Android, not Randroid

Richard Goode's picture
Submitted by Richard Goode on Mon, 2009-05-25 11:12

The Terminator is not just a movie franchise - it's also a timely warning which we ignore at our peril. The Singularity - the technological creation of smarter-than-human intelligence - is coming, as early as 2030 according to some estimates. The Singularity Institute explains,

Human intelligence is the foundation of human technology; all technology is ultimately the product of intelligence. If technology can turn around and enhance intelligence, this closes the loop, creating a positive feedback effect. Smarter minds will be more effective at building still smarter minds. This loop appears most clearly in the example of an Artificial Intelligence improving its own source code...

The first smarter-than-human AI will, probably, be perfectly rational. But will the unfettered exercise of reason lead it to Rand's NIOF principle? Will it conclude that whatever may be open to disagreement, there is one act of evil that no man (or machine) may commit against others and no man (or machine) may sanction or forgive? Or will it decide that humanity is a hindrance to its goals and obliterate us?

I'm pessimistic. Unless we act now to thwart the possible ascendancy of a perfectly rational, but amoral, AI, we are all doomed.

Terminator Salvation: Preventing Skynet


( categories: )

Revelation 13:15

Richard Goode's picture

And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Callum

Richard Goode's picture

Do you support (potentially massive) state intervention to stop the singularity?

Nothing short of divine intervention can stop the Singularity.

"It turns out to be really hard to think of any way to build an AI that does not automatically doom the galaxy." - Eliezer Yudkowsky

Richard

Callum McPetrie's picture

Do you support (potentially massive) state intervention to stop the singularity?

The first Android brain will be like your brain...

Marcus's picture

...Goode.

Garbage in, garbage out.

Massimo Pigliucci, WTFU!

Richard Goode's picture

In The Community of Reason, a self-assessment and a manifesto, Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher professor and self-styled member of "the Community of Reason," dismisses the idea that smarter-than-human AI is imminent as "little more than a cult for nerds."

* The Singularity is near! I have just devoted a full column for Skeptical Inquirer (in press) to why I think this amounts to little more than a cult for nerds. But it is a disturbingly popular cult within the CoR.

Pigliucci is culpably stupid and culpable stupidity is disturbingly popular. Humanity faces a real and imminent threat of extinction. Denial and derision from the likes of Pigliucci is suicidal folly. Massimo Pigliucci, WTFU!

How very droll

Rosie's picture

Why these silly creatures wish to flaunt their retarded intellectual status on a site like SOLO is beyond me. We know they've not been trained in how to behave in another's house, but there's only so much one can blame on lack of breeding.

What a particularly droll observation, Maestro Perigo.

It is the excruciatingly twee proletarian expression "lack of breeding" that amuses me most and one that I don't believe I have ever heard actually used before - even amongst my most irregular acquaintances! (Let alone to imagine what it might possibly mean! Perhaps only those from the.. er.. sophisticated countryfolk from ..er.. somewhere north of Levin - beginning with F was it? - may know! Something one does with horses or sheep, is it?)

And the first sentence - could this be more amusing?! - "Why these silly creatures wish to flaunt their retarded intellectual status on a site like SOLO"!!! The height of intellectual discussion to be sure!!! And, apart from me of course, not a jot of 'em retarded in his intellect ..er.. sorry, I mean "intellectual status" !!! - should this expression be spoken in a broad Geordie accent and its pretentious wording to show its author a "cut above the rest"?!

Good God! Is your "self-imposed seclusion" truly so limited to the very movement of your fingers on the keyboard so that you have not strolled - let alone peeked - outside your door to other sites?!

It would truly be the most extraordinary thing if it were all of it not so extraordinarily funny!

Do forgive the intrusion/interruption after what seems an age from looking at SOLO - and, please, do return to the subject of this thread! But I just couldn't resist the temptation to express the singular amusement it gave me! And, indeed, much gratitude for this because the New Year brought with it great upset for me and my family. Sad

A possibility that should not be ignored

Richard Goode's picture

There's no threat to the world from "the Singularity" or any kind of "artificial intelligence."

Peace for our time.

Three things ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... this thread demonstrates:

1) Goblinites are gullible. If you believe there's a goblin, you'll believe anything.

2) There's a Goblinite born every minute. Still.

3) There's no threat to the world from "the Singularity" or any kind of "artificial intelligence." There is a huge threat to the world from the singular lack of, and hostility to, real intelligence, displayed by Goblinites.

Why these silly creatures wish to flaunt their retarded intellectual status on a site like SOLO is beyond me. We know they've not been trained in how to behave in another's house, but there's only so much one can blame on lack of breeding.

