Author Topic: 'kay, so, this singularity thing...  (Read 7169 times)

tyrannosaurus vex

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Re: 'kay, so, this singularity thing...
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2014, 05:56:19 am »
Continuity: I said "a sense of consciousness continuity" - our brains may not actually provide much continuity, but it seems like they do. As long as whatever contraption holds my consciousness in its bits and bytes can do the same, then that's fine with me. I guess what I mean is, for the switch to really work, I have to fall asleep (or whatever) as my bio-self, and feel like I'm still me when I wake up as my digi-self. Maybe the psyche is resilient enough to just wing it and not really notice it that much. We should test it on dolphins (and probably kittens) to be sure.

Procreation: I assume there would be some method of generating new conscious minds, eventually. My question isn't so much about the technical possibility of generating new minds, but would those minds be as "human" as minds that had originated as biological and then been transferred to digital format? Is there something definitive about "humanity" that requires more than self-awareness? If my digi-child has never had the experience of realizing its mortality, how would that effect things like empathy or risk calculation? Would I, as a practically limitless digital consciousness, even be interested in procreation in the first place, or would that "biological imperitive" be absent from my post-transfer human experience? If I was interested, would I be satisfied with a digital child in the same way that biological parenthood satisfies me, and would I be able to form the same kind of parent-child bond with that generated mind?

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hunter s.durden

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Re: 'kay, so, this singularity thing...
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2014, 05:57:49 am »
Sillygr4m, you seem to forget one important thing (me), so allow me to take the suspense out of this for you.
You will most assuredly die. I guarantee it.

See you around!
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Re: 'kay, so, this singularity thing...
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2014, 06:08:03 am »
Continuity: I said "a sense of consciousness continuity" - our brains may not actually provide much continuity, but it seems like they do.
Not to me. I don't wake up thinking "Oh, I just went to sleep a couple of seconds ago. heh." I am actually aware that an extended period of time has elapsed. And not in a hey the sun's up sort of way.

Quote
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As long as whatever contraption holds my consciousness in its bits and bytes can do the same, then that's fine with me. I guess what I mean is, for the switch to really work, I have to fall asleep (or whatever) as my bio-self, and feel like I'm still me when I wake up as my digi-self. Maybe the psyche is resilient enough to just wing it and not really notice it that much. We should test it on dolphins (and probably kittens) to be sure.

Procreation: I assume there would be some method of generating new conscious minds, eventually. My question isn't so much about the technical possibility of generating new minds, but would those minds be as "human" as minds that had originated as biological and then been transferred to digital format? Is there something definitive about "humanity" that requires more than self-awareness? If my digi-child has never had the experience of realizing its mortality, how would that effect things like empathy or risk calculation? Would I, as a practically limitless digital consciousness, even be interested in procreation in the first place, or would that "biological imperitive" be absent from my post-transfer human experience? If I was interested, would I be satisfied with a digital child in the same way that biological parenthood satisfies me, and would I be able to form the same kind of parent-child bond with that generated mind?

Subjective experience of reality: I have it on good authority that bacon does no taste like feces in any possible universe.

I think part of the reason why I find this so totally ridiculous is that with sufficient science and engineering, no transfer is necessary. We know the biological machinery that works against us and our computers are fucking pathetic compared to the grey matter. Biology on Earth has already developed the most efficient data coding apparatus we've ever seen. The concept of transferring your consciousness, while I can say something about the pattern is frankly a ridiculous question. The point is to make sure the computer never breaks. Until the Universe does, of course.


Also missing the point about the bacon, I think.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 06:12:34 am by THE PHYTOPHTHORATIC HOLDER OF THE ADVANCED DEGREE »
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Re: 'kay, so, this singularity thing...
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2014, 06:10:20 am »
I hate multiquoting, now I have to make it work.
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Cramulus

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Re: 'kay, so, this singularity thing...
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2014, 02:29:37 pm »
It's like the star trek transporter problem -- if all the transporter does is break down your body into energy, beam it somewhere, then turn it back into matter and reassemble it, is it really you?
Yes.
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Maybe your experience of consciousness would be interrupted when your body was ripped apart, and it wouldn't "pick up" again when the machine gets rebooted planetside - that's a NEW experience of consciousness, and the old you is dead.

