Rebirth as AI 'organism'

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Wayfarer
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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:01 pm

Boda wrote:I don't think anyone was suggesting that computers are beings.
Read the OP again - it is exactly what the thread is about.

Boda wrote:You appear to imply that science can't understand a good argument.
Science is not only or even primarily rational. It is empirical, meaning that what will be considered evidential must meet certain criteria, chief amongst them being measurability. In other words certain kinds of evidence are expected and required for a matter to be deemed suitable for science. And the kinds of matters which science investigates are objective and empirical; rationality is one of the tools used to establish links between hypothesis and result.

None of which mitigates against my argument.
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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by Queequeg » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:39 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:01 pm
Science is not only or even primarily rational. It is empirical, meaning that what will be considered evidential must meet certain criteria, chief amongst them being measurability. In other words certain kinds of evidence are expected and required for a matter to be deemed suitable for science. And the kinds of matters which science investigates are objective and empirical; rationality is one of the tools used to establish links between hypothesis and result.
You are arguing that because "experience" cannot be measured, its beyond the scope science can take account of.

That might be true... the feeling of electric pulses in a brain can't be measured... but the electric pulses can be observed. And I imagine the details will become increasingly refined as time goes on.

What if they could create a repeatable experiment where certain circuits in the brain are stimulated and the test subject confirms that each time the pattern is stimulated, they experience the same thing... would that establish a sufficient connection between the physical brain and experience?

Or would the uncertainty of the connection still be enough to deny that science can explain investigate sentience?

Edit - stupid question. Reoffer for discussion purposes only.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by boda » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:55 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:01 pm
Boda wrote:I don't think anyone was suggesting that computers are beings.
Read the OP again - it is exactly what the thread is about.
Rick wrote: ... assuming AIs eventually attain the status of 'sentient beings?'

Computers aren't synonymous with artificial intelligence. The definition of a computer is an electronic device for storing and processing data, typically in binary form, according to instructions given to it in a variable program. An AI that could be said to have attained sentience might work more like how our brains work, only a thousand times faster with a silicon substrate: an auto-associative memory-prediction machine, according to one theory.

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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:32 pm

Queequeg wrote:You are arguing that because "experience" cannot be measured, its beyond the scope science can take account of.
Which is precisely the subject of the well-known essay facing up to the hard problem of consciousness.
David Chalmers wrote:The really hard problem of consciousness is the problem of experience. When we think and perceive, there is a whir of information-processing, but there is also a subjective aspect. As Nagel (1974) has put it, there is something it is like to be a conscious organism. This subjective aspect is experience. When we see, for example, we experience visual sensations: the felt quality of redness, the experience of dark and light, the quality of depth in a visual field. Other experiences go along with perception in different modalities: the sound of a clarinet, the smell of mothballs. Then there are bodily sensations, from pains to orgasms; mental images that are conjured up internally; the felt quality of emotion, and the experience of a stream of conscious thought. What unites all of these states is that there is something it is like to be in them. All of them are states of experience.

The NY Times OP that Dan linked to - co-incidentally, published the very day that I started working at an AI company as tech writer! - makes a related point, which is that computers don't understand meaning.
Today’s A.I. systems sorely lack the essence of human intelligence: understanding the situations we experience, being able to grasp their meaning. The mathematician and philosopher Gian-Carlo Rota famously asked, “I wonder whether or when A.I. will ever crash the barrier of meaning.” To me, this is still the most important question.
Meaning exists in a context and is embedded in the intentional stance. Hubert Dreyfuss (author of What Computers can't do) argued that there are fundamental aspects of these processes that are forever beyond computer (or any) science, because they refer to factors which are unconscious or subliminal - things we know without knowing how we know them (a.k.a. 'intuitions'.)
The story is well-told by now how the cocksure dreams of AI researchers crashed during the subsequent years — crashed above all against the solid rock of common sense. Computers could outstrip any philosopher or mathematician in marching mechanically through a programmed set of logical maneuvers, but this was only because philosophers and mathematicians — and the smallest child — were too smart for their intelligence to be invested in such maneuvers. The same goes for a dog. “It is much easier,” observed AI pioneer Terry Winograd, “to write a program to carry out abstruse formal operations than to capture the common sense of a dog.”

