Drabblecast 063 - Time Shift

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AI: A good thing?

Absolutely! Intelligent machines would be the best technology ever.
2
9%
Probably. Could be problems, but the good outweighs the bad.
15
65%
Bad idea. Moral/philosophical objections.
2
9%
Bad idea!! Haven't you seen The Matrix?!
4
17%
 
Total votes: 23

AliceNread
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Post by AliceNread » Fri May 23, 2008 8:15 pm

RG wrote:
AliceNread wrote:In some ways I feel that all living things inflict their will, needs and desires onto other living things.
And it usually costs you about $50.
Damn, inflation is everywhere striking at the very necessities of life.

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Post by AliceNread » Fri May 23, 2008 8:37 pm

Goldenrat wrote:
Dr. Sax wrote:
There is a reason humans have limitations, and God would not allow us to tamper with these limitations to this degree (The key idea here is cognitive power, don't bother arguing the physical and I am well aware of the arguements).
I'm not sure if there are cognitive limitations? Look at how far human mental capability has come mental since splitting off the likes of Australopithicine and Neanderthal. I guess because I'm not a believer in a supernatural regulating / guiding force I don't believe we have set limitations. I hope not, anyway.
I agree with Golenrat. No offense Dr. Sax. I am in no way saying you are incorrect. Just as I go by my own experiences and express my own small truth. I am sure you do too.

I think the limitations would be short lived and then we would try again, this time going sideways. Limitations lead to adaptations and opportunities.

I personally see god in the universe, and the universe as a logical miracle.

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Post by Dr. Sax » Sat May 24, 2008 2:45 am

No offense taken. Indeed, a small nugget of truth is seen by all and all deduce their thinking from that truth that they see. As long as we all are open to the possibility of ourselves being in error and are open to seeing the truth that another sees if we can see it through their deductions (A frustrating task for all of us).

The limitations I speak of were more to do with fatigue and efficiency in the time spent on thought rather than the limitations of the human race collectively. An AI would not become tired and would be able to think undistracted, making it capable of more efficient evil acts. Imagine what kinds to weapons a mind like this could create in days. Plus what kind of support it could rally through decisive manipulation and propaganda. So basically I'm saying that an individual human mind has limitations, and an artificial mind would surpass it scientifically speaking. Obviously in deeper matters like philosophy they would be inferior to us, but when it comes to who has a bigger gun...

Atheistically it would be a bad idea because humans would be replaced in the end. We would eventually be obsolete and inferior because there is only a physical world and we would no longer be the elite animal. Survival of the fittest leads to our eventual extinction given enough time. I suppose we could coexist, but since there is no good and evil but only matter, there would be no advantage to biological thinkers. Whether we have set limitations or not isn't the issue; it's just a matter of who gets to the idea first.

Philosophically I don't think it is even possible to create AI. But if it is, their understanding of the physical world would mature before the understanding of the deeper things. Needless to say, mental power without wisdom is dangerous. An AI leader bent on selfish ends is all it would take for some of the worst violence humanity has ever seen.

So either way you look at it, I think it would be a bad idea. But this is as deep as I can understand at this point in my development, so I will say no more and listen (Speaking of wisdom, I'm thinking I've said too much already).
"Wisdom leads us back to childhood."
-Pascal

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strawman
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Post by strawman » Sat May 24, 2008 3:26 am

I have more faith in AI than the rest of us, perhaps because I have less faith in the real thing. I see human intelligence as susceptiple to a plague of self-deception. A strong tendency to see what we want to see. Since AI is not AE (Artificial Ego?) it might be free of self-deception. If that were so, then we ought to put them in charge of us.

For example, 6 months ago a certain candidate agreed that it would be wrong to count delegates from Michigan and Florida. But circumstances have changed, and now the former principled stand is reversed.

Now, if Caspian deserves a PG-13 for simulated violence, I think this person warrants at least an NC-17 for, what would you call it, indecent exposure? I don't want to branch off into politics, but there are just an inordinate number of good examples there of the human tendency to claim principles that merely serve as disguises to get people what they want. I think it would be much more difficult to create AI with this capacity for self-delusion.

