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wtf last won the day on March 6

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  1. wtf

    AI sentience

    If you tell me the northern lights are emergent I don't know anything about them that I didn't know before ... until you add information. If you're going to tell me something is emergent, you have to tell me HOW it's emergent. And in this case you did. You said: "the way particles from the sun interact with our magnetic field and atmosphere." Ok! An atmospheric scientist could probably drill that down to the molecule for me; and then a physicist could drill it down to the quarks, the way Feynman explained how light interacts with matter. But with consciousness, you have told me no such thing. You do NOT have ANY theory of the mechanism by which consciousness "emerges" from .... actually you didn't tell me what it emerges from! The brain, the body, a bunch of circuits ... you have not told me. So your claim that consciousness is emergent is missing two things: 1) What does it emerge from? And 2) How. Now that's funny. You are defending the thesis that consciousness is an emergent property (of something, you haven't said what). And now you want ME to define consciousness for you. Surely you must have a definition in mind yourself, in order to make such a definitive pronouncement with such certainty that "consciousness is an emergent property." I had to use caps because it was vital for me to communicate that I am much less interested in the answers to those questions; than I am in the fact that the idea of "emergence" doesn't help me answer them. I'm attacking the concept of emergence. I honestly do not believe in it. I have read about it. I don't find the idea compelling. It gives a name to something but imparts no understanding. I hope you took to heart my example of the northern lights. You told me it was emergent. You then told me WHAT it was emergent from; and you even told me HOW that emergence takes place. You have not done those two things with consciousness.
  2. wtf

    AI sentience

    NO THAT IS NOT THE POINT!! THAT IS NOT THE POINT!! I"M NOT RAISING THE QUESTIONS TO ASK THEM. I'm pointing out simply that: 1) if I have those questions in front of me; and 2) I fully embrace and accept the statement that "Consciousness is an emergent phenomenon," THEN I have NO MORE INFORMATION NOW as to what the answers are, than I had before accepting the statement in (2). That's my point. Yes these are great thought questions. But I do not care about them right now. I am pointing out that if I assume that "Consciousness is emergent" or I DON'T assume that; it makes no difference in helping me answer those questions. The statement: "Consciousness is emergent" conveys no information. This is my point. I know I posed some good thought questions. I'd be frustrated if people started answering them! I am laser focused on the concept of emergence. My thesis is that it doesn't mean anything, in the sense that it adds no new information to discussions of consciousness. So if you have a thought or two on the questions, please throw me a bone and try to explain to me why anyone thinks "emergence" actually conveys any new information.
  3. wtf

    AI sentience

    Perhaps, to help me understand, you can explain what issues it illuminates for you. Let us stipulate that "consciousness is an emergent phenomenon." For sake of this conversation I accept that proposition. Can you tell me: * What does it emerge from? * Must it emerge from something living? Or may it possibly emerge from particular arrangements of inanimate objects? * If so, might it emerge from particular arrangements of rocks? How about electrical circuits? What is the difference? * If, as we are told, consciousness is a computation; then by the laws of computation it computes the same thing whether it is made of computer circuits or dominoes. (Google the domino computer). * If we implement an AI in a computer made of dominoes, as can perfectly well be done, can consciousness emerge from such an apparatus? * Do you think consciousness can emerge from Microsoft Windows, which I believe consists of around 100 million lines o code? * Do you think consciousness can emerge from the global supply chain? The network of computers and logistics systems that manage all the ships and planes and manufacturing facilities that get raw materials from one country to component factories in another to assembly facilities in a third and to the retail shelves in a fourth? The global supply chain is by far the most complex system we have, far more inscrutable and unknowable than the fanciest AI. People just don't think about it because we don't think about how stuff gets to retail outlets. But it's pretty complicated. Now my point isn't only to stimulate discussion about these questions and others like them. My point is that saying, "Consciousness is an emergent property," does not give me a clue about how to answer ANY of them. It tells me nothing. That is my point. But you say it tells you something. If you can explain this to me it will help me very much in understanding why SO MANY seemingly reasonable people say that "Consciousness is an emergent property" is meaningful to them. I hear this a lot. I just don't understand it.
  4. wtf