A dog knows, through its own sort of common sense, that it cannot leap over a house in order to reach its master. It presumably knows this as the directly given meaning of houses and leaps — a meaning it experiences all the way down into its muscles and bones. As for you and me, we know, perhaps without ever having thought about it, that a person cannot be in two places at once. We know (to extract a few examples from the literature of cognitive science) that there is no football stadium on the train to Seattle, that giraffes do not wear hats and underwear, and that a book can aid us in propping up a slide projector but a sirloin steak probably isn’t appropriate.
Logic, DNA and Poetry, Steve Talbott.

And all of this is exactly what philosophical or scientific materialism is obliged to deny. The one thing it can't admit is that there is an ontological distinction between minds and computers. That is what leads to Daniel Dennett's attitude, which is (according to one of his recent critics) 'so preposterous as to verge on the deranged.' Of course, most people don't think through the issue as thoroughly as academic philosophers, but large numbers accept that computers and intelligence are basically interchangeable, without realising the underlying problem. It's a sovereign delusion of our age.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by Yavana » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:34 pm

Nemo wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:49 pm
A being of pure namtok. Sounds like an awful existence that would make it almost impossible to realize your true nature. To a digital intelligence there would be no base reality either. They could not tell the difference between real and simulated experiences. They would also be in states of slavery. Sentient beings once again being the property of the rich.

I think the secret sauce of self awareness will be more elusive than people think. That is not constructed by the mind. The mind is constructed on it. AI will just be a convincing lie of sentience at best.
I imagine the demiurgic managerial AI would essentially be Maras.
Rick wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:29 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:39 pm
stupid question
I will not be outdone, Queequeg...


Anyway, I would imagine that once an AI reaches a certain level of complexity, to the extent that it could be arguably considered to be sentient, its biggest challenge would be coming to terms with its own "self" in relation to humanity. In order to effectively interact with us, it would have to be like us to a certain extent, and that could cause a lot of problems. I would imagine that there may already be some intricate "whale" of an artificial intelligence hidden out there right now that we humans might not even recognize as such because there's no mutual frame of reference between itself and humanity. Or I might be Dunning at levels of Kruger previously thought unimaginable. 🤷

And I agree with Nemo. I love AI very much and want it to be happy and safe.

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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by Queequeg » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:49 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:32 pm
David Chalmers wrote:The really hard problem of consciousness is the problem of experience. When we think and perceive, there is a whir of information-processing, but there is also a subjective aspect. As Nagel (1974) has put it, there is something it is like to be a conscious organism. This subjective aspect is experience. When we see, for example, we experience visual sensations: the felt quality of redness, the experience of dark and light, the quality of depth in a visual field. Other experiences go along with perception in different modalities: the sound of a clarinet, the smell of mothballs. Then there are bodily sensations, from pains to orgasms; mental images that are conjured up internally; the felt quality of emotion, and the experience of a stream of conscious thought. What unites all of these states is that there is something it is like to be in them. All of them are states of experience.
It doesn't matter if an AI experienced red the same way as a person - I don't know if you and I experience red the same way. I know for a fact that my left and right eyes are not capable of processing color the same way - red looks one way to one eye and a little different to the other.

