Artificial Intelligence Intelligent Design

Software pioneer: The nature of intelligence forbids general artificial intelligence

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This post went viral yesterday at Mind Matters:

The 2014 science fiction film Transcendence featured a scientist who uploaded his consciousness into an AI program. Many people talk as though things like that are just around the corner. But industry pros say it isn’t really possible. Why not?

François Chollet, author of Keras, a framework for the Python deep learning language, offers a list of reasons, but starts by pointing to an underlying misconception: that a super-AI could be developed that would go on creating more super-AIs until something vastly more intelligent than a human being arises. He points out that such a process has not actually happened in the universe of which we have knowledge:

An overwhelming amount of evidence points to this simple fact: a single human brain, on its own, is not capable of designing a greater intelligence than itself. This is a purely empirical statement: out of billions of human brains that have come and gone, none has done so. Clearly, the intelligence of a single human, over a single lifetime, cannot design intelligence, or else, over billions of trials, it would have already occurred. François Chollet, “The Impossibility of Intelligence Explosion” at Medium

If we cannot design an intelligence, why do we think we can design a machine that can design an intelligence? ”

More. Software pioneer says general superhuman artificial intelligence is very unlikely” at Mind Matters

Is the idea surprising or what?

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See also: See also: Should robots run for office? A tech analyst sees a threat to democracy if they don’t

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6 Replies to “Software pioneer: The nature of intelligence forbids general artificial intelligence

  1. 1
    vmahuna says:

    More than 20 years ago (a Generation of humans), Math was supposed to take over Baseball. Math can’t take over football because a season is too short, but Baseballs plays LOTS of games every season. Hence by the All Star Break, statistical analysis should be able to tell a team’s manager how to play the remainder of the season. But that hasn’t happened.

    There is a strong chance that Baseball AI COULD work, but in real life managers chicken out. And of course, if you don’t have some of the best talent in your league, then AI can only help you lose by smaller scores.

    For politics, what the AI proponents are missing is that Political Leaders ENJOY running the show, staff opinions be damned. Very much like the captain of the Titanic: he COULD HAVE sailed further south, he COULD HAVE attempted to manage the flooding better, he COULD HAVE done a better job with getting people into lifeboats (although there weren’t enough in any case). But he was the CAPTAIN! And what’s the POINT of being Captain (or King) if you can’t be arbitrary and capricious just for the hell of it?

  2. 2
    FourFaces says:

    I agree with Chollet on the impossibility of a superhuman intelligent machine. However, this argument,

    “Clearly, the intelligence of a single human, over a single lifetime, cannot design intelligence, or else, over billions of trials, it would have already occurred.”

    is obviously nonsense. What billions of trials? Besides, A human could not design a digital computer a thousand years ago. It does not mean that a human cannot do so now.

    PS. I do believe we will have superintelligent societies of machines for the same reason that we already have superintelligent societies of humans.

  3. 3
    daveS says:

    Echoing FourFaces,

    Let X be anything that has not been designed by humans yet. Then:

    An overwhelming amount of evidence points to this simple fact: a single human brain, on its own, is not capable of designing X. This is a purely empirical statement: out of billions of human brains that have come and gone, none has done so.

  4. 4
    daveS says:

    Correction: I should say “echoing FourFaces’ critique of the article”.

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, while this is doubtless unfashionable, I think we should be cautious about too closely identifying the rational, responsible, credibly significantly free and powerfully creative mind with a computational substrate such as the brain. KF

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chQvZrkznbg

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    Let X be anything that has not been designed by humans yet.

    I would certainly like to see a human brain try to design a human brain, (much less try to create a immaterial soul/mind to inhabit that human brain). Shoot, the ‘beyond belief’ complexity of the human brain is beyond current comprehension much less will it ever lend itself to authentic imitation.

    “Complexity Brake” Defies Evolution – August 8, 2012
    Excerpt: Consider a neuronal synapse — the presynaptic terminal has an estimated 1000 distinct proteins. Fully analyzing their possible interactions would take about 2000 years. Or consider the task of fully characterizing the visual cortex of the mouse — about 2 million neurons. Under the extreme assumption that the neurons in these systems can all interact with each other, analyzing the various combinations will take about 10 million years…, even though it is assumed that the underlying technology speeds up by an order of magnitude each year.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62961.html

