Growth in the rate of innovative change, and its relationship to time

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Steve3007
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Growth in the rate of innovative change, and its relationship to time

Post by Steve3007 »

It's been noted in many different topics here that time is change. That is to say, the whole concept of time can only meaningfully be defined in terms of the changes that mark its passage. No changes: no time.

As the human population of the Earth has grown, and the interconnectedness of that population has increased, and the global level of wealth and education has grown, so the rate of a particular type of change - the rate at which new ideas and innovations are generated - has skyrocketed. If we were only talking about the changes implemented directly by humans then this growth would be limited by the rate at which it's possible for the population of innovative-change-implementing humans to grow in the future. But if those humans create AI systems which themselves implement innovative change, then the potential future rate of that change, though not literally unlimited, could be many, many orders of magnitude higher.

Is there any sense in which we can view this as a kind of acceleration in the rate at which time passes? Obviously all propositions like that, if taken literally, are plagued by contradictions. So the idea of time "accelerating" is (literally) nonsense. Acceleration is rate of change of velocity with respect to time, which is itself rate of change of spatial position with respect to time. So objects in space can be said to accelerate, but it's nonsense (if taken literally) to say that time can.

But is it at least metaphorically useful/interesting to think of time, as measured by what is sometimes called "technological progress", as accelerating relative to time as measured only by the rate at which individual humans think, develop and decay (sometimes called the "biological clock")? If this happens in the future at a rate which is many order of magnitude greater than its current rate (which is already orders of magnitude greater than it was before the industrial revolution) what will that look like to ordinary humans?

To me, it's already dizzying to browse the internet looking at the amount of stuff that's happened in just the last 10 years. Like zooming into a fractal, every innovation I look at sits on a wealth of sub-innovations that could, in themselves, be the subject of a single lifetime's study to fully understand. As an example, just google the details of how Bitcoin is implemented and follow the links, and the links from the links... But this is still at the stage where all of that innovation is implemented using the intelligence of human minds. What will it look like if/when artificial minds take over? Will there come a point where the passage of time as measured by innovative change tends to infinity relative to the passage of time as measured by biological change? If it were possible to imagine a mind that works at a speed which tracks that rate of innovative change, would that mind perceive us mere humans as slowing to a virtual standstill?
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Sy Borg
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Re: Growth in the rate of innovative change, and its relationship to time

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Steve3007 wrote: March 30th, 2021, 7:14 amBut is it at least metaphorically useful/interesting to think of time, as measured by what is sometimes called "technological progress", as accelerating relative to time as measured only by the rate at which individual humans think, develop and decay (sometimes called the "biological clock")? If this happens in the future at a rate which is many order of magnitude greater than its current rate (which is already orders of magnitude greater than it was before the industrial revolution) what will that look like to ordinary humans?
All this rapid change is rather a shock to the system of beings who evolved to hunt and gather in the wild. Hence growing depression and dysfunction.

Steve3007 wrote: March 30th, 2021, 7:14 amBut this is still at the stage where all of that innovation is implemented using the intelligence of human minds. What will it look like if/when artificial minds take over? Will there come a point where the passage of time as measured by innovative change tends to infinity relative to the passage of time as measured by biological change? If it were possible to imagine a mind that works at a speed which tracks that rate of innovative change, would that mind perceive us mere humans as slowing to a virtual standstill?
Homo sapiens will be to Homo machina what chimps are to H. sapiens - a simpler "model", imperceptibly evolving.

Whether machine minds can find the motivation to do anything without a human ultimately driving is another matter. Without emotions, there is no bridge between a machine mind and body, just a mind driving a body based on predetermined and/or algorithmic drivers.
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The Beast
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Re: Growth in the rate of innovative change, and its relationship to time

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Alive is a property of DNA. The separation of consciousness from this property is the aim of AI. Therefore, AI might be conscious but not alive. Whether to measure this change as good or bad it is to define what good or bad is. To avoid questions of bad and good we design the percentage of change as a vector towards a goal.
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Steve3007
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Re: Growth in the rate of innovative change, and its relationship to time

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Sy Borg wrote:Whether machine minds can find the motivation to do anything without a human ultimately driving is another matter. Without emotions, there is no bridge between a machine mind and body, just a mind driving a body based on predetermined and/or algorithmic drivers.
I guess the human creators could give the machine mind that motivation just as evolution by natural selection has, you could say, given humans and other animals our motivations. The question of whether those human creators are "ultimately driving" would then be the same as whether we regard evolution as ultimately driving.
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Re: Growth in the rate of innovative change, and its relationship to time

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Steve3007 wrote: April 6th, 2021, 6:08 am
Sy Borg wrote:Whether machine minds can find the motivation to do anything without a human ultimately driving is another matter. Without emotions, there is no bridge between a machine mind and body, just a mind driving a body based on predetermined and/or algorithmic drivers.
I guess the human creators could give the machine mind that motivation just as evolution by natural selection has, you could say, given humans and other animals our motivations. The question of whether those human creators are "ultimately driving" would then be the same as whether we regard evolution as ultimately driving.
Oh yes, ultimately evolution is driving. Still, in terms of how an AI operates, it would seem to me that giving machines motivations - hunger for energy and a drive towards gathering data - would not be advantageous to humans. Then again, corporations could be said to be uncontrollable creations with their own will, so I suppose the horse has bolted in a sense.
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