Re: Failure of AI a prediction of Neal Stephenson's "The Diamond Age"

Mon, 21 Dec 1998 16:10:11 +0100

Anders Sandberg wrote:

> "Michael E. Smith" <> writes:
> > Anders Sandberg wrote:
> > "I wouldn't call that unextropian. After all, extropianism
> > is about other things than believing in specific technologies."

I hope so ;)... but in all human affairs there is always limitations, reluctance and beliefs, slowness, laziness and misunderstanding ;)... I' m rather guilty too ;)

> > Actually, I agree with you about it not being "unextropian",
> > which is why I put the word in quotes. However, I have
> > noticed that not all "extropians" are as open-minded as you
> > about some things. If you imply that it is okay for an
> > extropian to believe that AI is impossible, I find that
> > extraordinary and atypical, especially if you follow that
> > belief to its logical conclusions.

I hope that I am really open minded, I try, but to reject AI is just like to reject materialism to me. In this paradigm, we are the proof of concept of the possibility to build AI and we even have procedures to dot it every time, in huge numbers.... we make babies ;)... I can't reject my materialism and I am not willing to be open minded about that at all ;)

> So? Extropians are in general atypical.

That's why I enjoy it deeply ;)

> I think FTL travel is impossible (without shortcuts and tricks like
> wormholes). But I might be wrong, it might turn out that we discover a
> way to do it.

Probably it's old hat for everybody, but I've just discovered today this german guy called Nimtz. He claims that he's able to make travel a Mozart symphony at 4.7c. I would like to know what more knowledgeable peoples than me are thinking about it ;). I'm quite intrigued ;)

> but in the end you can reach the conclusion that AI isn't
> possible given what you know and estimate and still be an
> extropian. The unextropian thing would be to irrationally claim "AI
> *must* be possible".

The question is not is AI possible ? but are we able to build it and how ? ;)are we able to hack the nature ? Of course... just a question of time... if we are not destroyed or we don't change our minds about the necessity of it.
Here too i can't be open minded ;)... it's like a religious belief I have since I played with legos when I was a little child ;)

> So? Suppose it really turns out that there are souls (of the kind
> people commonly believe in). Would that invalidate extropianism? Not
> the least, it would just mean we have to adjust our plans. Like for
> example study how to make AI with souls.

I've something like that in my mind, not a problem with soul but a problem to apprehend the notion of qualia... is it something real or just an illusion in regard to the construction of a being with properties like those of humans? Is the substrate important or not ? I really feel it's important. But in that i'm open minded, i'm quite not sure because of my lack of understanding.

Anyway, if "soul" does exist then to be important to the consideration of AI it need to interact with matter that build us, if it interact with matter then it is part of physical reality, if it is part of physical reality then we probably just have to work our models more ;) Look at the nature, it's so easy to emerge sentient beings ;) I suppose that you have that in mind ?;)