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Thread: We are A.I.

  1. #46
    Senior Member donk's Avatar
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    The HBO series "Westworld" is really thought provoking...triggered a (completely unrelated) thread I'm about to try to start...
    What is the purpose of your presence?

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  3. #47
    Senior Member ZShawn's Avatar
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    maybe this desire to upload consciousness, or presence of self/being into some mechanical mechanism comes from the idea that one is not eternal already...
    the contracted awareness already demonstrates this concept that self-awareness is extinguished at death which seems to be the dominant fear driving this exploration/experimentation...
    but would the actual presence be contained in such a matrix or would it merely be just a clever copy of whatever patterns of thought were running at the time of imprint?.... and how would one know this as an observer of the process, if the transfer was an actual being or merely a virtual copy of the processes of the being which could be copied..... and what other beings could perhaps hijack this process and doppleganger this, and how could such an identity theft be determined?
    awareness, we have how much of absolute awareness....maybe a very little..... just our eyes alone perceive such a small fraction of what could be seen....and we operate on the basic 5 senses for the most part, and that rather dimly even on the good days ..... so what then of the other possible senses....so we are speculating with only a fraction of the data

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  5. #48
    Senior Member donk's Avatar
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    I think what you are describing (transhumanism?) may be fundamentally different (and worth distinguishing) from the more popularized idea of AI where machines "come to life/self awareness"

    I think our desire to transport our consciousness into a more lasting machine than our biological bodies is based on our fear of death (or desire to stay on this plane of existence)

    I think the idea of creating of a new consciousness is maybe missing the mark...arrogant even? A strange path to choose, a justifiable fear?
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  7. #49
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    The more we don't believe our consciousness endures, the more we may want to try to preserve it. But we could end up trapping it or creating some sort of electronic doppelgänger.

    Babylon5 did a fantastic episode, Soul Hunter, and then TV movie, River of Souls, about a race of people who captured souls to 'preserve' them but it was also a trap. Martin Sheen starred in the movie where it was discovered that capturing souls prevented an entire race's evolution into an energy form.

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  9. #50
    Senior Member ZShawn's Avatar
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    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v79lVNKthCw

    kind of like this trap

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  11. #51
    Senior Member donk's Avatar
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    Definitely a classic, nice one!

    In the Stargate series, the enemies are:

    Gholas (?) if I remember correctly they are called the same thing Herbert calls clones in Dune series....these are parasites that take control of human hosts (false gods)

    Orii (know I didn't spell that one right) -- again, false gods, but instead of infecting physical bodies they feed off of human worship (psychic vampirism)

    Wraiths -- literal vampires, physically suck the life energy out of human bodies

    And last but not least -- THE REPLICATORS...one little AI robot "toy" who's program to replicate itself evolved into a hive consciousness force able to take the form of anything, including a human

    These are actually RATIONAL fears for a human, the true things with purposes that would make a REAL enemy. Perhaps mechanical slaves and super-computing information processing IS necessary to protect ourselves from these actual threats, should they exist...and in infinite universe, how could they not?

    The Star gate series legitimize an elite (our benevolent gov't ) is necessary to research and protect us from the shadows, the idea being that as a society we are not emotionally mature enough to "handle the truth"...so leave it to the "professionals" and excuse the secrecy.

    This is not to say I necessarily BELIEVE that Star Gate is an accurate example of predictive programming (though I don't completely dismiss it...every 100 episodes they run a humourous meta-episode exploring that very idea)...but I do believe the story telling portrays IDEAS of the true (POSSIBLE) enemies to mankind...and somehow most of only can see each other as enemies....sad state of affairs.
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  13. #52
    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by donk View Post
    Definitely a classic, nice one!

    In the Stargate series, the enemies are:

    Gholas (?) if I remember correctly they are called the same thing Herbert calls clones in Dune series....these are parasites that take control of human hosts (false gods)
    Those will be the Goa'uld. They are symbionts, born from a queen, and they are incubated in an (artificial?) abdominal cavity of their servants and warriors, the Jaffa, but in order for the Goa'uld to become active, they have to invade and merge with a human subject. After that, the host's consciousness and will are completely suppressed and the symbiont takes full control of the body. The Goa'uld presented themselves to the ancient humans on Earth (and other worlds) as Egyptian deities. They also have the names of those: Ra, Anubis, Osiris, et al.