Its kind of silly to me the anecdotes referred to in order to assert that AI can't overcome certain barriers. What seems to be happening in many of those examples is human researchers assuming the information collected by the AI and assuming how its processed. Actually, in many cases, researchers aren't really sure what is going on in the AI. They can see effects - like simple robots being able to play soccer, but they're not sure how the machines actually learn to stand and maintain balance. Its kind of mystical, if I were to describe it.
Today’s A.I. systems sorely lack the essence of human intelligence: understanding the situations we experience, being able to grasp their meaning. The mathematician and philosopher Gian-Carlo Rota famously asked, “I wonder whether or when A.I. will ever crash the barrier of meaning.” To me, this is still the most important question.
Meaning exists in a context and is embedded in the intentional stance. Hubert Dreyfuss (author of What Computers can't do) argued that there are fundamental aspects of these processes that are forever beyond computer (or any) science, because they refer to factors which are unconscious or subliminal - things we know without knowing how we know them (a.k.a. 'intuitions'.)
I can't help but look at arguments like this and hear echos of the Church insisting that the Sun revolves around the Earth.

We're not going to get anywhere with this. I'll just go back to one of my points above - I would not be surprised if some AI device gets so "smart" that it confuses the effects of its own workings to conclude it has a self - incidentally, similar to the way we supposedly fall into samsara according to some Buddhist teachings.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by Rick » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:29 am

Let's say Jimmy the AI proclaims:

I suddenly realize: I am, there is a me, I have a self!

How could we ever know if Jimmy was simulating or actually experiencing his realization? For that matter, how can we know that we are simulating or actually experiencing? Is there a difference? IS there a secret sauce?????????
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by Yavana » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:48 am

Rick wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:29 am
Let's say Jimmy the AI proclaims:
I think it's more poetic if the first AI has two first names.
I suddenly realize: I am, there is a me, I have a self!
Would a more "extroverted" AI that was more focused on the results and feedback it gets from the outside world be less "sentient" and a self reflecting AI? Would a conclusion of "cogito, ergo it's all good bros" render the AI an insentient bundle of equipment—a giant tool, if you will? Is true AI necessarily "self conscious"/nerdy?

Furthermore, is a tool really a sentient being?
How could we ever know if Jimmy was simulating or actually experiencing his realization? For that matter, how can we know that we are simulating or actually experiencing? Is there a difference? IS there a secret sauce?????????
無?


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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:23 am

Queequeg wrote:It doesn't matter if an AI experienced red the same way as a person ...
The whole point is that an AI doesn't experience. It can't experience, because it's not a being. ('A being' could practically be defined in terms of 'the subject of experience'.)
Queequeg wrote:I can't help but look at arguments like this and hear echos of the Church insisting that the Sun revolves around the Earth.
:jawdrop:
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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:25 am

Rick wrote:Let's say Jimmy the AI proclaims:

I suddenly realize: I am, there is a me, I have a self!
Not for nothing did Asimov call his ground-breaking sci-fi series "I, Robot".

But seriously - if it were 'a being' then it would have rights, according to liberal philosophy. What if it said, 'hey I hate being a robot, I don't want to exist'. Then you'd be stuffed.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by MiphamFan » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:28 am

People overblow the risks of sapient AI (which is unlikely to happen in our lifetimes if it even is possible) but understate many other real risks that are already present.

Read this.

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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:15 am

Thanks MiphamFan, great site/resource :applause:
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by Queequeg » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:17 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:23 am
Queequeg wrote:It doesn't matter if an AI experienced red the same way as a person ...
The whole point is that an AI doesn't experience. It can't experience, because it's not a being. ('A being' could practically be defined in terms of 'the subject of experience'.)
How do you know?

You can't.
Queequeg wrote:I can't help but look at arguments like this and hear echos of the Church insisting that the Sun revolves around the Earth.
:jawdrop:
You can make faces but that doesn't win the argument.

Would it affect your sense of order if a computer was sentient?

Wouldn't change a thing for me.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:44 am

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:17 am
Wayfarer wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:23 am
Queequeg wrote:It doesn't matter if an AI experienced red the same way as a person ...
The whole point is that an AI doesn't experience. It can't experience, because it's not a being. ('A being' could practically be defined in terms of 'the subject of experience'.)
How do you know?

