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Author Topic: Robot free will  (Read 10498 times)
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AlexH

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« on: 09-01-2012 05:13 »

I know I know I'm talking about robots in the Human Resources board...


In "Free Will Hunting" it was established that robots lack free will. In "i dated a robot" and "Rebirth" it was established that personalities of humans can be copied into robots and be "cloned" into a robot body. Assuming that humans have free will wouldn't that make the robot clones also have free will?
Nibblonian Leader

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« Reply #1 on: 09-01-2012 17:32 »

Well, it's all in the programming. The "free will" you saw in IDAR was not free will at all, but dictations by a human master to a machine. It's like talking to a computer (that has that fancy speech recognition software).
spira

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« Reply #2 on: 09-01-2012 17:39 »

Yeah, the robot clones weren't at all human. They were robots programmed with human characteristics and appearances, but they were still 100% robot.
DannyJC13

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« Reply #3 on: 09-01-2012 18:51 »

Wait, couldn't they basically create a human being?

Just give the clone free will and bam, it's a human.
Xanfor

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« Reply #4 on: 09-01-2012 19:02 »

Prove that humans have free will and then I will accept your argument. tongue
Tachyon

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« Reply #5 on: 08-19-2015 13:54 »


Disprove that quantum mechanics is truly random and involves no hidden variables and I will accept your argument. wink

Personally, I fear the day robots are given free will.  If this doesn't creep people out, then they have no free will smile



winna

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« Reply #6 on: 08-27-2015 17:54 »

I consider people as robots.  Our bodies our mechanical, even down to the cellular level.  Sure, a lot of it is very complicated chemistry, but the movement of much larger particles has to be mechanical in that capacity.  We're also made of more complicated materials, rather than simply a single type of metal for an outer casing, or plastic.
Tachyon

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« Reply #7 on: 08-28-2015 06:57 »
« Last Edit on: 08-28-2015 06:59 »


Yes, by that definition we are robots.  And our nervous system, at the level of connections between neurons, operates in a statistical fashion.  Where the thresholds at the very edge of
firing or not firing are almost certainly affected by random, minute changes in the local electrochemical potential.  Ergo, we are not deterministic machines.

My intuition tells me that this non-deterministic nature is somehow linked to free will, but that connection is beyond my grasp.

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« Reply #8 on: 08-29-2015 16:36 »

This sounds like an issue requiring extensive consultation with my pineal gland.
Tachyon

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« Reply #9 on: 08-30-2015 01:38 »


Hopefully your pineal gland does not charge by the hour, then.

winna

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« Reply #10 on: 09-11-2015 07:00 »

Obviously it does.  In an action/reaction universe, the idea of cost/consumption is presumed with the onset.
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« Reply #11 on: 10-12-2015 13:59 »

Hurr, the people robot in that video looks like such a dork. He's gonna get picked on by the other robots at robot school!
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« Reply #12 on: 10-12-2016 23:19 »


A few days ago I watched an interview of a very cool scientist who deeply researched the history of the LIGO gravitational wave detector.  And for some reason I was shocked by her instant reply (in the negative) when asked whether she believed in free will.  Depressingly, I couldn't come up with a reasonable counterargument.  Thankfully for my comfort we're in total agreement that neither the universe nor individuals are acting in a deterministic manner.  I placed a link to the interview in the Book Thread.

Touching on a concept closely related to free will, she also gave an argument against the likelihood of our universe being a simulation.  The principle argument being that no coded program can be perfect, and that we do not observe glitches in reality (as in The Matrix).  She was, in my view, biased by the unstated preconception that the simulation would necessarily have been written from scratch to create our current world as it exists now.  If the simulation were simply the fundamental relationships between the matter and forces of the Standard Model (plus gravity, dark matter, and dark energy) I don't see that glitches would necessarily arise.  e.g. the game of Life* has very simple rules from which evolve rather complex behaviours.  Why couldn't a simulation with a relatively simple set of rules evolve to the point where we are now, in our universe?  Given sufficient data storage, of course.  The processing power needn't necessarily be incomprehensibly vast, because we, as simulated entities, would only be aware of the passage of time as it is programmed for us.

