What is Artificial Intelligence?

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Synthesis
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What is Artificial Intelligence?

Post by Synthesis » September 20th, 2017, 3:02 pm

Science, being the oracle of our age, allows its high priests to present artificial intelligence [to the true believers] as the tripartite, the third leg of the Holy Trinity [Science, Technology, AI]. But before we genuflect to the new deity, perhaps we might wish to explore exactly what AI is. Considering the notion that our grasp of human intelligence is sketchy, at best, how can some knock-off measure up?

When you consider the quality of life most human beings enjoy, one might question why the masters of the Universe might not want to come up of something a bit more useful than AI, perhaps, artificial concern, or, artificial compassion. The processing of information being the issue it is, having a machine churn data more quickly [or efficiently] does not appear to be the answer [as it is not getting at the problem], which is that the human intellect simply can not access Reality [or reality].

Being that contentment [being OK with whatever appears in one's life] is the best any of us can hope for in this life, attempting to stretch the intellect further and further simply yields greater levels of dys-function. Although we can certainly strive to improve upon the tools we use to assist us on our journey, figuring things out more accurately is simply not possible. Accepting things as they are needs to be the goal, something our predecessors realized thousands of years ago.

Unfortunately for our fellow travelers, contentment is not high of the list of attributes that make ourselves subject to the desires that drive the consumption frenzy that defines contemporary social relations. So long as the mainstay of human activity continues to be the acquisition of something for nothing, people will use whatever advantages they can discover to enhance/accelerate this process. AI is simply another link in the chain that binds us to the weakest i.e., those that [by definition] will do whatever it takes to accumulate [every damn thing].

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Greta
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Re: What is Artificial Intelligence?

Post by Greta » September 20th, 2017, 9:25 pm

Synthesis wrote:Science, being the oracle of our age, allows its high priests to present artificial intelligence [to the true believers] as the tripartite, the third leg of the Holy Trinity [Science, Technology, AI]. But before we genuflect to the new deity, perhaps we might wish to explore exactly what AI is. Considering the notion that our grasp of human intelligence is sketchy, at best, how can some knock-off measure up?
I see AI as the concentrated product of collective human intelligence - an expression of "the hive mind".
Synthesis wrote:When you consider the quality of life most human beings enjoy, one might question why the masters of the Universe might not want to come up of something a bit more useful than AI, perhaps, artificial concern, or, artificial compassion. The processing of information being the issue it is, having a machine churn data more quickly [or efficiently] does not appear to be the answer [as it is not getting at the problem], which is that the human intellect simply can not access Reality [or reality].
I see your question as akin to asking why a carpenter doesn't fix the plumbing. Information is a scientific concept. Concern and compassion are social concepts, more closely related to law than science. Certainly our laws have many loopholes when it comes to compassion and being a "good citizen".

Even if we consider compassion as a product of group theory of evolution, how does one program that into a machine - authentically - without the robots being programmed to fatuously feign emotion so as to fool people? On all levels, the focus on intelligence you refer to is the line of least resistance for scientists.
Synthesis wrote:Being that contentment [being OK with whatever appears in one's life] is the best any of us can hope for in this life, attempting to stretch the intellect further and further simply yields greater levels of dys-function. Although we can certainly strive to improve upon the tools we use to assist us on our journey, figuring things out more accurately is simply not possible. Accepting things as they are needs to be the goal, something our predecessors realized thousands of years ago.

Unfortunately for our fellow travelers, contentment is not high of the list of attributes that make ourselves subject to the desires that drive the consumption frenzy that defines contemporary social relations. So long as the mainstay of human activity continues to be the acquisition of something for nothing, people will use whatever advantages they can discover to enhance/accelerate this process. AI is simply another link in the chain that binds us to the weakest i.e., those that [by definition] will do whatever it takes to accumulate [every damn thing].
There is currently a growing struggle for whatever natural resources are left available after being consumed by more than seven billion humans. We represent the highest biomass of any large animal in the Earth's history and it's obviously unsustainable.

So, in this dash for positioning before systems break down (which entrenches advantage further) billionaires and their cohorts are out-competing everyone else. Wealthy, technically enhanced humans are the future - and the rest of us are "Neanderthals", so to speak. As George Carlin would say, "we are going bye bye".

