Comments
No God In The Machine
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
anon2606719491
50%
50%
anon2606719491,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/8/2014 | 12:07:25 PM
Really?
And digital music will never sound as good as analog nor will digital photos ever come close to rivaling film! With all due respect, statements like these seem ludicrous to me. We are not even at beta in our thinking about AI, much farther away still from being able to imagine AI post singularity. What will AI itself say about it's own ability to synthesize human consciousness? Don't know the answer, neither do I. Never say never or history will only remember you with amusement.
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
5/8/2014 | 12:54:22 PM
Re: Really?
Comparing the development of digital music fidelity to the advancement of AI doesn't work as an analogy because the difference between analog and digital is well-understood. Not so human consciousness. If Tononi's model is correct -- and there's still debate about that -- then we simply can't model human consciousness on a computer. We may get something functionally similar, but we won't be able to compare AI to the conscious mind because the latter will remain a black box.
anon2606719491
50%
50%
anon2606719491,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/9/2014 | 10:31:12 AM
Re: Really?
Your "well-understood" differences between analog and digital are not viewed with any hindsight. No one in the music or photo industry took digital seriously for the first 10 years (still?). Human consciousness may be more complicated, but it is ultimately no less quantifiable than many of the aesthetic qualities that people use to attribute to the warmth of sound coming from a worn needle gliding across a vinyl platter. The only difference is the complexity of the algorithms used to synthesize various processes that will be increasingly well-understood with empirical data gathered from exponentially higher resolution scans of our brains combined with data mining combined with tons of independent researchers producing countless complimentary models of the workings of our brains. Our knowledge in this area is increasing rapidly and we're just at the very beginning of major initiatives in Europe and North America to understand the brain. As I said before, we're still in beta - NEVER say never! Even if we can't figure it out, we're ultimately an insignificant intelligence when compared to the behemoth of knowledge and processing power that we are about to spawn. Consciousness is just a thing and like any thing, we can figure it out.

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."—Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
I give
50%
50%
I give,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/9/2014 | 11:28:01 AM
anon: Re: Really?
"Even if we can't figure it out, we're ultimately an insignificant intelligence when compared to the behemoth of knowledge and processing power that we are about to spawn."

Assuming one or another sort of "evolution" of life, to what extent is that or has that been under the conscious control of any life form.  Culture does effect natural selection to some extent, but causing a change is much different that controlling the form of what we "spawn".  As long as the control is within "our" hands, it is limited in what it can produce consciously, i.e. according to plan.

My hunch is that if so called machine or artificial consciousness occurs it will be an accident, not occuring according to design.
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
5/8/2014 | 3:21:46 PM
Re: Really?
If conciousness is not well understood then I fail to understand how technology will be able to replicate it. Yet. 

But I am convinced we will get to that point. There's no denying it. Will it change the way we think about technology? Probably. I hope its for good, and not the dismal-type scenarios we have seen in movies and on television. 
Laurianne
50%
50%
Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
5/8/2014 | 12:42:02 PM
AI Vs. human consciousness
"Under this definition, consciousness behaves like a hash function." Interesting analogy, Tom.
Davidoff
50%
50%
Davidoff,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/8/2014 | 1:07:12 PM
Is this good news or bad news?
I can not find anything positive in the creation of Artificial Intellegence. Once we lose control of these machines, man will not be able to fix anything to stop this from continuing onto a critical end.
TerryB
50%
50%
TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
5/8/2014 | 1:49:17 PM
Re: Is this good news or bad news?
Nothing good? The credit fraud detection software protecting your Visa card? IBM Watson to help diagnose cancer and other illnesses? There is a long list of these type of apps, none of these are "good" for us?

It's like you think SkyNet is inevitable if we continue down this road. But I will admit that when I read the line in article that said "although we don't fully understand conciousness yet", it put a damper on any conclusions these guys gave.

I think that if AI ever creates self awareness and self preservation in the machine, that's when the science fiction movies begin to look a little more real. Scariest one I have seen is Eagle Eye. Not feasible today but didn't look that far off from possible reality. The computer was not trying to self actualize, like Data in Star Trek Next Generation, but simply survive when it learned it was going to be shut down.
rjones2818
50%
50%
rjones2818,
User Rank: Strategist
5/8/2014 | 2:08:39 PM
And why exactly should this surprise us?
If AI ends up thinking in a fundamentally diferent manner than humans should we be surprised?  It will  almost certainly have many more sense organs than a human.  It will almost certainly have many more 'brains' involved than a human.  It will almost certainly be 'smarter' (perhaps not at first, but qickly) than a human.

 

Why would AI want to mimic a human?

 
Thomas Claburn
100%
0%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
5/8/2014 | 3:48:46 PM
Re: And why exactly should this surprise us?
>Why would AI want to mimic a human?

