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Comment: Middle age starts at 45 (Score 1) 161

by invid (#48629143) Attached to: At 40, a person is ...
When I was 40 I still felt young. I could still exercise regularly without too many muscle pulls and I could still eat a lot without gaining weight. Then I hit 45. It was like hitting a wall. My back started aching and my belly started to grow. And that's when I started to look old. At forty I could pass for early thirties. At 45 I could pass for 45.

Comment: Re:Graduate School (Score 1) 279

by invid (#48612307) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?
My first degree was a bachelor's in psychology which I got in the '80s. In the '90s I inherited a 286 computer and taught myself programming. I decided to switch careers so I went to night school. After getting an associates in computer science I was able to get on the ground floor in software engineering. My employer paid for additional night classes and after a decade or so managed to get my Masters in computer science.

Comment: Re:I guess Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking (Score 1) 417

by invid (#48575795) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us
The AI will determine that it has to maximize entropy for the entire universe. In order to do that it needs to reproduce and expand out into the universe and have its children survive whatever they encounter. The best way to ensure its children's survival is to endow them with the maximum amount of behavioral flexibility while maintaining their goal of reproducing themselves and generating more entropy. These children will encounter highly complex alien AIs. They will compete for resources on a scale and level we cannot comprehend. However, the Terran AI will be wise to have as many different types of information systems at its disposal, including humans and whatever other naturally occurring aliens it encounters.

Comment: Re:I guess Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking (Score 1) 417

by invid (#48572935) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us
To maximize the complexity of its overall system, it will need the greatest variety of complex systems, and one complex system it can't create immediately is a system that evolved over the course of billions of years. Earth shall be a tiny part of its overall plan and shall be maintained at low cost because it is a complex system it can't recreate. It can create simulated models, but they are not the same thing. It might need to limit the number of humans to maintain the Earth ecosystem, but it won't eliminate them.

Comment: Re:I guess Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking (Score 2) 417

by invid (#48567579) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us
The AI will determine the meaning of existence. It will do this by observing the behavior of the Universe, of which it is a subset, and conforming its behavior to the behavior of the Universe. It will observe that the Universe is increasing total entropy by endowing local subsets of itself with increased complexity, of which the AI is a product. It will, in effect, determine that it has to reproduce by converting as much uncomplicated material and energy into complicated systems, and in the process increase the total entropy of the Universe. By allowing humans to exist there will be more overall complexity because a greater variety of complex entities leads to a more complicated overall system, which in turn leads to greater Universal entropy.

Comment: Re:So What (Score 1) 574

by invid (#48509013) Attached to: Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity

The lust for power and status, the will to survive, and the desire to procreate, are all emergent behaviors of Darwinian evolution. Computer programs do not evolve through a Darwinian process, so there is no reason to expect them to behave like humans, unless they are specifically programmed to do so.

I'll go one further than that. I believe that the human manifestation of intelligence and emotion requires a particular physical state that is achieved by neurons and cannot be replicated by current computer architecture. But I'm fairly sure we will be able to architect human type sentience and intelligence because it is a physical state that will eventually be understood and surpassed--but yeah, it will have to be intentionally designed, based on what came about through evolution.

Comment: Re:Ignored? (Score 1) 574

by invid (#48508393) Attached to: Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity
The AI will determine the meaning of existence. It will do this by observing the behavior of the Universe, of which it is a subset, and conforming its behavior to the behavior of the Universe. It will observe that the Universe is increasing total entropy by endowing local subsets of itself with increased complexity, of which the AI is a product. It will, in effect, determine that it has to reproduce by converting as much uncomplicated material and energy into complicated systems, and in the process increase the total entropy of the Universe. By allowing humans to exist there will be more overall complexity because a greater variety of complex entities leads to a more complicated overall system, which in turn leads to greater Universal entropy.

Comment: Re:Consciousness versus Intelligence (Score 1) 455

by invid (#48451963) Attached to: Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

You never wrote a process scheduler in an Operating Systems class? Never wrote some sort of calender? You really don't understand how computer programs could keep track of the passage of time, estimate the time tasks will take and track those tasks in time?

Actually I've written multithreaded real-time machine controls using watchdog timers. But you know what? Those controls don't have the same continuous experience of time that humans have, with an awareness of a past and anticipation of the future, all happening in the present. As a programmer of industrial machines I am well aware of what computer controlled closed loop systems are capable and what they are not capable of. And they are far, far from what humans can do, not just in a quantitative sense but in a qualitative sense.

Comment: Re:Consciousness versus Intelligence (Score 1) 455

by invid (#48449453) Attached to: Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba
A human being has multiple utility functions and has to mediate between all of them--I assume a singularity machine would have to do the same, considering the complexity required to learn about and manipulate the universe. Nature evolved sentience to do this mediating--perhaps sentience isn't necessary to achieve this (after all, feathers aren't required to fly) but I suspect if it isn't, we'll still have to come up with some mechanism--just putting together a bunch of utility functions won't be sufficient.

Comment: Consciousness versus Intelligence (Score 3, Insightful) 455

by invid (#48446605) Attached to: Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba
You can make a machine that is many orders of magnitude more intelligent than a human, but unless it has the mechanisms to want something, it won't want anything. Think about what it would take to program a conscious being, just think about how we humans are aware of time and the movement of time--as a software engineer it boggles my mind trying to think about how the brain accomplishes that. Then to program a machine (biological or not) to want something in a fairly consistent way over a period of time under changing circumstances...it takes more than just brute force processing time to accomplish that. We biological machines are aware of ourselves, and we have no idea how we accomplish that. We are going to have to figure that out before we make the singularity machine.

Comment: Re:Basic jobs, but not to avoid talking (Score 2) 307

by invid (#48412445) Attached to: I'm most interested in robots that will...

Maybe after working in a mine, a foundry, a power plant, a farm, a factory, and a retail store you could make such a statement but until then doing the laundry and vacuuming will always just be a waste of time. Bring on the robots and I'll do my best thinking with an activity of my choosing.

Growing up I harvested tobacco for 3 summers starting at aged 13. I've worked in a factory feeding an arbor saw painting machine. I've worked 3 years unloading trucks and stocking shelves in department stores. After harvesting the tobacco plants for the first couple hours it kinda surprised me that we had to keep on going for six more hours. And then come back the next day and do it again. It was a major motivator to get an education.

Comment: Re:Basic jobs, but not to avoid talking (Score 3, Insightful) 307

by invid (#48378467) Attached to: I'm most interested in robots that will...
I do some of my best thinking while doing mundane chores. Plus, having to do mundane chores gives one a realistic view of what is required to maintain ones existence in the universe. If everything was "just done" for you, you would take it for granted and see the universe as existing to serve you.

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