Which, considering how comfortable we are with self-delusion, might make them very unpopular.

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Post by Mr. Tweedy » Sat May 24, 2008 3:30 am

Sax, did you ever listen to the Escape Pod story "Artifice and Intelligence"? It's one of the more unique and interesting takes on AI I've encountered. What if an AI is just bored?
strawman wrote:I have more faith in AI than the rest of us, perhaps because I have less faith in the real thing. I see human intelligence as susceptiple to a plague of self-deception. A strong tendency to see what we want to see. Since AI is not AE (Artificial Ego?) it might be free of self-deception. If that were so, then we ought to put them in charge of us.
He's one of them!!!

I think I see where you're coming from with that. What if (unlike the robots in the story) AI is just intelligence without any other human qualities? Hard to say, since we have no experience with such a being. Personally, I don't see how an entity that was just intelligence would be useful. What would motivate it? It seems like it would need some kind of AE to spur it to do anything, don't you think?

This discussion is convincing me even more that the topic is really very, very mysterious.
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Post by cammoblammo » Sat May 24, 2008 9:17 am

Mr. Tweedy wrote: This discussion is convincing me even more that the topic is really very, very mysterious.
And therein, I would suggest, lies the problem when we're discussing this issue --- intelligence is notoriously hard to define well. We all have some idea of what it is and what it isn't, but defining it in a way that suits everyone is really hard. Any good debater would be very careful to define it in just the right way before making any sort of claim about it.

Now, my personal take is that we get a bit confused between 'humanness' and 'intelligence.' That's what the Turing test is about --- is the behaviour of an AI distinguishable from that of a human given the same stimulus?

For the foreseeable future (granted, that is only the end of next week) AI will be used to do the same things machines have always been used to do --- the laborious and difficult stuff we're too lazy or bored to do ourselves. It will also work best when it does what it does without being noticed. The Escape Pod story 'Conversations with an Electric Toothbrush' is a good case in point --- when the toothbrush does a fantastic job of brushing your teeth you don't notice. When it tries to do too much you do. Good toothbrushes brush teeth. A toothbrush that wants to be a toaster may be a fantastic AI, but a useless toothbrush if it doesn't brush your teeth for you. I would suggest that any engineer who designs a toothbrush that is capable of independent thought and has achieved a level of personhood has failed. I want something that will brush my teeth rather than climb Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

To use a more current example --- don't you just hate the way computers try to guess what you're trying to do in order to make it easier for you? It's great when it works --- menus have the entry you're looking for in the right place, your block of text indents just the way you want it, as if by magic. When the computer hides the menu item you want (because it thinks you want something else) or incorrectly indents that block of text two minutes before your deadline you just want to scream.

Um, speaking of which...

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strawman
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Post by strawman » Sat May 24, 2008 12:58 pm

You're right. The Microsoft paperclip is a good example of CI: counterfeit intelligence.

(Do you wonder if God had this discussion before the beginning? Maybe Adam was his first shot at the Microsoft Paperclip...)

Have you checked out Ramona at KurzweilAI.net?

[Don't know where to say this, but just saw the drabblecast entry at Wikipedia. Good job.]

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Post by cammoblammo » Sat May 24, 2008 1:14 pm

strawman wrote: (Do you wonder if God had this discussion before the beginning? Maybe Adam was his first shot at the Microsoft Paperclip...)
Hmm, good one. The first intelligent beings worked fine until they unilaterally did something contraindicated by their operations manuals. Then everything went haywire.

Funnily enough, Eve ate the fruit on a promise of increased knowledge. Not intelligence exactly, but enough to derail a thread if we wanted it to.

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Post by Goldenrat » Sun May 25, 2008 2:48 am

cammoblammo wrote:
strawman wrote: (Do you wonder if God had this discussion before the beginning? Maybe Adam was his first shot at the Microsoft Paperclip...)
Hmm, good one. The first intelligent beings worked fine until they unilaterally did something contraindicated by their operations manuals. Then everything went haywire.
And I guess another Old Testament myth - Noah's flood - is God's attempt at wiping the whole damn hard drive.

