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Will computers become spiritual?

Old 11-14-19, 02:56 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Yes, but I wouldn't say I'm more (or even as) qualified to discuss the limits of computability than Hofstadter or Penrose.
What are the limits of computability?

I think if anyone has more insight than you and me into this subject it would be neuroscientists and animal behaviorists.
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Old 11-14-19, 04:08 PM
  #27  
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Well undecidable problems like the halting problem for one.

But the trojan horse of mathematical/computing systems, which Whitehead (?) wanted so badly to solve, and Go"del proved couldn't be avoided, is self-reference.

(And how is the halting problem proven to be undecidable? By feeding the assumed halting-decider into itself -- BOOM self-contradiction)

So it seems to me that true self-awareness (a necessary part of consciousness?) is an achilles heel (to pile on the greek analogies) for computing systems.

Or maybe that kind of theoretical CS analysis is only applicable to purist solutions; maybe all that is needed of an AI (maybe all that is happening on our wetware) is heuristic?
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Old 11-14-19, 04:16 PM
  #28  
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I'm not sure I understand the connection between the halting problem and consciousness? There are lots of things that people can't determine, even can't in principal. What am I missing?
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Old 11-14-19, 04:38 PM
  #29  
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the halting problem is defeated by self-reference
Go"del shows that mathematical decidability is defeated by self-reference
consciousness is (or includes) self-reference
I think that's the point of hofstadter and/or penrose, to examine limits to computational systems, and use those limits to conjecture unavoidable limitations on AI

yes there are lots of things people can't determine, and that brains can't do, but consciousness and self-awareness are 'easy' for human brains
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Old 11-14-19, 05:00 PM
  #30  
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I don't think the fact that a program can't determine how another program will terminate (if that's actually true, it seems like the "choosing" software could be given the ability to detect "pathological" code and deal more gracefully with it, maybe by refusing to issue a prediction at all) generalizes beyond that one situation? A lot of Windows services give a lot of information about their own health which is a form of self awareness. You can query a SQL Server for info on its resource usage and the answer is a form of self reference.

I can't tell you when anybody will die, but that doesn't mean I can't make predictions about what's important to them.
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Old 11-14-19, 06:21 PM
  #31  
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lol you're right, halting problem doesn't really have a useful analogue in cognition.

But sql being able to regurgitate numbers that it saves in logs as it works, or windoze being able to inspect how a device responds to electrical inputs that meet some kind of ICD, are a far cry from self reflection or awareness. SQL and windows don't know that's what they are doing, or what is the significance of the 'health' statistics it is printing to the screen, it's just passing along numbers (bits even) as it has been programmed to do, and presenting them in a format that the programmer decided would be meaningful to humans.
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Old 11-14-19, 07:18 PM
  #32  
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No.
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Old 11-15-19, 10:16 AM
  #33  
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agreed!

Another way of asking the question is, will computers ever have spirits, and I think we can all agree the answer there is no.
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Old 11-15-19, 10:24 AM
  #34  
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Old 11-15-19, 11:37 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
agreed!

Another way of asking the question is, will computers ever have spirits, and I think we can all agree the answer there is no.

do humans even have an immaterial, eternal essence that occupies our being?….. or is that an insoluble enigma and ultimately irrational?

btw that’s why i wrote in my other post in this thread “spiritual reflection” and not spirit.
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Old 11-15-19, 01:00 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
agreed!

Another way of asking the question is, will computers ever have spirits, and I think we can all agree the answer there is no.
I don't think we can all agree on that. What is a spirit? (Besides alcohol obviously.) I say it's a personally and the sum total of a person's experiences. At the rate technology is progressing, I don't see any reason that shouldn't be commonplace in a hundred years, maybe sooner.
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Old 11-16-19, 05:09 AM
  #37  
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Old 11-16-19, 02:19 PM
  #38  
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Yeah, the concept of a spirit or soul (not the same thing in some theology), assuming it exists at all, probably isn't what we think it is.

The usual concept is of a disembodied sentient entity that inhabits a corporeal form. It's more likely to be the other way around -- the animated body with its instincts and experiences, creates the "spirit". Sort of a chicken/egg or egg/chicken conundrum.

Who knows why humans are predisposed to sentiments about spiritualism, superstition, faith, etc. It doesn't seem to serve any logical purpose. Perhaps it's inextricably intertwined with the coping mechanisms that psychologically fortify us to survive. We might not need it, but we don't seem equipped with a comparably potent substitute.

