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-   -   Science Saturday: Dreaming of an Artificial Intelligence (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=2326)

fedorovingtonboop 11-03-2008 01:53 AM

Re: Science Saturday: Dreaming of an Artificial Intelligence
 
damn! jaron's really conceited. even more annoying and pointless than his stuff on Edge. i don't really care about AI and he makes me care even less:)

Jeff Morgan 11-03-2008 03:14 AM

Re: Science Saturday: Dreaming of an Artificial Intelligence
 
I'm surprised by how well received this diavlog was. I found it to be very pretentious and going nowhere!

I don't even feel this was appropriate for the Science Saturday slot. There wasn't much of what I would consider science, but instead a whole lot of philosophy.

My summary of this diavlog is as follows...
Jaron: Eschew (this) philosophizing.
Eliezer: No.

I guess I'm in the minority here; I totally agree with Jaron. But I have almost no appreciation of philosophy anyway, hehe.

If Jaron is ever to be convinced to come back to bh.tv, I think he should be paired up with someone with the purpose of diving into developing capabilities, and not get bogged down in how it relates to intelligence or human-ness.

MikeDrew 11-03-2008 03:55 AM

Re: Science Saturday: Dreaming of an Artificial Intelligence
 
For two guys who know EXACTLY what they are talking about, that was the WORST POSSIBLE introduction to the concept Zombies for the uninitiated.

MikeDrew 11-03-2008 04:49 AM

Re: Science Saturday: Dreaming of an Artificial Intelligence
 
Lanier does some of the exact evasions that so irritate the Dennett-minded. He makes a big deal of saying that he has consciousness and accuses Yudofsky of denying his. But he is palpably hostile to any attempt to explain it. He says we must remain "humble" and not be curious about the concept, or at least not too actively curious. He also repeats his claim to be doing the "real" AI work -- ie the recreation of specific brain functions -- that obviously do not get to the level of full-brain consciousness, and derides attempts to model consciousness as ideology. He seems to be the one contending with a limiting ideology.

If it is the case that some general-AI-minded programmers made some bad decisions in the past, and those mistakes were carried down, it still doesn't render the entire field of computer modeling of human consciousness a pernicious ideology. That is what animates people like Yudofsky. It's fantastic that Lanier has done such great work on the visual cortex; it probably is more productive to the world. But what is it that bothers him so much about the interest that Yudofsky et al are pursuing?

These two are probably not the best suited to discuss these matters. They really have completely different goals in life.

AemJeff 11-03-2008 08:58 AM

Re: Science Saturday: Dreaming of an Artificial Intelligence
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeDrew (Post 96438)
Lanier does some of the exact evasions that so irritate the Dennett-minded. He makes a big deal of saying that he has consciousness and accuses Yudofsky of denying his. But he is palpably hostile to any attempt to explain it. He says we must remain "humble" and not be curious about the concept, or at least not too actively curious. He also repeats his claim to be doing the "real" AI work -- ie the recreation of specific brain functions -- that obviously do not get to the level of full-brain consciousness, and derides attempts to model consciousness as ideology. He seems to be the one contending with a limiting ideology.

If it is the case that some general-AI-minded programmers made some bad decisions in the past, and those mistakes were carried down, it still doesn't render the entire field of computer modeling of human consciousness a pernicious ideology. That is what animates people like Yudofsky. It's fantastic that Lanier has done such great work on the visual cortex; it probably is more productive to the world. But what is it that bothers him so much about the interest that Yudofsky et al are pursuing?

These two are probably not the best suited to discuss these matters. They really have completely different goals in life.

I understood Lanier to be playing a Socratic game, challenging Yudkowsky on some of his assumptions, about which Lanier obviously thinks there ought to be more consideration. I hear also hear Lanier arguing that the goals of AI research ought to be rethought, because the terms in which they're defined themselves need to be reconsidered.

ejim 11-03-2008 10:47 AM

Re: Science Saturday: Dreaming of an Artificial Intelligence
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 96420)
I didn't get the impression that Lanier rules out robots who are fully conscious.

My understanding was that he only rejects the idea that such a dramatic contingency/singularity is around the corner, that AI is significantly moving in the right direction, that such intelligence is likely to emerge in a computer or in cyberspace.

I can't imagine anyone really arguing that we will never create supersmart creatures. If technology doesn't self-destruct, it seems a good bet that in a couple of hundred or a thousand years, we will have created or seeded conscious creatures smarter than us. We may get them through genetic tweakings and brain enhancements or combinations of machines and bodies.

There's no reason to believe that consciousness and selfhood (personhood) are limited on the high-intelligence end of the spectrum to homo sapiens.

We'll eventually figure out how to build it.

