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Prometheus last won the day on March 8

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About Prometheus

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    Building statistical models for Raman spectroscopy.

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  1. Prometheus

    Chronic Pain

    Treatments working on similar principles already exist. Capsaicin, which puts the kick in chilis, is effectective with certain types of peripheral pain. Some chronic pain is due to pathological modulation of the central nervous system. It's been 6 months - did you get a chance to read those books i recommended? You obviously have an enduring interest in the subject - why not harness that and learn the science behind pain in detail?
  2. Personalised medicine has been a Holy Grail in medicine for quite a while, and is starting to percolate into mainstream practice. Polypharmacy, a legitimate problem in certain demographics, will benefit from targeted therapies and may help determine cases where non-medical therapies are preferable. Certain types of depression may be more responsive to exercise than medication (which types and what kind of exercise?). Some people with type 2 diabetes can manage the condition with dietary changes alone (but which people and what diet?). However, if you only start to care about your joints when they start aching everyday then you've likely left it too late to avoid medicines all together.
  3. Prometheus

    Split from AI sentience

    Is a freewill debate pertinent to a discussion on AI consciousness? Is it not reasonable to assume that whatever freewill is, mirage or oasis, it is a feature of consciousness? I appreciate that many debates reduce to people thinking that humans possess some intangible quality that only humans can ever possess (surprisingly common even in secular circles), but i don't think anyone here is making that argument.
  4. Prometheus

    Why You Feel Tired When It's Hot

    Dehydration is probably a significant factor.
  5. Prometheus

    Are AI abilities limitless?

    Check out Arrival too - focuses on a linguist trying to decipher a non-lingual alien language.
  6. Prometheus

    Is race biologicial?

    There's lots of potential ways of categorising people based on biology. We could get a load of basketball players and jockeys and they would genetically cluster based on the genes that determine height. But is it useful? Maybe, depends on what you're doing and why. Is distinguishing biology based on historical ideas of race useful? Maybe still in some contexts - small medical studies without the resources for genetic testing using it as a proxy marker for the presence of some gene. But if we can directly measure the genes of interest it's far better to do that.
  7. Prometheus

    AI sentience

    Would it need to rewrite it's own code or just re-adjust weights (in something like a neural network say)? What's WAG? Probably doesn't reflect well on me when i tell you i only know it as footballer's Wives And Girlfriends. Aren't we only concerned with the question of whether the mind/brain is a computation, not the universe? Is it not possible that the former is a computation while the latter not. So the question is what in biology allows the emergence of minds. And if it can emerge from one physical substrate (neurons and such), why can it not emerge from another physical substrate?
  8. Prometheus

    Are AI abilities limitless?

    And the Star Trek writers weren't really trying to predict the future with universal translators - it would just be laborious to have every episode include that initial confusion. There are a few episodes in which translators don't work when they do want to explore the language barrier in cross cultural communication. Also given the breadth of Sci fi it's reasonable to say a great many, and conflicting, outcomes have been 'predicted'. For every sci-fi that 'predicts' faster than light travel, another 'predicts' sub-light speed travel or worm holes or...
  9. Prometheus

    Are AI abilities limitless?

    Appreciate the enthusiasm, but if Star Trek says we can travel faster than light and Einstein - backed up by theory and evidence - says you can't, who are you really going to take seriously?
  10. Prometheus

    The best black tea

    Never tried that particular brand - i assume it's English Breakfast tea which is a blend of Assam, Ceylon and something else - all Indian though. It's fine if that's what you like. My experience of tea, as an Englishman, is that the Brits don't have a clue. We have one type and we're sticking to it. I didn't even know there were types for ages. Try Chinese, Japanese and other Indian teas - far more variety. Pu erh and Lady Grey are my favourite black teas, though i generally prefer green or white tea. Black teas aren't always the highest in caffeine content: gunpowder tea can have a high content. So many to try. Apparently T2 is in the US too - it's a good tea shop, lot's of variety.
  11. Prometheus

    AI sentience

    How would that work? Are there any other candidates for computation other than formal symbolic systems?
  12. Prometheus

    AI sentience

    Tricky. We infer consciousness in other humans because we have direct expereince of our own, and other's behaviour is consistent with ours. Similar for animals, although it gets harder to imagine the more different the animal is to us. Given that in some instances AI is deliberately programmed to mimic human responses, it will always be open to the criticism that it merely mimics, not recreates, consciousness. I read somewhere that one possibility would be to 'raise' an artificial intelligence in isolation then see if displays behaviour consistent with consciousness. The problem with that is that it infers AI consciousness will be similar enough to something we know such its behaviours are interpretable.
  13. There are better ones but they are massive.
  14. Prometheus

    Are AI abilities limitless?

    Making computer game characters more realistic? Making companions for the elderly? Giving an automated commercial plane a sense of survival might make it more robust against accidents? But i guess mostly just to see if it's possible.
  15. Prometheus

    Are AI abilities limitless?

    It's up to each of us to decide what matters for ourselves. No harm thinking about this stuff if it buzzes your brain.