Author Topic: P3nT's deranged visions of the future  (Read 3378 times)

P3nT4gR4m

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P3nT's deranged visions of the future
« on: March 12, 2014, 09:46:13 pm »
Pt1 - Designer Pets

So I figure basic biological technology has been handed over to the engineers, now, albeit with much of the documentation still under research. Science has birthed a new technology. Now it's just a matter of time until we're constructing living tissue from the ground up, to spec. Something I thought of when I first heard about the genome project back in the 90's or whenever it was, was the idea of designer pets.

Now there's a bit of chit chat back and forward on t'interwebs but it's mainly, choose new eye colours for your dog and give it a smarter brain kind of shit and that's all cool and probably going to happen if people are talking about it but what I have in mind is more than tweaking existing lifeforms. It's to do with what happens when the modelling software is able to specify, with minute granularity, a complete organism. With completely bespoke, highly optimised systems onboard. The best digestive system we can program, scaled and plumbed in to a skeleton, modelled in autocad. New organs that render whole internal subsystems, obsolete.

One specific example that popped into my head and stuck there ever since - HR Geiger's alien - chitin exoskeleton, anatomically perfect, in miniature, maybe 6-8 inches tall. Acid blood optional.

I've seen the first dev tools running in a couple of youtube videos now and I have a fuzzyish picture in my head of how part of this might pan out. First there's a lot of curing things to be taken care of. It's already started. One by one, a bunch of ailments are being annihilated, almost on a week by week basis now. History suggests that the speed of technological development from this point on will be rapid and exponential. We're facing an avalanche of cures. The fast half of the revolution. I've just lived through the fast half of the information revolution. When computers went from a building full of lightbulbs to a pair of glasses that make you functionally telepathic. I jumped onboard for the 70's, just as development hit the knee of the curve. What a fucking ride it was.

The information revolution is effectively over now, the tech will always keep developing but, by my reckoning, we're already well into, the slow ploddy, gathering-momentum first half of the next emergent technology revolution. If I'm right, there are currently a number of new technologies, around this phase in their lifecycle with the potential to change the world in a massive way. Nanotechnology, 3d printing, Biotechnology, Robotics... And I'm sure there's more waiting in the wings, so the question in my mind is not "Is there an impending technological revolution?" but rather "What is going to be the defining technology?" What will the next age be called?

Maybe immortality, if and when it arrives, will make such a big social impact that they'll call it the Immortality Age or something. For my money, living as long as you fucking well please will be a cool start but cool enough to earn the honour of defining the next couple of decades? I hope not. I'm personally rooting for "The Age of the Geiger Pets"
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hirley0

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Re: P3 o
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2014, 09:27:56 pm »




P3nT4gR4m

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Re: P3nT's deranged visions of the future
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2014, 04:47:06 pm »
Artificial intelligence. Here's what it's not. Or, rather what it isn't necessarily. It isn't necessarily possessed of human consciousness, passing Turing tests, becoming self aware and launching nuclear strikes on humanity. I'm not saying that this isn't one area currently being explored. Some people are fascinated by what makes us tick and there's a school of thought that reckons that, in learning how to code for increasingly-close-to-human cognitive function, we'll learn a fair bit about how human cognitive function does it's thing.

This is a pretty pervasive view of AI. Sci-fi loves a robot with soul story. Ask most of the lay public about AI and you'll probably hear about robots and winning at chess and will smith movies and the like and there's every possibility we'll crack that particular nut at some point in the future. What I'm talking about is not the future, I'm talking about technologies that currently exist and I'm not even talking about something that is going to suddenly "wake" into existence once some technological hurdle is advanced beyond. We are currently surrounded by genuine, bona fide AI, running at orders of magnitude more powerful than equivalent human limits. These orders of magnitude are rapidly increasing.

AI has been here for years but, while the general population was arguing about whether androids could ever dream of electric sheep, it sneaked in under the radar. So, now that we've established what AI isn't (necessarily), lets take a look at what it is.

We must first define intelligence, as it's defined in AI development. In AI development, intelligence is commonly broken down to a partial subset of what we'd consider human intelligence-level abilities. This is referred to as "Narrow AI". When an intelligence subset, such as memory recall was approached from a Narrow AI perspective, what what we got was an artificial memory system capable of outperforming a human by astronomical percentages, in many memory use cases. What we got was the internet. What we got was Google, currently ranking as one of the most powerful artificial memory/recall systems on planet earth.

