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Mitch SMith


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What is "intelligence?"

This is related to the kill decision for robots.

There are a couple of primary words in play here:
"Awareness", "Consciousness", "Morality" and "Intelligence"..
None of these seem to have satisfactory definitions - and yet we behave as if there are.

Please discuss?

I am interested in the dynamics of agency and advantage as primary determinators.


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  • Jun 18 2013: Ok, few off the net:

    Intelligence has been defined in many different ways including, but not limited to, abstract thought, understanding, self-awareness, communication, reasoning, learning, having emotional knowledge, retaining, planning, and problem solving.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligence). Perhaps more to the point artificial intelligence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_intelligence).

    Situational Awareness-The perception of elements in the environment within a volume of time and space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status in the future. In generic terms, the three levels of situational awareness are level 1-perception, level 2-comprehension, and level 3-projection. There is both individual and group or team situational awareness.

    Seems like we can control the sensory inputs, the interpretation of the sensory inputs, the probability of the interpretation being correct, and the programmed response of the machine. The context with which the responses are used to solve problems becomes an extension of the programer's philosophy. I think the machine should be able to have its own consciousness as it humanizes its memory, processing speed and decision making capability by comparison to the humans around it. Depending on hardware, there may be more similarities possible. If the computer has a true understanding for the difference between a biological organism and an electronic consciousness.

    Independent computer morality requires decision making about "right" and "wrong" that transcends initial programming with correct emotional, political, and social interpretation of sensory inputs. There might not be enough similarity between cultures to determine intent of an action with a high enough degree of certainty to make the kill decision, nor time to learn all behaviors, interpret merged or predict new behaviors of humans encountered.

    How important is the recognition of an enemy's change in will for peace?
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      Jun 18 2013: That's a key question Robert!

      I tend to classify "empathy" as the ability to model the actions of others. The will for peace would have to be a component of the self before it would have meaning when observed in others.
      On top of that, "peace" would have to demonstrate some advantage - personal, or personal-through-mutual.
      This must be a component of human soldiers - and yet they still kill.
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        Jun 23 2013: Re: I tend to classify "empathy" as the ability to model the actions of others.

        This seems to be a limited explanation of empathy. OTher animals display empathy also without modeling actions of another.

        Robert Sapolsky addresses the issues you are discussing in this talk regarding what makes us human.

        Theory of Mind
        The Golden Rule
        Pleasure in anticipation and gratification

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          Jun 23 2013: No Sapolsky is not saying that at all.

          He is actually saying the same as what I have said - that these other animals ARE modelling the actions of others.

          I think the confusion is the semantic fog around the word - and even Sapolsky falls victim to it.

          You both confuse empathy with compassion - these are 2 very separate concepts.
          Empathy is the fundamental register of the theory of mind - compassion is an optional behaviour that might arise after empathy has occurred.

          The work being done on mirror neurons supports my definition.
          When we drop the erroneous usage of these words, we gain access to the causalities that lead on from them.

          Here is some better material on Sapolsky's work that might help:

          Many thanks for pointing this out .. linguistic clarification is annoying but necessary.

          The aggression aspect has to do with advantage - it is a field that seems to ask for a slightly different approach for inquiry .. something to do with the role of status in a tribal scenario. This is the dynamics of totem in the emergent super-organism.. I'm looking into that this year.
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          Jun 23 2013: The ability to retrieve infomation and use it to plan four possible future courses of action with the one most probable highlighted and then decide 24 hours a day. The fuzzy off air tv static screen of envisioning 5 years ahead to an exact moment makes most ignore it as too statistically improbable to strike a correct scenario but the complete blackness of ten years in the future scares us.
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        Jun 23 2013: Do you know this person?

        More conscious or less conscious?

        Baroness Susan Greenfield CBE, is a British scientist, writer, broadcaster and member of the House of Lords. Specialising in the physiology of the brain, Susan researches the impact of 21st century technologies on the mind, how the brain generates consciousness and novel approaches to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

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          Jun 23 2013: I suppose we had better look at Brian Pollard's work?

          Damasio still has the foundation work where consciousness is concerned.

          I think we would be better employed to look at awareness Vs. Consciousness.

          (many edits here .. I'm not sure why the link? In any case - it's been entertaining)

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        Jun 24 2013: Hmmm, I contemplate this idea of empathy here and find that it is "other" oriented, and is influenced by the perceptive we form of the self, our self. What is our relationship to self? Our mindset can be a fixed mindset or a growth mindset, and this is important to consider in our view of our self and how it extends to other. This is why there is an empathy issue.
        This video speaks about relationship having fractal structures that start with self.

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          Jun 24 2013: Yes - I remember this one .. one tends to digest a lot of these and they all get sublimated into the theme.

          I agree with Cyrus to some extent, but after all this time, I can see a few bits he has yet to understand. Like the nature of truth .. he hasn't got there yet - he will because he already acknowledges the difference between the journey and the destination. Truth is unobtainable - that's the whole point of it.

          With the fractal nature of the self .. yes and no. A self has to have a static factor by which to define itself - it can't be just a strange attractor. This does not stop the fractal nature of the universe imposing on the dynamic .. but it sets certain limitations.
          It all has to do with the word "potential". This is the big one .. what's the difference between this moment and the next? It is potential. And potential is not prescriptive. Otherwise, all the laws of Newton and Einstein would be absolute - and they are demonstrated not to be so. They are useful only in the main - useful none the less - and we do use them to great advantage.

          Now - you have to go off and decide what "advantage" is.

          Have I sent you a copy of my draft thesis on the field theory of self organising systems?
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          Jun 24 2013: Just a postscript on the Baroness's talk.

          I got the feeling she was delivering a 101 on neural science. - and I, like most the rest of the audience nodded off. I did all that field effect experimentation in my neural modelling back in the 90's .. there is a saturation problem in the synaptic potentials if you don't have a changing input and an adaptive motion output that alters the input outside of the system .. in other words, if the field effect is not engaged with an open system . it burns itself out.. One wonders if she has anything to add or is just an apologist for the British aristocracy .. her barony appears to be a military firing range just outside of Oxford - it's a swamp and by her feudal lineage gets her into the house of lords. I'm not all that impressed.

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