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Re: What is Artificial Intelligence?

Post by Steve3007 » September 21st, 2017, 3:42 am

The title of the OP is "What is Artificial Intelligence?" but it doesn't seem to be about that. It seems to be a general complaint about the state of modern society and the role that science and technology have taken in bringing that state about.

Odd.
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Re: What is Artificial Intelligence?

Post by Synthesis » September 21st, 2017, 5:39 pm

Greta wrote:
Synthesis wrote:Science, being the oracle of our age, allows its high priests to present artificial intelligence [to the true believers] as the tripartite, the third leg of the Holy Trinity [Science, Technology, AI]. But before we genuflect to the new deity, perhaps we might wish to explore exactly what AI is. Considering the notion that our grasp of human intelligence is sketchy, at best, how can some knock-off measure up?
I see AI as the concentrated product of collective human intelligence - an expression of "the hive mind".
So, is intelligence the measure of how far off we are from knowing the truth [of the matter], and if this is the case, how could we possibly measure such? We might find grading our bowel movements more productive.

So we need an artificial version of this?

-- Updated September 21st, 2017, 5:46 pm to add the following --
Steve3007 wrote:The title of the OP is "What is Artificial Intelligence?" but it doesn't seem to be about that. It seems to be a general complaint about the state of modern society and the role that science and technology have taken in bringing that state about.

Odd.
Yes, thank you pointing out the obvious.

Actually, it is not a complaint about the state of modern society [as I have no problem with the ways things are], instead, it is all of this ridiculous thinking that amuses me. Imagine believing that you could actually know how another thinks or feels [when we can't even understand ourselves].

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Re: What is Artificial Intelligence?

Post by Steve3007 » September 21st, 2017, 6:07 pm

Synthesis:
Yes, thank you pointing out the obvious.
Sorry. I do that a lot. I am a bear of very little brain and have to lay things out clearly so I can examine them.
Actually, it is not a complaint about the state of modern society [as I have no problem with the ways things are], instead, it is all of this ridiculous thinking that amuses me. Imagine believing that you could actually know how another thinks or feels [when we can't even understand ourselves].
Oh, ok. I guess you're right; we can't actually know it. But we can get some pointers. For example, I now have a theory, based on an observation, that you have a feeling of being amused by all of this ridiculous thinking. I could be wrong. But, then, I could be wrong about almost anything.
"When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea." - Eric Cantona.

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Re: What is Artificial Intelligence?

Post by Synthesis » September 21st, 2017, 7:02 pm

Steve3007 wrote:Synthesis:
Yes, thank you pointing out the obvious.
Sorry. I do that a lot. I am a bear of very little brain and have to lay things out clearly so I can examine them.
Actually, it is not a complaint about the state of modern society [as I have no problem with the ways things are], instead, it is all of this ridiculous thinking that amuses me. Imagine believing that you could actually know how another thinks or feels [when we can't even understand ourselves].
Oh, ok. I guess you're right; we can't actually know it. But we can get some pointers. For example, I now have a theory, based on an observation, that you have a feeling of being amused by all of this ridiculous thinking. I could be wrong. But, then, I could be wrong about almost anything.
Steve3007, my apologies for refusing to take responsibility for not changing the title. And as far as you brain is concerned, if you can type on your electronic device, you have a sufficient amount of brain-power to do anything you need. Please take solace in the notion that your are a man of great humility, a quality that most will never embody.

And finally, we are all wrong, albeit some by a minuscule amount more/less than others.

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Re: What is Artificial Intelligence?

Post by LuckyR » September 22nd, 2017, 3:33 pm

Synthesis wrote:Science, being the oracle of our age, allows its high priests to present artificial intelligence [to the true believers] as the tripartite, the third leg of the Holy Trinity [Science, Technology, AI]. But before we genuflect to the new deity, perhaps we might wish to explore exactly what AI is. Considering the notion that our grasp of human intelligence is sketchy, at best, how can some knock-off measure up?