It's not though. We experience that every day when we go to bed. Your consciousness is interrupted for  a couple of hours, then you get something similar to consciousness, then you stop existing again, then you approach consciousness again, then you disappear again and then you alarm clock goes off. For most of those 8 hours you may as well, from your own perspective, be dead. The only difference is that you can vaguely experience things and maybe as a survival instinct become conscious again.

I think that's different though. When I go to bed, the computer is in sleep mode, not fully dismantled. If you were to rip apart my brain and reassemble it at the atomic level, or if you were to create an identical copy of my brain somewhere else, I'm not convinced that person would be Me --- or that the me who is typing this sentence would get to participate in that brain's experiences.

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Re: 'kay, so, this singularity thing...
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2014, 02:34:05 pm »
Sillygr4m, you seem to forget one important thing (me), so allow me to take the suspense out of this for you.
You will most assuredly die. I guarantee it.

See you around!


well slap my tits and flush my face


Hunter, maybe YOU will die. And maybe p3nt will die. But I will survive. At the moment of my death I will become a swarm of immortal bees, and I will take a thousand years to make a drop of immortal honey, and then I will pour it on your grave and reanimate you so we can smoke pipes and be skeletons together.

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Re: 'kay, so, this singularity thing...
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2014, 02:37:39 pm »
It's like the star trek transporter problem -- if all the transporter does is break down your body into energy, beam it somewhere, then turn it back into matter and reassemble it, is it really you?
Yes.
Quote
Maybe your experience of consciousness would be interrupted when your body was ripped apart, and it wouldn't "pick up" again when the machine gets rebooted planetside - that's a NEW experience of consciousness, and the old you is dead.

It's not though. We experience that every day when we go to bed. Your consciousness is interrupted for  a couple of hours, then you get something similar to consciousness, then you stop existing again, then you approach consciousness again, then you disappear again and then you alarm clock goes off. For most of those 8 hours you may as well, from your own perspective, be dead. The only difference is that you can vaguely experience things and maybe as a survival instinct become conscious again.

I think that's different though. When I go to bed, the computer is in sleep mode, not fully dismantled. If you were to rip apart my brain and reassemble it at the atomic level, or if you were to create an identical copy of my brain somewhere else, I'm not convinced that person would be Me --- or that the me who is typing this sentence would get to participate in that brain's experiences.

I refer you back to the philosophical zombie article posted earlier.

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Re: 'kay, so, this singularity thing...
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2014, 03:40:32 pm »
sorry, connect the dots for me. My reading of the philosophical zombie article is that the philosophical zombie (or for purposes of this thread, digital copy of my brain) must have a form of consciousness, some 'passive listener' inside. Is that right? I don't disagree with that. My point is that I'm not convinced that is me, or that my experience of the universe wouldn't end when the electrochemical activity in my gray matter does.

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Re: 'kay, so, this singularity thing...
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2014, 03:45:21 pm »
Ah.  Let me see if I can find the relevant passage.

The argument, loosely put, goes back to subatomic particle theory.  If we swapped one proton for another in your brain, you would still be you, because that happens all the time, every day, every second.  Now extrapolate.  Your brain is physically changing it's entire structure every second.  Why would "you" not be "you" in a perfect replica of your brain, if it is already constantly happening to you already?

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Re: 'kay, so, this singularity thing...
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2014, 03:51:10 pm »
Ok, it was linked to the Zombie article (or from, whatevs).

http://lesswrong.com/lw/pm/identity_isnt_in_specific_atoms/

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Over the course of a single second—not seven years, but one second—the joint position of all the atoms in your brain, will change far enough away from what it was before, that there is no overlap with the previous joint amplitude distribution.  The brain doesn't repeat itself.  Over the course of one second, you will end up being comprised of a completely different, nonoverlapping volume of configuration space.


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Re: 'kay, so, this singularity thing...
« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2014, 04:09:15 pm »
Ah.  Let me see if I can find the relevant passage.

The argument, loosely put, goes back to subatomic particle theory.  If we swapped one proton for another in your brain, you would still be you, because that happens all the time, every day, every second.  Now extrapolate.  Your brain is physically changing it's entire structure every second.  Why would "you" not be "you" in a perfect replica of your brain, if it is already constantly happening to you already?

That's what I was pointing at with my "nanites replace one cell at a time" post - a gradual shift from biological to digital makes it easier to swallow a constant notion of self might be preserved.

But in the transporter example, we're not talking about switching one atom for another atom while the machine is running, we're talking about dismantling the hardware, rebuilding it elsewhere, and cold starting the fucker.