    The counterpart to the Goa'uld are the Tok'ra. Contrary to what is the case for the Goa'uld, the Tok'ra symbionts are not born with any "programming" passed down to them from the queen. Once merged with a human, the symbiont also works in parallel with the human, and only takes control of the host body when the host gives his or her permission to do so.

    Quote Originally posted by donk View Post
    Orii (know I didn't spell that one right) -- again, false gods, but instead of infecting physical bodies they feed off of human worship (psychic vampirism)
    The Ori are ascended humanoid beings from another galaxy, similar to the Lanteans (Atlanteans), but instead of moving on and leaving the physical world behind them for good like the Lanteans did, they choose to prey on the worship of mortals, just as the Goa'uld do. They assign certain powers to their Priors — an (artificially) advanced kind of humanoid — and just like the Goa'uld, they use human soldiers to enforce their will upon the mortal realm.

    Quote Originally posted by donk View Post
    Wraiths -- literal vampires, physically suck the life energy out of human bodies
    Yes, and scientific research has shown that Wraiths can be converted into humans — or at least, temporarily — which suggests that the Wraith themselves evolved from humans.

    Quote Originally posted by donk View Post
    And last but not least -- THE REPLICATORS...one little AI robot "toy" who's program to replicate itself evolved into a hive consciousness force able to take the form of anything, including a human
    Well, there are two kinds of replicators: those named as such (in "Stargate: SG-1") and the Assurans (in "Stargate: Atlantis"). The Replicators from SG-1 were created by the gynoid (female android) Reese as toys but with enough intelligence to protect her when she was under threat of being shut down. The Assurans on the other hand are from another galaxy — the (fictional) Pegasus galaxy, where the Atlantis city/ship is located and where the Wraiths and the militaristic Genii live — and they were created in a human form from self-replicating nanites by the Ancients, i.e. the Lanteans.

    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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  15. #53
    Senior Member donk's Avatar
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    Heh, thanks for the clarification.

    The point I was trying to make is that I think it's helpful to analyze the root of the actual fears we manifest in this reality, there are legitimate "alien" threats to the human species, all of which can be applied on other humans BY other "humans"...I use the term loosely in the latter case because I consider them anti-human behavior

    The AI fear is often portrayed as "technology getting away from us", being more advanced than we are mature enough to handle. This gets all twisted up in the ideas of transferring our conscious and some foreign consciousness possessing our "computing" machines.

    The origin of this thread was to explore the similarities of our existence to the recently popularized "sentient AI" story
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  17. #54
    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by donk View Post
    The AI fear is often portrayed as "technology getting away from us", being more advanced than we are mature enough to handle.
    The chances of artificial intelligence escaping our control are very real. Computers are much faster than the human brain, and therefore, if we leave certain decisions regarding the running of society in the hands of an A.I., then there's no telling where that will lead.

    Quote Originally posted by donk View Post
    This gets all twisted up in the ideas of transferring our conscious and some foreign consciousness possessing our "computing" machines.

    The origin of this thread was to explore the similarities of our existence to the recently popularized "sentient AI" story
    Well, personally I don't think that it would be possible to transfer ourselves into machines, because A.I. is not sentient. All it does is statistical computation, based upon self-learning algorithms. But it doesn't actually think or feel.

    We can program a robot or even a computer application to perfectly mimic a human being, based upon how that human being was observed to behave during their lifetime — see this captivating thread — but that is still not the same thing as creating an actual sentient/sapient being, even if only because there is no actual consciousness involved.

    There is a saying among computer engineers, which is that artificial intelligence is to real intelligence as artificial flowers are to real flowers.
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  19. #55
    Senior Member donk's Avatar
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    I don't understand. How is it artificial "intelligence" if it is just running a program (no matter how sophisticated)?
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  21. #56
    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by donk View Post
    I don't understand. How is it artificial "intelligence" if it is just running a program (no matter how sophisticated)?
    It is a self-learning program. It gathers and stores statistics regarding the effectiveness of its own subroutines. It can analyze data from different perspectives in order to be able to associate/correlate one data set with another one, and then it adapts its subroutines to become more effective.

    That's not intelligence. That's just a highly advanced decision-making algorithm. It doesn't think. It merely computes.
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  23. #57
    Senior Member donk's Avatar
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    So it's a program that makes decisions based on its understanding of information it is able to sense/consume/experience?