    AI sentience

    I don't find emergence to be a helpful concept. Suppose consciousness is emergent. What did you just explain to me? Nothing at all. I still don't know what it emerges from. A particular configuration of molecules? Or must they be organic molecules, ie living things? Could sentience emerge from a digital computer? Emergence is a magic word that makes people think they understand something when they've actually understood nothing. If sentience is an emergent property, what does it emerge from and what doesn't it emerge from? Could it emerge from the 100 million lines of code making up Microsoft Windows? Could it emerge from the global supply chain? How about Skynet? Could it emerge from a video game? Could it emerge from the code running Ms. Pacman? In which case did I murder a sentient being every time I ran out of quarters back in the day when I played video games in bars? Emergence sheds no light whatsoever on any of these questions.
  5. No, there are many such functions. |x| is not one of them.
  6. Ok. You look perfectly sensible doubling down on your error. You look like a stud. A God. A man among boys. Happy now? Studiot you are the one not sticking to the math. I posted the correct answer. You're still trying to defend your incorrect point. What math should I stick to? I first noted that the "obvious" answer, which more than one person proposed, is wrong. I then looked up the right answer, which I was not able to work out for myself. I'm not claiming any special virtue here. So what more do you want? You're unhappy that I said you look silly? Ok you look terribly clever. I would also argue that "You look silly" is not an ad hominem. If I say you ARE silly that would be an ad hominem. But you're not always silly. Sometimes you display an impressive grasp of engineering math. Today, you are insisting you're right when it's perfectly clear that you're wrong. But if you want me to apologize for calling that behavior silly, I apologize.
  7. wtf

    AI sentience

    Fine. I don't know how to recognize sentience. And you just told me that you have OBJECTIVE -- your word -- criteria. Your quote was: "I think AI can become objectively sentient." So just tell me what these objective criteria are, that I may be similarly enlightened.
  8. wtf

    AI sentience

    The quote I questioned said that one can objectively determine sentience in others. A chatbot could say, "Ok my goodness are you ok? That must hurt." That's not sentience. What the objective criteria? As I mentioned earlier, the first chatbot Eliza caused naive people to tell it their innermost secrets. It was a simplistic chatbot with no intelligence at all beyond the ability to repeat phrases. You say, "My toe hurts." It responds, "Tell me more about your toe." People mistook that for sentience. It's the exact same example you're using. If your neighbor says his toe hurts, you'll say, "Oh that's terrible, I hope it gets better" But if your washing machine prints out "My toe hurts," you'll call the repairman. Computer scientist Scott Aaronson calls that meat chauvinism. Surely you are not so easily fooled by a chatbot, I hope.
  9. wtf

    AI sentience

    What can "objectively sentient" mean? Is your next door neighbor objectively sentient? How do you know?
  10. You look silly doubling down on your error. You're wrong. I posted the correct example of a function with discontinuous derivative.
  11. ps ... found this good thread. One of the commenters notes that |x| does NOT answer the question of a function with discontinuous derivative, for exactly the reason I gave. The example given of such a beast is: f(x) = x^2 sin(1/x) for x nonzero; and f(0) = 0. The details are in the link.
  12. If you think |x| has a derivative you failed freshman calculus. It's the classic elementary example of a continuous function that does NOT have a derivative. Because to "have a derivative" means to have a derivative at every point of its domain. Since |x| does not have a derivative, it certainly does not have a derivative that's discontinuous. That's because if I don't have a purple elephant, then I certainly don't have a purple elephant with wings. Of course |x| does have a derivative that's undefined at one point of the domain of |x|. That MIGHT be what the OP meant, but it's NOT what they asked.
  13. Too strong. OP asked for a continuous function that has a derivative that is not continuous. |x| does not satisfy OP's requirement, since it does not have a derivative.
  14. wtf

    AI sentience

    Preferences determine what you choose. But the pleasure you feel is subjective. One choice gives more pleasure than another. And that experience is different for every person. We could program a bot to randomly choose chocolate or vanilla ice cream. We could even provide sophisticated sensors that can analyze the fat content, the sweetness, etc. of the ice cream. We could tell it to optimize for something or other. Say, best fit with the choices of a population of ten year olds. Over time, the bot will perhaps develop a preference, based on statistical correlation with the corpus of data representing the ice cream preferences of ten year olds. The bot will not experience the pleasure of one over the other. It's doing datamining and iterative statistical correlation. It's no different in principle than an insurance company deciding what your auto premium should be based on how you correlate with the database of all drivers. People who "totaled your brand new car" are more likely to total another one, to quote a particularly annoying American tv commercial. Am I the only person here who has qualia? Isn't anyone aware of your subjective self? You all really think you're robots executing a crude, physically implemented Turing machine? I am not a bot ... a bot ... a bot ...
  15. wtf

    AI sentience

    > The beginning of consciousness is preference. Input or no input. From where I sit this doesn't even seem wrong. It seems unserious. Apologies if you are in fact serious. If so your examples are weak and unconvincing. A computer may receive input or it may receive no input. But it can not have a preference for one or the other. I simply can't imagine otherwise. It's like saying my washing machine cares whether I use it or not. It can accept input in the form of clothing to be washed. But it can have no preference for washing or not washing clothes.