Logan Crouse

Cana, VA, United States

About Logan

Bio

I'm a college student. Dual-majoring in Information Systems Technology and Engineering. 24 year-old male.

An idea worth spreading

The art of asking questions---and the discipline of trying to answer them effectively.

I'm passionate about

Artificial Intelligence and computer programming. Still got plenty to learn about both.

Comments & conversations

138947
Logan Crouse
Posted about 3 years ago
Technology doesn't create loneliness, it reveals it. Once revealed, technology can help alleviate isolation and spur connection.
It isn't necessarily true that our hardware hasn't been updated in 10,000 years: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1343093/Human-brain-shrinking-20-000-years.html The brain is a constantly evolving thing. Shrinking and getting larger. In addition, I also saw it posited that our logical, number-crunching centers have grown more refined whereas our emotional, pattern-based centers have slowly been giving out from under us. This article sums it up quite nicely: http://www.erasmatazz.com/TheLibrary/TheMind/HistoryofThinking/ModernTimes/TriumphLogic/TriumphLogic.html That said, what if technology *is* the next step towards extending our understanding? What if we could use technology to augment those parts of our brain that may not be evolutionarily stable? Patching into the optic nerve--? Try patching into the brain. Like this study done to see if they can recreate what people are imagining merely by letting them watch a movie and having a machine decipher what those neural signals mean: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/8781503/Mind-reading-device-recreates-what-we-see-in-our-heads.html No, sir. As technology advances, the line between "technology" and "humanity" will only become more blurred as the terms become synonymous with each other.
138947
Logan Crouse
Posted over 3 years ago
Can technology replace human intelligence?
And yeah! I've taken a look-see at one! If you're looking for some *extreme* examples of bots, man, check this out: http://www.cleverbot.com/ That guy's hooked into at least one server, maybe more, and is running checks against every single thing ever said to it! I asked if it was lonely once---and the system crashed. I think it was right around maintenance time though. The point is---I think it's got a spark. Kinda like when you take the blunt side of a knife to a flint---one spark flung off it. Humans have lotsa sparks flying every which way. Consciousness surely isn't a "yes/no" decision; it's a very tricky grade. And when we achieve it, I think people will *still* say something about it. But they'll turn to disagreeing with it on *qualitative* grounds rather than *quantitative* grounds. "Sure it's accurately calculated, derived, and applied reasoning at the human level---but is it the sort of decision a flesh-and-blood human would've made?" Which is going to be the point where you just have nay-sayers and proponents, like in any issue. It'll reach a boiling-point---and then people will just have to deal with the fact they may never know. As for QM vs. Self-referential loops (and other possible AI sources) we could keep going back and forth on it, and truth be told, I'm as big a fan of the "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" kinda debates as anyone, but until it's won-and-done, it's just two old ladies sitting in a darkened room complaining that nobody's changed the lightbulb, instead of actually *doing* something that changes things one way or another, like testing for it. I mean that politely. :) Self-referential loops will always be there; let them take a bit of a break, experiment with something new, and then they can go back to it if it doesn't pan out. And I'm willing to keep debating it! Let's just be honest and up-front about the possibility of it leading anywhere.
138947
Logan Crouse
Posted over 3 years ago
Can technology replace human intelligence?
Hey, after all that stuff, I happened to be randomly reading something on facebook and, not knowing how to work it cleverly into the conversation, just decided to blurt it out because it's tangentially related to AI. http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/thinking-tech/how-to-augment-our-intelligence-as-algorithms-take-over-the-world/10588 It's about the rise of algorithms within trading and advertising businesses and how they seem to be taking on aspects of a predator/prey relationship. It's kinda neat. And this: http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/thinking-tech/next-breakthrough-computers-that-understand-emotions/6363 And this: http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/thinking-tech/computer-types-out-messages-by-reading-your-mind/6411 and possibly more, because I'm bored, and I don't wanna do homework on Spring Break. These all seem to be technologies geared towards "bridging the gap" using the analytical power of one and the parallel computing power of the other to create a sort of hybrid intelligence. And shore up biological deficiencies or injuries. Which is a viable possibility towards creating machine intelligence, if you think about it. Sufficent amounts of lab-born neural networks--? Oh yeah, and that whole thing about computer programming languages made me think about other computer programming languages---I read a while back about some programming languages whose creators had a rather vicious sense of humor. Take a look at some of 'em: http://computersight.com/programming/five-strangest-programming-languages/ I think I actually might want to use the one that you have to use lolspeak in. . . Or the one that you sometimes have to ask "please" before it will run.
138947
Logan Crouse
Posted over 3 years ago
Can technology replace human intelligence?