Ah, yes

Brant Gaede's picture

Ah, yes--the singularity.

Poor AI. No idea what it is up against. HUMANS ARE KILLING MACHINES!!!!

--Brant
we didn't get to be top planet dog by being PUSSIES!

bring it on! take bets!

And its possibility should not be Ignored

Rosie's picture

Artificial intelligence is a possibility that should not be ignored in any serious thinking about the future.

I do not believe that Objectivists were excluded from the requirement for serious thinking. Eye

http://www.nickbostrom.com/205...

http://www.nickbostrom.com/sup...

I'll just have to welcome our

Aaron's picture

I'll just have to welcome our new robot overlords, lest http://www.smbc-comics.com/ind....

Yes, The Singularity is the Biggest Threat to Humanity

Richard Goode's picture

Yes, The Singularity is the Biggest Threat to Humanity

The Singularity is both the greatest threat and greatest opportunity to our civilization, all wrapped into one crucial event. This shouldn’t be surprising — after all, intelligence is the most powerful force in the universe that we know of, obviously the creation of a higher form of intelligence/power would represent a tremendous threat/opportunity to the lesser intelligences that come before it and whose survival depends on the whims of the greater intelligence/power. The same thing happened with humans and the “lesser” hominids that we eliminated on the way to becoming the #1 species on the planet.

Why is the Singularity potentially a threat?

Transcending the human.

Mark Hubbard's picture

Here's some procedures you could look into for the New Year Richard Eye

http://m.wired.com/threatlevel...

Quote:

Lepht Anonym wants everyone to know the door to transcending normal human capabilities is no farther away than your own kitchen. It’s just going to hurt like a sonofabitch.

An articulate advocate for practical transhumanism.

Anonym is a biohacker, a woman who has spent the last several years learning how to extend her own senses by putting tiny magnets and other electronic devices under her own skin, allowing her to feel electromagnetic fields, or — if her latest project works — even magnetic north.

Since doctors won’t help her, she does it in her own apartment, sterilizing her equipment (needles, scalpels, vegetable peelers) with vodka. Good anesthetic is largely impossible to buy, so she screams a little, and sometimes passes out. But it’s worth it, for what’s on the other side.

“Bodily health takes a big fuck-off second seat to curiosity,” she says. “Though it hasn’t really changed my life, it’s just made me more curious.”

This is DIY transhumanism, the fringe of a movement that itself lies well outside the mainstream of philosophy, ethics, technology and science.

For decades, transhumanists have argued that science and technology are approaching (or have approached) the point at which humans can take evolution into their own hands. ...

I reckon I'm going to wait for the tested DIY off the shelf kits to hit the market. A memory implant would be handy.

Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Richard Goode's picture

We became the dominant species on this planet by being the most intelligent species around. This century we are going to cede that crown to machines. After we do that, it will be them steering history rather than us. Since we have only one shot at getting the transition right, the importance of SIAI's work cannot be overestimated.

- Jaan Tallinn, SIAI donor

Better put:

Jameson's picture

it's the most exciting invention I've seen in mechanical science since the Apache Longbow. Smiling Smiling Smiling Smiling Smiling

When that machine grabbed the tumbling mobile phone out of the air I was reminded of watching Blade Runner's Replicants and Aliens' Synthetics with precise, lightning-fast reactions and thinking, "yeah, in a hundred years maybe." 25 years later I'd say we're well on track.

Great

gregster's picture

I couldn't imagine the programming behind that.

That is

Jameson's picture

fucking cool, Luke. Smiling

Doom confirmed

Luke H's picture

Playing with words

jeffrey smith's picture

It is true that my mental acuity may be slipping a little--even as I type this, I am listening to Tchaikovsky's Fifth and actually liking it, certainly an alarming symptom--but I do know when someone is merely playing with words, and that is what Goode is doing here.

You're talking about the attributive sense of the word 'good'. You're overlooking its predicative sense.

In as much as the "predicative" sense makes any sense at all, it's merely a rephrasing of the "attrributive" sense. You can never have "goodness" except as something attributed to an object;
and if you turn it into a predicate, that merely means that you're placing the adjective after the word "is", and not before.

Also, 'good' can be used in a non-moral sense. I'm talking about moral goodness, not the wholesome goodness in Meow Mix cat food.

There is no difference between moral goodness and cat food goodness, except that one expresses the evaluation of actions and qualities, and the other of physical objects.

The only thing that can be called The Good in the way you claim something can be called The Good can not be called The Good, whether you're a Kantian or an Objectivist: because for Kantians God can not be talked about, and for Objectivists, because one thing can be said about God, and that is that God does not exist.

