Convergent AI: what is Artifical or Natural?

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« on: January 09, 2017, 01:36:27 pm »
Love the turn this thread is taking :)

TL;DR What makes a Skin-Spy different from Asimov's robots and their three laws? The Weapon Races (aside from Dragons perhaps) are quite literally artificial intelligence
Which is to say that "natural" is a pretty meaningless term once fully unpacked.
Yup. In nearly all cases I cringe when people discuss 'natural' . Its either in reference to something that's explicitly supernatural, ie coming from some sort of metaphysical deity, or totally meaningless as to what distinguishes it from whatever unnatural counterpart.

I can't follow that a spin-spy is a robot.  It is simply a sentient animal. 
There is no difference between a sentient robot and a sentient animal, except the hardware maybe. I

In the case of skinspies, I presume they have flesh and tissue brains and/or synapses and nerves, making even that no longer an available cop-out.

So, robots/AI/skinspies are indistinguishable from sentient animals. From humans. Well, except the whole soul thing.

It just lacks a soul. 
Right :)

Same with Sranc and Bashrag.  They aren't AI because their intelligence is "natural", that is, simply a debased version of a Nonman
They are an intelligence created using technology. Not sure how you get more Artificial than that. But, as I mentioned initially, 'natural'?

Do you mean anything 'natural' must have been created by Ciphrang/Gods/Gods/Zero-God/Solitary God/[insert whatever metaphysical supernatural being ends up being correct]? If so, then any of the derived are unnatural/artificial.

Or does a 'natural' process have to arise from random change? ie Evolution? If so, sranc must be unnatural/artificial in that they were created systematically by the Inchoroi.

, in the same way that a dog's intelligence is a heightened version of a wolf's. 
Quick aside, I'm pretty sure in this analogy the Wolf is the Nonman, the Dog Sranc. Similarly, dogs are dumbed down versions of wolves - if there is in fact any functional way to measure the intelligence of either (dogs/wolves I mean. I'm sure you could get a sranc and a Nonman to take an IQ test ;) )

In another real-life example, we don't make robot sheep that are subservient to us, we just breed out any signs of heightened awareness or intelligence.  In the same way, Sranc were probably "made" by either breeding out, or using the Bios to delete, the higher cognitive abilities of Nonmen.  A Scranc's brutality isn't coded, per se, it is simply what's left after higher functionality is removed.
What's the difference between the two things you described - selective breeding or using the Bios to delete, and coding?
I don't see any difference. In either case, you are purposefully creating a set of instruction that are hard wired into the electronic bearing circuitry of the thing - be it a positronic brain or a wet brain. In either case you have neurons or circuits that fire in the pattern that you prefer, and don't fire in a way you don't prefer.

Organic tissues and DNA are no different from inorganic metals, organic wires (remember, organic refers to just about anything with Carbon in it, as long as it doesn't have any of the listed 'inorganic' atoms), and computer code.

A skin-spy is a little different, but I don't think it is literally coded, in the same way that a robot would be.  I think the "issues" we see with skin-spies are more due to their limited capacity in having no souls, rather than than a limitation of coding.  Indeed, I think skin-spies can act "outside of the box" as Soma seems to do with Mimara, where he changes the mission based on what he thinks Aurang wants.  Sure that could be some sophisticated neural network sort of shit, but considering how limited the Tekne is at the time when skin-spies seem to come to be, I can't imagine that their minds are much more than warped human brains.
The amount of understanding you'd have to have to create even a simulacrum of a mind in a functioning, artificially created, organic body capable of complex thoughts and reasoning, would be pretty immense. Skinspies are sophisticated as fuck. Call it selective evolution or organic-coding, I don't see any difference.

The amount of understanding you'd have to have to create even a simulacrum of a mind in a functioning, artificially created, organic body capable of complex thoughts and reasoning, would be pretty immense. Skinspies are sophisticated as fuck. Call it selective evolution or organic-coding, I don't see any difference.

Indeed, this is kind of why I don't think the skin-spies are akin to robots.  It seems implausible (to me) that skin-spies were made from scratch.  Instead they are simply modified humans/whatever, that have been made for a focused purpose.  To me, that is a difference between what I would call a robot (wholly built) and a bred (or forcibly evolved) being.  We are definitely getting into some Westworld-esque shit here and I'm not sure I am articulate why I see a difference.

Perhaps I can use another poor dog analogy:

I wouldn't consider a rat terrier a robot, even though they were bred to hurt and kill rats.  They were just bred for an explicit purpose.  And so I would consider a skin-spy the same way.  The foundation of a skin-spies is already something preexisting (which is why I used "natural" in quotes) and is simply modified/bred for a different purpose.

There is no difference between a sentient robot and a sentient animal, except the hardware maybe.

I would tend to disagree, in the sense that there is both a hardware and software difference.  Unless we can discover that biological brains literally run on code, there is a definite difference between what we could call AI now-a-days and a biological mind.  Now, plausibly in the future a machine mind could fully emulate a biological one, but in the end, there is still some difference, however fleeting.  Is it a meaningful difference, by way of experience of the subject?  I don't know.  I only have a biological mind and could never know fully what a machine coded one would be like.