As is the case with all things, perhaps the truth lies somewhere between? If you think about our brains, not only are there loops (as you suggest) and instances of advanced parallel processing (like sorting through multiple paths and trying to settle on the most efficient one) our brains are also immense data-bases of atomic facts. The *sky* is *up*. *Grass* is *green*. Don't *eat* the *yellow* *snow*. http://cyc.com/cyc/technology/cycrandd http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyc Perhaps multiple loops running in parallel sort through this database of facts or *rules* if you will. Perhaps the decision trees that connect these facts are themselves contained in a data base, and the most efficient one gets decided upon using some QM-style phenomenon, and certain things that don't lend themselves well to recursion but where the required outputs are known could be executed via certain supervised learning methods (like with backpropogation techniques, although, continual neuron weight updates might be a certain kind of loop) and other things that do lend themselves to looping and/or the datasets are *not* known (and as such, an incremental breakdown would be necessary IF there was no rule in the database that could be modified to match the novel input). A combination of all these techniques would be necessary in creating a *strong* AI because, certainly, there are certain phenomenon that lend themselves better to each of these approaches than others. All of this means we'd have to optimize our search of the rule database itself, yes? And we could do that using---another rule. A rule about rules. One rule to rule the rules. The Golden Rule. Or just categorize the rules into sub-sets of which every rule must belong.
138947
Logan Crouse
Posted over 3 years ago
Can technology replace human intelligence?
So what you're "really" saying when you say "Consciousness is a self-referential system" you're saying "Boy, it's a cluster of unimaginable proportions!" and rather not as simple, straight-forward, or fruitful as you made it sound! How would you isolate every possible starting condition that might give rise to a human being and ever hope to accurately replicate it, even with an iterative approach? What if, through some research, we discover a system of equations that we think describes how consciousness works and it produces a Lorenz-Attractor-like plot? Sure it's iterative, but it never repeats. There would be no regularity, and would give rise to none of the predictability we've come to expect from our fellow human beings. Unless---Unless there were some function, some mechanism, within our consciousness that, maybe, allows us to run through *every* possible thought and allows us to pick and choose which ones are relevant to us? Kinda like that QM thing? Unless I missed something in all these other articles, chaotic systems are unimaginably complex. I happened upon an article that talks of a guy named Poincare. I happen to know that one of the Seven Millenium Problems pertains to something called the Poincare Conjecture, and a dude named Grigori Perlman who built upon the research of a guy named Richard Hamilton and his work on using Ricci flow to attack the problem. It took a century, but they did it. I may be overly simplistic, but whereas QM may be unproven, at least a little bit more research could rule it out today, whereas this stuff--? If it takes as long to solve this as it did the Poincare Conjecture, we're looking at another 40-50 years easy. And let us not forget that the nature of thought and consciousness has occupied people since the VERY beginning, mathematicians and philosophers alike. Isaac Newton, who helped lay the foundation from which DST sprang, said, "I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people. "
138947
Logan Crouse
Posted over 3 years ago
Can technology replace human intelligence?
And another thing of rather great interest was this: http://appraisercentral.com/research/Chaos%20Theory.htm which was a great introduction to the history of Chaos Theory, and introduces the most basic concept that accurately reflects the field: The Butterfly Effect. According to the article: "The butterfly effect states that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Hong Kong can change the weather in New York. It means that a miniscule change in the initial conditions of a system, in this case the weather, is magnified greatly in the end conditions of that same system." Intriguing! Imagine this: The sexual act has just occurred, and an egg has just been fertilized. The First Cell begins to divide, and so on and so forth, bringing with it all that that entails; increasing body size, identifiable organs, and, slowly, consciousness. If you imagine each division of cells as 1 iteration of the loop, then each subsequent loop is like a snap-shot of every dynamical system present within that life! Not just it's awareness, but everything that that awareness is hooked into: visual, aural, olfactory, sensory, and taste. And a small, minute change in that first cellular division (maybe the egg being just a smidge higher or lower in the uterus) could drastically affect every subsequent iteration of the system! So what, then, does this mean for our self-referential loop model? It means that we are all just---chaos. That there is an order by which we *unfold* but that order is, by definition, a series of chaotic events. "Chaos works in order and within all order there is chaos." By this definition, market trends would be nigh impossible to predict! And yet, you can kinda guess that, if the cost of corn goes down, people will probably reduce supply in order to drive it back up. Just human nature. An order in the chaos that creates us. The problem, however, is scale. You may have a pattern, but you never know to what degree it will manifest itself with any given man.