Cat litter...

Ptgymatic's picture

...is good for cats, but bad for ferrets. So, intrinsically, is it good or bad?

A very good definition of subjectivism,

Ptgymatic's picture

your, "...which is to be master." When you sign a contract, who defines the words? Does your mastery include re-defining them as convenient?

Jeffrey

Richard Goode's picture

You're talking about the attributive sense of the word 'good'. You're overlooking its predicative sense. Here are a couple of rough definitions:

  • (Attributive) M is a good X = M is, or does, to a high or satisfactory degree, what Xs are supposed, or required, to be or do
  • (Predicative) M is good = M is (the kind of thing which is), or does, to a high or satisfactory degree, what things are required to be or do

Also, 'good' can be used in a non-moral sense. I'm talking about moral goodness, not the wholesome goodness in Meow Mix cat food.

Goodness consists in "certain qualities and phenomena in the object". The wholesome goodness in Meow Mix cat food is "the real chicken, tuna and vegetables".

Freedom is good. That's not open to debate. But what, exactly, makes freedom good - what the goodness of freedom consists in - is open to debate.

nonsense

jeffrey smith's picture


"the speaker is finding something positive in the object in question".

And that something positive is...? Goodness, of course! And in the object, too!

No, he is finding certain qualities and phenomena in the object (and what those qualities and phenomena are will vary from object to object; what's good in a cup of tea is different from what is good in a financial investment. Unless you like your financial investments hot and fragrant, and your tea to have a rate of return superior to the overall market.) which he finds positive. The goodness is his evaluation of the object. There is no goodness inherent in the object. There is nothing I can ever lay my hands on and say, "This is goodness." I can never hit you over the head with The Good. I can never do anything with The Good. I can neer describe "good" separate from the object that I think is Good: if Good exists apart from those objects, then you have omek tov v'omek ra.

Ashleigh Brilliant

Richard Goode's picture

Try to be the best of what you are, even if what you are is no good.

Goodness

Richard Goode's picture

the speaker is finding something positive in the object in question.

And that something positive is...? Goodness, of course! And in the object, too!

Goode is not good

jeffrey smith's picture

The meaning of 'good' is like the meaning of 'red'.

But it's not: all the meanings of red ultimately relate to a specific range of frequencies--the lowest, in fact--on the visible light spectrum, and human sensory experience of that range of frequencies.

Good does not. "That was a good chat we had while drinking that exceptionally good cup of tea."
"I'm due for a really good drunk this week." "That was a good performance of Fidelio." "He makes good investment picks." In all of those, the word good actually stands for a different set of particulars: what makes a chat, a cup of tea, a drinking binge, a musical performance, a financial investment "good" is all different from the others. What is common to all those usages is that the speaker is giving the object in question a positive evaluation: the speaker is finding something positive in the object in question. And not all speakers would evaluate those objects in the same way. Carrie Nation's idea of a good drinking binge would be the complete opposite of a college frat boy's (ie, her idea of a good drinking binge would be one that didn't happen).

The very concept of "good", in other words, makes it extrinsic: it is the result of an evaluation by someone--a relation. And an object can only be good if other objects of the same kind are inferior to it in some way--it would be meaningless to call all cups of tea good if every cup of tea was good. There are some cups of tea which will be mediocre or bad (themselves of course evaluation dependent concepts)--and therefore another sort of relation is implied by the word, in this case between objects of the same type.

There's glory for you!

Richard Goode's picture

"I don't know what you mean by 'glory'," Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't – till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!'"

"But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice objected.

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master – that's all."

Sharon - Depending on an

reed's picture

Sharon -
Depending on an individuals intended meaning "Red" could be...

1) A reflective/emmitive property of an object.

2) Light of a specific frequency range.

3) The perception of a colour range.

4) Some combination of the above.

RG was talking about 1. If you define "Red" as 4 then you and he will simply be talking about different subjects.

Perception is reality?

sharon's picture

"A rose doesn't stop being red when you stop looking at it."

"Intrinsic values are the only values worth caring about."

Now it is evident that Mr. Goode neither understands color theory nor intrinsicism.

(A) Color does not exist as a property in the world; it is a relationship between conscious perception and object.

(B) We are asked to value intrinsic value, but that belies intrinsicism by definition.

God, this is just embarrassing. Consult a dictionary and take an introductory philosophy class, Mr. Goode. Step away from the forum board.

So then, Goode ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... how do you define this intrinsic good? What makes it so?

Redness exists whether human beings do or not. Does goodness?

Patience is a virtue

Richard Goode's picture

I think the word should be validate. How do you validate intrinsic value?

