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Comment: If there ever is a real collision risk... (Score 1) 74 74

Humanity will perish squabbling over who pays and who is responsible and and the cheapest contractor will keep reporting additional delays because the bean-counters there noticed that they will not actually have to deliver anything if they miss the deadline.

Whenever I see such discussions, I get the very strong impression that as a group humanity does not deserve to survive. Swarm-stupidity at work.

Comment: Re:"No idea how... the brain works" (Score 1) 206 206

Not at all. You would still be several orders of magnitude from the precision needed to understand what is going on. If there is a level where that is actually possible. For a modern computer, even if you have detailed high-speed observations of every transistor (vastly simpler than a neuron and digital in addition), you would probably still need in excess of a thousand years to understand what is going on from that.

Comment: Re:The surprise and dismay of the replaced (Score 1) 206 206

No, AI is not advancing rapidly. In fact it has massively slowed down and it is getting progressively slower. What you are talking about is called "automation". The problem is that most people are not very smart and can be replaced (within limits) by something that is not intelligent at all, especially when that something can be replicated very cheaply, like software.

Comment: Re:Same old silly press (Score 1) 206 206

The thing is that the "illusion" explanation is completely bogus. Even neuro-science is not claiming that. What they claim is that "free will" is an illusion, but they are doing so without good evidence and likely with serious misinterpretation of the data they have. (And good CS researcher can come up with several alternate explanations for what they are seeing. These people are not engineers and barely qualify as scientists. They have real trouble modeling information processing and they jump to conclusions that are simplistic and not supported by the evidence.)

Consciousness is completely unexplained at this time and it is the elephant in the room for all neuro-science.

Comment: Re:More AI BS (Score 1) 206 206

Excellent summary.

Incidentally, to expert audiences IBM is not marketing Watson as "AI" at all. I have been an experts-only events on that. They only roll out the "AI" terminology to people that have no clue that feeding data into an expert system is a huge amount of work and that Watson makes that a lot easier by having some rudimentary skills to handle somewhat formalized written language as is found in scientific papers.

Comment: Re:"No idea how... the brain works" (Score 1) 206 206

No, you do not know anything of that sort. You do know that there is observable activity in certain regions of the brain when people do certain things. That is completely different and you claim means you do not understand your chosen field. You are basically claiming to know that the web-browser is creating the WWW, when it merely is an interface to it. At the current level of scientific understanding it is not possible to make the determination how much the brain is an interface and how much it is actually doing stuff itself. You just blatantly claim, with out any scientific evidence, that the brain does it all. There are rather strong indications that this is not true, but there is no proof either way.

Stop misrepresenting Science. As a holder of a PhD from one of the best technical Universities on the planet and still somewhat active scientist, this offends me.

Comment: Re:"No idea how... the brain works" (Score 1) 206 206

He is suffering from fundamentalist physicalism, a common thing among US atheists. They do away with God and then throw out all other things going vaguely in that direction, when there is zero need to. Hence these people fall for exactly the thing they think they are opposing: The use physical reality as their only true god and deny that anything besides it can exist. They claim Science tells us so, when it does no such thing.

As an atheist and a dualist, I have zero problems with the concept of a "soul" or similar non-physical part of any sentient being. I just find the idea of a "God" to be a rather infantile human construct not supported by any observable fact. And the reasons for assuming the existence of such a thing as a "soul" are not "pre-scientific" at all. They are all still valid, and some are stronger than ever: Consciousness (and with it the personal experience of existence) is completely unexplained. Intelligence is completely unexplained, despite long-term intensive research into it in several fields. Yet both clearly exist and both are observable only together. These are strong scientific facts that point out to anybody able to listen that the current models of reality are rather incomplete.

Of course, fundamentalist physicalist fall for a very religious thing here: They assume their base conviction is fundamental truth (without any scientific basis for that assumption) and can then derive from that a number of things that support their base conviction. That approach is called "delusion", not "Science".

On the scientific side, Intelligence is an "interface observation", and so is everything known about consciousness. It does not tell us what creates this interface behavior and what is in the box or whether this is actually happening in the box at all. Only if you mistakenly assume Science tells us that everything is Physics can you assume intelligence and consciousness are created by matter. But if you start with an unproven assumption taken as absolute truth, you have already failed and are not a scientist. If you do that then you are no better that some random preacher.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"