* I could definitely see winna adding a Life animation to someone's profile smile

winna

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« Reply #13 on: 10-16-2016 00:39 »

I agree generally with your statements and observations.  I'd never heard of Conway's Game of Life, however, I've gone with the line of thinking for the last few years that our observable universe is built with simple pieces/rules which create more complex structures, that our observable universe is an ever expanding fractal.  I spent a lot of time at one point trying to ascertain whether the smallest part would be a dot or a line, rotated and arranged with others in various ways.  I didn't come to a conclusion, but given time and space, and observations on electrical/magnetic, a tiny sphere (dot) is probably a good bet.

And I agree if this world was a simulation, why would the simulated notice glitches?  That sounds like a child's thought who learned about videogames.

As for free will, I can see us not having it on this plane... I take to the consideration that free will may or occur or may have occurred at some given point, time being one of many choices.. where that point occurs, I couldn't tell.

You can choose to put Die Hard in the vcr and press play--you can't afterward choose how Bruce Willis deals with the bad guys.

Whose profile though?
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« Reply #14 on: 10-16-2016 01:53 »


Again, nature is not deterministic.  It can't be, given either quantum behaviour or chaos, and both of those things exist.  If you could somehow travel back in time by a day, you would be disappointed if you purchased a lottery ticket with the numbers that you remembered being the winning ones, because the interaction of the bouncing balls is chaotic.  Even if you knew the initial positions to an arbitrarily exact precision, it is not possible to predict the final positions.  Look up "double pendulum" if you don't believe me.

But a person being non-deterministic does not imply that they have free will.  My intuition resonates strongly with free will being true, but I can't think of a logical argument to either prove or disprove it.

Descartes was a horrible, disgusting person and I urge you not to look up his work in detail.  But the saying attributed to him does have the ring of truth, does it not?  "I think: therefore I am".  OK, I can agree that there is at least one existence, one from our viewpoint.  But what physical or thought experiment could you conduct to prove or disprove the existence of free will?

Getting back to robot free will and some hypothetical advanced robot, could we conceive of an experiment to demonstrate whether there's a quantifiable difference between robot free will and human free will, assuming as a ground rule for the experiment that human free will exists?

Ultimately, if we create some intelligent device that passes the Turing Test* in every scenario, can we infer that the device experiences qualia**?  Even if it were built upon a foundation which mimics the way neurons interact?  I don't know.  Given that humans are extremely similar to one another, I think it's reasonable to infer that everyone has (at least one) individual 'self'.  Would a very advanced robot have a 'self'?  Is there any way that we could tell?  And if we can't tell, is it imperative that we treat them as though they do, and give them the same rights and responsibilities that we confer upon human beings?



* (Google) a test for intelligence in a computer, requiring that a human being should be unable to distinguish the machine from another human being by using the replies to questions put to both..

** (Google) the internal and subjective component of sense perceptions, arising from stimulation of the senses by phenomena.

winna

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« Reply #15 on: 10-16-2016 02:46 »

I don't think Descartes was horrible or disgusting, but toward your point, he seemed to have decided to remove faulty things from his thinking, and by removing everything ultimately from himself he arrived at that one particular true statement.

I'm rather certain true things are inherently tautological in nature.  A thing proves and defines itself.

As for robot free will, I don't think the issue is free will actually... the more pertinent question is whether we can make a computer that thinks like a person and a robot that moves like a person--I think both are technically achievable.
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« Reply #16 on: 10-16-2016 17:58 »


Again, nature is not deterministic.  It can't be, given either quantum behaviour or chaos, and both of those things exist.


I don't think that's necessarily true. Knowing initial conditions, later state can be derived deterministically in theory. For the motion of double pendulum it's just infeasible to do. And even though it's impossible to determine exact position for example, quantum mechanics still are deterministic for the wave function (probability distribution of positions).

At least in some sense it's arguable whether nature is deterministic or not, but I'd say, based on QM, it's deterministic and probabilistic, but only without perspective of an observer that's part of the nature. However, some interpretations of QM say otherwise and it's maybe just philosophical distinction in physics.