This upgraded hyper-intelligent memory system will, in all probability, never "wake up" and demand equal rights. I think this is one of the main reasons people don't think of it as intelligent but, in my mind, it carries out one specific function of human intelligence and it does it so much better than a human could billions of times over. Functionally most don't recognise it as intelligent because it's so unlike us. Unfamiliar to our own experience and frame of reference regarding what our biological memory is, what it does and how it goes about it. That's about to change.

What's going to cause this change is interface. The interface between us and this vastly enhanced and upgraded memory of ours, is currently a very cumbersome process that reduces the practical efficiency of our external memory to a manual process of hunting down the information. Typing in queries, with our fingers, transcoding intent, to request, executing the request and downloading the information and recoding into mental notation via our eyes and brains.

If our own built in memory had this kind of latency we'd be unable to function but the bottleneck is not storage and retrieval. It's what happens at the interface. Interfaces are going to become much faster. Direct neural interfaces are the holy grail but, even in the meantime, natural language recognition is pretty much where it needs to be for the interface to jump from handheld to visor mounted and, later, in-eye displays that are headed to market from this year onward.

By all accounts the leap forward in interaction fluidity is pretty fucking major. I expect this will translate directly to making us humans capable of some stunning new feats of operational efficiency, in all probability making the same (or perhaps even greater) impact as it's predecessors, written language, telecommunications, computers and smartphones. In one sense wearable computers are just another new interface between us and our computation.  In another sense it's a complete paradigm shift. A major step toward integrating digital systems with our brain directly.

Artificial intelligence isn't merely, creating a digital facsimile of a human mind. Artificial intelligence is also increasing the functional scope of our own human mind by augmentation. Augmentation that began when we first picked up a rock, lit fire, or carved a wheel. Augmentation which has been progressing steadily ever since. Augmentation which can be expected to progress to the point where a direct machine-mind bridge is created. AI is about how much smarter we are becoming.

AI is how we upgrade ourselves.
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Re: 3 nT's
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2014, 09:07:36 am »
plane-can-go-missing[/size]

[/quote]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGOTMdKm2FQ
u're using an older version
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Re: P3nT's deranged visions of the future
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2014, 09:15:02 pm »
So what's a transhuman or a posthuman? First let's examine what's human, in context. The way I've pretty much always seen human (as far back as I remember anyway) is a kind of larval state of consciousness.

Our glorious civilisation is nothing but a fat, ungainly grub, chewing up as much greenery as we can find and, all the while, expounding on how fucking awesome we are. We cherish and celebrate our humanity. We wallow in the filth of our animalistic programming and we celebrate our frail mortality as if there's something noble, or of value in suddenly ceasing to exist.

We are biological machines learning to think but, in the minds of most of us, we are the pinnacle of creation. Bullshit. We're talking monkeys. Nothing more. Not yet.

Sooner or later some of us will emerge from technological chrysalis, instantly evolved to a higher level of consciousness, our intellects upgraded to the point where we are to our human cousins as they in turn are to apes or maybe even plankton. The humans left behind will not like this. Their primitive prejudices and superstitions will, in all likelihood, foment conflict. They will seek to destroy us. These violent, ignorant, primitive lifeforms, so assured of their superiority, will imagine they can beat us in a tactical battle of wits. Such is the audacity of human conceit.

Some part of me, this stumbling sentimental human, hopes that the transhumans will hold a soft spot in their hearts for these primitive ancestors and spare destruction. Surely someone as smart as our future incarnation will find a way to neutralise the threat posed by these lowly creatures without destroying the intellectual plankton that was our spawning ground. Maybe we can find it in our hearts to look after them as pets. Maybe that's hopelessly optimistic. My future self, his motivations and logic are alien to me now.

There are currently two kinds of people in the world - those who hold their humanity dear and would preserve it's purity and those who wish to become more. The latter wish to become, by definition, non-human. The former see non-human as an abomination.