When you consider the quality of life most human beings enjoy, one might question why the masters of the Universe might not want to come up of something a bit more useful than AI, perhaps, artificial concern, or, artificial compassion. The processing of information being the issue it is, having a machine churn data more quickly [or efficiently] does not appear to be the answer [as it is not getting at the problem], which is that the human intellect simply can not access Reality [or reality].

Being that contentment [being OK with whatever appears in one's life] is the best any of us can hope for in this life, attempting to stretch the intellect further and further simply yields greater levels of dys-function. Although we can certainly strive to improve upon the tools we use to assist us on our journey, figuring things out more accurately is simply not possible. Accepting things as they are needs to be the goal, something our predecessors realized thousands of years ago.

Unfortunately for our fellow travelers, contentment is not high of the list of attributes that make ourselves subject to the desires that drive the consumption frenzy that defines contemporary social relations. So long as the mainstay of human activity continues to be the acquisition of something for nothing, people will use whatever advantages they can discover to enhance/accelerate this process. AI is simply another link in the chain that binds us to the weakest i.e., those that [by definition] will do whatever it takes to accumulate [every damn thing].

It isn't about the tool (computers in this case), it is about what task the tool is being asked to perform. IMO using superior computational power of computers is essentially a win/win situation. But of course 99% or greater of all computer use is NOT in the realm of artificial intelligence. The common use of the term artificial intelligence implies that this artificial construct will replace human intelligence, though that would be an unusual current use of AI. If a software program in your home learns from your habits how to better regulate your thermostat to save resources and keep you comfortable, why not do it? OTOH, handing over the nuclear launch codes to a mainframe may not be the best idea. It all depends on the problem society is trying to solve.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: What is Artificial Intelligence?

Post by Ranvier » September 22nd, 2017, 6:11 pm

What is a Natural Intelligence? Is it simply an ability to learn and process data to generate a new "thought"? How can this process be better controlled in the temporal "reality" of a constant change that seeks clarity through a vague meaning of words? Concepts are based on sensory representation of data expressed in words but our human brain manipulates that data as "it" comes. Are words the grounding of that data in a logic of language? Does language then determine the intelligence or is that process of data manipulation only "constrained" by the efficacy of the language?

I need to think about all of this a little more...

-- Updated September 22nd, 2017, 6:33 pm to add the following --

Obviously a thought must "materialize" somehow from the electromagnetic impulses generated by the nervous system of the brain. Is the concept in language of words actually a physical entity in the biochemical reaction that generates a protein for such concept? Or is it a more temporary "structure" in the frontal and temporal lobes of language as a pattern recognition? What is a memory then and how can an abstract perception of "feeling" render itself for storage as a pattern? Is all of this nothing but electromagnetic waves stored in molecules through biochemical reactions? But how can a biochemical reaction identify with itself?

-- Updated September 22nd, 2017, 6:44 pm to add the following --

There seems to be a "dimension" of consciousness missing from all of this. Or is it the "main" imprint in the physical brain against which all patterns are reflected through the electrical impulses?

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Re: What is Artificial Intelligence?

Post by Atreyu » September 24th, 2017, 8:16 pm

I agree with the gist of the OP, but as others' have noted, it's really not about defining "artificial intelligence". In fact, it's really not about intelligence at all, but is rather a statement about the problems that arise when Man has more knowledge than what is appropriate for his current situation (i.e. his level of being). And it's quite correct.

To understand the OP's position better, one must understand the relation between knowledge and being. Knowledge is what you know, being is what you are. And if the two are in great imbalance, then the resulting situation is much worse than if one had very little knowledge but an amount which was appropriate for his level of being. And in modern society, man's knowledge has gotten way ahead of his level of being, i.e. what he is. Ideally, as knowledge grows, one's being also grows in tandem. And if it doesn't, eventually all that "extra" knowledge will only make the situation a bit more difficult, i.e. unnecessarily complex....

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Re: What is Artificial Intelligence?

Post by Synthesis » September 25th, 2017, 2:10 pm

LuckyR wrote:
Synthesis wrote:Science, being the oracle of our age, allows its high priests to present artificial intelligence [to the true believers] as the tripartite, the third leg of the Holy Trinity [Science, Technology, AI]. But before we genuflect to the new deity, perhaps we might wish to explore exactly what AI is. Considering the notion that our grasp of human intelligence is sketchy, at best, how can some knock-off measure up?

