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Comment Re:As an occasional Firefox user... (Score 1) 84

I would encourage the Mozilla team to maybe put their weight behind making Firefox a better browser.

From the very first moment that Google decided that Firefox was no longer their flagship way for users to access their ads and decided to throw all their weight in their own branded browser, the prospect of Firefox being the dominant browser received a death blow.

Once a mega-corp puts resources into figuring out how users handle the product and tweaking it, and then advertise it as their preferred platform as they did with Chrome, there's no way for a non-profit to compete - in particular when the said mega-corp retired their funding and considered them a competitor.

Tech experts might had kept using the same old versions if the product didn't evolve; but there's no money in that, and Firefox would have eventually stalled anyway. They desperately need to find a new market to attract an interested corporate backer that will support them in the long term, if they want a chance to stay relevant.

I mostly use Chrome

Proves my point.

Comment Re:We do not even know that meaningful AI is possi (Score 1) 207

Oh, and I forgot - emergent behaviors of complex systems are not subject to the limitations of Turing-machines completeness; such behaviors are not described as symbols within the system, so they cannot be "diagonalized" (which is the basis for the limitations of formal systems such as Turing machines halting problem and the GÃdel's theorem in mathematics).

We don't know whether the "emergent computation" of distributed automata systems is more powerful* than Turing's computable functions, but we have no reason to believe that they are equivalent. A systems that performs computation through emergent adaptations rather than manipulation of symbols might be strictly more powerful.

*(We know it's not less powerful thank's to Rule 110 being Turing-complete; anything a symbolic computer can do, a cellular automaton can do as well).

Comment Re:We do not even know that meaningful AI is possi (Score 1) 207

It seems that our only core disagreement is regarding whether awareness can emerge from a combination of the physical that we already know about, or whether it requires a yet undiscovered phenomenon (what you call "extra-physical") that would influence them.

There's nothing "magical" in emergent properties of complex systems being able to adapt to their environment in intelligent ways, or producing elaborate results; the only thing that seems magical is how such complex behaviors can appear out of very simple, unrelated rules - but it can be seen happening everywhere, if you know where to look. See for example how Conway's Game of Life produces persistent, moving structures out of single-cell activation rules, or how the parable of the polygons gives raise to segregation from individual decisions that are not particularly racist.

Such emergent behaviors may indeed be influenced an react to an external environment, in special when the survival of the whole system depends on it (have you seen ant colonies fighting an aggressor?) - survival of the fittest means that only systems able to adapt will be around for long; so the well-tuned systems are self-selected, and those without the "magic" property will disappear. So this model too works without unfounded ideas, just like yours; and it doesn't require any "undiscovered particle", while your model requires postulating a sort of "Higgs boson of awareness" that we don't nothing about.

As for CS not having a theory for how intelligence appears, that is be true, but neuropsychology does have a good basis for one; as I mentioned, our conscious process -when scanned through magnetic resonance- looks a lot like creating post-hoc rationalizations of the reflex analysis performed by the lower brain functions. That model could be reasonably expected to provide a basis for true artificial intelligence in the future.

Comment Re:We do not even know that meaningful AI is possi (Score 1) 207

This conversation is quite interesting :-) You're certainly a rare bird, as a non-spiritual dualist. I can empathize with that kind of dualism - being conscious certainly feels different (on a purely emotional level) to the way we see machines operate. I think I'm a physicalist mostly because of practical reasons. (And you're dead-on, my definition makes any kind of dualism a logical impossibility).

I don't rule out that there may be (i.e. exist) some phenomenon or essence that is different from the matter and energy of our current universe, which is the thing that creates conscience. But what good does it make if there's no way that we can observe it or know anything about it? That's why I said that the problem is undecidable - even if it happens to be that way, we'll never know it. Call me physical-agnostic if you will.

I try to avoid thinking too hard about such possibility because of the Occam's Razor, just as a heuristic to make reasoning about the world easier. When the only qualia ("subjective experiences") that I will ever perceive are those that I feel personally, what good does it make to think that other people also share them because of some undetectable substance? I just take it for granted that they also have them, and study the physical signs connected to those experiences - there's nothing else I can do.

Maybe you can enlighten my of why you take a different approach? I'm genuinely interested on how dualistic people reason (and feel) about conscience.

Comment Re:Wrong mental framework (Score 1) 207

My intuition is we will see only failure and at some time the whole AI community will (again, they have done so before) do try a paradigm-shift, because that break-through will not manifest itself.

Yeah, I fully agree with that. Augmented intellect (with a human in the middle of the "intelligent" processes, guiding them to do useful work) seems a much more viable paradigm in the mid term - and it's how any kind of AI is working now in practice.

Comment Re: We do not even know that meaningful AI is poss (Score 1) 207

You are completely missing that any kind of perception is only something an "observer" can do.