If you were to make a digital image of my brain and let it loose in a digital environment, and I was still alive watching the thing on a screen, I wouldn't think of that guy as Me, right? I would know he's a copy of me. HE might think he was me. And for all social purposes, you might treat him like me. But it's clearly a different instance of consciousness.

Would you step into a transporter, knowing that your experience of the universe might end (might as well call it death) as soon as your brain got ripped apart? Would you be comforted to know that a machine somewhere else in the universe is assembling matter that everybody will think is you? Personally, I still wouldn't get into one of those things.


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Re: 'kay, so, this singularity thing...
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2014, 04:21:25 pm »
You're expanding scope.  Whether or not I'd get into a transporter is different than whether swapping every atom in my brain for an identical copy would still be "me".

tyrannosaurus vex

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Re: 'kay, so, this singularity thing...
« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2014, 04:21:36 pm »
So, I think this discussion is going a little bit toward talking past each other. I will take a stab at restating what I understand the positions to be...

a) Consciousness is an illusion which emerges from the states and methods of information processing in the human brain. I do not disagree with this.
b) Any atom-by-atom copy of a conscious brain would, necessarily, also have consciousness. This is also fine.

The question is not "Would a digital copy be conscious?", but "Would the consciousness in the digital copy be ME?". Because of what we know about subatomic physics, the answer would have to be "yes" from the perspective of the digital copy. If it was possible to design a test that proved definitively whether such a copy experienced the same (illusory) sense of cognitive and self-aware continuity as the original experiences, and had the same self-identity, the test results would be positive. But what about the original? Do I survive the transition, or does the digital copy just believe it is me?
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Re: 'kay, so, this singularity thing...
« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2014, 08:28:23 pm »
So the immortality thing and the uploading to nanoclouds thing is part and parcel but it's implicit. There's many forms being banded about but, lets face it, it's on the other side of an event horizon, the other side of which we are unable to predict, perhaps even unable to imagine.

Initially there's a track, there are technologies we are expecting to see emerging in the next 5-10 years but the applications of these? I'm pretty sure I never heard about anything like facebook being a possibility back when I was learning how to talk to monolithic machines that rumbled and whirred in whole rooms of the college I attended.

Accelerando by Charles Stross examines one possible route in which something like Google glass evolves right up to an event where "computronium" comes online and starts dismantling the solar system and turning it into thought.

another cool read is Postsingular by Rudy Rucker a network of powerful self replicating nanocumputers forming an invisible grid, 1mm2 across every surface on earth. I never really had my head around the notion of ubiquitious computing until I read this.

In the meantime Kurtzwell has expanded Moores law and turned it into his law of accelerating returns and I can't say I disagree with him in principle. It's not just transistors on substrate that's doubling. A whole bunch of connected things are double every year or two as well.

Between advances in medicine and associated tech, I'm hoping I can hang on long enough to take advantage of the ability to backup my mind onto some kind of artrificial platform. I'm of the opinion that the pattern that exists as a snapshot of my neural jiggery pokery is me. It's a pattern that changes, dynamically if given the opportunity and the upshot is that something that thinks it's me exists. I have absolutely no evidence of any other thing existing as some fundamental me-ness that exists independently of this configuration so I'm not too worried about what happens when I'm spawned on a more reliable hardware platform. Continuity is implicit.

The real doozy for me is the idea of branching clones of your real self off into parallel simulations that would run thousands of times faster than real time. You could fuck off and learn to play the piano for 30 years then reintegrate the two patterns by merging them together. Bingo - you're now a virtuoso pianist.

But that's post-singularity. If the law of accelerating returns delivers half of what it's suggesting, we ease into this scenario, exploring fields like 3d printing, biotechnology, neural computer interfacing, AI, Nanotech and a whole bunch of other awesome shit and all this looks set to start really kicking off over the next decade or two.

FUCK - there goes that optimism thing again  :sad:
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Re: 'kay, so, this singularity thing...
« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2014, 08:34:43 pm »
So i just thought of something. What about two universes that only differ in one regard. Say some planet in the andromeda galaxy never formed but the two earths and therefore the two crams are identical in every way. Even on a quantum level. Is that guy not you? What about a cram from a universe where everything is the same except its made of antimatter and we have an anticram. Anticram has a hard time thinking of cram as cram. To him our cram is the anticram. Either way a high five is inadvisable. Also i got to invent a guy known as the anticram.
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