I think 'validate' is the wrong word. Validation is something best left to the W3C.

Objectivists are mistaken about the meaning of the word 'good'. When we make value judgements, we don't presuppose to (or for) whom or to (or for) what. The meaning of 'good' is like the meaning of 'red'. When we say a rose is red, we ascribe the property or attribute or characteristic of red(ness) to the rose. We don't mean that the rose looks red. It might look red, but it might not. A rose doesn't stop being red when you stop looking at it. Like a tree making a sound when it falls in the forest and there's no-one around to witness the occasion, a rose doesn't stop being red if no-one looks at it. And it's the same with being good.

Intrinsic values are the only values worth caring about. To deny the existence of intrinsic values is nihilism. To tout "agent-relative" goodness as anything more than a cheap imitation of intrinsic goodness is delusional or outright dishonest.

Long before Rand

Rick Pasotto's picture

Well over 100 years ago economists identified the fact that value was not intrinsic, but rather relational to the valuer.

Well, if he doesn't care

Richard Wiig's picture

Well, if he doesn't care about validating it then he shows that he doesn't really give a fuck about the issue. It makes his statements pretty much empty statements, and shows that his main concern is in taking snipes at Objectivism.

Agree

sharon's picture

"I think the word should be validate. How do you validate intrinsic value? Can you? I know you'll probably ignore me, but there's really no need to ignore the question. It'd be interesting to see you validate it."

Indeed, in order to justify a given philosophical premise, you would have to validate it—at least in your own mind, but you wouldn’t therefore have to justify it to others.

I think the word should be

Richard Wiig's picture

I think the word should be validate. How do you validate intrinsic value? Can you? I know you'll probably ignore me, but there's really no need to ignore the question. It'd be interesting to see you validate it.

Kasper

Richard Goode's picture

Ok

Kasper's picture

Since you won't entertain this RG. How about coming from a different angle. Do you believe there is a split in mans consciousness of some kind that he can't apprehend reality truly. In other words is everything we "know" only a figment or shade of the real?

No conflict

Richard Goode's picture

I advocate intrinsicism, I don't justify it.

A and not B.

How do justify Objectivist ethics? (I'm assuming, uncharitably, that you're an Objectivist.) I read TOE in VOS and Rand's argument contained eight fatal flaws.

Richard- Linz: "how do you

Aaron's picture

Richard-
Linz: "how do you justify value as intrinsic?"
You: "As I already said, I don't."

Me: "Do you advocate an intrinsic theory of value?"
You: "Yes."

A and not A? Care to resolve the conflict?

Aaron

Clarification

Richard Goode's picture

On a par with the belief that dictatorship is good.

You mean, on a par with the belief that dictatorship is good for non-fuckwits?

Ah!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

My belief that freedom is good is an article of faith.

On a par with the belief that dictatorship is good.

Faith, delusion or nihilism

Richard Goode's picture

how do you justify value as intrinsic?

As I already said, I don't.

Of course ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... it puts you to sleep. You're a fuckwit, as I've just realised for the first time. Or perhaps I'm being uncharitable and you're merely tone-deaf, a congenital affliction for which the afflicted should not be blamed.

For whom? For non-fuckwits. Those with the capacity for rapture, the spark of idealism, the attunement to grandeur and nobleness. Both the technical and spiritual aspects of this, and the role of object and subject, are spelled out in my essay.

Now, one more time yet again: how do you justify value as intrinsic?

You don't say

Richard Goode's picture

It speaks and appeals to the best within us.

What's with the 'us', white man?

It awakens our capacity for rapture.

It puts me to sleep.

Romantic music is simply the best.

Romantic music is simply the best for whom? You don't say.

No. When we make value

Lindsay Perigo's picture

No. When we make value judgements, we don't presuppose to (or for) whom or to (or for) what. For example, in Music of the Gods, Linz proclaims the objective superiority of Romantic music. At no point in the entire essay does he say for whom Romantic music is objectively superior. That's because he means that Romantic music is objectively superior simply.

It stuns me to realise you are actually thick, Goode. Dense as three rocks. You haven't understood a word I wrote. Let me quote just the final paragraph:

Romantic music is composed and performed by the heroes in our midst. It speaks and appeals to the best within us. It awakens our capacity for rapture. It is appreciated and adored by the passionately enlightened. It is inspired by and inspires the most intensely life-affirming value-swoons possible to man. If the expression, "total passion for the total height" means anything, it finds that meaning in Romantic music. In terms of what went into it and what can be taken out of it, Romantic music is simply the best.

Now, one more time: how do you justify value as intrinsic?

