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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Have people lost their minds? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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karnak
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On Oct 28, 2021, funsway wrote:
"obviously they can’t all be right." I understand that Thomas Merton once taught a class at Harvard based on the premise that all religions are right.
With this announcement of theme about 1/3 of the students walked out. Those who remained say it is the best class they ever took,
and that it had a profound impact on their personal search for spirituality….


Reminds me of the views of British philosopher of religion John Hick.

Of course, much depends upon what is meant by “right” — i.e., what precisely are the religions *really* saying, and what precisely are they right *about* (all of which religious folk themselves can and do disagree about)?
For a supernatural chiller mixing magic (prestidigitation, legerdemain) with Magic (occultism, mysticism), check out my novel MAGIC: AN OCCULT THRILLER at http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Occult-Thriller-Reed-Hall/dp/1453874836
Jonathan Townsend
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On Oct 29, 2021, funsway wrote:
...So, AI is an entity now with its own volition? It is a concept that has changed definition over the years, but none suggesting self awareness...


You nailed the problem with "its own" - personhood and agency.

Safer example: Santa. Does he prefer whole or skim milk? Oatmeal or chocolate chip cookies?
In this example youngsters learn a 'secret' about agency in society. Common distractions include asking why elves make toys, or who brought them to the north pole...

So - personhood and agency, please.
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landmark
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I wonder how people in this conversation would feel were I to reveal the truth--I am a sock puppet AI account.
R.S.
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On Oct 29, 2021, funsway wrote:
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On Oct 29, 2021, R.S. wrote:
I also don't see AI's foray into religion as some great and beneficial innovation.


So, AI is an entity now with its own volition? It is a concept that has changed definition over the years, but none suggesting self awareness.



That wasn't my implication. A better wording would have been... "I also don't see the application of AI to religion as some great and beneficial innovation." Sorry for any misunderstanding. But thanks for pointing it out.
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine
R.S.
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On Oct 29, 2021, karnak wrote:
Quote:
On Oct 28, 2021, funsway wrote:
"obviously they can’t all be right." I understand that Thomas Merton once taught a class at Harvard based on the premise that all religions are right.
With this announcement of theme about 1/3 of the students walked out. Those who remained say it is the best class they ever took,
and that it had a profound impact on their personal search for spirituality….


Reminds me of the views of British philosopher of religion John Hick.

Of course, much depends upon what is meant by “right” — i.e., what precisely are the religions *really* saying, and what precisely are they right *about* (all of which religious folk themselves can and do disagree about)?


Yes. Religions make specific claims. Claims about nature, reality, people, places, and specific events that either have or will come to pass. When there is internal (within the same religion) contradiction, or external (between religions) contradiction, then something's got to give. And there are plenty of significant contradictions in religion and amongst religious adherents. This is something that neither humans nor AI can resolve.
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine
R.S.
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On Oct 29, 2021, landmark wrote:
I wonder how people in this conversation would feel were I to reveal the truth--I am a sock puppet AI account.


Agent Smith will be paying you a visit shortly.
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine
landmark
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On Oct 30, 2021, R.S. wrote:
Quote:
On Oct 29, 2021, landmark wrote:
I wonder how people in this conversation would feel were I to reveal the truth--I am a sock puppet AI account.


Agent Smith will be paying you a visit shortly.


Finally! Then my work here is done.
funsway
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A thought just occurred to me. Many animals, plants and insects are capable of doing things humans cannot, showing a survival intelligence superior to man.
So, if we are setting an objective of building a computer to match or surpass some level of intelligence, why is man used as the model?

Man as proved his intelligence does not lead to long term survival of the species, or even sustainable well-being for most of its members. So, why use humans as a standard to surpass?
Will not a human emulating computer just hasten the de-evolution of our species?

Maybe a computer could become intelligent enough to change sunlight into edible and easily storable food.

I'll bet any computer coming close to be "self-aware" would refuse to be human.

on a re-read of the OP title, how can people lose their mind if the already gave it away?
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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lynnef
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A very enjoyable novel I recently read was Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro. Klara is an android robot, purchased for helping a family with health issues, etc. and is quite intelligent, yet struggles how to understand human affections (eg when someone greets an old friend, they may cry and seem sad while at the same time be happy... doesn't make sense to a robot). She also doesn't understand human cruelties, and is not cruel herself. In fact, she is not selfish! The novel doesn't concern religion, but there is an undercurrent of questioning humanity. Lynn
R.S.
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On Oct 30, 2021, funsway wrote:
A thought just occurred to me. Many animals, plants and insects are capable of doing things humans cannot, showing a survival intelligence superior to man.
So, if we are setting an objective of building a computer to match or surpass some level of intelligence, why is man used as the model?