When you consider the quality of life most human beings enjoy, one might question why the masters of the Universe might not want to come up of something a bit more useful than AI, perhaps, artificial concern, or, artificial compassion. The processing of information being the issue it is, having a machine churn data more quickly [or efficiently] does not appear to be the answer [as it is not getting at the problem], which is that the human intellect simply can not access Reality [or reality].

Being that contentment [being OK with whatever appears in one's life] is the best any of us can hope for in this life, attempting to stretch the intellect further and further simply yields greater levels of dys-function. Although we can certainly strive to improve upon the tools we use to assist us on our journey, figuring things out more accurately is simply not possible. Accepting things as they are needs to be the goal, something our predecessors realized thousands of years ago.

Unfortunately for our fellow travelers, contentment is not high of the list of attributes that make ourselves subject to the desires that drive the consumption frenzy that defines contemporary social relations. So long as the mainstay of human activity continues to be the acquisition of something for nothing, people will use whatever advantages they can discover to enhance/accelerate this process. AI is simply another link in the chain that binds us to the weakest i.e., those that [by definition] will do whatever it takes to accumulate [every damn thing].

It isn't about the tool (computers in this case), it is about what task the tool is being asked to perform. IMO using superior computational power of computers is essentially a win/win situation. But of course 99% or greater of all computer use is NOT in the realm of artificial intelligence. The common use of the term artificial intelligence implies that this artificial construct will replace human intelligence, though that would be an unusual current use of AI. If a software program in your home learns from your habits how to better regulate your thermostat to save resources and keep you comfortable, why not do it? OTOH, handing over the nuclear launch codes to a mainframe may not be the best idea. It all depends on the problem society is trying to solve.
The problem isn't that we need more information [or better processing], instead, it's that we need to see things as clearly as possible.

-- Updated September 25th, 2017, 2:46 pm to add the following --
Ranvier wrote:What is a Natural Intelligence? Is it simply an ability to learn and process data to generate a new "thought"? How can this process be better controlled in the temporal "reality" of a constant change that seeks clarity through a vague meaning of words? Concepts are based on sensory representation of data expressed in words but our human brain manipulates that data as "it" comes. Are words the grounding of that data in a logic of language? Does language then determine the intelligence or is that process of data manipulation only "constrained" by the efficacy of the language?

I need to think about all of this a little more...

-- Updated September 22nd, 2017, 6:33 pm to add the following --

Obviously a thought must "materialize" somehow from the electromagnetic impulses generated by the nervous system of the brain. Is the concept in language of words actually a physical entity in the biochemical reaction that generates a protein for such concept? Or is it a more temporary "structure" in the frontal and temporal lobes of language as a pattern recognition? What is a memory then and how can an abstract perception of "feeling" render itself for storage as a pattern? Is all of this nothing but electromagnetic waves stored in molecules through biochemical reactions? But how can a biochemical reaction identify with itself?

-- Updated September 22nd, 2017, 6:44 pm to add the following --

There seems to be a "dimension" of consciousness missing from all of this. Or is it the "main" imprint in the physical brain against which all patterns are reflected through the electrical impulses?
Libraries are full of all kinds of words that describe everything from 'A' to 'Z' but none of this matters. If we can leave all of this speculation behind and simply accept what is right in front of our faces, then we can know the truth of the matter [or, as close as we can get to it].

-- Updated September 25th, 2017, 4:45 pm to add the following --
Atreyu wrote:I agree with the gist of the OP, but as others' have noted, it's really not about defining "artificial intelligence". In fact, it's really not about intelligence at all, but is rather a statement about the problems that arise when Man has more knowledge than what is appropriate for his current situation (i.e. his level of being). And it's quite correct.

