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Messages - P3nT4gR4m

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1
Ahem.

Given that it wasn't me that derailed a perfectly good AI/robotics thread with some holier than thou half arsed bullshit about biology, then yeah, "ahem"  :roll:

2
Fair enough. I'm sure you'll be brimming with example of things it does other than process information (ie. computes)

One will do just fine.

The brain is the home of the master sex hormone regulator, that tells the body to mature, as well as doing a host of other things.

I'm fairly sure that the determined believer can figure out a way to reduce anything in the universe to "processing information", right up to and including life itself, which appears to be the level of consideration with which you've dismissed everything from the millions of permutations of neurotransmitter and hormonal communications, to DNA expression itself.

In my opinion, it's a real stretch to reduce cell functionality and DNA expression to "a computer", but if that's the basic unit you believe all information processing reduces to, I have no more reason to dissuade you than to try to dissuade a Mormon from wearing magic underwear.

You're talking about how it does what it does. That's your field. My field is information processing. I'm interested in what it is that comes out of all that stuff. It's signals. It's information. It changes and reads and stores and spits out signal. I don't particularly know or even care much how it does all that, aside from a vague curiosity. I know it's spectacular, I know it's all of those things, some weird kind of high frequency harmonic mexican waves flying back and forth, right down to tiny little bits of tubing, growing about all over the place. I dig it but the part of my attention which I devote to in depth study is always the signals themselves. The voltages or chemicals or whatever it is results in signals. These signals speak their own kind of emergent language. Call it the mind, call it consciousness, it's a program. Signals.

Hokay then. By that definition, everything is computers. 

Everything everywhere is exactly the same. It's computers all the way down. :lulz:

Here's how it works. If you can program it, it's a computer. So yeah, at the molecular level, that's exactly what dna is. Carrying out predefined instructions. Processing information. I've been working with "traditional" computers for 20-odd years now so don't take my word for it. Think bioinformatics, think computational neuroscience (the clue is in the name) I was of the impression that these were genuine avenues of scientific enquiry but hey, maybe it's psuedoscience? And yeah, computers all the way down, as far as I'm aware information theory has already gone there. Not sure if I'm buying it yet but if someone brings out an sdk I'm in.

Hey, look, I couldn't really give a shit. Have it your way, the brain doesn't compute, it's the immortal soul breathed into it by god, right?

3
Fair enough. I'm sure you'll be brimming with example of things it does other than process information (ie. computes)

One will do just fine.

The brain is the home of the master sex hormone regulator, that tells the body to mature, as well as doing a host of other things.

I'm fairly sure that the determined believer can figure out a way to reduce anything in the universe to "processing information", right up to and including life itself, which appears to be the level of consideration with which you've dismissed everything from the millions of permutations of neurotransmitter and hormonal communications, to DNA expression itself.

In my opinion, it's a real stretch to reduce cell functionality and DNA expression to "a computer", but if that's the basic unit you believe all information processing reduces to, I have no more reason to dissuade you than to try to dissuade a Mormon from wearing magic underwear.

You're talking about how it does what it does. That's your field. My field is information processing. I'm interested in what it is that comes out of all that stuff. It's signals. It's information. It changes and reads and stores and spits out signal. I don't particularly know or even care much how it does all that, aside from a vague curiosity. I know it's spectacular, I know it's all of those things, some weird kind of high frequency harmonic mexican waves flying back and forth, right down to tiny little bits of tubing, growing about all over the place. I dig it but the part of my attention which I devote to in depth study is always the signals themselves. The voltages or chemicals or whatever it is results in signals. These signals speak their own kind of emergent language. Call it the mind, call it consciousness, it's a program. Signals.

4
Lucky you. I got strapped into a fucking wheelchair with a ballgag :eek:

5
Fair enough. I'm sure you'll be brimming with example of things it does other than process information (ie. computes)

One will do just fine.

6
Just to clarify, "OPEN BAR" means "place to shout out random shit that's going in your life," right?

Wrong. We have an agenda. A very sinister and conspiratorial one. This thread is all code.

7
So, this is only tangentially related to the topic, but I figured it goes here anyway. A lot of people think of the brain as a sort of meat computer. It's not (it's actually mostly made out of fat, but that's beside the point). The actual complexity is difficult to convey partly because we don't understand it very well; every time we zoom in, we just find another level of staggering complexity.