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Post by strawman » Sun May 25, 2008 2:58 am

Okay, so how do we prove that we are not AI?
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

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Post by Mr. Tweedy » Sun May 25, 2008 3:21 am

strawman wrote:Okay, so how do we prove that we are not AI?
Can't.
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Post by Dr. Sax » Sun May 25, 2008 4:45 am

That would be fun if we're actually the product of a silicone based organism...Carbon being the inferior base.

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strawman
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Post by strawman » Sun May 25, 2008 11:45 am

Dr. Sax wrote:Carbon being the inferior base.
A sad example of persistent Materialsism, to which I respond, "Yo Mama was a rolling stone!"

If it could be shown that we are AI, that would prove "creative design".
If it could be shown that the Higher Power is silica-based, that would make us a carbon copy rather than a chip off the old block.

It occurs to me: The best evidence of artificial intelligence just may be found in puns. :roll:
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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Post by cammoblammo » Sun May 25, 2008 12:38 pm

strawman wrote: It occurs to me: The best evidence of artificial intelligence just may be found in puns. :roll:
This doesn't answer the question of whether or not we might be AIs, but Monty Python summed up my take on the matter in the Meaning of Life:
The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
in all of the directions it can whiz
as fast as it can go
the speed of light you know
twelve million miles a minute and that's the fastest speed there is
so remember when you're feeling very small and insecure
how amazingly unlikely is your birth
and pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space
cause there's bugger all down here on Earth.

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Post by zZzacha » Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:39 pm

Wow, great stories!

The Drabble was great fun. The ending wasn'didn't come as a big surprise to me, but the Drabble was well written, so I enjoyed the ride.

The main story 'Time Shift' was super! I'm always fond of hearing another one's POV, especially if they're not human. And to hear that in the awesome voice of Mur Lafferty, that's a great treat! I'm a BIG fan of Mur's voice, she can read her shopping list to me and I'd love it.

I found both stories very Drabblecasty, great in both weirdness and performance.
I'll be there in 5 minutes. If not, read this again.

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Re: good episode

Post by planish » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:58 am

It's always great to hear Mur read stuff.
Kevin Anderson wrote:The main story was kind of a mix of I Robot (Robot City) and Jacob's ladder. Well sort of. Maybe not.
My first thought was of Asimov's Robbie (1940 - robot rushes in front of speeding whatever to save former owner's child), except that this time we get to hear what was going on inside the robot's mind.

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Post by ROU Killing Time » Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:43 pm

My favorite line was Norm's robotic "I never liked him..."

Ya know with the technical proficiency he shows on the guitar, I'm beginning to wonder about that guy...

What was the score on the Turing Test section of your SAT's, Norm?

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Re: Drabblecast 63 - Time Shift by Ben Pung

Post by Unblinking » Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:00 pm

Neat story! I like a good nonhuman POV and the time-compression aspect of the POV was particularly interesting, how she is able to hold all these communications in the moments before she is destroyed yet is powerless to prevent her own destruction. Kind of like a death row situation that way, knowing your exact time of death and coming to terms with it.

Regarding AI, that's a very interesting area of research. In the development world "artificial intelligence" tends to be a moving target, describing whatever is just beyond the realm of the possible at the time. As new research expands the possible, so does AI expand beyond it, staying tantalizingly just out of reach, like in a dream when you're trying to chase something and it only gets further away.

Regarding AI, I personally suspect that we will never create anything truly intelligent in the artificial. It makes for some great stories, though. If we ever do come up with something, I hope someone makes a better test than the inane Turing Test which as cammoblammo pointed out is not a test of intelligence, but a test of humanness. For an AI to pass that test it would have to simulate the irrationality and emotions of biological minds, and would have to hamper its own thinking speed--what's the point of an "intelligence" test that requires the testee to hobble their thinking?

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Re: Drabblecast 063 - Time Shift

Post by sandrilde » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:30 pm

Great idea, though maybe not a lot of depth.

It is funny how AI is always depicted as having human emotions/desires etc - somehow I suspect they won't be human shaped at all.

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