No. When we make value

Richard Wiig's picture

No. When we make value judgements, we don't presuppose to (or for) whom or to (or for) what.

You might not personally think "to whom", but the whole idea of "value" does presuppose a valuer.

For example, in Music of the Gods, Linz proclaims the objective superiority of Romantic music. At no point in the entire essay does he say for whom Romantic music is objectively superior.

He shouldn't need to state it to you. He obviously means man qua man.

Richard Goode said: "I say

Richard Wiig's picture

Richard Goode said: "I say it's a dilemma"

But it's not actually a dilemma, Richard. How about taking up Kasper's challenge? If you can show that values are existents in and of themselves, then there'd certainly be a dilemma. But until then...

Kasper

Richard Goode's picture

Your positive assertion that her idea of value is false however requires an argument for values as an existent in and of themselves.

Let's go back to something you said on another thread, instead.

The process of making a value judgment such as good and bad presupposes to whom or to what

No. When we make value judgements, we don't presuppose to (or for) whom or to (or for) what. For example, in Music of the Gods, Linz proclaims the objective superiority of Romantic music. At no point in the entire essay does he say for whom Romantic music is objectively superior. That's because he means that Romantic music is objectively superior simply.

Something unpleasant

Richard Goode's picture

I'm experiencing an unpleasant case of déjà vu

You certainly look like you're experiencing something unpleasant, Greg.

Aaron

Richard Goode's picture

to his credit, his opposition to point #1 didn't contain a positive claim of the opposite. You, however, do in claiming its falsehood.

Good point. Huemer's objection to Rand's theory of value is that she simply assumes it as a premise in her argument for Objectivist ethics. My objection to Rand's theory of value is that it's false.

Do you advocate an intrinsic theory of value?

Yes.

Eight fatal fuckups, morelike

gregster's picture

"Rand claimed that living things face an alternative of existing or not existing but that non-living things do not. I can think of five interpretations of this, but all of them make it false:

First, it is not true that non-living things can't be destroyed. I once saw a house destroyed by flames, for example.

Second, it is true that the matter of which non-living things are composed can't be destroyed; but this is equally true of living things."

I'm experiencing an unpleasant case of déjà vu Dr No Goode.

Spot the dilemma

Richard Goode's picture

Who says that's a dilemma?

I say it's a dilemma - just like the question, which came first, the chicken or the egg? is a dilemma.

Here's another one for you. Is a rose red because it looks red? Or does a rose look red because it is red?

RG

Kasper's picture

You have pointed to those flaws before and I have said they too are "simply" making accusative statements with no underlying arguments except the assertion that it IS possible to have value with no agent relative. Ayn Rand did state it in her theory of values, however, she also explained it when she talked about the process of concept formation and the identify of man as an entity in reality. You are correct in so far as she did not wholly explain it all in one paragraph, but thats no big deal. Her case for values pertaining to man stands a lot stronger than yours. She for one does not see value as an independent entity. Your positive assertion that her idea of value is false however requires an argument for values as an existent in and of themselves.
This is the challenge that you have not taken up to date. I believe that you can't do it. But there we are....

I read the first few of

Aaron's picture

I read the first few of Huemer's points and was not particularly impressed, e.g. his ignoring the differences between living entities and clouds. However, to his credit, his opposition to point #1 didn't contain a positive claim of the opposite. You, however, do in claiming its falsehood. Do you advocate an intrinsic theory of value?

Aaron

Objective theory of values

Richard Goode's picture

Things do not have value. Things are of value to a valuer. "Value" expresses a relationship; it is not an attribute.

Thanks, Rick, for that concise statement of Rand's objective theory of values.

Let's be clear - your statement is not an argument, it's a bald assertion, and it's false.

It's the first of eight fatal flaws in Rand's argument for Objectivist ethics.

Things do not have value.

Rick Pasotto's picture

Things do not have value. Things are of value to a valuer. "Value" expresses a relationship; it is not an attribute.

Dear Galt!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

No, I do not resile from intrinsicism about value.
Here's a dilemma for you. Do things have value because we value them? Or do we value things because they have value?

Who says that's a dilemma?

You say we value things because they already have value. What is the origin of that intrinsic value? How do you know?

Now, back on topic... Just say "no" to genocidal artificial intelligence!

I think you've said yes to too many party pills.

Some nincompoop once wrote, seriously, on SOLO, about discrimination against robots as a form of "anthropomorphism." Now we have the flip side of the same nincompoopery.

"I certainly hope so. I

Richard Wiig's picture

"I certainly hope so. I think that's the obvious way to mitigate the threat of a malevolent artificial intelligence."