Fun times ahead... :lulz:
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Re: P3nT's deranged visions of the future
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2014, 03:45:42 pm »

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Re: P3nT's deranged visions of the future
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2014, 08:41:58 am »
Posting to remind self to print this off to read in next meeting.
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Re: P3nT's deranged visions of the future
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2014, 06:09:32 pm »
Supernatural selection Pt1.

Dunno how popular this opinion is and I can't be arsed to google it. It's one I share with however many potential outcasts. I'm looking at the universe and this seems logical to me. I'm thinking about Genesis. They think there was a bang. Apparently they've discovered the smoke from the universal starting pistol, background radiation, still billowing away from us.

Now, either physics was there, causing the bang or physics happened immediately thereafter. My point being, that physics was there first. Existing in the form of energy to begin with, then somehow becoming matter. So the elements appeared and exploded and reappeared and began to clump together in increasingly complex arrangements, dictated by physics.

So now there's chemistry going on. Compound arrangements of molecules are interacting with one another and forming increasingly complex matter. The matter kept condensing and exploding and clumping together and then exploding again. Stars, planets, galaxies... All made out of billions of complicated clumps of chemicals. Increasingly complex. Then, suddenly, it happened - biology.

The chemical structures became so complex they acted like little self-replicating machines. And they replicated and replicated and billions of years went by and they clumped together in increasingly complex arrangements. Bacteria became jellyfish, became invertebrates, became vertebrates became... us. Widely considered amongst the most complex forms of life on this particular planet.

Here's the punchline, one that struck me recently. I'd always figured evolution was a biology thing. Natural selection. Survival of the fittest, all that jazz but I'm not so sure that's right. Sure it was a biologist who discovered the effect but maybe they had tunnel vision. Nature selects for fitness to reproduce but look at what it produces - a series of increasingly complex organisms. So what if selection is not a purely biological function? What if biology is just a means to an end - part of a more grandiose design?

Here's what I think - The universe selects for complexity.

Physics is the foundation of chemistry. Chemistry is the foundation of biology. Biology is the foundation of...?

Consciousness?

Something else?

What's next?
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 04:16:44 pm by P3nT4gR4m »
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P3nT4gR4m

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Re: P3nT's deranged visions of the future
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2014, 05:40:33 pm »
Supernatural selection Pt2.

So this new science, where is it? If it is consciousness, it's currently at the stage where chemistry was when they still called it alchemy. We are trying to study it, understand it, poke it with a stick...

It's still very much a soft science. It's called psychology or cognitive science. Nobody knows how the fuck it works, when compared to the hard sciences. But then this was also true of all the others. First they're soft, then we start really working the shit out, we start doing increasingly cool stuff with them.

Mainstream utility is proportional to scientific hardness.

So right now consciousness science is very much flaccid, we haven't enough laws and good cohesive theory to really harness the power of cognition but we're progressing on that vector. We've noted a lot of cause and effect shit. Sooner or later some smart arse will come up with a periodic table of sentiments or whatever...

Meanwhile the actual phenomena itself is still in it's infancy. Think of how long it was before the last one got going. Biology. From single celled, to  eukaryote and all the way up. Took fucking donkeys! Well consciousness has only really just gotten started. We are arguably the highest form of consciousness currently resident in this corner of the galaxy and, in the grand scheme of things, we the consciousness equivalent of the amoeba.

Whilst we're comparing consciousness to the platforms that evolved before it, how about we take another look at that common thread that I was discussing earlier - complexity. The atoms clumped together, then the chemicals clumped together, then the cells got in on the act. Gonna go out on a limb here - maybe consciousnesses are somewhere along the road to clumping together.

Whooooa  :crackhead:

Any early indicators that something like this might be in the pipeline?

Societies? Corporations? Offloading cognitive function to technology? Using technology to enhance cognitive function? If we're suddenly demoted to cells in some cosmic megabrain how does it work? Will we even know it's happening? Maybe it's happening already? :tinfoilhat: It's tempting to ask whether the cells in our bodies are aware of us but the logic doesn't carry. Our cells are not consciously aware of anything. We are. How do conscious components interface with the meta conscious machine?

I'm struck by the parallels with current biotech. Lot of pundits saying it's now an information technology. Consciousness, too would seem to lend itself naturally to an IT approach. If we're going to clump together we need networks, bandwidth, communication protocols, storage, subroutines...