Man as proved his intelligence does not lead to long term survival of the species, or even sustainable well-being for most of its members. So, why use humans as a standard to surpass?
Will not a human emulating computer just hasten the de-evolution of our species?

Maybe a computer could become intelligent enough to change sunlight into edible and easily storable food.

I'll bet any computer coming close to be "self-aware" would refuse to be human.

on a re-read of the OP title, how can people lose their mind if the already gave it away?


It's true that humans have many shortcomings. And that some animals far surpass humans at specific tasks and in the sheer ability to survive. However, I think you're being a bit harsh on us homo sapiens. Dinosaurs ruled the earth for 160 million years and never developed the capability to detect incoming asteroids. Or to smash atoms. Or to post selfies on Instagram (you know, those darn short arms!). Us humans did all that in only 250,000 years. We've also conquered many diseases and have greatly increased our life expectancy. Even a comparison between life in the 1800s versus now shows great advancement. So, why not use human ingenuity as the standard? Smile
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine
funsway
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Does "ingenuity" = "intelligence?" or has the goal of AI shifted once more?

But it works for me as none of the computers today claimed as AI show any ingenuity at all.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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Jonathan Townsend
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Ask Siri or ELIZA for some validation and relevant feedback.

*

Again going for safer examples - in the movie 2001 A Space Odyssey; any suggestions for what HAL9000 could have done to address the conflict between secrets and mission?
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ed rhodes
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On Oct 25, 2021, landmark wrote:
God and robots: Will AI transform religion?

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-58989691

Sometimes I am secretly grateful I won't be around in fifty years...



I remember two stories in various magazines I'd read.

One was a short-short where they'd invented an "AI," (they didn't call it that then) that could actually access all data and weather control satellites as well as other advancements. When they turned it on, one guy asked; "Is there a God?" The machine made a lightening bolt fuse it's switch to the "ON" position and said; "NOW THERE IS!"

The other one was a little more heavy handed in its symbolism.

There was a group of scientist who'd invented an humanoid AI that had succeeded in creating a religion centered on itself!

One of the scientists manages to get a meeting with the AI and goes on about how the twelve of them (because of COURSE there were "twelve" of them) thought they were making the ultimate reasoning machine, they had no idea this was going to happen. The other eleven had fallen in with the AI's agenda, but HE was still free and he was going to end this once and for all! He whips out a pocket laser and burns a hole in the AI, causing it to stop. Turning to the stunned crowd, he shouts; "Don't you see? It's JUST a machine!" The followers fall to their knees proclaiming "the hole in the side," and two of the eleven who'd chosen to follow the AI examine it and state, matter of factly, "Take about three days to repair." And he realizes, far from ending the reign of the AI religion, he'd merely managed to cement it in the people's psyche!

Wait! Just remembered a third one that Asimov wrote as part of his "robot" series. The main computer on a Deep Space station comes to the conclusion that it serves an AI "God," and the humans are simply the God's token. They are incapable to convincing the AI that THEY, in fact, created the robots and that the signal it worships comes from other humans. When a cosmic storm threatens the signal, the AI has the robots lock up the humans until the storm is over. They are then stunned to find it was able to perfectly maintain the beam... because, as it understood its programming, its God, commanded it to! They leave the computer in charge, and picture what their shift replacements are going to make of the AI religion.
"All the world's a stage, but the play is badly cast!" - Oscar Wilde
gaddy
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Some clever lad in Japan just got himself arrested for using an artificial intelligence program to de-pixelize pornography for ¥¥¥

They busted him for copyright infringement.

He was doing the lord's work, but for all the wrong reasons...
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R.S.
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On Oct 30, 2021, funsway wrote:
Does "ingenuity" = "intelligence?" or has the goal of AI shifted once more?

But it works for me as none of the computers today claimed as AI show any ingenuity at all.


I suppose that depends on how you define ingenuity and intelligence.

If animals/plants are superior to humans in their "survival intelligence", then which animal/plant would you propose an AI be modeled after? And how would that even be accomplished without applying human ingenuity/intelligence to the task?

We are less than 80 years into the "computer age." And in that time our computer/technology advancements and innovations have been plentiful. Who knows what the technology of 2200 or 2300 will look like? No doubt there are things to come that we can't imagine.

By the way, AI programs have already reportedly passed the Turing Test, which some would claim does demonstrate ingenuity/intelligence:

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-27762088

https://www.zdnet.com/article/google-dup......-doomed/
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine
funsway
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Yup, all you have to do is call something AI long enough and folks will believe it - the ultimate self-fulfilling prophesy for programmers and marketers.

"artificial intelligence program" - isn't that a non-sequitur?

Me, I'd rather look for signs of intelligence in humans, but a Google search only gives me ads, deflection and a prediction of what I might want to look for instead.

