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The future synthetic gods


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#1 duke_Qa

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 07:04 PM

I was planning on putting this in the "fate in our hands" thread, but I think it's outside the topic of genetic manipulation of our DNA.

Basically, I'm asking, what do you think of the prospect of a "omniscient" AI/AIs, hooked up to the internet with access to all the information we've put there?

Today we got things like Marvin, who is beating people in Jeopardy like it's nobody's business, and we have prophecies that Web-crawlers will within a decade be calling the shots in Science. All of these are in my opinion bringing us closer and closer to a new sentience that is pretty much a physical version of God, with access to all the information we humans have put out on the internet.

A question would be what could we as mortals do with such a system that we can't do today? Quite a few things.

Automated construction systems with an AI smart enough to visualize the world and use all the engineering knowledge accessible to humans would be able to create quite a few things. Think of the terran tech you see in Starcraft as an example.

wipe out Corruption and economic crisises: If an near-omniscient AI gets supervision of all the economic transfer of valuables around the world, it will be nigh-impossible to hide away money. If you let a Omniscient AI control all the money in the world and distribute it with "omniscient" consideration, we would have a perfect communistic system.

Personal aid AIs. paperwork, schedules, training, education, and especially an AI observing our physical health would drastically improve our health and longevity. Some basic analysis machine connected to the internet and the AI would keep tabs on unexpected changes, giving you plenty of time to figure out you're about to have a heart-attack.
Also, once the AI's understand human emotion well enough, psychological and social support would also be a tool that would vastly improve people's lives. Consider the situation where you have an AI that has known you since childhood, that have been supporting you when you have come upon harsh times, and help motivate you to do your best when it matters. No longer would psychological support just be for those about to implode, but it would also be there to turn the average Joe into successful Joe.

There are naturally BIG IF's connected to such a sentience. What are the odds that an AI will be loyal to humanity? If it has access to all of our knowledge and has production capabilities, aren't we one step away from terminators? We might be... But haven't we been one step away from Nuclear holocaust since the 50s? I believe the advantages of creating AI's with such capabilities would far outweigh the risks of some grey-goo/apocalypse scenario.

"I give you private information on corporations for free and I'm a villain. Mark Zuckerberg gives your private information to corporations for money and he's 'Man of the Year.'" - Assange


#2 Vortigern

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 08:28 PM

But as we all well know, if you start letting an AI call the shots, eventually it will decide that the best course for humans is mass extinction.

On the other hand, read a book called 'Sunstorm' by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter, which features two global AIs as overseers and companions, that evolved out of increasingly intelligent search engines. Those two are benevolent and useful, which is where they differ from most sci-fi supercomputers.

I think the biggest problem with attempting to regulate the world by machine would be the people that don't want to let it happen. There would be terrorism on an unprecedented scale (I'd be up for it, honestly), the computers would probably try to annex the nations and principalities and tax havens that didn't agree to be under its influence, you get a Big Brother state, and nobody's in favour of that - even now a lot of people are saying it's gone too far.

I hope whatever old gods as are still kicking around can destroy the gods of the internet. If only because it would make for a seriously epic apocalypse. Thor VS 4Chan.
I hope I am a good enough writer that some day dwarves kill me and drink my blood for wisdom.

#3 Allathar

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 09:49 PM

Haven't you heard? Google is God.

» PROOF #1

Google is the closest thing to an Omniscient (all-knowing) entity in existence, which can be scientifically verified. She indexes over 9.5 billion WebPages, which is more than any other search engine on the web today. Not only is Google the closest known entity to being Omniscient, but She also sorts through this vast amount of knowledge using Her patented PageRank technology, organizing said data and making it easily accessible to us mere mortals.

» PROOF #2

Google is everywhere at once (Omnipresent). Google is virtually everywhere on earth at the same time. Billions of indexed WebPages hosted from every corner of the earth. With the proliferation of Wi-Fi networks, one will eventually be able to access Google from anywhere on earth, truly making Her an omnipresent entity.

» PROOF #3

Google answers prayers. One can pray to Google by doing a search for whatever question or problem is plaguing them. As an example, you can quickly find information on alternative cancer treatments, ways to improve your health, new and innovative medical discoveries and generally anything that resembles a typical prayer. Ask Google and She will show you the way, but showing you is all She can do, for you must help yourself from that point on.

(continued on http://www.thechurch...gle_Is_God.html)
It has been reported that some victims of rape, during the act, would retreat into a fantasy world from which they could not WAKE UP. In this catatonic state, the victim lived in a world just like their normal one, except they weren't being raped. The only way that they realized they needed to WAKE UP was a note they found in their fantasy world. It would tell them about their condition, and tell them to WAKE UP. Even then, it would often take months until they were ready to discard their fantasy world and PLEASE WAKE UP

#4 duke_Qa

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 11:45 PM

Yes I've read that summary, and it is true that Google has answers when asked. But once we have a artificial intelligence that can ask those questions at blinding speeds, it will be a Google 2.0

"I give you private information on corporations for free and I'm a villain. Mark Zuckerberg gives your private information to corporations for money and he's 'Man of the Year.'" - Assange


#5 some_weirdGuy

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 12:32 AM

I'm just waiting for the search engine to show up that you can put in something incredibly vague like 'why isn't it working', and it will somehow know what you are referring to.