To understand the OP's position better, one must understand the relation between knowledge and being. Knowledge is what you know, being is what you are. And if the two are in great imbalance, then the resulting situation is much worse than if one had very little knowledge but an amount which was appropriate for his level of being. And in modern society, man's knowledge has gotten way ahead of his level of being, i.e. what he is. Ideally, as knowledge grows, one's being also grows in tandem. And if it doesn't, eventually all that "extra" knowledge will only make the situation a bit more difficult, i.e. unnecessarily complex....
Knowledge is relative. At any point in time, it is what it is. If you could quintuple the amount of knowledge you had right now, it wouldn't matter a bit.

It is not knowledge that is important, it is seeing things as clearly as possible that means EVERYTHING.

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Re: What is Artificial Intelligence?

Post by Atreyu » September 25th, 2017, 6:10 pm

Synthesis wrote:
Atreyu wrote:I agree with the gist of the OP, but as others' have noted, it's really not about defining "artificial intelligence". In fact, it's really not about intelligence at all, but is rather a statement about the problems that arise when Man has more knowledge than what is appropriate for his current situation (i.e. his level of being). And it's quite correct.

To understand the OP's position better, one must understand the relation between knowledge and being. Knowledge is what you know, being is what you are. And if the two are in great imbalance, then the resulting situation is much worse than if one had very little knowledge but an amount which was appropriate for his level of being. And in modern society, man's knowledge has gotten way ahead of his level of being, i.e. what he is. Ideally, as knowledge grows, one's being also grows in tandem. And if it doesn't, eventually all that "extra" knowledge will only make the situation a bit more difficult, i.e. unnecessarily complex....
Knowledge is relative. At any point in time, it is what it is. If you could quintuple the amount of knowledge you had right now, it wouldn't matter a bit.

It is not knowledge that is important, it is seeing things as clearly as possible that means EVERYTHING.
Actually, if you could quintuple the amount of knowledge you have right now, it would make the situation slightly worse. More knowledge without a corresponding change of being will only make things more complex, not better.

And "seeing things as clearly as possible" entails understanding, which is precisely what is missing when knowledge runs way ahead of being. Knowledge which is not appropriate for mankind's current level of existence does not lead to any understanding of things. In fact, quite the contrary. It results in an ever increasing amalgamation of "information" or "data", but without the corresponding being to properly connect it all together into a coherent whole. And the end result is simply more questions than answers; more locks than keys...

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Re: What is Artificial Intelligence?

Post by Synthesis » September 25th, 2017, 6:27 pm

Atreyu wrote:
Synthesis wrote: (Nested quote removed.)


Knowledge is relative. At any point in time, it is what it is. If you could quintuple the amount of knowledge you had right now, it wouldn't matter a bit.

It is not knowledge that is important, it is seeing things as clearly as possible that means EVERYTHING.
Actually, if you could quintuple the amount of knowledge you have right now, it would make the situation slightly worse. More knowledge without a corresponding change of being will only make things more complex, not better.

And "seeing things as clearly as possible" entails understanding, which is precisely what is missing when knowledge runs way ahead of being. Knowledge which is not appropriate for mankind's current level of existence does not lead to any understanding of things. In fact, quite the contrary. It results in an ever increasing amalgamation of "information" or "data", but without the corresponding being to properly connect it all together into a coherent whole. And the end result is simply more questions than answers; more locks than keys...
Please explain what a, "change in being," means?

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Re: What is Artificial Intelligence?

Post by Atreyu » September 25th, 2017, 7:55 pm

Synthesis wrote:Please explain what a, "change in being," means?
It means a fundamental change in what you are.

For example, the being of an amoeba is quite different than the being of a giraffe, which is quite different than the being of a human, and each being will be able to make use of, or "handle", the same knowledge in quite different ways.

Let's take a simple example. I try to give knowledge to each being by holding up a sign that says '2+2=4'. The human, having the more advanced level of being, is capable of reading the sign, and understanding the principle that 2+2=4. The giraffe, having a less advanced level of being, cannot understand what the sign signifies in the least, but it will notice something is there, and perhaps be able to differentiate between the numbers on the sign and the background of the sign. In other words, the giraffe will at least be able to perceive the object, and differentiate it from other objects, but will not be able to understand what it says. Its level of being is too low to be able to handle the knowledge of basic arithmetic. The amoeba, having a much less advanced being than the giraffe, will not be able to even ascertain the existence of the sign in the first place. It's level of being is too low to even be aware of anything that it is not in direct contact with.

