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Krys C

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What are 10 things YOU know to be true?

I was interested and intrigued by Sarah's '10 things you know to be true' list exercise, particularly with the pattern she observed in hearing others; that you would continuously see items exact and opposite to your own, items you've never heard of, or thought about before in exactly that light.

I'm fascinated by our definitions of what we consider to be 'truth', and the disputes between our definitions.

So I propose we post a couple lists of our own here, and experience our agreements (and disagreements), learn some new ideas and lines of thought. Personally, I think it best to write your own list BEFORE reading the ones posted here to avoid influence ;)

I hope a couple people will be interested in participating in this miniature project. And, hey, if you see something in someone's list you'd like to ask about, or learn more about, or debate. . .we now have the TED conversation platform to make that possible.





My list:

1. These are the most exciting times in which we could ever hope to be alive which have already occurred.
2. Too often, we allow inertia to control our actions.
3. Everyone should travel.
4. 'Because that's the way things are' is not a valid reason.
5. Whenever you say 'I had no choice', you're lying.
6. It is possible to have an honest and even pleasant relationship with someone you do not like.
7. Loving someone or something heart and soul does not necessarily make it good for you, or them, or it.
8. There are ideas and inventions yet to come which will make into reality what we consider to be fantasy today.
9. Everyone has at least one story worth hearing.
10. My truth is not final.

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    Mar 21 2011: 0 : as a probabilistic thinker, I cannot say I know anything to be 100% true...but I think it's true:
    1 to 4 : 0th to 3rd law of thermodynamics
    5 : If you want to understand the world, you cannot go without science nor skepticism
    6 : You don't need to understand the world to have a good life
    7 : Artificial intelligence will become smarter than human intelligence
    8 : I will die
    9 : I feel connected
    10: This was fun to do
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      Mar 22 2011: I was provoked by number 7.
      What do you mean by smarter? And "human intelligence"?
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      Mar 23 2011: 8 : I will die

      You mean you probably will die :P

      @Anna: He's talking about the singularity - take a look at Ray Kurzweils talks on TED. The exponential growth of technology, he believes, will one day surpass human computational capacity.
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        Mar 23 2011: @ Cory

        Yes, probably

        I'm not a singularity adept... I came to that conclusion independently (well, at least before knowing Kurzweils point of view). I don't agree with Ray completely, but from a computational point of vieuw,

        @ Anna
        I don't see any laws of nature preventing a form of artificial intelligence to arise... If we start to program self learning algorithms, they will, given enough computation power and memory, be smarter than human intelligence.
        By human intelligence I mean (more or less) what we test in IQ tests, or (fuzzy) what laymen think is 'smart'
        so smarter would mean: higher IQ, and better at making decisions that are in function of the pre-stated desires (like happiness, wealth, social status, sexual success, satisfaction, gratification, avoiding pain and injury, pleasures, justice, health,... ,...)
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          Mar 24 2011: What part would emotional intelligence play in this? Could artificial intelligence ever possibly replicate this form of intelligence?
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          Mar 25 2011: But Christophe, I am not sure that all human intelligence can be described with algorithms, for example emotional intelligence (as Lee mentions), empathy, the kind of creative genius that creates mind blowing art....
          ...and if the computers are created by humans, maybe they will be kind of human as well? Or the distinction might become more unclear, what is man and what is machine....
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          Mar 29 2011: Also, could a machine ever truly love? One of the things that makes us most human is our ability to love. I don't think that a machine could ever feel love.
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          Apr 1 2011: Why, might I ask, would you want to live forever? To become some sort of robotic superhuman that would have to live through our progressively darker times? To live forever would be so unnatural and frightening.
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        Mar 29 2011: I don't see how dying could be a "probably". Unless we somehow advance so quickly that we are able to defeat death, which I don't believe will ever happen. And even if it does, I know I won't be a part of it. Like the great Freddie Mercury said, "Who wants to live forever?"
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        Mar 29 2011: I agree with Anna on the artificial intelligence subject. AI may be able to surpass human intelligence in terms of computation - numbers - because that is something that is concrete and absolute, and the machines can be programmed to figure those things out themselves. But there are aspects of humanity, of human intelligence, that I don't think a machine could ever truly possess. Sure, a machine can make art, but, like Anna said, can it really feel it? As humans, when we create or look at a piece of art we can truly feel something, and I don't think a machine could ever do that. We can look at nature, at natural wonders, at other people, and see the beauty in the world around us and feel it. We can create music that can invoke and purge the soul. A machine could play music, but it could never truly understand it without a human brain. The one thing I never understood is why scientists try so hard to recreate the human brain in non-human entities. Why do we need robots that can perform every action for us? We already have amazing robots, why do we need to create something that will one day possibly be able to pass us in computational and mathematical intelligence? We will not be able to distinguish between man and machine, and all of this is just a disaster waiting to happen. The human brain is something that can never be truly recreated - it is too complex and even we will never be able to fully understand our own intelligence. We can feel, emote, build relationships with those around us. Only natural, living life can do this. Robots may be able to to an extent, but never in the same way. There is no such thing as a robot genius or a robot prodigy. But there are human versions of these. Anyway tell me what you think.
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        Mar 26 2011: @ Mark: Exactly