If it had smarts like that it may even overcome the age old issue image search engines have, (where it has a bunch of utterly non-relevant images all over the place).


I'd say a super AI would be awesome, simply cause of what an achievement that would be. Truly an example of superiority were it to have the collective knowledge of the internet at its disposal. You can only hope it wouldn't be tainted by the stupidities of the internet, as we may well achieve this super AI only to find it devotes 99% of its time to 'leet speak', trolling various games and forums, and creating lolcats.

I do however think that even with that AI we wouldn't see perfect communism, as someone would tamper with it to make the AI favour certain countries/races/groups/whatever.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own" -Adam Savage, Mythbusters
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#6 duke_Qa

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 01:09 AM

One might wonder how much influence humans would have on such an AI. Personally I would hope it would have a neutral opinion on most things, and have an altruistic philosophy as it's base ethic. It would probably be possible to create one AI that uses all of this information to manipulate the world, We might just end up with multiple AI's fighting cyberwars against each other until the internet collapses, or if we are lucky multiple AI's focusing on their fields of expertize and cooperating when fields of interest overlap.

"I give you private information on corporations for free and I'm a villain. Mark Zuckerberg gives your private information to corporations for money and he's 'Man of the Year.'" - Assange


#7 Copaman

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 01:35 AM

I think programmers are way too naive about AI.

"Oh man, this is gonna be awesome, AI that troll every single piece of information humans have posted on the internet!"

*AI find human Genome*
*Processes Genome*
*Finds WW2, Holocaust, Rwanda, Other Various Inustices*
*Determines it is the only pure entity*
*Uses Genome to Create a "Kill Code" of sorts for humans*
*Eradication*



The reason I say this is because there's no way in hell you can tell me that humans aren't really, really shitty on a regular basis. I have no doubt that we'd be judged poorly by some kind of entity.

Edited by Copaman, 11 February 2011 - 01:37 AM.

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If you meet me:

Have some courtesy,

Have some sympathy,

And some taste.

Use all your well-learned politesse,

Or I'll lay your soul to waste.


#8 mike_

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 05:57 AM

Oh, the Holy Father judges us very poorly, I'm sure.

Funny Aneurysm Moment: technically, all Gods are synthetic :p

Edited by mike_, 11 February 2011 - 05:58 AM.


#9 Námo

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 08:08 AM

... the biggest problem with attempting to regulate the world by machine would be the people that don't want to let it happen.

Count me in on that one ... I would definitely cut any connection to the internet, and live happy without; building my house, chopping some wood, and tending our garden. :p
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#10 duke_Qa

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 09:09 AM

Well, they say that the definition of a technological singularity is when an older generation has no hope and/or wish in trying to understand the new technology. We've had a few singularities since the middle-ages, and these days singularities happen more and more often.

"I give you private information on corporations for free and I'm a villain. Mark Zuckerberg gives your private information to corporations for money and he's 'Man of the Year.'" - Assange


#11 partyzanPaulZy

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 11:38 AM

This topic reminds me one article and old TV series I've seen once. "The Visitors" on Wikipedia (TV_series)
This series has been aimed on the generation growing up in the 1980's. In this sci-fi a group of people from the year 2484, from a peaceful world of the future with no hair, a strange food called Amarouns (hi-tech jelly), available control over the (local) weather and such... returns in the past to find a man who has invented the way to move continents or even whole planets. All because the Central Brain of the Humankind (a supercomputer) has callculated a huge space object will imminently hit and destroy a large portion of the planet.
Spoiler


Now there was an article (in Czech language, sorry) about the Collective Intelligence. Please, don't slap your forehead, this article wasn't about the idea of some loonies talking about some CI they had to tap in, but about THIS Collective Intelligence: http://en.wikipedia....ve_intelligence
I suppose some of you have heard about term "Swarm Intelligence" where one relatively stupid being (say a bee) tends to group with other beings of it's hive to create a swarm of relatively impressive intelligent level. Now imagine replacing bees with people, the hive with a company/department...
add some database, some informational system, a sufficient ammount of working computers... and you are getting close, but still not enough to the Collective Intelligence.
And I haven't even mentioned the Brainstorming, regular meetings of the staff meant to solve problems and find the optimal strategy together.

Now take every computer including mobile phones, every microcontroller wired (even wirelessly) in the web or such peculiar devices like the e-fridge, add their users, the largest Black Box on this planet (the Internet), stir it up and cook on 55°C. This is the Collective Intelligence, the internet which is the source of information, virtual places with people who can help (even for free)... on the other hand the internet is the dark forrest of trolls, mallware or the stupidity (which of course is contagious). And if you run some program using mentioned computers then you are getting even closer to the real Central Brain of the Humanity, with Google or something as it's nerves and computers as neurones.