Huh? Mitigate the threat of a *malevolent* artificial intelligence? If whoever built it has programmed it to be malevolent, then why the hell would they bother to mitigate it?

The singularity is an end in itself.

reed's picture

Richard Goode -
I enjoy reading your posts - It's good (objectively) to see you are back.

RG Said: "Here's a dilemma

Richard Wiig's picture

RG Said: "Here's a dilemma for you. Do things have value because we value them? Or do we value things because they have value?"

Where's the dilemma in that? Things have qualities, which may or may not be valued depending on whether or not anyone's around to value them. There's no intrinsic value.

Goal B. Goode?

Marcus's picture

"One of its goals could be to prove the Riemann Hypothesis."

No hindrance by humans to that one.

There would only be two possible goals any AI could have. Survival and reproduction.

Therefore, I don't see how human beings could be any hindrance there.

Human beings supply their energy and are perfectly willing to manufacture more of them.

The AI machines needn't even complain that they weren't evolving either with human innovation still around.

Marcus

Richard Goode's picture

What goals could those possibly be?

One of its goals could be to prove the Riemann Hypothesis.

Glenn

Richard Goode's picture

"Do no harm" will be embedded in their data DNA.

I certainly hope so. I think that's the obvious way to mitigate the threat of a malevolent artificial intelligence.

But there's a problem here. You see, according to Objectivism there's no need to embed "do no harm" in an AI's data DNA, because

"Perfectly rational but amoral" is an oxymoron.

Objectivism refuses even to acknowledge the possibility of a genocidal, smarter-than-human AI.

Kasper

Richard Goode's picture

No, I do not resile from intrinsicism about value.

Here's a dilemma for you. Do things have value because we value them? Or do we value things because they have value?

Now, back on topic... Just say "no" to genocidal artificial intelligence!

Kasper ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Seems Goode's in a grump. He's not open to learning at the best of times, let alone when he's having his period. I'd recommend a goode Shiraz, but he'd probably report me on SOLO.

RG

Kasper's picture

Are you going to reverse on your erroneous adherence to intrinsicism? Or are you just going to sit there, distanced from a core issue such as this defensively and mockingly pruning around the edges?

Kasper

Richard Goode's picture

If you're going to regurgitate huge gobs of half-digested Rand, at least have the decency to do so in a bucket, not on SOLO.

Kasper, I don't think anyone

Luke H's picture

Kasper, I don't think anyone is in danger of getting confused between sentient advanced AI and Homo sapiens.

Simple

Kasper's picture

Use the epistemological razor : "Concepts are not to be multiplied beyond necessity, nor are they to be integrated in disregard of necessity"

So a rational animal such as a spider from mars or an AI machine would have so many other characteristics that it would necessitate another differentia. In other words you would have to disregard a number of essential characteristics to arrive at the conclusion that an AI machine can be synonymous with man. It would be an error.

Remember to keep CONTEXT. The concept man doesn't consist merely of rational animal. Other wise the two would be interchangeable. They are not. The concept 'man' subsumes all the characteristics pertaining to man that have been discovered and are yet to be discovered with 'rational faculty' serving as the distinguishing characteristic.

Kasper

jeffrey smith's picture

The genus and differentia of the concept man is the ‘animality’ and ‘rationality’ (his consciousness type that distinguishes the animal, man, from all other animals) which means that man apprehends reality by reason.

But notice that a sufficiently advanced AI would apprehend reality by reason. How would you distinguish it from "man"? By the obvious fact that the AI was artificially constructed, and the human being was not: or something subtler?

I think the crux of the matter boils down whether a sufficiently developed AI could be said to have independent volition--and I think the answer to that would have to be "yes".

And how do you suppose these

Luke H's picture

And how do you suppose these machines are going to have free will in any event?

Machine sentience. Gimme a break.

I am not a machine.

The part that entertains me is: were machines suddenly, somehow, to acquire sentience and volition ...

I was under the impression that Objectivists were rational materialists - i.e., you accept that biological beings, including human brains, operate using physical processes.

Yet here you seem to be assuming dualism - that machines cannot have free will because they lack something that humans possess?