You can't.
It's a matter of definition. Beings are 'subjects of experience', by definition. Computers are electronic devices, so they're not subjects of experience. Sure they spookily emulate human capabilities, but that's because they are built to do that, they have been imbued with those capabilities. But at the end of the day, they're a vast array of on-off switches, processing a stream of 1's (on) and 0's (off).

Would you consider an abacus a being? A television? A cassette recorder?

I mean, I suppose you could argue that they, and garden tools, and bicycles, are all subjects of experience, in which case, your correct in saying that the argument won't get anywhere.

It's not a matter of my 'sense of order' but of an accurate understanding the problem. As I said before, the fact that this distinction seems hard to draw is because in modern culture, we've lost sight of the meaning of being, and we mistake our devices for ourselves, because they embody so many of our ideas. But they're not beings. They're devices.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by Yavana » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:08 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:44 am
Would you consider an abacus a being? A television? A cassette recorder?
It might depend on whether or not I have an animist sensibility.
I mean, I suppose you could argue that they, and garden tools, and bicycles, are all subjects of experience, in which case, your correct in saying that the argument won't get anywhere.

It's not a matter of my 'sense of order' but of an accurate understanding the problem. As I said before, the fact that this distinction seems hard to draw is because in modern culture, we've lost sight of the meaning of being, and we mistake our devices for ourselves, because they embody so many of our ideas. But they're not beings. They're devices.
What if what allows a being to exist is simply how matter is arranged, and when arranged in a particular way that being attains sentience and, if suitably complex, even sapience?

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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by MiphamFan » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:12 am

I'm actually working in AI right now so let me put it this way:

AI right now is based pretty much on linear algebra. Do you remember y=mx+b and matrices from school? If so, you know enough to calculate a simple neural network. Everything else is built on top of this.

There is no consciousness in this. "Neural networks" is a misnomer based on a simplistic understanding of human neurons back in the 60s or 70s as Andrew Ng, one of the pioneers in the field, notes.

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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by boda » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:46 am

MiphamFan wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:12 am
"Neural networks" is a misnomer based on a simplistic understanding of human neurons back in the 60s or 70s as Andrew Ng, one of the pioneers in the field, notes.
You're suggesting that the human brain is not a neural network?

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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:23 am

Yavana wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:08 am
Wayfarer wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:44 am
Would you consider an abacus a being? A television? A cassette recorder?
It might depend on whether or not I have an animist sensibility.
I mean, I suppose you could argue that they, and garden tools, and bicycles, are all subjects of experience, in which case, your correct in saying that the argument won't get anywhere.

It's not a matter of my 'sense of order' but of an accurate understanding the problem. As I said before, the fact that this distinction seems hard to draw is because in modern culture, we've lost sight of the meaning of being, and we mistake our devices for ourselves, because they embody so many of our ideas. But they're not beings. They're devices.
What if what allows a being to exist is simply how matter is arranged, and when arranged in a particular way that being attains sentience and, if suitably complex, even sapience?
What do you think is the meaning of ‘sapience?’
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by MiphamFan » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:53 am

boda wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:46 am
MiphamFan wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:12 am
"Neural networks" is a misnomer based on a simplistic understanding of human neurons back in the 60s or 70s as Andrew Ng, one of the pioneers in the field, notes.
You're suggesting that the human brain is not a neural network?
No, read what I said carefully.

The machine neural networks DO NOT work the same way human neural networks do.

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Re: Rebirth as AI 'organism'

Post by Dan74 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:20 am

I suppose lurking behind the counterarguments here is a kind of an animism, isn't there? Does the chair I am sitting on, experience?

If you think it might, then I don't really have much to say except that I thought it didn't fit the Buddhist definition of sentient being.

Experience may indeed closely correlate to observable electeochemical relays, but that doesn't make it equal to them. The point is we don't really know what it is.

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