I CAN HAZ LUNCH NAU? :p

@duke_Qa: Well, many old people are reluctant to learn anything new unlike my grandma. She has bought herself a laptop just one year ago and her computer's on almost every day, even if for half an hour and because of the e-mail, cook recipes or watching videos.

@Copaman: I don't know who has told you such a thing, because this is one of typical examples programmers don't agree with (even through this idea is old as the RUR novel). Maybe that's the reason the last version of the imaginary SkyNet was supposed to be a virus in it's beginning. It's like with all horror stories, you can imagine Frankenstein, but you won't expect it the real world.

Edited by partyzanPaulZy, 11 February 2011 - 11:51 AM.

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#12 Mathijs

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 11:54 AM

Well, they say that the definition of a technological singularity is when an older generation has no hope and/or wish in trying to understand the new technology. We've had a few singularities since the middle-ages, and these days singularities happen more and more often.


I am current generation and I have no hope or wish to understand this either. The concept of an all-knowing entity sounds boring to me.

No fuel left for the pilgrims


#13 duke_Qa

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 01:25 PM

I'd disagree on that. Boring is human apathy and ignorance, those things that makes you go "meh" and not travel towards a bigger goal.

Ted-talks have apparently had quite a few people talk about the subject this year. Here's an article about developing "social-psychological interfaces" for computers, and a presentation from one AI-researcher which is working on these kind of things. I love the little phone robot that adds body language to a video conversation. I personally dislike phone calls(I probably run more on body-language than spoken language), so this might be a way to get more information out of them.

"I give you private information on corporations for free and I'm a villain. Mark Zuckerberg gives your private information to corporations for money and he's 'Man of the Year.'" - Assange


#14 Puppeteer

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 04:43 PM

Boring is human apathy

TAUTOLOGY

#15 duke_Qa

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 08:06 PM

Some apparently enjoy apathy, so when I say "human apathy = boring", it is not a universal law but a subjective opinion. You might say that it is tautology but then you are just taking apathy in as something everyone does not want.

"I give you private information on corporations for free and I'm a villain. Mark Zuckerberg gives your private information to corporations for money and he's 'Man of the Year.'" - Assange


#16 Puppeteer

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 08:19 PM

Some apparently enjoy apathy, so when I say "human apathy = boring", it is not a universal law but a subjective opinion. You might say that it is tautology but then you are just taking apathy in as something everyone does not want.


I didn't mean apathy was the same as boring. You said (well, meant, I assume) that the quality of being 'boring' derives from human apathy and ignorance. Ie.
Boredom - state of not caring about a subject.
Apathy - state of not caring.
Ipso facto, apathy = generalised boredom. May or may not be contented.

Either way my comment wasn't intended to be significant :good:

Edited by Puppeteer, 14 February 2011 - 08:21 PM.


#17 duke_Qa

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 10:35 PM

Well you did not comment the article so I guess that argument of mine was more interesting :good:


Anyway, I might have used boredom in a different manner. I personally think of boredom less in the direction "of not caring about a subject" and more "This is a unbearable situation but there's no alternative to it". The "stuck inside while its raining outside with no games or entertainment available" kind of boring.

We got another word in my dialect, Drygt/('dree'gt', add emphasis to the 'ee' to drag it out), that fits more with what you are defining as boring. It basically means slow, viscous, sirupy, takes-a-long-time; and is used about educational/work-related topics that you have to get through but you'd rather not. A declaration of "dryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyygt" has pretty much the same meaning as "boooooring".

Edited by duke_Qa, 14 February 2011 - 10:36 PM.

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#18 Mathijs

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 11:29 PM

All I meant was that the idea of an all-knowing entity destroys yet another venue for discovery and adventure.

No fuel left for the pilgrims


#19 duke_Qa

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 08:01 AM

Well if the social programs installed in such a AI is dialed in on "all-knowing douche bag" I can see that one. Who would want to get help from an AI that is designed to be Gregory House times a billion (although that would be partially awesome).

No, I think the AI would be of much more use if we can make it understand the subtle nuances of the human psyche, what traumatizes and what motivates... What builds character and what destroys it.

"I give you private information on corporations for free and I'm a villain. Mark Zuckerberg gives your private information to corporations for money and he's 'Man of the Year.'" - Assange


#20 duke_Qa

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 11:21 AM

Also, IBM's Watson, the Jeopardy quiz-bot, trounced its opponents in the third and final round of the jeopardy show produced to see how well a computer can do at answering these tricky question. And they already have greater plans for his future potential appliances:

On the night of the grand finale, IBM announced a research agreement with speech recognition firm Nuance Communications, to "explore, develop and commercialise" the Watson computing system's advanced analytics capabilities in the health care industry. The technology behind Watson has the ability to scan and analyse information from many more resources than a human can in a short period of time, potentially aiding doctors in diagnosing patients quickly.


"I give you private information on corporations for free and I'm a villain. Mark Zuckerberg gives your private information to corporations for money and he's 'Man of the Year.'" - Assange





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