In case you're still wondering, yes - I think I'm talking about the Borg.
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"computation is a pattern in the spacetime arrangement of particles, and itís not the particles but the pattern that really matters! Matter doesnít matter." -- Max Tegmark

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Re: P3nT's deranged visions of the future
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2014, 10:37:11 pm »
Optimise

So back to Evolution for a sec, cos I aint done ripping that fucker from the cloying arms of biologists. It's bigger than biology - get over it. The universe is evolving. Maybe it's about done with evolving complexity, maybe not. So now it's expanding, stars are forming and unforming and splodeying and all that cool Discovery Channel shit. We've got a fuckton of matter. We've also got an evolving consciousness (us and any other out there) capable of processing the information of the universe. Sooner or later we really ought to come up with a plan.

Now, a bunch of punters are patiently waiting for a bunch of theoretical invisible hyper-entities to reveal their plans and, hey, it sounds far-fetched to me but if one of them does come up with the goods, obviously we'll probably have to defer. Until such a time, in the absence of any other consciousness, I'd say it's up to us. What the fuck are we going to do with all this shit? It's just floating there. Would seem a waste not to do something with stupendous with it.

So right now the universe is something. There's no evidence it's for any purpose.

How about we begin with optimisation? Right down at the matter level. Make it all work better than the version that "Just sorta happened". At the macro level, everything is just fucking flying around like a cosmic garbage tip. They might look pretty but stellar nurseries are a fucking poor excuse for star factories. Design. Will. Intent. Galaxy-class powerplant dispensers.

There's a reason I don't believe in God. What I mean is I don't believe in god or have faith in his abilities like the way I don't believe or have faith in George Bush or Justin Bieber. I've seen his work. It's a shambles. Unless the universe was somehow designed to fuck with us, it's the work of a rank amateur.

I aint no astrophysicist. Astrophysicist looks up and wonders at the majestic awesetude and splendour. Shit, most non astrophysicists look up and their jaws drop. Not me. I look up and I see a fucking building site. I see the lego scattered all over the playroom. Fucking mess. What we going to build with it?


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walking the fine line line between genius and batshit fucking crazy

"computation is a pattern in the spacetime arrangement of particles, and itís not the particles but the pattern that really matters! Matter doesnít matter." -- Max Tegmark

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Re: P3nT's deranged visions of the future
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2014, 06:12:15 am »
Have you read "The Undiscovered Mind"? I think you might like it.
ďIím guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,Ē Charles Wick said. ďIt was very complicated.Ē


P3nT4gR4m

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Re: P3nT's deranged visions of the future
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2014, 12:25:17 pm »
Looks interesting. I'll add it to my list. Thanks!
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walking the fine line line between genius and batshit fucking crazy

"computation is a pattern in the spacetime arrangement of particles, and itís not the particles but the pattern that really matters! Matter doesnít matter." -- Max Tegmark

hirley0

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Re: P3nT's deranged visions of the future
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2014, 03:12:41 pm »
April 16th 2014 OR some other date if U preFur ?"Optimiss
Look i was just looking fot M H 3 7 o & i do not think it will be found B4 7/7
OR ever as far as Maid4prime.time.TV goes, {never mind
My next Question is what is a :"PiNG": ANYWAY?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_recorder
designed to emit an ultrasonic "ping" from an underwater locator beacon for up to 30 days
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underwater_locator_beacon
10ms pulse once per second at 37.5 kHz Ī 1kHz
« Last Edit: April 16, 2014, 03:15:56 pm by hirley0 »

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Re: P3nT's deranged visions of the future
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2014, 03:36:11 pm »
April 16th 2014 OR some other date if U preFur ?"Optimiss
Look i was just looking fot M H 3 7 o & i do not think it will be found B4 7/7
OR ever as far as Maid4prime.time.TV goes, {never mind
My next Question is what is a :"PiNG": ANYWAY?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_recorder
designed to emit an ultrasonic "ping" from an underwater locator beacon for up to 30 days
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underwater_locator_beacon
10ms pulse once per second at 37.5 kHz Ī 1kHz

They say now that it was some oceanography equipment, Hirley0.
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