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Mats Kaarbø

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Is There a Future for Money?

In our digital age, where banks and even nations fail through reckless monetary spending and policies, it seems that our monetary system is becoming the big elephant in the room, yes even obsolete. Automation replacing humans seems to be one of the fundamental contradiction of capitalism and may be the demise of the system itself leaving the looming possibility of fascism or military dictatorship to arise and flourish if we fail to arrive at any alternatives.

While some believe taking us back to the gold standard will fix things, and others believe that debt forgiveness is the solution, we hear talks about access/resource based economies, where we simply declare all of Earth's resources as the common heritage of mankind and make goods and services available to all without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system of debt or servitude, through technological abundance.

In fact, let's rephrase the question. At what point in the future do you think that our technology will make automated systems possible and allow us to move out of a monetary system?

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    Aug 21 2012: +James Zhang
    I neglected the question of time and space finitness in such large scale since nor scarcity model neither post-scarcity model affects it. So I use only labor(the machine labor is industrial, the human labor is like a hobby) and resource to argue optionality of money. With deeper look on post-scarcity and technology development at all there are questions of course. E.g. what could be after Kurzweil’s “The Universe Wakes Up” if it will be. Or what will be if machines evolves to the level of intelligent life form?
    • Jon Ho

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      Aug 21 2012: The machines will learn the concept of money, understand it, and apply it in their own cybernetic society.
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        Aug 22 2012: How could machines learn a concept unless we programmed them to? Machines doesn't have ambition or feelings. If you smashed a laptop in front of fifty other laptops, they wouldn't care.
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        Aug 22 2012: Machines are not "self-aware" or "curious". How would they be able to "understand" the concept of money or cat?

        Also, it took a machine millions of pictures of a cat to recognize and remember a cat. A human could recognize a picture of a cat instantly.
        • Jon Ho

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          Aug 22 2012: You equate the ego or id and the need to know things as prerequisites to understanding abstract concepts. I beg to differ on that point. Psychological state of mind should not be used as a tool when measuring intelligence, artificial or otherwise.

          It seems that somehow you are contradicting yourself. If a machine does not understand the concept of a cat, how would it then be able to recognize and remember a cat when it sees one?

          Sure, currently it took a machine millions of pictures to learn to recognize cat, while it only takes a human child only a picture or two to achieve the same. Don't forget though, humans had what, 1 to 2 million years head start? While AI and machine learning ala Minsky & Papert is, what, less than a century old?
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        Aug 22 2012: If we did not want to know more, how could have advanced into this high level of intelligence? If I program a machine to simple add 1 to a number recursively, it will do that forever until it physically can't anymore.

        It seems there's a fundamental definition miscommunication here. What's your definition of intelligence?

        A machine can only execute code from the 0's and 1's, the binary language. However, I don't think us humans read things in binary language, the fundamental structure of the languages are just simply different. There have been theories saying that there are trinary languages and even maybe quadrary (I think that's what it's called). In quantum computing, there are things called quantum bits, or q-bits. A q-bit can be a 0 or 1 or both at the same time. A bit, the language that machines today use, can only be one or the other.
        • Jon Ho

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          Aug 22 2012: I repeat, You equate the ego or id and the need to know things as prerequisites to understanding abstract concepts. Psychological state of mind should not be used as a tool when measuring intelligence, artificial or otherwise.

          No, there is no definition miscommunication here my friend. Only different approach. You adopted the psychometric approach which included self awareness and emotional knowledge as part of the measuring tools. I on the other hand, went with 'Mainstream Science on Intelligence', an editorial statement by fifty-two researchers who stated that intelligence is :
          'A very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings—"catching on," "making sense" of things, or "figuring out" what to do.'

          In this situation, after seeing millions of pictures of cats, a machine finally figured out the concept of cats and what a cat should look like. Give or take a few centuries, and I'll bet my left kidney on this, machines will eventually figure out the concept of money.

          The rest of the stuff you wrote is.... irrelevant. What the heck does binary language has to do with intelligence and machine learning? If you're trying to equate machine 0's and 1's with the human neuron On and Off, I'm afraid you're shooting way off the mark. Quantum computing will accelerate algorithm computation, sure, but speed of calculation does not equate machine learning! It's totally irrelevant and extremely distracting to tell the truth.
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        Aug 22 2012: What do you mean by "psychological state of mind?" Which part of what I'm saying refers to psychological state of mind? If curiosity is part of this psychological state of mind that you're referring to, then I disagree with you and I think curiosity is what is needed for higher level of intelligence. Unless perhaps curiosity is the effect and not the cause for intelligence or perhaps it is both the cause and the effect?

        "A very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience"

        Hmm, a machine could reason, plan, solve problems if the AI is good enough to. It can even think abstractly, though this is very difficult to program. It can comprehend complex ideas because if it can think abstractly but it can also compute massive amounts of data, and we can make the machine adaptable through learning from experience eventually too. I can see that.

        But can a machine wonder about things or express interest/fascination or find "human" ways to express emotion through body, art, etc. despite the practicality of such actions?

        Unless you categorize that feeling of wonder and curiosity as some emotion, and there is a huge separation between emotion and intelligence, which is what you've been saying this entire time.
        • Jon Ho

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          Aug 23 2012: Ahaha, you actually answered your own question! ;)

          This phrase "that feeling of wonder and curiosity as some emotion". What is feeling? Is it not emotion? Intelligence CAN understand emotion, but it's not really part of it.

          By the way, I think we have hijacked poor Mats Kaarbo thread long enough. If you would like further discuss about artificial intelligence 'feel' free to open up a new conversation regarding this. I will be 'happy' to join you in discussing all about AI, Neural Network, Fuzzy Logics, Marvin Minsky, Alan Turing and his AI test, et cetera, since I deduced you seem to have a background in Computer Science and this area is something of your interest. Do you know LISP? I was introduced to Clojure and Common LISP by Ed, a genius friend of mine. If you really are into AI and such, you most definitely need to learn LISP.
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        Aug 23 2012: "Ahaha, you actually answered your own question! ;)"

        Yeah about that... lol

        " If you would like further discuss about artificial intelligence 'feel' free to open up a new conversation regarding this."

        Sure, but I think I'm gonna take a break from this discussion for a bit. Will most likely post something about AI in the near future...
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      Aug 22 2012: @Kirill

      I still think that time/space applies to everything that we do. I'm not fully understanding what you're trying to say, and maybe this contributes to that language barrier, which is pretty unfortunate.

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