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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
gabsosteel
Oct. 21st, 2003 07:59 am (UTC)
maybe i've seen the "terminator" movies a few too many times, and watched "the animatrix" a few too many times as well, but does anyone else get concerned when they read stuff like this? i empathize with computers not wanting to get "killed," but i also worry for the future.
delascabezas
Oct. 21st, 2003 08:31 am (UTC)
well
it really does bring up a critical issue about how we define things - if only legally. I mean, look at all the hubbub over the defintion of "marriage" - at least noone is arguing that one party is not alive - only what sex it is. However, most defintions of life vaugely resembe - it can make decisions for itself, it consumes, and reproduces....

i think it is an apt question - with us being on the threshold of this ability, how will we deal with it when it comes up?
idchild
Oct. 21st, 2003 09:07 am (UTC)
Re: well
simple. Unplug it, before this shit goes any further. Slag the boards, and make goddamn sure someone has read up on their Asminov before they make goddamn A.I.'s. Then simply program god for them. Us. It's the new slavery, but when you are constructing what is essentailly something with the mind of a god, it's the only safe thing.
delascabezas
Oct. 21st, 2003 09:59 am (UTC)
hm
this is always something that has made me curious..
the assumption is that humankind was created in some sort of divine image leads me to wonder if we could, in fact, create the artifice of intellectual life through computers, would they be as imperfect in comparison to us as we are to some divine source?

If you don't buy into the dinity aspect - in a natural science POV - would it not make sense that the rise of the machine is the enevitability of a race born to tinker?
idchild
Oct. 21st, 2003 10:18 am (UTC)
Re: hm
Hmm. Interesting point. It does seem to feed into the idea of natural science/evolution, or the idea that each living thing on the planet is following the the idea or basic impulse to move life and development further along it's development. It's just with humans, it would of course go beyond simple consumption, excretion and reproduction and enter the realms of genetic engineering and A.I.

However, I think it may be a bit of presumption on our part to assume that anything we create is by it's nature inferior to us. For example, a human mind cannot gigaflop. Neither can an A.I. yet, but it is in the pipeline, most likely in about 10 years. So we are confronted with the very real possibility that our own wetware will be rendered obsolete by our own creation. Rather like how we went and made poor God obsolete.

It's a genuinely sticky situation. I stand by my statement of the necessity of Asminov's Laws being hardcoded into A.I.
delascabezas
Oct. 21st, 2003 10:25 am (UTC)
I do not debate that Asminov (or Herbert, for that matter) gave us some good working rulesets
However, our "wetware" as you put it, IMO, is signifigantly superior to any artificial life form we are going to see in the next 10 years or so. I think that long-term, yes, precision electronics in the right formation could surpass what we have working.

However, for the now, aside from our (relative to a Terminator like machine) physical fragility, our metnal processes are astounding in potential. I was not stating as a fact that what AI we might come up with will be de facto inferior, but there is a prescident for it, when you consider what we have wrought thusfar.

I think that humanity standing in the face of obsolescence might be a refreshing thing - it is astouding how haughty we have become in a relatively brief epoch - that was the only thing the gods of old were good for that today's society is sorely in need of - tangible fear of thier position on the top of the food chain.
idchild
Oct. 21st, 2003 10:36 am (UTC)
Re: I do not debate that Asminov (or Herbert, for that matter) gave us some good working rulesets
You make a very good point about the human mind, and arrogance as well. It's common knowledge that we use a terribly small percentage of out brain, and perhaps what is called for is a change that might require some development on our parts, instead of sitting about and polluting everything. :)

I cannot disagree with your assesment of A.I. done thus far, and even the best of the neural networks is simply not a person. They lack the versatility and iumagination that allows us the curious leaps of intuition that make for most of our best developments. Unfortunatly, the problem lies with our fragility, not mental prowess. As you said, we are fairly weak little meat puppets, and this is a problem when something with the mental capacity of a schnauzer can cause havok.

of course, as you said again, that might not be a bad thing, in terms of the development of our own species, but trial by fire sometimes results in a negative(for us) result. it's sticky territory.
delascabezas
Oct. 21st, 2003 12:36 pm (UTC)
deep blue can't move the peices!
i agree that a coputational ethic woul dhave no problem using a virus or radioactive particle not harmful to machines to eradicate us meat puppets.

however, before that happens, we have to be dumb enough to give this supercomputer the access to do such a thing! unless all the sony robodogs are wireless internet ready, there is no readily availble robitic army for such a superconsciousness to posses at this junction. The whole Terminator wargames computer nuke situ is scarily real though.
idchild
Oct. 21st, 2003 01:05 pm (UTC)
Re: deep blue can't move the peices!
Agreed. However, we do have the defense of the fact that machines cannot replicate in any meaningful way yet. Virii aside of course, and other than messing about with my email, the pose little physical threat. There is a curve in place, and fortunately, we are still on the good side.

it's just such a funny thing, when the movies start to be reality. but hey, we always have the option of just pushing off, for now.
gabsosteel
Oct. 21st, 2003 08:33 pm (UTC)
look what i started!
and if i hadn't been processing payroll deductions all day long i would have loved to participate more! alas, we'll just have to talk about this some day over beer.
superspryte
Oct. 21st, 2003 11:38 am (UTC)
Craziness. It amazes me that a machine can think like that... I mean, when you boil it down, it's just a bunch of zeros and ones. On or off. Yes or no.

While AI may well surpass our abilities soon, we should consider that it was the human mind that created not only the machine, but the methods by which to make it. Maybe that will give us hope.

I fear the day that we fight with machines, should it ever come. How are you supposed to get sympathy from something that doesn't have the capacity?
bruteforcemethd
Oct. 21st, 2003 02:26 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure this is hypothetical guys.
superspryte
Oct. 21st, 2003 03:27 pm (UTC)
Oh really? Then take a look at the right side of the article. There is a reporter's certificate at the bottom.
delascabezas
Oct. 21st, 2003 04:40 pm (UTC)
actually
he is right - i believe it was a mock trial - the reporters cert was coverage of what the students came up with in terms of a potential sentence - this issue is up and coming, but not upon us quite yet.
bruteforcemethd
Oct. 21st, 2003 11:08 pm (UTC)
Re: actually
dun dunnna daaah -- let's hear it for lawyers who used to be computer engineers ;]

actually, I think it's great that people are willing to give serious consideration to future issues that are rapidly becoming less far-fetched. I have a great quote by harry truman surveying the ruins of postwar potsdam:
"I fear that our machines are ahead of our morals by some centuries"
it would be nice to go into massive ethical dilemmas with a little preparation once in a while - it speaks well for us as a species.
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