So, I'd like to think that nature itself is deterministic and free will is an illusion. I mean, we can make choices and they result differently, it's just that we experience those particular results of all the choices. Not to say that we couldn't have made different choices, we'll just make a certain choice with some probability.

Similiarly to robots; maybe with enough complexity we could make unpredictably functioning robot with seemingly free will.
Tachyon

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« Reply #17 on: 10-17-2016 22:18 »


...Knowing initial conditions, later state can be derived deterministically in theory. For the motion of double pendulum it's just infeasible to do.


Do you have any accessible references that I could look up and have any hope of following?  My lay understanding of chaos is that there are many cases where an outcome is so extremely sensitive to initial conditions (e.g. position) that it cannot be derived deterministically regardless of the computing resources at one's disposal.  In theory, even a tiny initial displacement less than the quantum noise could result in a huge disparity in the final position.


At least in some sense it's arguable whether nature is deterministic or not, but I'd say, based on QM, it's deterministic and probabilistic, but only without perspective of an observer that's part of the nature.


Probabilistic, sure.  Consider a single or double slit through which you're firing single photons which hit a screen and cause a scintillation.  You're studying this stuff; can you explain how an experimenter could deterministically calculate where on the screen a given single photon would land?


Similiarly to robots; maybe with enough complexity we could make unpredictably functioning robot with seemingly free will.


I don't disagree.  And I wonder about the consequences if artificial minds progressed to the point where one could not measure a difference between the their seeming free will and the free will of a human. smile

winna

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« Reply #18 on: 10-17-2016 23:06 »

At that point, from a rational standpoint, I wouldn't make a huge distinction between the two.  Essentially our bodies are robots, and our brains computers... if something behaved and operated in similar fashion, even if the materials that composed it were different, I would conclude they be treated in generally equal fashion.
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« Reply #19 on: 10-17-2016 23:49 »


Agreed.  And I recall your argument to that effect, either here or possibly in the religion thread.  It would be fascinating to see how AI tech progresses over the next several decades.  Assuming that significant progress is made. smile

Where's Isaac Asimov and his positronic robot brain technology when you need it?

winna

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« Reply #20 on: 10-18-2016 00:02 »

That furthers the question.  What if only some of the people walking around you have free will, and some of them don't?  What if some of them are nothing more than their constituent parts, what if some of them are more?
Quantum Neutrino Field

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« Reply #21 on: 10-18-2016 00:18 »
« Last Edit on: 10-18-2016 00:19 »

My lay understanding of chaos is that there are many cases where an outcome is so extremely sensitive to initial conditions (e.g. position) that it cannot be derived deterministically regardless of the computing resources at one's disposal.

Well, I don't really know that much about chaos theory, but seems to me it's a quantitative problem; even relatively simple system can become too complex for practical mathematical model.


You're studying this stuff; can you explain how an experimenter could deterministically calculate where on the screen a given single photon would land?

You're right that exact position can't be calculated or measured, only the probability of the position. However, we're talking about quantum phenomenon and exact position, a point in space, is classical concept. In reality (if we're to believe QM) a particle is never in single point in space, position is always probabilistic.

When position is measured, we get some position for the particle and classical physics apply. Measurement requires interaction with particle and that interaction assigns value for position in observation.

So, if even initial condition for free particle can't be single position, of course later position can't be derived deterministically. Probability distribution is uniquely defined for free particle and based on Schrödinger equation probabilities can be calculated deterministically.


That's my thought process, but I agree nature isn't deterministic in terms of some observables like position. I'd argue it's because of limited possible knowledge of them, even in theory. Universe is probabilistic and it's probabilistically deterministic, if that makes any sense.
winna

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« Reply #22 on: 10-19-2016 06:56 »

I suspect that there are tools which either exist or could exist in which we could move past probabilities.  Classic physics are applicable in this universe, and we can take exact measurements in the macro scale.