    How is that different than US? What WE actually are?
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  25. #58
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    Quote Originally posted by donk View Post
    So it's a program that makes decisions based on its understanding of information it is able to sense/consume/experience?
    No, it is not capable of any of those things. It merely uses statistics routines so as to "learn". It counts the "hits and misses" and then calculates the probability for either of those with every action it is told to undertake. And it is self-learning because it stores the results of those calculations for future reference, so that it will be able to determine the proper course of action to be taken at the next assignment.

    Quote Originally posted by donk View Post
    How is that different than US? What WE actually are?
    We are conscious, we can think, we have creativity, we have imagination, and we have feelings. An A.I. has neither of those things. Regardless of how "organic" an A.I. may appear — the keyword being "appear" — it is still nothing more than a very fancy (and very expensive) calculator.
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  27. #59
    Senior Member donk's Avatar
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    I guess I'm thinking about it in a less pragmatic and more energetic level.

    It sounds like you are describing a program capable of making decisions based on an "artificial" sort of free will, which more often than not is assumed to mimic the survival instinct (concluding that humans are best served as slaves to maintain the machines or killed off as a feared threat)

    It is the idea that we project on to human creations that we give the ability to serve us or think for ourselves our basest survival instinct: our own fear of death.

    It sounds to me also like projecting the idea into existence that humans are the problem, so a properly functioning super computing machine free of emotions will conclude the most logical solution to earth's problems is removing humans, or at least our irrational emotions that tend to muck things up

    My understanding of programs are that they are reflections of the desire of their creator. One that is created with "errors" in logic will bring unintended consequences, I can see it being healthy to fear that.

    But it seems likely to me that if one of our creations was going to "run amok" in the way it is popularly described, it already has. And this is reflected in the "as above" up to geo-politics to the "so below" of the cultural programming that guides our personal relationships.

    I don't personally believe that is the case, I am just exploring the idea that the "cautionary tales" of popular sci-fi portrayals are modern day parables, which like the Greek "myths" may very well be based on an actual reality that actually happened (or will happen) but have more value in being a reflection of aspects of ourselves
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    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by donk View Post
    I guess I'm thinking about it in a less pragmatic and more energetic level.

    It sounds like you are describing a program capable of making decisions based on an "artificial" sort of free will, which more often than not is assumed to mimic the survival instinct (concluding that humans are best served as slaves to maintain the machines or killed off as a feared threat)
    Well, I wouldn't call it free will, given that the machine has no will. It's merely self-adjusting logic, based upon statistics. It has no sense of reality whatsoever.

    Quote Originally posted by donk View Post
    It is the idea that we project on to human creations that we give the ability to serve us or think for ourselves our basest survival instinct: our own fear of death.

    It sounds to me also like projecting the idea into existence that humans are the problem, so a properly functioning super computing machine free of emotions will conclude the most logical solution to earth's problems is removing humans, or at least our irrational emotions that tend to muck things up
    That is a very realistic possibility, and if said machine were then also literally put in command of distributing life-supporting resources and/or of the use of weaponry, then it's not unthinkable that a "Terminator"-like scenario would manifest, where an artificial intelligence network attempts to eradicate humans by way of cyborgs and robots, or a scenario like in "The Matrix", where the computers don't attempt to eradicate humans but merely to subdue them with a fake reality experience, while at the same time, the humans' bodies serve as batteries for the machines.

    Quote Originally posted by donk View Post
    My understanding of programs are that they are reflections of the desire of their creator. One that is created with "errors" in logic will bring unintended consequences, I can see it being healthy to fear that.
    Depending on the specific task that the A.I. would be required to handle — e.g. warfare, economics, et al — the flawed mindset of the ones who ordain the programming could indeed lead to a disastrous outcome.

    Quote Originally posted by donk View Post
    But it seems likely to me that if one of our creations was going to "run amok" in the way it is popularly described, it already has. And this is reflected in the "as above" up to geo-politics to the "so below" of the cultural programming that guides our personal relationships.

    I don't personally believe that is the case, I am just exploring the idea that the "cautionary tales" of popular sci-fi portrayals are modern day parables, which like the Greek "myths" may very well be based on an actual reality that actually happened (or will happen) but have more value in being a reflection of aspects of ourselves
    Many popular authors — e.g. George Orwell, H.G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, et al — have already long tried to warn humanity of the hidden dangers that lie within humanity's creativity; like you said, the creation bears the flaws of its creators. And sadly enough, so many warnings have already been left unheeded, because mankind is too arrogant to acknowledge its own flaws — the "Don't worry, I know what I'm doing" meme.

    Arrogance always comes before a fall, and all that...
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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