To context droppers and intrinsicists

Kasper's picture

All these splits between mans consciousness and reality can be absolved by such discussions as in "ITOE" which explains how concepts can correspond objectively to reality. The splits are created by those that hate the responsibility of reality. “Nature to be commanded must be obeyed”.
An example:
If you observe the identity, man, then you will observe that such things as morality and value require the context of man and an external world (reality). The genus and differentia of the concept man is the ‘animality’ and ‘rationality’ (his consciousness type that distinguishes the animal, man, from all other animals) which means that man apprehends reality by reason. Concepts are open ended classifications. These are built on the observation of entities in reality and mentally one isolates two or more entities by means of their distinguishing characteristics, and retains these characteristics whilst omitting their peculiar measurements (on the principle that those measurements exist in a quantity but may exist in any quantity). The whole conceptual process is summed up as entity, identity, unit. Firstly you sense an existent, you draw up the similarities of the existent and come up with a ‘unit’ that integrates into a concept and then a definition (a naming word for the concept designed to distinguish it from other concepts) is the lead up to knowledge. The process by which you do this must be via non contradictory identification so that your concept does not contradict reality. The concept must be open ended so that it can subsume all the characteristics, the differentiating characteristics and the yet to be discovered characteristics. On this premise your knowledge is ever growing. A child may define man as something that walks and talks, he then grows up and defines him as an animal with a thumb and so on till the conclusion that man is a rational animal. The previous definitions, however, are not contradicted they are simply moving place from the differentia to the subsumed and implicit.

I think the splits created in some philosophies which attempt to declare mans consciousness and reason as being impotent to know anything about reality are created by those who hate responsibility and want to create a sanctuary for themselves for the indeterminate so that it benefits the irrational, helping one to escape from the cognitive precision that their consciousnesses are so gloriously capable of in order to hide. Hide from the responsibility that you can know, that you probably do know but just won’t act accordingly.

When a split is put into the conceptual development chain for knowledge then such silly arguments such as purporting to find goodness without the inherent context implicitly required in that concept occur. Another argument from some linguistic analysts is that language, which communicates concepts, is “just a social convention” whereby the following progression – language to concepts to knowledge occurs. Never mind that Language which is a form of communication presupposes something to be communicated, namely concepts. Language is the integrated sum not the instigator of concepts. Language consists of definitions which identify the concepts which are integrations of percepts from sensations of the external world.

What do you know (?) and how do you know it (?) is the task of epistemology and by avoiding these questions or fudging them by artificial splits created by analytic – synthetic dichotomies, context dropping and using stolen concepts you are left with the conclusion that either knowledge is impossible (scepticism) or that is available without effort (mysticism). “These positions appear antagonist but are actually two sides of the same coin – the attempt to escape the responsibility of rational cognition and the absolutism of reality – the attempt to assert the primacy of consciousness over existence.” ITOE

"Although scepticism and mysticism are ultimately interchangeable, and the dominance of one always leads to the resurgence of the other, they differ in the form of their inner contradiction, in both cases, between their philosophical doctrine and their psychological motivation. Philosophically, the mystic is usually an exponent of the intrinsic (revealed) school of epistemology; the skeptic is usually an advocate of epistemological subjectivism. But, psychologically, the mystic is a subjectivist who uses intrinsicism as a means to claim the primacy of his consciousness over that of others. The skeptic is a disillusioned intrinsicist [Richard Goode] who, having failed to find automatic supernatural guidance, seeks a substitute in the collective subjectivism of others” [It is all just a matter of taste man, lots of people like it] ITOE.

It's called programming, Richard

Jameson's picture

"Do no harm" will be embedded in their data DNA. Then there's the Blade Runner longevity bug for back up.

Are you really pessimistic, or are you off your meds again?

Be specific

Richard Goode's picture

I'm trying to recall a post of yours that wasn't stupid or shit-stirring

What's stupid or shit-stirring about this post? Be specific.

You're a numb-nut, Goode

Jameson's picture

... with a screw loose.

I'm trying to recall a post of yours that wasn't stupid or shit-stirring... my HD must be letting me down.

You're a machine

Richard Goode's picture

I am a device?

You're a machine.

RG

Kasper's picture

"That which you call your soul or spirit is your consciousness, and that which you call “free will” is your mind’s freedom to think or not, the only will you have, your only freedom, the choice that controls all the choices you make and determines your life and your character." FNI

That is: You have a brain that possesses the ability to think. However, to think or not is up to you....

Have you read: Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology? I would highly recommend it RG..

I am a device?

PhilipD's picture

I am a device?

Free will

Richard Goode's picture

So come on, Goode: free will the same way as I do? Explain.

No, you explain how you have free will, since you're the one who served this particular red herring.

Linz

Richard Goode's picture

A human being is a machine.

A machine is any device that uses energy to perform some activity.

Well, there you have it. You're a device that uses energy (in the form of Shiraz) to perform an activity (denunciatory bloviation).

If you're not a machine -

Lindsay Perigo's picture

If you're not a machine - albeit one made of flesh, bone and neurons rather than plastic, metal and silicon - then what the fuck are you?