This suggests to me that it is theoretically possible to describe anything and everything precisely and accurately.  I suspect our own understanding of the universe is lacking, yet at the same time I believe our models work well and are applicable for what we use them for.
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« Reply #23 on: 10-20-2016 23:33 »


On the topic of robot free will, I like this Stephen Hawking quote from a couple of years ago, regarding research in AI technology:

"One can imagine such technology outsmarting financial markets, out-inventing human researchers, out-manipulating human leaders, and developing weapons we cannot even understand. Whereas the short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all."

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« Reply #24 on: 10-25-2016 14:52 »


Again, nature is not deterministic.  It can't be, given either quantum behaviour or chaos, and both of those things exist.  If you could somehow travel back in time by a day, you would be disappointed if you purchased a lottery ticket with the numbers that you remembered being the winning ones, because the interaction of the bouncing balls is chaotic.  Even if you knew the initial positions to an arbitrarily exact precision, it is not possible to predict the final positions.  Look up "double pendulum" if you don't believe me.


Our reality is at least pseudo-deterministic in that it can give rise to inherently, predictably repeatable, cause-and-effect actions. These occur at the same time as the chaotic, non-deterministic, unpredictable outcomes which result from more complex sets of variables.

Many chaotic variables have narrow enough limits that we can derive deterministic outcomes for the results of their interactions, even when these interactions depend on things that can't accurately be located (such as the effects of a lone pair of electrons in the formation of a chemical compound). Many such interactions arising from chaotic inputs have a deterministic output.

The double pendulum experiment is an interesting one. Regardless of the individual motions of the pendulum, the range of motion and the possible positions of the pendulum can be charted, as can the starting position and various other items. The motions of the pendulum notwithstanding, it will always rest in the same position. We can determine many items before running the experiment, with the actual motions described being within a set of tolerances that we can narrow down based on the conditions of the experiment.

This seems somewhat analagous to my earlier, chemical, example. Though dependent on chaotic variables for intermediate stages, we have defined inputs and endpoints for both experiments. We don't always know what's involved in the process. But the results of chaotic interactions can be deterministic, and can be determined ahead of time.

Which, I think, is part of what QNF was trying to say above. In any case, I think that the universe itself is a semi-chaotic process which has a specific endpoint, just like the double pendulum. As are we. We have as much free will as the pendulum has freedom to behave erratically, but we're kinda locked within a range of pre-set conditions, and much of the outcome of our processes will be determined by those rather than by our actions.
winna

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« Reply #25 on: 11-08-2016 22:06 »

That interpretation of the data seems rather true to me.

Are you gonna see the Dark Tower movie?
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« Reply #26 on: 11-09-2016 01:25 »


We don't always know what's involved in the process. But the results of chaotic interactions can be deterministic, and can be determined ahead of time.

Which, I think, is part of what QNF was trying to say above. In any case, I think that the universe itself is a semi-chaotic process which has a specific endpoint, just like the double pendulum.


I agree that a lot of deterministic processes involve large numbers of random interactions, none of which materially affect the outcome of the deterministic process... given an arbitrary scope.  e.g. a lump of radioactive material will decay at its intrinsic rate according to the material's half-life and you can calculate how much will remain after a given period of time.  Or if you are hammering a nail into a piece of wood and the hammer strikes the nail at (very, very) slightly different positions due to randomness or chaos it doesn't affect the outcome: the nail will be driven into the wood.  And if you drop a fragile glass onto a hard floor the result is that it will shatter into a number of pieces, the precise number of pieces and their velocity and direction and resting spots may or may not be of interest to you, so long as none of them end up in your eyeball.  And taken to extremes, the universe as a whole probably has an endpoint.

But chaos and randomness play important roles in the lives of human beings, in my view.  If someone's girlfriend drops a glass tomorrow morning and a shard gets into her eye and she ends up txting her husband on the way to hospital and her husband glances down at his phone as a traffic signal changes from green to red it might make a very large difference in someone's life.  Perhaps even mine.  And there are a great many event chains of this nature going on all around us, all the time.  And if you go far enough back in an event chain you're going to come to a place where either chaos or randomness played a part in the outcome.

