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douglas macrae smith

Father & dreamer, Humanity

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Can AI help in solving the problem it's creating?

Watson, Asimo and their robot pals are creating a society with new problems in terms of labour, income, inequality etc - can't their computing qualities be programmed to help find some novel solutions?


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    Jun 21 2013: There are some basic human functions that are built into our DNA. We sleep, breathe,eat, drink and seek comfort(shelter, clothing).

    After these functions are fulfilled, we are stuck with what else to do. This is the distinction between man and machine. We perceive a purpose to not only stay alive but pursue activities not related to survival because. Why? Because we are curious.

    How can we program a machine to pursue activities not related to survival or production, that mimics the human potential of curiosity? I've often sat down and tried to determine how my mental program permits me to accomplish tasks and it seems simple enough to do with a machine also. But what I can't do is determine just what curiosity is and how to implement it in a program.

    I've fooled around with, so called, universal programs where you don't have any memory size limitations, the program can augment itself and grow larger based on certain inputs but they always find a settling point and cease to function outside the survival mode. They can maintain themselves, they just can't develop something else to do outside this domain. They can't say "what is that over there and is it relevant to me?" They can't determine what "me" is.
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      Jun 23 2013: Buddhists often have this discussion of 'what is me?' - some would say that there is no actual entity 'me' - just the processes of cognition and memory - the process gives the effect of the me. Thus everything I sense is not me (but is sometimes considered mine) - This sense of me is apparently essentiel if there is to be a sense of competition and personal progress

      The feeling amongst buddhists is that the sense of self is overwhelming, counterproductive and the cause of our psychological confusion. Its only real utility being self preservation from danger.
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        Jun 23 2013: I have a friend who lives in a Buddhist commune in Tenn. On occasions, I go and spend some time with her up there and share in their customs. She is a pilot trainer.

        There is the me you see and the me, I feel when I look outward from the inside. Most interpretations of this me are derived form outside observation, where we agree or disagree on what we see. Internally, it is harder to define in a group setting.

        The "me" you see is not the "me" I feel and know. We are left to compare how we feel about ourselves. Most of this type of introspection is not well defined in the area of philosophical knowledge.
        Can I trust you telling me how you feel? Can you trust me?

        When I look outward into reality, I sometimes get a sense that I am alone and everything else is prepared for me, as a kind of test, if it were so. You may be real but then again you may not. You may be some kind of temporal manifestation of the energies and matter that make up this reality. These elements could be controlled by some kind of master intelligence. It could all be a cyber-reality, on some program running somewhere. Some say a simple test is to whack your toe with a hammer. But can we trust what the brain is telling us?

        An AI device will have to explain this conundrum to itself, if it is to be considered on par with our sense of "self" or "me".

        Being emotional creatures, it is hard to imagine a pure intellect, devoid of emotion. Even the Buddhists cannot conceive of it. Ultimately, "Bliss" consists of the emotional experience of pure freedom from constraint and the feeling of harmony.

        Most AI machines we imagine, are devoid of the emotional, self-sense. I'm not sure it is possible to have such a single life force that is not introspective and feels something as a result.

        That is why, when I try to resolve these issues, I try to consider the ideas of Deaf, Dumb, Blind and unfeeling. I have practiced sensory deprivation and it is still hard to find me in all of the chaos of reality.
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          Jun 24 2013: So the self is no where to be found, but we want to instill a sense of this confusion into AI ?

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