138947
Logan Crouse
Posted over 3 years ago
Can technology replace human intelligence?
But I digress; we have focussed so heartily on whether or not QM is a viable candidate or not, we have altogether foregone the conclusion that self-referential loops do indeed give rise to conscious thought. Is that necessarily accurate? I asked Google, and here's what I found. My first search brought me to this paper: http://books.google.com/books?id=Ys5PNmv_waUC&pg=PA139&lpg=PA139&dq=Self-referential+loops+experiments+artificial+intelligence&source=bl&ots=xsyLJQ0oX9&sig=u_3VMvmGWgQ586t7YHESdoUsoz4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=uLReT4OsJOjZ0QHi--GsBw&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false which introduced the concept of Dynamical Systems theory, a search of the term which brought me here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamical_systems_theory which begins to outline what DST is and what it is used for, primarily the studies of systems that are "mechanical in nature" such as "Planetary orbits as well as the behaviour of electronic circuits. . . " (I hope you'll forgive the excessive use of direct quotes from the various articles; I would hate to commit plagiarism, and I am relatively unfamiliar with the subject matter at hand). Of particular interest in that article is the "Related Fields" section, under the "Chaos Theory" heading, part of which reads "Chaos theory describes the behavior of certain dynamical systems – that is, systems whose state evolves with time – that may exhibit dynamics that are highly sensitive to initial conditions" a statement that, if ever I wanted to apply to the study of the mechanical nature of the mind I would be hard-pressed to find a better description of. Getting rather curious, I clicked into the "Chaos Theory" tab, and I found, about half-way through, that my eyes kinda glazed over, because I hadn't yet found anything directly pertaining to the self-referential nature of consciousness. So I refined my search to "Chaos Theory as it pertains to self-referential loops" which yielded many things, including: http://paradox-point.blogspot.com/
138947
Logan Crouse
Posted over 3 years ago
Can technology replace human intelligence?
It's the "Hammer" problem. To someone with a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail. Your hammer is self-referential loops. And there's nothing wrong with that! When I got a problem that needs that particular hammer, I'd much rather go to a dude who specializes in the use of that particular tool. Assuming my problem can be solved by that tool. The problem is that people and the universe are either so complex physiologically with so many different moving parts, or BOTH complex and vast, that, when you add even a small amount of fuzziness about what all of these things are to begin with, they begin to serve as Rorschach tests, and people eventually just see the things they want to see in them. I could care less *either way*; if consciousness can be entirely explained and recreated using self-referential loops, awesome! Let's see the AI you've developed! That would make my millenium! Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. "What's wrong with your AI, Jim?" "Oh, it's not working." "Have you tried using a loop yet?" "Yeah, it doesn't seem to be working." "Well, you need a bigger loop." "Well, I've kinda maxed out my memory, computing cycles, and bus speed. I can't make it any bigger." "Ah, well, then, you need more of them." We've given it a good half-a-century, and while there may be some good life yet left in it, let's branch out a bit, pursue other avenues. Maybe we might discover something that helps us understand loops better, if nothing else.
138947
Logan Crouse
Posted over 3 years ago
Can technology replace human intelligence?
There're a lot of people who think a lot of things. People get wrapped up in their own idea of the way things work to the point that there is no longer room for other paradigms. Take for instance the proliferation of computer programming languages. One computer programming language is Turing complete. But rather than just trying to improve that one language to implement whatever behavior or design the programmer wishes to implement, the programmer get's all hot and bothered with the language in general and decides to redesign a language from the ground up, custom-tailored to the way he thinks. Now there are two Turing complete languages, and rather than trying to improve one language or the other to implement whatever behavior or design the programmer wishes to implement, the programmer get's all hot and bothered with the language in genral and decides to redesign a language that takes the elements from both languages he likes and adds additional functionality that better supports the design he wishes to implement. Now there're three Turing complete languages, any one of which will do whatever it was you wanted to do to begin with. What I'm getting at here is that just because QM doesn't necessarily jive with *your* paradigm of the brain, humanity, and the world in general, doesn't make it any more or less worthwhile. And if self-referential loops *truly* explained the concept of consciousness better, wouldn't we, I dunno, have conscious machines by now? The whole programming thing's been around for the greater part of two centuries (if you count Ada Lovelaces' design being the first program), and recursion has been around since AT LEAST the invention of Lisp and Prolog in the 1950's-1960's. We've had 60 some-odd years to perfect the use of self-referential loops. Just saying it might be time to consider other alternatives, no matter how zany they may appear. Test the bajeezus out of them, and if something shakes loose, all the better.