If machines develop sufficiently complex calculations to rapidly network abstractions the way humans do, they might develop something akin to what humans refer to as spirits or souls. But this has already been touched up on scifi for decades, particularly in the character arc of David 8 in the later Alien franchise movies -- the only really good thing in Prometheus and Covenant.
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Old 11-16-19, 02:28 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post

If machines develop sufficiently complex calculations to rapidly network abstractions the way humans do, they might develop something akin to what humans refer to as spirits or souls. But this has already been touched up on scifi for decades, particularly in the character arc of David 8 in the later Alien franchise movies -- the only really good thing in Prometheus and Covenant.
And of course "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep"/Bladerunner.
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Old 11-16-19, 05:20 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
The bladder buster!!
A bar around here had "Bladder Buster" nights. $1 beer until the first person used a bathroom.
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Old 11-16-19, 08:56 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
And of course "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep"/Bladerunner.
The androids of the novel seemed to be machines cosmetically designed to look human.

But the replicants of the movie appeared to be bio-engineered, clones that were physically like humans. Given a longer life span they might have developed the same abstract thought processes as humans, and already appear to have done so in the movie. Roy Batty, at least, seemed to have a genius level IQ and a facility for wordplay, analogy and metaphor, and making connections between real events and references to literature.
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Old 11-18-19, 10:59 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
A bar around here had "Bladder Buster" nights. $1 beer until the first person used a bathroom.
If they got a room full of me, they would go out of business. Unless it was like Bud or Coors Lite which they can probably still make a profit at $1/pour, in which case I wouldn't be interested anyways

<beer snob rant over>
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Old 11-18-19, 11:03 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
lol you're right, halting problem doesn't really have a useful analogue in cognition.

But sql being able to regurgitate numbers that it saves in logs as it works, or windoze being able to inspect how a device responds to electrical inputs that meet some kind of ICD, are a far cry from self reflection or awareness. SQL and windows don't know that's what they are doing, or what is the significance of the 'health' statistics it is printing to the screen, it's just passing along numbers (bits even) as it has been programmed to do, and presenting them in a format that the programmer decided would be meaningful to humans.
Similarly, I recently learned a little about OpenCL. The way that works (or one way it can work), is you have source code in a text file, your C++ program slurps in that source code as a string, is able to modify it (change sizes of declared arrays, etc, modify the string however a string can be modified), and then submit that source code string to OpenCL for run-time compilation. So the program was literally reprogramming itself! Except not with any kind of motivation or intelligence, just in ways that I coded for it to do.
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Old 11-18-19, 11:04 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I don't think we can all agree on that. What is a spirit? (Besides alcohol obviously.) I say it's a personality and the sum total of a person's experiences. At the rate technology is progressing, I don't see any reason that shouldn't be commonplace in a hundred years, maybe sooner.
OK, if your definition of spirit is that mechanistically reductive, then sure.
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Old 11-18-19, 11:44 AM
  #45  
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Can you give me a better definition and reason to think it's the correct one? I think I've made a pretty compelling argument for mine.
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Old 11-18-19, 12:05 PM
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You are undoubtedly aware that your definition is quite different than the operating definition of the vast majority of humanity over time, yes?

I'm talking about that other one.
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Old 11-18-19, 12:21 PM
  #47  
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If over time means when Hammurabi was alive, I think we've learned a great deal since then. Where do you think I get it wrong with the argument I made for this view?
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Old 11-18-19, 12:32 PM
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I don't think that discussion can happen outside of P&R.

We can continue as if your original question was 'will AIs get to a point where they have personalities'?

I suppose I can see that it's probably technically possible to simulate personality, but it would not be easy, and I'm not sure it would be valuable/profitable enough for industry to get there.

Google Assistant is remarkable for how human it sounds, but it is an extremely limited scope, for a very targeted purpose. (A purpose for which I see no value other than novelty, or perhaps as a stepping-stone to something more useful)

Does Eliza have any amount of personality?

How about modern chatbots? (I don't know if I've ever encountered any (how would I know?), except maybe as first-tier customer support)
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Old 11-18-19, 12:42 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I don't think that discussion can happen outside of P&R.

We can continue as if your original question was 'will AIs get to a point where they have personalities'?

I suppose I can see that it's probably technically possible to simulate personality, but it would not be easy, and I'm not sure it would be valuable/profitable enough for industry to get there.


Google Assistant is remarkable for how human it sounds, but it is an extremely limited scope, for a very targeted purpose. (A purpose for which I see no value other than novelty, or perhaps as a stepping-stone to something more useful)

Does Eliza have any amount of personality?

How about modern chatbots? (I don't know if I've ever encountered any (how would I know?), except maybe as first-tier customer support)
Simulating human personalities is going to be a very valuable tool in shaping people's opinions and desires. There's a good reason the world's biggest advertising company is spending so much on AI.
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Old 11-18-19, 02:12 PM
  #50  
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that's a good point. So I'll say instead, I don't see value for myself, although I guess we should all be aware of what's going on, because others are going to find value in using AI to exploit the masses.

Everybody should watch The Great Hack, it's a doc on netflix. I speculated recently on some thread in P&R whether maybe this time around the lefties will have learned a lesson from the righties and will be using those kinds of tools as effectively, so both sides will balance out. Or I wonder if (enough) more people are (enough) more aware of manipulation through social media that it will be less effective overall.
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