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Latemarch on the evolution of AI

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Sometimes a comment is too good to leave there in the combox. So:

LM, 2 in the AI intelligent agency thread: >>It brought to mind the evolution of AI. It all began with lightning (electrons) striking rocks (silicon) for billions of years (might a nearby warm pond be helpful?) until now we have the delicate motions of electrons thru silicon that we know of as computers. The software is the result of random noise in the bits and bytes of the operating system (we’re still working out how that originated. Any day now!) that were duplicated as a separate file and eventually, driven by natural selection, resulting in the wonderful programs we enjoy today.

At the furious rate of evolution we see today I expect to be able to salute our machine overlords any day now.>>

Food for a chuckle, then food for thought. END

16 Replies to “Latemarch on the evolution of AI

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Latemarch on the evolution of AI

  2. 2
    LocalMinimum says:

    On a completely different subject, my preferred OOAI theoretical model is the Silicon World, where solutions of silicon are etched by ionizing radiation, with electricity supplied via silicon solar cells and thermoelectrics to electrically accrete and disperse circuits/subcircuits and recombine them into continuously more effectively self replicators.

    Of course, once they can self-manufacture memory circuits, software appears and evolution takes over.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    LM, The purity requirement is the killer in a proposed semiconductor alternative life (or AI). Silicon dioxide is a big part of sand, and is cheap. High purity Si is brutally expensive for a reason. C-chemistry opens up a huge world of possibilities with plants leading the way. KF

  4. 4
    LocalMinimum says:

    KM @ 3:

    So you’re telling me my theory is based on the ubiquitous availability of a substance whose presence I cannot justify or demonstrate?

    Well, there are some difficulties. Some would propose additional compounds that purify the silicon. There are some very promising theories of low purity semiconductor circuits.

    None of these have been observed, but they all seem quite likely. But, we know SOMETHING had to happen, and this is the best we have. Tell me, do you have some proposal for the origin of computing systems? No, don’t tell me; little green men? Elves and gnomes?

  5. 5
    LocalMinimum says:

    Hmmm, I can’t figure out how to make my /humor tag visible. <–eternal WordPress newb.

  6. 6
    critical rationalist says:

    See this TED talk….

    I’m a neuroscientist. And in neuroscience, we have to deal with many difficult questions about the brain. But I want to start with the easiest question and the question you really should have all asked yourselves at some point in your life, because it’s a fundamental question if we want to understand brain function. And that is, why do we and other animals have brains? Not all species on our planet have brains, so if we want to know what the brain is for, let’s think about why we evolved one. Now you may reason that we have one to perceive the world or to think, and that’s completely wrong. If you think about this question for any length of time, it’s blindingly obvious why we have a brain. We have a brain for one reason and one reason only, and that’s to produce adaptable and complex movements. There is no other reason to have a brain. Think about it. Movement is the only way you have of affecting the world around you. Now that’s not quite true. There’s one other way, and that’s through sweating. But apart from that, everything else goes through contractions of muscles.

    So think about communication — speech, gestures, writing, sign language — they’re all mediated through contractions of your muscles. So it’s really important to remember that sensory, memory and cognitive processes are all important, but they’re only important to either drive or suppress future movements. There can be no evolutionary advantage to laying down memories of childhood or perceiving the color of a rose if it doesn’t affect the way you’re going to move later in life.

    Now for those who don’t believe this argument, we have trees and grass on our planet without the brain, but the clinching evidence is this animal here — the humble sea squirt. Rudimentary animal, has a nervous system, swims around in the ocean in its juvenile life. And at some point of its life, it implants on a rock. And the first thing it does in implanting on that rock, which it never leaves, is to digest its own brain and nervous system for food. So once you don’t need to move, you don’t need the luxury of that brain. And this animal is often taken as an analogy to what happens at universities when professors get tenure, but that’s a different subject.

    So I am a movement chauvinist. I believe movement is the most important function of the brain — don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not true. Now if movement is so important, how well are we doing understanding how the brain controls movement? And the answer is we’re doing extremely poorly; it’s a very hard problem. But we can look at how well we’re doing by thinking about how well we’re doing building machines which can do what humans can do.

    Now, I don’t necessary agree that controlling movement is the most important function of the brain today. We can develop technology to move things in without our muscles, etc. But even then, that would be to cause movement in the world. Our brains are currently getting smaller because this is already occurring to some degree. We are already cyborgs. The tech is just external, rather than internal.

    But I do agree that movement is the reason why nervous systems initially evolved into complex brains. Consciousness represented a disproportional emergent leap to universality that occurred when the requisite processes became present there as a means to control movement.

    So, we shouldn’t expect AIs to become conscious in the same means that we did, if at all. It’s not clear that it’s necessary for it to occur just as it wasn’t necessary to occur in us.

    Rather Artificial General Intelligence will occur when we have breakthrough in epistemology.

    From this article….

    The upshot is that, unlike any functionality that has ever been programmed to date, this one can be achieved neither by a specification nor a test of the outputs. What is needed is nothing less than a breakthrough in philosophy, a new epistemological theory that explains how brains create explanatory knowledge and hence defines, in principle, without ever running them as programs, which algorithms possess that functionality and which do not.

  7. 7
    Latemarch says:

    CR@6
    A lot of words just to get to….

    Consciousness represented a disproportional emergent leap to universality that occurred when the requisite processes became present there as a means to control movement.

    …consciousness is an emergent feature of matter. And since it happened (begging the question) in Carbon it could happen in Silicone.

    Thank you for the link to the Aeon article. He (Deutsch) has made the same materialist assumptions (the universality of computation). Dresses them up and talks of immaterial things like beauty and art to divert our attention. Talks of machines with morals but then makes them relative (create a thing, destroy it and then maintain that you’ve actually accomplished something).

    We’re back to rocks and lightning.

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    LM, maybe the Si-forms are lurking on the far side of the Moon. KF

  9. 9
    Latemarch says:

    KF:
    Been watching those Transformer movies again huh…“;^)

  10. 10
    Nonlin.org says:

    Funny indeed: “The software is the result of random noise in the bits and bytes of the operating system “.

    On a more serious note (sorry):

    Artificial Intelligence Fallacy – http://nonlin.org/ai/


    Free Will and “Artificial Creativity” machines have been attempted unsuccessfully by the “singularity” crowd, those vested in a mechanistic view of intelligence. These attempts will continue to fail because Conscience, Willpower, and Creativity are not just regular milestones in a bottom-up progression as imagined in the Darwinian fallacy. Instead they derive top-down from their Creator, no matter how removed the link appears. But in the end, AI is not much different than any other ordinary tool such a hammer.

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  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    LM I have never actually watched such a movie. Just, the far side — modulo nutation — is beyond our sight under normal circumstances. KF

  13. 13
    Latemarch says:

    Had preteen boys around that time.
    The Transformers (Alien, non-Carbon, Strong AI) had a base on the far side of the moon.

  14. 14
    Latemarch says:

    Nonlin:

    Here’s your AI:
    http://nonlin.org/wp-content/u…..igence.jpg

    Heh! Which brings to mind the slang “Dumber than a bag of hammers.”

  15. 15
    Nonlin.org says:

    Which brings to mind the slang “Dumber than a bag of hammers.”

    Yes, that was exactly my point re. AI!
    Still not clear you got it – should read the whole thing rather than just look at pretty pictures.

  16. 16
    Latemarch says:

    Read the whole thing….I get it.

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