I'm not missing it (I've seen you commenting about it at another thread), it's just that I don't see how it's relevant, nor why "being an observer" is something that can't happen exclusively within the confines of the physical world as currently understood.

I find it rather funny that you think a very prominently physical phenomenon ("collapsing the wave-function") requires something from outside the realm of the modern physics paradigm.

(Physical matter cannot supply an "observer", as observers can and will collapse the wave-function.)

You keep repeating that impossibility as your core argument, but I don't take it as a given ("an axiom") as you do, and it doesn't follow from the laws that explain the collapse of the wave-function. Basically you're saying "an observer cannot be physical matter because the collapse of the wave-function requires something that is not physical", but don't explain why it requires something non-physical.

It is true that current physics doesn't understand the interaction between micro and macro levels (i.e. what happens when you add what you call an "observer" to the mix), but I can't agree with your jumping to the conclusion that this interaction requires something that can't be explained with configurations of matter and energy. Under that point that you highlight as essential, an "observer" is "whatever causes a wave-function to collapse in a physical system". There is nothing requiring this "whatever" to be a form of consciousness, just that it's something external to the system studied at a quantum level.

Nothing regarding quantum physics makes me think that my consciousness requires something other than an emergent phenomenon of my physical body. If that makes me a p-zombie, I'm a p-zombie with a very rich inner life. ;-)

Perception requires awareness (not necessary self-awareness), and that is, again, not something physical matter is known to be able to do.

When I turn on the room's light, my cellphone's light sensor detects it and instructs the screen to dim the bright. You can say that my phone is aware of the environment's light.

How is that different in essence to what my brain does in my body, other than being able of much more complex processes? How do you know that what I sense as self-awareness is impossible to be the collection of those physical processes, and that I sense all of it because of - well, because I'm inside this body that is doing them?

Comment Re:We do not even know that meaningful AI is possi (Score 1) 207

Thanks, I wanted to understand your position about "non-physical", and we have no disagreement there.

Although if you are not aiming for "non-physical" as "spiritual", I don't get why you'd describe it as non-physical. Under my model, if something belongs in the world, it is physical by definition - i.e. because both words mean the same thing - whether the phenomena can be described by the current status of the physics science or not.

Comment Re:Wrong mental framework (Score 1) 207

None of the AI research we have are for strong/true AI that might be a danger. We still do not know whether creating that type is even possible at all in this physical universe.

Quite true. I happen to have the (irrational?) belief that creating true AI it is possible (or better, I have no reason to believe that it's not), hence my user name. Yet I think such possibility can't be achieved with our current knowledge and technology. Major breakthroughs should happen both in hardware capabilities and software approaches to create any kind of strong AI.

And it probably would require some kind of evolved training of a self-preserving system able to adapt to increasingly harsh environments thanks to its highers brains, just like we emerged from the common animals, rather than being engineered from first principles.

Comment Re:We do not even know that meaningful AI is possi (Score 1) 207

Dualism just says that a part of what we perceive as ourselves is non-physical.

Define "non-physical". If you can't find a set of properties that can tell apart the "physical" from the "non-physical", you're just trolling (I don't know whether other slashdotters or just yourself). If your properties depend on assuming that reality is dualistic, you're doing circular reasoning.

I admit that I'm no expert with respect to dualistic theories, but I've never come across with a convincing set of such properties.

And hence it is a pure belief without rational basis.

All rational require a pure unproven belief at the beginning, it's what we call an "axiom". You can't avoid those in any rational way. The best you can do is to adopt a collection of axioms that don't create too bad contradictions, and tweak your axioms when you find out that they do contradict themselves.

This is basic theory of meaning; you just can't write off other belief systems as "irrational" if they happen to be self-consistent, merely because you disagree with their adopted axioms. Doing that is not rational either.

The best thing rationality can do is assert "these are the facts we known about the world, and here we have the collection of logical models that might explain them; there's no rational way to prefer one over the others in principle when all them are consistent with the facts".

Comment Re: We do not even know that meaningful AI is poss (Score 1) 207

Self-awareness is not something physical matter can do

Why would you assume that? Taking that assertion as an axiom is in fact admitting dualism as a first principle, but there's no rational reason to accept it as a given either - I certainly don't see anything obvious about it.

The whole idea that self-awareness is something magically ("emergent property") stemming from matter is completely absurd.

Quite the contrary, it seems perfectly consistent with what we know about consciousness thanks to recent brain scanning technology.

Self-awareness is a perception that is derived from distributed brain activity, in fact it's a post-hoc rationalization of the unconscious processes that the brain performs fast and in parallel.

I don't see why that perception, like any other perceptions can't just be a result of the combined activation of our grain matter. Mind you, I don't believe that it has to come just from matter and that no other kind of "conscious substance" or "soul" can't exist; in fact I think that monism/dualism is an undecidable problem, and thus badly defined metaphysics.

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