I'm not a Newtonian mechanic, but my understanding is that it's impossible to calculate the long-term state of a system with more than two bodies orbiting one another, even if you knew the positions and velocities to an arbitrarily precise degree.  If the Chicxulub impactor had missed the Earth due to different outcomes of tiny, random events in its distant past it's likely that life on our planet would be very different, now.  At least here on the surface.

I used to assume that given perfect knowledge of a system of particles, that in principle one could predict their future positions as far into the future as one wished.  But I was wrong, big-time.  And this doesn't even take quantum randomness into account, just chaos.  I wish I had the eloquence and/or a deeper understanding of the issue so that I could convey it in an effective manner.

Maybe I'll look through the swinging magnet videos on Youtube again and see if I can find one that's brilliant in its presentation.

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« Reply #27 on: 11-14-2016 03:36 »

If you think you were way wrong then, how are you certain you're not way wrong now?

And what does this say about our reality?  If chaos so complex as to be impossible to understand can bring order so precise that a small 4 legged, boned octopus can drive metal spikes into dead plants in order to build a structure with semi-precise perpendicular and parallel lines which can withstand decades if not centuries, what is this magic place where we can speak and create which defies our logic processed by the very circle which is itself?  Where are we?
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« Reply #28 on: 11-14-2016 08:59 »
« Last Edit on: 11-14-2016 09:11 »


If you think you were way wrong then, how are you certain you're not way wrong now?


Few things are 100% certain, but my initial assumptions about the world were formed before I'd ever heard of Brownian motion or chaos, and long before I had any understanding of the quantum behaviour of matter at small scales.

Many very smart people have pondered the same things that I had, and gone on to study the world and document how it works and develop theories to explain the observations.  They have designed machines sensitive enough to directly probe aspects of reality that heretofore had been relegated to pure thought experiments.  And have ruled out the possibility of hidden variables being involved in the behaviour of quantumly entangled pairs of particles.  Nature, it seems, really is weird and counterintuitive at a fundamental level.

Do we have free will?  Can we create machines that have free will?  Currently we can't answer those questions.  But it's very clear that the world can only be considered deterministic when viewed at certain scales of distance and time.  And I think I get what Quantum and tnuc are saying, regarding this non-determinism not being a matter of concern for most people in most situations.

To me, the more practical question is whether we can create machines that act as though they have free will, independent of whether they behave similarly to human beings.  And if we can create such machines, do we have a moral obligation to treat them as sentient beings?  Are organic creatures merely a stepping stone on the path towards inevitable machine intelligence?  Will machine intelligence eventually propagate throughout the universe, until the universe could arguably be considered sentient?

Lots of science fiction has been written on the topic of intelligent machines.  Some of the more disturbing has been from Fred Saberhagen, with his Berserkers that are locked in battle with organic life.


And what does this say about our reality?


To me, it says that reality is stupefyingly complex.  And that (localized) order can arise from chaotic, energetic systems.  Sure, the endpoint is likely the heat death of the universe, possibly with galaxies, stars, planets, and even atoms being shredded apart by whatever force or forces are responsible for the apparent acceleration of the expansion of the universe.  And I'll agree that's a deterministic outcome. smile

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« Reply #29 on: 11-15-2016 07:32 »

We can theoretically create machines that seemingly have free will.  Organic creatures are basically machines--the process to build new strands of dna is mechanical in nature.

Morality is arbitrary.  If such mechanical non-organic beings were generally equal to humans, it is logical to suggest they be treated in equal manner with humans; why not?

My question about the environment we exist in was perhaps more bizarre than I could possibly express;  I've had a lot of strange experiences and spent a large quantity of time in thought purely on the expression of existence.  We do not live as fish living live, yet I find myself swimming through both space and time, and what are we and what precisely is this or that?  I don't expect to find someone who can definitively express to me in a convincing manner that they know what this universe is or how it operates.  For most that think they know I see an acceptance in them of what they have observed, and I suspect to one degree or another that their perceptive angle of observation is skewed even if ever so slightly.

Personally, in a metaphorical yet fluid abstract way I find myself in things expressed as places... an emotion, a thought, a sound, old memories: all distinct places I can visit and have access to in the present.
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« Reply #30 on: 11-16-2016 00:10 »

But chaos and randomness play important roles in the lives of human beings, in my view.