If that is what he believes i wish he would have said that. If he was arguing for no AI right now that would have made sense but he seemed to be arguing something stronger and broader and not communicating well. I found it frustrating to try and figure out what he was talking about.

I found it particularly frustrating how he made the strong statement about belief in human beings being a statement of belief and not knowledge then backing away from it. Why?!! Itís an important undecidable necessary defensible arguable belief about what it is to be human and then he seemed to back away from it!! This leaves me totally confused about what he is arguing.

ejim 11-03-2008 11:10 AM

Re: Science Saturday: Dreaming of an Artificial Intelligence
 
That would be great! I want to hear him describe how he modeled computer vision on how the visual cortex works and how he designed a neural chip!

ledocs 11-03-2008 11:42 AM

Re: Science Saturday: Dreaming of an Artificial Intelligence
 
As well you should be.

MemeInjector3000 11-03-2008 04:34 PM

Re: SKY HOOK ALERT!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kidneystones (Post 96422)
This is typical of materialists.

Hmmm, that's the same language that the Discovery Institute uses. Quite telling. There's not much point in arguing with people who espouse "magical thinking."

Quote:

"Dan Dennett is a religious extremist"
What an laughable thing to say. Lanier proved himself to be an idiot within the first 10 seconds of this diavlog, and it went downhill from there. Methinks his dreads have grown inward.

uncle ebeneezer 11-03-2008 04:49 PM

Re: Science Saturday: Dreaming of an Artificial Intelligence
 
Yeah, I ended up turning this one off. A Bob/Dennett rematch diavlog on consciousness would be awesome but otherwise, I think there are several episodes of MeaningofLife.tv that cover some of this same ground (the concsciousness stuff, that is) much better.

I felt like I had somehow stumbled into a dormitory where a computer-geek and hippie-philosopher were holding a post-bong rap session.

AemJeff 11-03-2008 04:55 PM

Re: SKY HOOK ALERT!
 
Lanier's bio. He's been the subject of an awful lot of content-free putdowns here for reasons I can only guess. I think his professional accomplishments tell a story that contradicts that point of view.

bjkeefe 11-03-2008 08:01 PM

Re: SKY HOOK ALERT!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 96452)
Lanier's bio. He's been the subject of an awful lot of content-free putdowns here for reasons I can only guess. I think his professional accomplishments tell a story that contradicts that point of view.

Agreed, but this diavlog was nearly as problematic as the criticisms of it. uncle eb put it well in his last sentence. I was disappointed, though I was interested enough to watch the whole thing. I just wished that these guys would have spent less time talking about stuff that isn't at all decidable at the moment. The nature of consciousness, and getting too many levels down into epistemology, are topics that I am not interested in hearing about, as I'm sure you already know. The discussions never seem to go anywhere.

Apologies to the philosophers for my philistinism.

AemJeff 11-03-2008 08:38 PM

Re: SKY HOOK ALERT!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 96490)
Agreed, but this diavlog was nearly as problematic as the criticisms of it. uncle eb put it well in his last sentence. I was disappointed, though I was interested enough to watch the whole thing. I just wished that these guys would have spent less time talking about stuff that isn't at all decidable at the moment. The nature of consciousness, and getting too many levels down into epistemology, are topics that I am not interested in hearing about, as I'm sure you already know. The discussions never seem to go anywhere.

Apologies to the philosophers for my philistinism.

This is one of those cases, I guess, where I'm way out of step with the consensus; but I was glued to this one. I was fascinated by how evenly matched these guys seemed (though I can see that not everybody agrees with that view, either.) To me each of these guys' personalities seems like an answer to the other, and somehow despite or, more probably, because of the friction I thought there was more light than heat.

bjkeefe 11-03-2008 09:48 PM

Re: SKY HOOK ALERT!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 96510)
This is one of those cases, I guess, where I'm way out of step with the consensus; but I was glued to this one. I was fascinated by how evenly matched these guys seemed (though I can see that not everybody agrees with that view, either.) To me each of these guys' personality seems like an answer to the other, and somehow despite or, more probably, because of the friction I thought there was more light than heat.

I agree that they were evenly matched and that their personalities clashed nicely. I also liked both of them, in and of themselves, as they came across on camera. If the topics weren't anathema to me, I would have been raving about this diavlog, I'm sure. I'd like to see them both come back.

uncle ebeneezer 11-03-2008 10:44 PM

Re: SKY HOOK ALERT!
 