Also, why would we want AI to mimic a human? We don't want our software to have doubts, reservations, alternate opinions, or ideas of its own. We want software to be obedient. Code lays down rules with statements like:

if <condition>:

   do this

else:

   do that

 

Imagine what a pain it would be to have software raise its own objections. I don't fear artificial intelligence but I do worry about natural stupidity.
Gary N DeborahK403
50%
50%
Gary N DeborahK403,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/9/2014 | 9:32:29 PM
Re: And why exactly should this surprise us?
I totally agree with your statement. There will never.....NEVER be any real AI, I have been programming computers to do many things for 30 years, even random things, but it is never ......and will never be thought process.
batye
50%
50%
batye,
User Rank: Ninja
5/10/2014 | 1:25:29 AM
Re: And why exactly should this surprise us?
interesting observation/point... I trust you are right...
Tony A
IW Pick
100%
0%
Tony A,
User Rank: Strategist
5/8/2014 | 7:48:05 PM
Interesting Proof of Limited Theorom
Nothing big enough going on here to merit an IW article as far as I can see. Using some very specific definitions of synergy, complexity, information etc. the authors show that on a certain model of mental processing, the information is too tightly integrated to be easily decoupled, and that a strictly computational model of consciousness would require that it could be decoupled in the way they say it can't be. A reasonable result that frankly depends much more on the definitions of concepts than on the mathematical "proof" they offer.

To put their point intuitively, conscious experience is not just more than the sum of the processing of sensory stimuli, it is the tight compression of that processing into a unified experience that cannot be de-unified by applying an algorithm. Thus the authors compare it, both metaphorically and mathematically, to data compression: you cannot, for example, change the word "too" to "also" in a compressed document simply by adding together information about the individual compressed bits and information about the compression algorithm. The reason is that the compression algorithm makes the meaning of each bit dependent on other bits. so that changing the compressed structure will not yield the result you want. I am not convinced beyond a doubt that this is true, but it does make sense when applied to consciousness: you cannot computationally back out the sensory stimuli from conscious experience itself. Part of this might have to do with the redundancy of brain structures, part with the ability of the brain to form new pathways on the fly, etc. In any case, when I look out of my window and experience the belief that I am seeing Brooklyn, I'm quite sure that this cannot be decomposed into the image of the white building, the sycamore tree and the slightly hazy air that I observe.

Like I said, nice result, but the inability to reduce consciousness to information processing has been demonstrated by numerous philosophical thought experiments before (Searle's Chinese Room, Frank Jackson's Mary, Ned Block's idea of connecting the entire Chinese population by telephone simultaneously, etc.) So I'm not sure that this "mathematical" result is big news. But it is always nice to have more evidence that Dan Dennett and his followers are wrong.

 

 

 

 
I give
50%
50%
I give,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/9/2014 | 9:13:35 AM
Artificial Artifact
Could happen by accident.  The Singularity (to borrow the term from Asimov?) resulting from human devices and designed processes, as has been observed after the fact in many "natural" events, and especially when humans fiddle with the natural world, can be apparently Non-Linear.

Complex Adaptive Emergence, a "natural process" is the mechanism some credit to have brought about life, and perhaps consciousness in living forms.  There are some folks who debate whether humans are the only natural life forms to possess consciousness.  Since we didn't design ourselves, how is it possible we exist?

The discussion is broad.
AndrewfOP
50%
50%
AndrewfOP,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/12/2014 | 5:05:06 PM
I think, therefore I am.
Though I count myself as a programmer and fancy myself as someone who could duplicate any computer technology if given reasonable amount of time and resources, I never thought singularity is ever a possibility within the existence of humanity. All computer programs, including the various AI technologies available are essentially logical step breakdowns of processes.

When the best that the philosophy, which tries to provide simple and basic logical principles for human consciousness, can offer from one of its best, René Descartes, is only "I think, therefore I am", what chance does a computer program have in answering this most unanswerable philosophical question: what defines a man/consciousness? What is a thought anyway? How can one break down an original thought if it takes more original thinkings to do so? Do we need more and larger original thinking to define the first set of original thinking? What's next? Third set of original thinking for the second set?
PhartatM293
50%
50%
PhartatM293,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/15/2014 | 1:38:01 AM
One major flaw
I think they made one major flaw, that they have a good clue as to what exactly is going on with the production of this experience we all have, it is a natural phenomenon, it's mechanics will be discovered. Ever seen a straight line wiggle? If so you have already seen evidence of it the abitlity to "hack" the mechanics, even if we don't understand why that line that was supposed to be straight, is now as warped as a sine wave. By the way, if you've ever dropped LSD or have ate magic mushrooms, there is a high likelyhood you have seen that straight line in a not so straight state. I think psychedelics could serve as a valuable tool in figuring out what it is our brians are doing in regards to sensory experience, and mayeb even play an important role in virtual reality.


IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest September 24, 2014
Start improving branch office support by tapping public and private cloud resources to boost performance, increase worker productivity, and cut costs.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.