Our reality is at least pseudo-deterministic in that it can give rise to inherently, predictably repeatable, cause-and-effect actions. These occur at the same time as the chaotic, non-deterministic, unpredictable outcomes which result from more complex sets of variables.

I stand by this statement. Chaotic and random interactions may prove important drivers of events, but are generally just background noise. There are, I suspect, relatively few entirely random or chaotic events which by themselves drive a significant change between the deterministic outcome of a sequence and the actual outcome.

Background noise aside, many of the events which drive a significant change between the expected outcome of a sequence and the actual outcome are themselves deterministic and simply part of a system so complex as to mean that they are overlooked.

Again, I'm thinking of this primarily in terms of physical chemistry kinetics. But that scales pretty well when you compare such to the universe overall.
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« Reply #31 on: 11-16-2016 00:59 »
« Last Edit on: 11-16-2016 01:01 »


No disagreement.  Did some random or chaotic event result in giraffes having spots rather than stripes?  Perhaps.  Are random or chaotic events involved when dissolving salt into a pint of beer?  Sure.  Do they have any material effect upon the final state of the beer?  Nope.  Did some random or chaotic events result in Stalin

1) being born?
2) becoming party leader?

Oh, my, yes!  And millions were slaughtered.  Millions who otherwise may have lived out rather ordinary lives, or maybe even very special ones.  Did Stalin's existence affect the planet as a whole to any significant degree?  Probably not.  Nor did it likely affect any other part of the solar system or other star systems.  It may have, in that perhaps in an alternate timeline we may not have inadvertently seeded Earth-based life on Mars or Jupiter or Saturn or their moons.  Or some star system where the Voyager probes end up.

The fact of Stalin's existence has jack-all effect on the endpoint of the universe.  It had a large effect upon humanity, at least for a period of a few decades, and perhaps for somewhat longer than that.

I don't know of any fundamental limit that will prevent us from constructing machines which have the appearance of free will.  As winna says, we are machines, however subtle and complex.  Is that day inevitable?  Possibly.  Will it profoundly transform the character of human civilization?  I believe that it shall.  Will intelligent machines eventually displace us fragile organic beings?  Barring the development of technology that extends the lifetime of humans fivefold or tenfold or more, I fear that our machines and their progeny will displace us, eventually.

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« Reply #32 on: 11-16-2016 06:55 »

You're overloading one of your questions by implicitly insisting that organic life is fragile.  It's survived on this specific rock for several hundred million years--I'd hardly consider that fragile. 

Even if the robots end up being stronger physically, it's likely humanity will augment itself to be physically stronger as the need arises; we've already essentially begun such a process.

As for the end point of the universe and what affects it, how shall you know?  For that matter, how do we know what the start point looked like? (this is the part where someone says background radiation and big bang, which are acceptable to me, but continue to leave a whole lot of room for questions)
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« Reply #33 on: 11-16-2016 07:23 »


I wish I could find a specific lecture, winna, which shows the imprint of inflation upon the cosmic microwave background.  It's brilliant and awe inspiring.


You're overloading one of your questions by implicitly insisting that organic life is fragile.


I was just being cute, there, and referring to humans. smile

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« Reply #34 on: 11-16-2016 08:35 »

Humans are tough, vicious creatures.  As easy as it is to kill one, it's just as difficult to keep them down.
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« Reply #35 on: 11-16-2016 13:36 »

Did some random or chaotic events result in Stalin

1) being born?
2) becoming party leader?

Oh, my, yes!

No. Both of those things are the results of long chains of events involving both chaotic/random and deterministic actions and consequences.

A leads logically and necessarily to B. That is deterministic. B may allow C to happen as the result of random interactions. C has no effect on D which follows from B and C as a chaotic consequence, but D's effect on C is both E and F. D is a random event. E and F are deterministic consequences. No one event can be ascribed here to pure determinisim or pure chance. They form an intermeshed structure in which both types of interaction combine to result in the particular event (whichever one) that one is interested in.