That does seem quite human in traits of greed, heuristic fallacy and avoidance of responsibility. An intelligent computer would give me what I asked for and nothing else,
and even say, "I don't know." Strangely, search engines once did exactly that. Now they make things up just like humans do - back to religion after all.

I asked my Service Dog if computers are as intelligent as humans. He says no, so that's the end of it - then yipped to let me know the UPS driver was two blocks away.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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More than half a century ago, I went on a guided tour of the Orient with a group of some two dozen English-speaking teachers--nine countries in 31 days, an "If it's Tuesday, this must be Thailand" kind of thing. The first country we visited was Japan, the first city Tokyo, and the first cultural site an imposing Buddhist temple. Upon entering the premises, I noticed a small, somewhat shabby-looking structure off to one side near the outer wall of the otherwise well manicured temple grounds, and I asked the tour guide what it was. "Oh," she replied, "that is a Shinto shrine." She then proceeded to inform us that many devout Buddhists in those days still considered some life experiences such as weddings, funerals, etc. to be best dealt with via the customs and rituals of the native Shinto religion, and that the Buddhist monks took no issue with that.

Shortly thereafter, the members of the tour group were all given the opportunity to make small monetary donations to the temple, whereupon a few sticks of pungent incense were burned by a monk, and each donor received a small piece of paper with his or her "fortune" written upon it. The tour guide read each fortune aloud (since none of us were fluent in Japanese), and we were told that we could keep the good fortunes as souvenirs. However, if the fortune was bad, we should tie it to a branch on a withered-looking little tree before exiting from the grounds. The idea, of course, was that the ill fortune should pass from its human recipient into the tree, which (as one of our group remarked) would likely cease to flourish and die as a consequence of having had all of its leaves replaced with little pieces of paper.

I remember such experiences as those above, and I ponder: Rather than AI, shouldn't we be more concerned with Artifical Wisdom instead?
Never try to teach a pig how to sing. You will waste your time, and it annoys the pig.
R.S.
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On Oct 31, 2021, funsway wrote:
Yup, all you have to do is call something AI long enough and folks will believe it - the ultimate self-fulfilling prophesy for programmers and marketers.

"artificial intelligence program" - isn't that a non-sequitur?

Me, I'd rather look for signs of intelligence in humans, but a Google search only gives me ads, deflection and a prediction of what I might want to look for instead.

That does seem quite human in traits of greed, heuristic fallacy and avoidance of responsibility. An intelligent computer would give me what I asked for and nothing else,
and even say, "I don't know." Strangely, search engines once did exactly that. Now they make things up just like humans do - back to religion after all.

I asked my Service Dog if computers are as intelligent as humans. He says no, so that's the end of it - then yipped to let me know the UPS driver was two blocks away.


Are you implying that AI is just one big pipe dream? Or that humans aren’t intelligent? Or that we should model AI after animals? Or that we should not even pursue AI? Not sure what you’re getting at.

Again, some AI programs have passed the Turing Test. And future AI will only get better/smarter. What is your standard for calling something artificially intelligent?

As for the concepts of human intelligence and consciousness, it all comes down to the proper electrical/chemical signals being transmitted between various parts of the brain. In theory, there’s no reason this couldn’t be simulated on silicon. Or on grafted tissue, or something else. Perhaps the right configuration of all the right elements would simply “turn on” and achieve a human-like state of intelligence/consciousness. Kind of like the property of “wetness” appearing when non-wet hydrogen and non-wet oxygen are combined in the right way. Maybe consciousness is an emergent property that automatically arises when other conditions are met. Or perhaps the “hard problem” of consciousness is just… too hard. I don’t know. But it is fascinating to think about. And to see where our technology is going.
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine
Jonathan Townsend
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The concepts of intelligence and consciousness seem more about society and language than hardware and chemistry.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Tales of Today:
Context - following along this thread from Landmark's concern about people confusing what's useful with what's sacred.
Also, I'm reading David Eggers latest novel The Every (hardcover - available at bookstores - not yet on Amazon...) which is very much on topic about technology and society.

Last night I called A**** support about a phone I no longer have. A few seconds on into the call and I was put on hold for a human ... they were attentive and cross connected my issue to a second staffer. All well and good. Polite nice folks. Then I get emails asking for feedback. By the time I get a confirm that my matter has been handled the emails asking for followup survey data will be buried and possibly lost.

So we have a situation where two nice people doing their jobs likely won't get the positive feedback they deserve. Smile And who suggested that directly asking folks for survey data gets you accurate information about anything but the act of filling in the survey? ??? Smile Artificial Stupidity or perhaps Institutional Violence against service providers?

Does this situation seem familiar?
-Jon

P.S. - https://www.zdnet.com/article/mcdonalds-......Gbqawgr8
...to all the coins I've dropped here
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