Let's start here: an average young healthy adult has about 200 billion neurons in their central nervous system alone. That's a lot of neurons. Each neuron makes up to 10,000 connections with other neurons. If we're looking at connectivity, we're up to a really, really big number... what is that, 2x1018? But of course, when you're talking about functionality, just the number of connections doesn't tell the whole story. You have to account for combinations of connections. I can't even guess at how many different combinations are likely for each neuron, so lets just be really conservative and say ten, because it's a nice simple number. That gives us, (unless I fucked up the math, which is completely possible) about 4.5x1084.

That's a lot. That is a very, very big number. But that's not all.

There are about ten times more glial cells than neurons. Glial cells are the support cells of the nervous system, and we don't know very much about what they do. We do know that they play a role in neuroplasticity (changing and strengthening connections) and in neurotransmitter regulation. I'm going to stop even trying with the math now, because I'm sure you get the point.

Speaking of neurotransmitters, there are over 100 different ones that we know about so far. What a neurotransmitter can do mostly depends on the types of receptors on the postsynaptic neuron, and where THAT neuron terminates. Some neurotransmitters only have one known receptor, but most have several; serotonin has 15. 14 of those serotonin receptors are G-protein-coupled receptors, which means that they release one of many types of G protein when the neurotransmitter binds to the receptor. What's a G protein, you might ask? WELL, it's a sort of tiny molecular switch that can act as a messenger that triggers a variety of other effects in a cell, some of which ultimately effect the DNA in the nucleus, changing how it expresses its genes. Remember, neurons are cells, so this means it alters the functionality of the neuron, usually on a graded scale, in any one of the many ways the neuron's DNA is capable of expressing.

I am simplifying this WAY WAY down. It's much more complex than I'm making it sound. I'm just trying to give some insight into why I do not believe that computer technology is anywhere close to "brain like", and may never be.

Brains are not very good calculators, which is why we invented calculators. Electrons move at the speed of light; electrochemical impulses in neurons are dependent on the physical movement of ions, and that speed maxes out at about 90 meters per second in humans. The trade-off is that they are staggeringly complex and yet are literally made of the most common and easily-replaceable stuff in the universe; crap you'd just find laying around on a planet.

I pretty much agree with everything you're saying here, other than the fact that the brain, to me, is nothing more than a computer. In the classical sense that all it does is processes stores and outputs information.

I agree that it's nothing like our technological computers, for one thing, although the "clock speed" is pitifully slow, the massive parallelism evident, would make it more akin to a super network, with each neuron being a computer in it's own right but, when treated as a discrete unit, it accepts input via various system edge connections, it processes these inputs and it stores and outputs data.

So we're down to use cases. When would you use meat and when would you use silicon? As silicon progresses, regardless of the complexity and parallelism issues, which (despite protests to the contrary) I'm confident will be solved on a long enough timeline, for sake of argument somewhere between this century and a billion years from now. We're fast knocking down use cases where the brain is better.

Information storage, organisation and retrieval is handled much better by machines.

Raw numerical and mathematical calculation is handled much better by machines.

Pattern recognition, which has, until now, been strictly the domain of meatware is now falling fast to neural nets which, despite being an architecture inspired by the brain, are actually not an attempt to replicate it (except in the minds of people who don't get machine learning) Neural nets are much more stable and potentially much more accurate than meat in domain spaces which become broader as density, speed and algorithmic topologies advance. Bear in mind that AI is currently at the stage computing was back in the 80's. Current chips are (quite literally) millions of times more powerful than they were back then. We expect neural nets to be millions of times more powerful in the next few decades.

One of the poster boy domains in machine learning right now is face recognition, in which machines now outperform meat by a significant degree. Pretty soon recognition is going to be machine dominated across the board. Including the kind of recognition which the human brain has never been capable. Machine learning systems are already beginning to see patterns in data that no human being alive could ever comprehend.

So where does that leave meat? What's it's strong suit? Even short term (next 20-30 years) the only thing I can see being left is consciousness/personality. Seems to me to be the granddaddy of computational tasks. I think that's the one thing we might never understand but, in gaining greater degrees of incomplete  understanding, maybe we find out some things it can do that we never figured would be possible. Maybe consciousness can migrate to an alternative substrate. Maybe it can exist in a less complex framework than the one which built itself by accident.

So do I think this means machines will take over? Fuck no. Machines are part of our mind. If I need to know something, I can employ a machine to find or calculate that information. That's just me doing something. The machine is an extension of me. The meat part hasn't changed in millennia but the machine part is advancing year on year. Stands to reason an increasingly large part of the entity considered as me will, over time, be made of machine. This has been happening since paper but it's only recently we seem to be approaching a tipping point.

8
You know what?  It's just a different goal is all.  Neither approach is wrong.  You seem to be focusing on data collection, I seem to be focusing on data processing.  Either one would be beneficial.