To clarify, I'm all for late-night stoner rap sessions, this one just didn't grab me (maybe I'm too wrapped up in election stuff). I'd like to see both guys come back.

nadc 11-04-2008 12:34 AM

Re: Jaron's Circle Speak
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hamandcheese (Post 96271)
Jaron irritates me. He talks himself in circles and it seems whenever Eliezer makes a good point contrary to something Jaron has said he either distracts or laughs it off. Ironically, I think Jaron's failings in this discussion come from ideology. He seems transfixed on this idea that Eliezers position is comparable to religion by making these generalized and ultimately inadequate parallels. When his arguments fail he, quite religiously, falls back onto some vague, self-righteous notion that's hard to dispute. When these fail it doesn't phase him to say "well, that's just what I believe." Doesn't he see that he is the truer ideologue?

My thoughts exactly.

nadc 11-04-2008 01:14 AM

Re: Science Saturday: Dreaming of an Artificial Intelligence
 
Interested discussion, and fun to listen to. I agree with Lanier that we should not pretend to know more than we actually know, but it seems that he falls that trap himself by stating that consciousness is "not a machine". How does he know that?

bjkeefe 11-04-2008 03:05 AM

Re: SKY HOOK ALERT!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 96548)
To clarify, I'm all for late-night stoner rap sessions ...

Me, too, but only as a participant.

Jeff Morgan 11-06-2008 02:45 AM

Re: Science Saturday: Dreaming of an Artificial Intelligence
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 96451)
I felt like I had somehow stumbled into a dormitory where a computer-geek and hippie-philosopher were holding a post-bong rap session.

I'm going to name my first child Ebeneezer.

Francoamerican 11-09-2008 10:01 AM

Re: Science Saturday: Dreaming of an Artificial Intelligence
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeK (Post 96378)
Dawkins doesn't say anything about the nature of consciousness. Pinker and Dennett say different things. While Pinker basically agrees with Lanier that it's a mystery, Dennett, god blessed him, explained the consciousness.

Not true: Dawkins substitutes the philosophically extremely meager theory of "memes" for consciousness. The fact that he has so little to say about consciousness is a serious defect in any scientific theory.

True: Pinker and Dennett differ in significant ways, but they are both scientific materialists in their attempts to "explain" consciousness (language in the case of Pinker) by something that lies below consciousness.

zoedog88 11-09-2008 03:46 PM

Re: Artificial Consciousness: Done
 
Last time I checked, the scientific world could not even define consciousness ...much less how it happens...if it was seperate from the brain, etc. etc....Consciousness-spirit-soul go hand in hand IMHO and that is a part of life which one day science will integrate hopefully...Quantum will lead us there....Hmmmm, is my brain just an organ for consciousness to reside??? When my physical body dies will my consciousness (which is energy) die also?? Can you kill energy or does it just change form??

zoedog88 11-09-2008 03:53 PM

Re: Science Saturday: Dreaming of an Artificial Intelligence
 
Hmmmmm....metaphysical?? Quantum and metaphysical are getting to be good buddies....What was yesterday metaphysical, today can be scientifically verified....SO don't scoff at metaphysics...

zoedog88 11-09-2008 03:55 PM

Re: Science Saturday: Dreaming of an Artificial Intelligence
 
No-one knows as of to date...Consciousness is a wide open field that only the brave explore...lol

Francoamerican 11-10-2008 02:16 PM

Re: Science Saturday: Dreaming of an Artificial Intelligence
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zoedog88 (Post 97151)
Hmmmmm....metaphysical?? Quantum and metaphysical are getting to be good buddies....What was yesterday metaphysical, today can be scientifically verified....SO don't scoff at metaphysics...


I wasn't scoffing. What I was criticizing was surrepticious metaphysics, i.e. the tendency of philosophers and scientists to use science or pseudo-science to deny the reality of consciousness. The denial of consciousness is is a metaphysical position. It is called, or used to be called, "materialism." More recent philosophers seem to prefer the term "naturalism," no doubt because it sounds more pleasant---like organic food or nudism. I see no reason to deny what I experience every time I open my mouth to say that something is true or false.

I suppose that makes me a Kantian. I really don't understand how some science, whether it be evolutionary biology or AI, can explain (away) the reality of consciousness. The condition of possibility of knowledge (to speak with Kant), and above all the possibility of scientific knowledge, is the existence of the human mind. The very ability to demonstrate that something is true or false (for example, the theory of evolution), real or unreal (for example, numbers or illusions) etc. depends on the existence of mind. This is not a metaphysical claim, simply an acknowledgement of an indisputable fact.

Steve Dekorte 11-23-2008 04:04 PM

Re: Science Saturday: Dreaming of an Artificial Intelligence
 
I liked Jaron's comparison of the singularity mysticism with the rapture. It seems to be desire that motivates the singularists predictions as well as Jaron's own notions of a soul.

If someone had asked for a definition of consciousness (in the form of a test), much of the debate could have been avoided.


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