They are an intelligence created using technology. Not sure how you get more Artificial than that. But, as I mentioned initially, 'natural'?

Do you mean anything 'natural' must have been created by Ciphrang/Gods/Gods/Zero-God/Solitary God/[insert whatever metaphysical supernatural being ends up being correct]? If so, then any of the derived are unnatural/artificial.

Or does a 'natural' process have to arise from random change? ie Evolution? If so, sranc must be unnatural/artificial in that they were created systematically by the Inchoroi.

But the thing is, I don't think they created that intelligence themselves, simply corrupted/debased/repurposed an already existent one.  Like I said, the word "natural" is highly problematic and all I meant by it here was "already preexistant" without Inchoroi input.  Sranc certainly are artificial in the sense that they were designed, but that doesn't mean they are robots.  My point was a Sranc is artificial just as a dog is.  I don't think we want to take the leap that dogs are robots, right?

Quick aside, I'm pretty sure in this analogy the Wolf is the Nonman, the Dog Sranc. Similarly, dogs are dumbed down versions of wolves - if there is in fact any functional way to measure the intelligence of either (dogs/wolves I mean. I'm sure you could get a sranc and a Nonman to take an IQ test ;) )

That was just a shitty analogy by me, haha.  Really I meant it more as dogs would simply be different version of wolves though.

What's the difference between the two things you described - selective breeding or using the Bios to delete, and coding?
I don't see any difference. In either case, you are purposefully creating a set of instruction that are hard wired into the electronic bearing circuitry of the thing - be it a positronic brain or a wet brain. In either case you have neurons or circuits that fire in the pattern that you prefer, and don't fire in a way you don't prefer.

Organic tissues and DNA are no different from inorganic metals, organic wires (remember, organic refers to just about anything with Carbon in it, as long as it doesn't have any of the listed 'inorganic' atoms), and computer code.

If the artificial mind functioned the same way as a brain, that is, it was literally a 1:1 copy of an organic brain, then I think we have a valid questioning of "what is the difference, really?"

However, if you had a brain that functioned like computers do now, relying on binary code, I think the distinction is meaningful, even if in a indeterminate way.  Indeed, for all the advance AI we have now, it is usually pretty clear when output comes from an AI or from a real biological brain.

However, I don't think this is what the Bios/Tekne/Inchoroi are doing though.  I think they just take things preexistant and modify them for different aims.  Like what humans did to make dogs of wolves.  I hesitate in this case to call what you end up with a robot, even if it is at your beck-and-call.  Dogs often are subservient to humans, yet, again, I don't think we would consider dogs robots.  I don't see Sranc or even skin-spies outside that kind of logic, even if they are far more advanced (another problematic word, perhaps I should avoid) than dogs.

At that point though, every living thing is a robot, so what is the point of distinction?

All the humans, all the Inchoroi and all the Nonmen are, so all the Sranc, Bashrags and Skin-Spies are, as are all the animals, every one of these are robots, exacting some biological code.

Yes. The  point is that there is not a distinction.

Oh, looks like FB followed that up for me already ;).


H, you seem to dislike that idea - the lack of difference. What makes it important? I think imposing a difference allows people to justify actions to things, animals, other people. Slavery/holocost/genocide are super examples. The industrial meat industry another (mmmm The Meat. I still eat it) . When things are different, its super easy to justify action. So, I think remove the distinction between 'us' and 'them' is a good thing. Maybe not?

I don't think that acknowledging difference is inherently evil, or even biased, though.  Unless you use that information to confirm bias or for an agenda that would be evil.  For example, a distinction between men and women isn't inherently evil, but saying that "only men should be able to do X" or "women should be compensated less for Y" is biased and so what I might call evil.  I think that often, failing to acknowledge difference is actually what undermines steps toward equality.

If we say, "there are no differences between cats and dogs" because we believe that both (as living things) should be treated equality, that is a fair, and probably noble, endeavor.  However, while the purpose has merit, the proposition that there are no differences is false and plainly so.  In this way, you instantly lose a great deal of people, who might agree with the later equal treatment, but plainly disagree with the proposition that there is no difference between Fluffy and Rover, when difference abound to the naked eye at every turn.  Another absurd example (of course it involves dogs, because my primitive brain is incapable of coming up with better ones) is to imagine you come across a dog and a scorpion.  As living things, you know these should be treated equally, yet if you fail to acknowledge difference and so say "well, I want to pet the dog, so I should pet this scorpion to not be biased" will probably net you an unhappy result.  This doesn't preclude a destruction of the scorpion and/or the praising of the dog, but rather and understanding that both have merits, in different ways.

So, what I am saying is that there should be distinctions, if distinctions are warranted.  If something is literally indistinguishable, that is, a brain that is organic, built on neurons and so literally living, then I see no reason to distinguish.  At that point, I would hesitate to even call that a robot and really my point of "objection" was with that term.  If we deign to call a dog a robot, then every living thing a robot, then the term robot seems to literally have to meaning any more.
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