WTF? Am I dreaming?

I am sitting in the freakiest lecture on Arificial Intelligence and Transhumanism at the World Futurist Society annual conference exposing creativity, imagination, ideas, streams of consciousness, soul, spirituality as coded patterns that can be recreated through perceptron and imagitrons and through addition of memory and chemistry like adrenaline or seratonin or dopamine. This guy, Dr Stephen Thaler, CEO of Imagination Machines Inc is now explaining how death occurs, including people who have had “afterlife” experiences in near death. It’s both fascinating and depressing. Our reality is basically all virtual!He is now explaining God or Deity as synaptic integration or cosmic schizophrenia resulting from faulty neural networks – a topological rift. Man, this is weird stuff but fascinating to contemplate this self-organizing synthetic brain which is predicted to be free of the faults that our brains have! ( apparently it’s not terribly ambitious to just simulate the human brain!) The ethics and judicial implications for arbitrarily complex systems and the pathologies therein are mind-boggling. Seems we could re-pattern through messianic capabilities of the Creativity Machines unsocial behavior and reinvent the economy and work. Pinch me, am I dreaming this?    

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2 comments

  1. Annalie, what a great response to some mind-blowing ideas …I attended a full-day pre-conference course with Stephen Thaler on "AI’s Best Bet at Creating Transhuman-Level Machine Intelligence" a couple of days ago. Fascinating. Have you seen the videos of the robot teaching itself to walk in different terrain? Or listened to the music composed by a Creativity Machine? (http://www.imagination-engines.com/son.htm).Neural networks are disregarded in some AI circles as not being a real candidate for AI (with genetic algorithms being preferred by some), and it will be interesting to do some research on how the Creativity Machine is perceived in, say, Singularity circles.The tendency of the Creatvity Machine to dream when starved of input, and to confabulate or hallucinate as a result of perturbations, is almost unbelievable: Are we there already?A couple of times during the day Stephen alluded to a problem with adoption of the technology — because the system does not use ‘if … then … else’ logic, and because the intelligence is self-generated, the operation of the intelligent system cannot be ‘interrogated’ to meet risk assessment requirements. If transparency is needed — as is commonly the case where human lives or large sums of money are at stake — then potential users of the technology are shying away. This points to an interesting problem for the future (if not the present): as technology becomes autonomously intelligent, will we have to let go of the assumpotion that we must understand a technology before we adopt it?

  2. This is really fascinating stuff. How has this been flying under the radar for so long? Thanks for sharing!

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