The fact of Stalin's existence has jack-all effect on the endpoint of the universe.  It had a large effect upon humanity, at least for a period of a few decades, and perhaps for somewhat longer than that.

The effect of all events is diluted by time. The more time that passes, the less an event in the past affects the universe in the present. This alone is empirical evidence that the universe has an endpoint which all events either ultimately support or ultimately do not matter regarding.

If this were a totally non-deterministic universe, the chances of an event supporting or working against that endpoint would be approximately even.

Therefore this universe is at least pseudo-deterministic. Therefore the impact of a random or chaotic interaction upon any given event is only ever a contributing factor rather than the prime driver of what follows.

Will intelligent machines eventually displace us fragile organic beings?

The more likely outcome is that they will merge with and augment organic beings, owing to the strengths of both when reinforcing one another. They will add our technological and biological advantages to their own.

Resistance is futile.
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« Reply #36 on: 11-16-2016 16:34 »


I think we're all in agreement, just focusing on different aspects of the process.

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« Reply #37 on: 12-06-2016 09:09 »

Did some random or chaotic events result in Stalin

1) being born?
2) becoming party leader?

Oh, my, yes!

No. Both of those things are the results of long chains of events involving both chaotic/random and deterministic actions and consequences.

A leads logically and necessarily to B. That is deterministic. B may allow C to happen as the result of random interactions. C has no effect on D which follows from B and C as a chaotic consequence, but D's effect on C is both E and F. D is a random event. E and F are deterministic consequences. No one event can be ascribed here to pure determinisim or pure chance. They form an intermeshed structure in which both types of interaction combine to result in the particular event (whichever one) that one is interested in.

The fact of Stalin's existence has jack-all effect on the endpoint of the universe.  It had a large effect upon humanity, at least for a period of a few decades, and perhaps for somewhat longer than that.

The effect of all events is diluted by time. The more time that passes, the less an event in the past affects the universe in the present. This alone is empirical evidence that the universe has an endpoint which all events either ultimately support or ultimately do not matter regarding.

If this were a totally non-deterministic universe, the chances of an event supporting or working against that endpoint would be approximately even.

Therefore this universe is at least pseudo-deterministic. Therefore the impact of a random or chaotic interaction upon any given event is only ever a contributing factor rather than the prime driver of what follows.

Will intelligent machines eventually displace us fragile organic beings?

The more likely outcome is that they will merge with and augment organic beings, owing to the strengths of both when reinforcing one another. They will add our technological and biological advantages to their own.

Resistance is futile.


I like this post a lot.  I cannot ascertain whether all of the assertions are absolutely correct, but I find the logic agreeable.  I read the post a few times to get a grasp on the logic presented.

If I were to guess, I'd say all of the events support the conclusion; it should be obvious enough what bias I have to speculate in that direction.


Somewhat lately I've been playing around with modeling time as the reference point in my head.  I don't use much time to focus on thought experiments as I used to, but lately I've been playing with the idea of the universe totally stopping, collapsing, restoring, and resuming at various points, possibly as a method for altering events outcomes.... as if that could be viable or necessary. roll eyes
Tachyon

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #38 on: 12-06-2016 15:26 »
« Last Edit on: 12-06-2016 15:28 »


I restore snapshots of virtual machines nearly every day.  The programs in a restored VM have no idea that their future selves were snuffed out and discarded, but from within a typical VM there are ways to determine that you're living inside a virtual world.  And the existence of quantum behaviour in our universe is considered by some people as evidence that we do live in a simulation (because it reduces the storage and computational requirements of a hypothetical virtual reality by many orders of magnitude).

It's possible that I've dreamed of restoring snapshots of my life to recover from a disastrous situation...

My points in the above posts were not to argue that the universe is not deterministic to a large degree (at least at a given scale), but to say that there are random and chaotic influences upon nearly everything we experience.  If you reset the universe to a point in time several hours ago, the chances of me making a post very much like this one (and you reading it) are pretty good.  If you reset the universe to a point in time a hundred million years in the past and let it play out to the present day, the chances of me existing and making this post and you existing and reading it are effectively zero.

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