    The Human Brain Is ‘Beyond Belief’ by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. * – 2017
    Excerpt: The human brain,, is an engineering marvel that evokes comments from researchers like “beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief”1 and “a world we had never imagined.”2,,,
    Perfect Optimization
    The scientists found that at multiple hierarchical levels in the whole brain, nerve cell clusters (ganglion), and even at the individual cell level, the positioning of neural units achieved a goal that human engineers strive for but find difficult to achieve—the perfect minimizing of connection costs among all the system’s components.,,,
    Vast Computational Power
    Researchers discovered that a single synapse is like a computer’s microprocessor containing both memory-storage and information-processing features.,,, Just one synapse alone can contain about 1,000 molecular-scale microprocessor units acting in a quantum computing environment. An average healthy human brain contains some 200 billion nerve cells connected to one another through hundreds of trillions of synapses. To put this in perspective, one of the researchers revealed that the study’s results showed a single human brain has more information processing units than all the computers, routers, and Internet connections on Earth.1,,,
    Phenomenal Processing Speed
    the processing speed of the brain had been greatly underrated. In a new research study, scientists found the brain is 10 times more active than previously believed.6,7,,,
    The large number of dendritic spikes also means the brain has more than 100 times the computational capabilities than was previously believed.,,,
    Petabyte-Level Memory Capacity
    Our new measurements of the brain’s memory capacity increase conservative estimates by a factor of 10 to at least a petabyte, in the same ballpark as the World Wide Web.9,,,
    Optimal Energy Efficiency
    Stanford scientist who is helping develop computer brains for robots calculated that a computer processor functioning with the computational capacity of the human brain would require at least 10 megawatts to operate properly. This is comparable to the output of a small hydroelectric power plant. As amazing as it may seem, the human brain requires only about 10 watts to function.11 ,,,
    Multidimensional Processing
    It is as if the brain reacts to a stimulus by building then razing a tower of multi-dimensional blocks, starting with rods (1D), then planks (2D), then cubes (3D), and then more complex geometries with 4D, 5D, etc. The progression of activity through the brain resembles a multi-dimensional sandcastle that materializes out of the sand and then disintegrates.13
    He also said:
    We found a world that we had never imagined. There are tens of millions of these objects even in a small speck of the brain, up through seven dimensions. In some networks, we even found structures with up to eleven dimensions.13,,,
    Biophoton Brain Communication
    Neurons contain many light-sensitive molecules such as porphyrin rings, flavinic, pyridinic rings, lipid chromophores, and aromatic amino acids. Even the mitochondria machines that produce energy inside cells contain several different light-responsive molecules called chromophores. This research suggests that light channeled by filamentous cellular structures called microtubules plays an important role in helping to coordinate activities in different regions of the brain.,,,
    https://www.icr.org/article/10186

    To put this ‘beyond belief’ complexity in perspective, and just how far beyond man’s capacity to imitate it is, it is worth remembering just how clueless humans are at creating ‘simple’ life in the first place:

    “We have no idea how the molecules that compose living systems could have been devised such that they would work in concert to fulfill biology’s functions. We have no idea how the basic set of molecules, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins, were made and how they could have coupled into the proper sequences, and then transformed into the ordered assemblies until there was the construction of a complex biological system, and eventually to that first cell.
    Nobody has any idea how this was done when using our commonly understood mechanisms of chemical science. Those that say they understand are generally wholly uninformed regarding chemical synthesis. Those that say “Oh, this is well worked out,” they know nothing, nothing about chemical synthesis – Nothing!
    Further cluelessness – From a synthetic chemical perspective, neither I nor any of my colleagues can fathom a prebiotic molecular route to construction of a complex system. We cannot figure out the prebiotic routes to the basic building blocks of life: carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins. Chemists are collectively bewildered. Hence I say that no chemist understands prebiotic synthesis of the requisite building blocks let alone their assembly into a complex system.
    That’s how clueless we are. I’ve asked all of my colleagues – National Academy members, Nobel Prize winners -I sit with them in offices; nobody understands this. So if your professors say it’s all worked out, your teachers say it’s all worked out, they don’t know what they’re talking about. It is not worked out. You cannot just refer this to somebody else; they don’t know what they’re talking about.”
    James Tour – one of the top ten leading chemists in the world
    The Origin of Life: An Inside Story – March 2016 Lecture with James Tour
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zQXgJ-dXM4

    Origin of Life: An Inside Story – Professor James Tour – May 1, 2016
    Excerpt: “All right, now let’s assemble the Dream Team. We’ve got good professors here, so let’s assemble the Dream Team. Let’s further assume that the world’s top 100 synthetic chemists, top 100 biochemists and top 100 evolutionary biologists combined forces into a limitlessly funded Dream Team. The Dream Team has all the carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids and nucleic acids stored in freezers in their laboratories… All of them are in 100% enantiomer purity. [Let’s] even give the team all the reagents they wish, the most advanced laboratories, and the analytical facilities, and complete scientific literature, and synthetic and natural non-living coupling agents. Mobilize the Dream Team to assemble the building blocks into a living system – nothing complex, just a single cell. The members scratch their heads and walk away, frustrated…
    So let’s help the Dream Team out by providing the polymerized forms: polypeptides, all the enzymes they desire, the polysaccharides, DNA and RNA in any sequence they desire, cleanly assembled. The level of sophistication in even the simplest of possible living cells is so chemically complex that we are even more clueless now than with anything discussed regarding prebiotic chemistry or macroevolution. The Dream Team will not know where to start. Moving all this off Earth does not solve the problem, because our physical laws are universal.
    You see the problem for the chemists? Welcome to my world. This is what I’m confronted with, every day.“
    James Tour – leading Chemist
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nt-design/

    ,,, And like a said previously, much less do humans have a clue how to create an immaterial soul/mind to inhabit that ‘beyond belief’ brain:

    Can a Computer Think? – Michael Egnor – March 31, 2011
    Excerpt: The Turing test isn’t a test of a computer. Computers can’t take tests, because computers can’t think. The Turing test is a test of us. If a computer “passes” it, we fail it. We fail because of our hubris, a delusion that seems to be something original in us. The Turing test is a test of whether human beings have succumbed to the astonishingly naive hubris that we can create souls.
    It’s such irony that the first personal computer was an Apple.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2011/03/failing_the_turing_test/

    Verse:

    Genesis 2:7
    And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

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