The level of being determines what the entity in question is able to do with any knowledge presented to itself, or even if it can be aware of any of it at all.

And the idea here is that the being of individual people can be more different than each other, than the difference between the beings of a giraffe and an amoeba.

And understanding is the resultant of a combination of knowledge and being....

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Re: What is Artificial Intelligence?

Post by Synthesis » September 26th, 2017, 12:51 pm

Atreyu wrote:
Synthesis wrote:Please explain what a, "change in being," means?
It means a fundamental change in what you are.

For example, the being of an amoeba is quite different than the being of a giraffe, which is quite different than the being of a human, and each being will be able to make use of, or "handle", the same knowledge in quite different ways.

Let's take a simple example. I try to give knowledge to each being by holding up a sign that says '2+2=4'. The human, having the more advanced level of being, is capable of reading the sign, and understanding the principle that 2+2=4. The giraffe, having a less advanced level of being, cannot understand what the sign signifies in the least, but it will notice something is there, and perhaps be able to differentiate between the numbers on the sign and the background of the sign. In other words, the giraffe will at least be able to perceive the object, and differentiate it from other objects, but will not be able to understand what it says. Its level of being is too low to be able to handle the knowledge of basic arithmetic. The amoeba, having a much less advanced being than the giraffe, will not be able to even ascertain the existence of the sign in the first place. It's level of being is too low to even be aware of anything that it is not in direct contact with.

The level of being determines what the entity in question is able to do with any knowledge presented to itself, or even if it can be aware of any of it at all.

And the idea here is that the being of individual people can be more different than each other, than the difference between the beings of a giraffe and an amoeba.

And understanding is the resultant of a combination of knowledge and being....
Let's consider your example of 2+2=4. You suggest that the human beings are "more advanced" and therefore capable of understanding, where the giraffe and the amoeba are not. Well, there's all kinds of things wrong with such a statement.

First off, there is no such thing as more than one [in your equation], so what kind of understanding is this? Do you understand giraffe language? Do you understand their methods of communication and just how "advanced" they may be? As far as an amoeba is concerned, how long have they been around, a few billion years, give or take? We've been around a few thousand years and we believe we are "more advanced?" Seems unlikely, unless you use all the dys-functional things we do as a measuring stick.

My friend, you are using words and concepts that have zero real meaning. You assume you can understand other species and where they might stand in this fantasy hierarchy of life. This is the poverty and arrogance of the human intellect.

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Re: What is Artificial Intelligence?

Post by Atreyu » September 26th, 2017, 3:51 pm

Synthesis wrote:Let's consider your example of 2+2=4. You suggest that the human beings are "more advanced" and therefore capable of understanding, where the giraffe and the amoeba are not. Well, there's all kinds of things wrong with such a statement.

First off, there is no such thing as more than one [in your equation], so what kind of understanding is this? Do you understand giraffe language? Do you understand their methods of communication and just how "advanced" they may be? As far as an amoeba is concerned, how long have they been around, a few billion years, give or take? We've been around a few thousand years and we believe we are "more advanced?" Seems unlikely, unless you use all the dys-functional things we do as a measuring stick.

My friend, you are using words and concepts that have zero real meaning. You assume you can understand other species and where they might stand in this fantasy hierarchy of life. This is the poverty and arrogance of the human intellect.
I would argue that it's common sense that our level of being is more advanced than that of animals, and particularly of microorganisms. To understand even the gist of what I said, you have to acknowledge that different species have different "levels" of being (modes of existence). If one takes "being" very generically, only acknowledging that one either exists or does not exist, then it's not possible to understand the principles I outlined.

Being is not as simple as either just existing or not existing, as having it or not having it. Different types of organisms have vastly different levels of being, which can easily be verified, and the level of being determines how much of a given amount of knowledge can be understood. And the higher the level of being, the more understanding which can be extracted from the same quantity of knowledge. This is a basic truth, which can easily be seen in my apropos, if crude, example above. There is no way that a giraffe or an amoeba can understand a given amount of knowledge the way an organism like ourselves can.

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