap into this mysterious source of yours.

DMT
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 27, 2017 - 12:13pm PT
The fiction is that Strong AI is based on evidence that the manipulation of symbols - if done quickly enough and with enough complexity and feed back loops - will somehow "source" consciousness. That is, consciousness is the natural and inevitable "output" of data processing, which "sources" or creates consciousness.

This is a strawman argument. You make the case and dismiss is one fell swoop. 15/ALL
--


Bollocks, Dingus. "A straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent's argument, while refuting an argument that was not presented by that opponent."

Strong AI takes as axiomatic that the brain is a mechanical processing agent that if we only understood the mechanism well enough, we could digitally or in some way replicate consciousness mechanically.

The "mechanism" Strong AI zeros in on is data processing, processing speed, complexity of systems, and global interface - and a host of other stuff derived from the mechanical juggling of symbols.

If my observations are straw man, that implies that the REAL argument in favor or Strong AI rests with something OTHER than an objective mechanism that processes symbols in various "intelligent" ways, and which, by virtue of these objective processes, "sources" consciousness as an output.

So what, specifically, is the other argument based on? The one that is NOT the straw man.

The evolutionary angle is another thing altogether and is fraught with more problems still. I can get into that if you want to.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Oct 27, 2017 - 12:32pm PT
Strong AI takes as axiomatic that the brain is a mechanical processing agent that if we only understood the mechanism well enough, we could digitally or in some way replicate consciousness mechanically.

Its a sweeping statement started off with the strawperson itself "StrongAI" as if there is a person or a formal body of people representing this school of thought.

Its equivalent to those who use "Science says...."

When we know that Strong AI and Science, have nothing to say at all.

The rest of your argument serves to knock down this ridic strawman that you yourself defined and erected. It is the epitome of a strawman argument.

Now if you want to quote this person or that, and argue for or against the words that person presented, such as "Dr. Strangelove, a well recognized expert in AI computer systems, says...." then you will be on solid footing.

But this sweeping generalization 'Strong AI says..." is just a rhetorical tool you use to position your arguments against a strawman.

DMT
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 27, 2017 - 01:57pm PT
Dingus, I like you. You keep me honest. But it's tedious to keep having to define for you simple and universally accepted terms and then have you imply that such supposed misinterpretations are in some wise stuff I am merely pulling out my ass. Fact is, I've been on this stuff since the early 90s, when Searle coined the terms "strong" and weak AI."

Since then, the universal definition of Strong AI has always been:



Strong artificial intelligence or, True AI, typically refers to:

Artificial general intelligence, a hypothetical machine that exhibits behavior at least as skillful and flexible as humans do, and the research program of building such an artificial general intelligence

Computational theory of mind, the philosophical position that human minds are, in essence, computer programs. This position was named "strong AI" by John Searle in his Chinese room argument.

Artificial consciousness, a hypothetical machine that possesses awareness of external objects, ideas and/or self awareness aka sentience.

-----


The above - a generic description you can Google whenever you have time - is the long and the short per the accepted definition of Strong AI, to which I was addressing. Addressing it as so defined, by virtually all in the know, might constitute a "straw man" to you, but not to the theory of mind as it is typically presented by virtually everyone.

But I know this field pretty well and what I think you are arguing against is this:

Virtually no one doing AI research is actively working on sentience itself. At best they are working on objective processing, believing they are tagentially working on consciousness, driven - as many are - by the philosophical belief that mind is electrochemical artifact sourced by said processing, or that mind is evoked or "emerges" from the physical processes of the evolved brain. Few of those positing this belief know this falls under the title of "Identity Theory," which is fraught with all kinds of problems. But that's another topic.

Thing is, the vast majority of AI researchers are working on specific functions that a robotic unit can perform, and none of these require sentience. Such machines are input-processing-output rigs. None of them have anything remotely related to awareness, though they do have machine registration of inputs - but these are obviously not the same as consciousness.

Put differently, even the most advanced Turing Machine is not conscious it is a machine, has no internal subjective life, no experience, no conscious faculty whatsoever. They are, in simple terms, simply zombies. Totally dead inside save for the mechanical manipulation of symbols.

But the vast majority of these folks maintain the belief that conscious machines are a sure or at least a theoretical possibility in the future, a belief based, without fail, on the notion that objective functioning will eventually render these machines awareness.

WHAT they are aware of will be different than what us humans are aware of - the thinking goes - because they don't have our hardware. But since awareness itself is without properties, no one can possibly conceive how the purported machine awareness will differ from the awareness found all across the animal kingdom. But again, one can go on and on about WHAT they might be aware of, but that concerns the tasking or content of awareness, not the fundamental nature of awareness itself.

That much said, there are scores of very high profile people who are currently making bold predictions of the date when machines not only become aware, but owing to their processing power, will quite possibly turn on the human hosts and do them in. The moment this occurs is known as the "singularity," and is championed by such people as Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil.

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