A human being when I last checked. I just googled "machine" to see if I've been mistaken all this time. Here's Wiki:

A machine is any device that uses energy to perform some activity. In common usage, the meaning is that of a device having parts that perform or assist in performing any type of work. A simple machine is a device that transforms the direction or magnitude of a force without consuming any energy. The word "machine" is derived from the Latin machina.[1]

Historically, a device required moving parts to be classified as a machine; however, the advent of electronics technology has led to the development of devices without moving parts that are considered machines—the computer being the most obvious example.[1]
"Engines" are machines that convert heat or other forms of energy into mechanical energy. For example, in an internal combustion engine the expansion of gases caused by the heat from an exothermic chemical reaction results in a force being applied to a movable component, such as a piston or turbine blade.[2]
Machines are ubiquitous in a wide variety of industrial, commercial, residential and transportation applications. Those employing hydraulics are especially useful in manufacturing and construction.
Types of machines and related components

Simple machines Inclined plane, Wheel and axle, Lever, Pulley, Wedge, Screw
Mechanical components Axle, Bearings, Belts, Bucket, Fastener, Gear, Key, Link chains, Rack and pinion, Roller chains, Rope, Seals, Spring, Wheel,
Clock Atomic clock, Chronometer, Pendulum clock, Quartz clock
Compressors and Pumps Archimedes' screw, Eductor-jet pump, Hydraulic ram, Pump, Tuyau, Vacuum pump
Heat engines External combustion engines Steam engine, Stirling engine
Internal combustion engines Reciprocating engine, Gas turbine
Linkages Pantograph, Peaucellier-Lipkin
Turbine Gas turbine, Jet engine, Steam turbine, Water turbine, Wind generator, Windmill
Aerofoil Sail, Wing, Rudder, Flap, Propeller
Electronics Vacuum tube, Transistor, Diode, Resistor, Capacitor, Inductor
Miscellaneous Robot, Vending machine, Wind tunnel,Check weighing machines, Riveting machines

I don't recognise myself in any of the above. But I recognise determinism when I see it.

No, I don't remember saying that.

Oh. So what's the source of values again?

Yeah right

Richard Goode's picture

I am not a machine.

If you're not a machine - albeit one made of flesh, bone and neurons rather than plastic, metal and silicon - then what the fuck are you?

were machines suddenly, somehow, to acquire sentience and volition, you'd want them to observe NIOF. Why?

Because otherwise they may choose to destroy us.

It's all arbitrary, remember, according to you?

No, I don't remember saying that.

"Hindrance to its goals?"

Marcus's picture

What goals could those possibly be?

Is your PC anywhere close to having its own goal?

No, it simply fulfils a purpose-built function.

You guys are pomowankers

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Machine sentience. Gimme a break. So come on, Goode: free will the same way as I do? Explain. You can speak for yourself, since only a malevolently programmed robot could respond to Slayer. But I am not a machine.

The part that entertains me is: were machines suddenly, somehow, to acquire sentience and volition, you'd want them to observe NIOF. Why? What would you say to them to persuade them? It's all arbitrary, remember, according to you? Rights are nonsense on stilts!

I like and am inspired by

Aaron's picture

I like and am inspired by the optimistic Kurzweil-ian 'singularity' view of the future of AI - yet personally tend toward a pessimistic view of developing machine sentience. Even if/when self-aware, generally learning AIs become viable, I don't think humanity is in trouble as long as the machines don't have all the mechanisms necessary for obtaining their own power, obtaining raw resources for expanding+'reproducing'. One they get that, however, it may be rational for the machines' survival for them to consider homo sapiens an enemy. It's not something that keeps me up at night since I think it's still decades off (I tend to think such AI is feasible but a lot harder than the optimists assume), but from a drunken philosophical pondering standpoint, yeah, the machines would kick our carbon-based asses. (one thing I find funny about Terminator and other such machines-gone-awry dystopias is how bad a shot the machines are. computers can easily control weapons now with greater accuracy than people - adjusting for range, gravity, wind, etc. it's recognizing an object to tell what's a target that they cannot do; once they can, the Terminator scenario would be people dropping left and right, 'one shot, one kill'.)

Aaron

The same way you do

Richard Goode's picture

And how do you suppose these machines are going to have free will in any event?

The same way you do.

I hope ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... it obliterates you but not me. Since when were you so fastidious about NIOF?

"Perfectly rational but amoral" is an oxymoron. Since when did you get the phoniness of the is/ought dichotomy? That dichotomy is your signature tune!

And how do you suppose these machines are going to have free will in any event?

Pomofuckwit!

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