Though I still want life extension.

I didn't really understand your use case til you explained it but I think we're on the same page. Data collection is one bit of what I'm looking at. Broadly, I want to compensate for areas my meat brain is lacking (like your probability example) by having software that brings these calculations to my attention, either at will or (as in your example) as an alert.

I'm with you on life extension. I'm not planning on dying. Still feels weird saying that but in a couple of decades time maybe not so much. However, it's being attacked on so many fronts that maybe we'll rewrite our DNA or maybe we'll upload our consciousness to a cloud server. Both possibilities seemed a lot more far fetched ten years ago than they do now.

9
To tell the truth, I would love an implant that could accurately calculate probabilities at speed.

Think bigger. If an implant happens it'll tether to your mobile. All your communications, navigation, calendar, apps and web traffic, routed straight through your head. I'm not thinking much will have changed from where we are now in terms of what the device is capable of computing, just a leap forward in interface fluidity that would mean all that information would be accessed by just thinking about it, rather than fiddling about with a little box in your pocket.

We'll see AR rolling out over the next year or two, as it matures it should be a halfway step to what I'm talking about. Depends on how much we can squeeze out of eye and ear bandwidth. Just being able to vocalise a query and have the solution appear in your field of view will make a big difference and that's so close to done it's scary. Imagine the "Correct me if I'm wrong" App, which monitors your conversation and throws up an article link if you're talking shit or corroboration if not. :lulz:

10
well, to address the first part, I was trying to argue for cyborgs as a shortcut to the level of grace and autonomy that were trying to achieve with robots like Asimo. why teach a robots to walk and run and shit when we can already do that stuff?

Admittedly I admit i think i might not understand what you mean by biomedically, which here i thought meant small stuff like pacemakers, or replacement limbs, and not augmentative things like brain to brain telepathy. If it is the proper term for what i'm trying to convey, (installing electronics directly into our meaty bits) then i'm sorry, not just for being ignorant but also for being dismissive.
 
 Also, i blame that mad scientist wet dream I posted just now mostly on that Choice of Robots game. It has sent my imagination to some very odd places lately.

I still can't figure out exactly what you're asking. Can you distill it into something concise and specific? "installing electronics directly into our meaty bits" is hopelessly vague. Are you talking about putting a computer "brain" inside a human body? The human brain is already much much better than any computers are and possibly better than we can ever make them. Are you talking about adding enhancements, like implanted internet connectivity? That could be neat, and will almost certainly happen.

Depends on the application. The human brain is fucking terrible at processing straightforward numerical and logical calculations to any measurable degree of accuracy. So much so that the number of these operations it can deal with in one second averages out to less than one, whereas machine speed is fast approaching trillions on a bog standard chip. Memory and recall have already been enhanced beyond recognition by machines.

11
Or Kill Me / Re: Autism adhd and rough drafts for forensic.
« on: January 28, 2015, 06:43:59 pm »

From all of the rationalizations one can create to avoid treatment for mental illness, one of them is people don't recognize they have a problem in the first place - they rather are special snowflakes that none understand -; another rationalization is sweeping generalizations to discredit entire fields of research and professions.

By your own logic ALL doctors and nurses make people sick, mechanics ruin cars, engineers break their systems.

Trust NO ONE, so do surgery on yourself, fix your own car and self medicate.

Maybe the truth is a some in column-A and some in column-B?

I'm on the fence. Knowing mental dysfunction the way I do, I know it's a lot more complex than just broad canvassing select symptoms. I agree with the OP's observation of the potential for the diagnosis to influence cognitive development. Wouldn't surprise me one bit if this happened sometimes.

13
Depends what comes first. Probably a blended approach. If I can increase my telomeres or whatever it is that biology needs to do then good and well but if they can just hack off my legs and plug some carbon fibre replacements into the stumps then my interest in athletes foot preparations will drop sharply.

14
Is a humanoid shape the optimum way to lift things or kill things?

I very much doubt it. My stake in this is purely upgrading myself, based on the existing primate/biped model. Run faster, jump higher, think better. Humanoid is merely what I'm used to, so it'd make sense to stick with that shape, at least to begin with. The best shape for a supermarket checkout operator is checkout shape. The best shape for a robot sniper is a quadcopter with a rifle. Functional robotics is about thinking outside the box. Humanoid robots is a vanity exercise

15


I apply the same logic to inventing conscious machines. "AGI" as they're calling it. I'm like human cognition is solved.

What?

I can't have read that right.

We're it?

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