        for example: If I were to hit a wall:
        I assume that there is a possibility that I'm under an unknown drug inhibiting my sensory perception in my fist.
        Or my food contained a neurotoxin
        Or I suddenly became able to ignore pain sensitivity completely
        ...
        After I hit it (and got the pain experience)... I could imagine unlikely reasons why the causality could -in principle- be flawed... but most often I treat 99.99999% likely as sure...
        • Mar 28 2011: our senses continually decieve us - that is why truth is so elusive
        • Mar 29 2011: Mark,
          Our "senses" are constructs of our brain, which deceives us constantly, relentlessly. Everything we think we "know" is a product of the filters that protect us from the barrage of information we are assaulted with every minute of every day.
        • Mar 29 2011: Suggesting Blink : the power of thinking without thinking by Malcolm Gladwell as an interesting take on the subject.
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        Mar 29 2011: Our senses don't have a 100% accuracy, and both our senses and our brain are not entirely accurate.

        Being error prone is not a problem. From cybernetics we know that on an error prone machine or channel we still can have accurate information transmission (or nearly accurate.

        You know a visual illusion by analyzing it in different ways. you find logical inconsistencies by applying logic. You learn about the deceit through knowledge, other tools and other measures,...
    • Mar 29 2011: I agree on No.5, we can never learn about the world with sicence if this world was not designed in a scientific way. But we could reason out from that fact that there is a super intelligent being above this world which we can not fully learn about because of our limitations. BUT (again), there is a great possibility to understand much of "it" if it reveal itself. It did.
    • Apr 6 2011: I while back I think I saw Dennet on Ted talking about conscience and a bit about how the nodes inside the Internet looks a lot like the network of nerves inside our brains, what do you think about that, is Internet alive, can we communicate with it :)?
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        Apr 7 2011: I think the internet pretty much behaves as an organism... And there are parallels with the brain...

        BUT, most (probably all) agents (with highly developed intelligence) on the net are human. They feed from and to the net. So the bigger creature (hive), is constituted by us...

        I think there are already replicons and quasi-life like entities on the net (computer viruses, worms, trojans,...) but they seem very primitive...
        I have no idea whether there are already surviving, replicating and mutating colonies on the cloud, but I gather they might appear...

        The algorithms on the net are getting smarter, and our communication seems to have filters, so we are already directed by the net towards the things that might interest us, and give us pleasure... But still, most of this is done by humans, not algorithms...

        But see if this works:
        "HEY INTERNET, IF YOU READ AND UNDERSTAND THIS, COULD YOU LET ME KNOW AND MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A CHAT" (I would try to find proof to see whether it's not some clever person tricking me though... )
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          May 2 2011: "HEY INTERNET, IF YOU READ AND UNDERSTAND THIS, COULD YOU LET ME KNOW AND MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A CHAT" (I would try to find proof to see whether it's not some clever person tricking me though... )

          Hilarious
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      May 2 2011: For #7 I would say that AI will definitely surpass us in logical intelligence. The programing used for it is based on logic and will continue to be. However, there may be ways in which humans will remain more intelligent. Such as emotional intelligence as others have stated. Also things that have no relevance to anything but us. Then again if humans start using 100% of our brain capacity who knows?

      "The algorithms on the net are getting smarter, and our communication seems to have filters, so we are already directed by the net towards the things that might interest us, and give us pleasure... But still, most of this is done by humans, not algorithms..."

      If there is AI what will it direct us to see?

      Can we program a universal stop code now?

      Can we program a question into AI that all AI knows it to be answered in one way? That way there could be a tell of if an AI is associating or if it's a human? (this could be the proof you seek when the internet responds to your request for a chat)

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