Is Sam Harris a scientist?
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10-03-2017, 03:40 PM
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
(10-03-2017 01:29 PM)Heath_Tierney Wrote:  Let me get this straight, because I want to make sure I'm understanding you correctly:

Two trained scientists (and many others), one of which is arguably the smartest man alive, have some concerns about AI. But you dismiss them because their main expertise is in a different area.

Have I got that right?

Two trained scientists in other fields with no expertise or understanding of AI who are now so used to their opinions being listened to and accepted by lay-people have concerns about a field in which I am trained and am an active published researcher in and which have devoted my life to.

Yes.

Why? Because I do not accept an argument from authority and know why they are wrong.
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10-03-2017, 04:28 PM
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
(10-03-2017 02:22 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Well science is apart of philosophy in my book.

I respectfully disagree with this statement. Philosophy is inherently speculative and/or "second order". What we now call science used to be part of philosophy (indeed, it was called "natural philosophy" at one time), but when it achieved enough certainty to call it science, it ceased to be philosophy.

NOTE: I'm not just talking out of my ass. Bertrand Russell said much the same thing.
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10-03-2017, 06:00 PM
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
(10-03-2017 03:40 PM)Mathilda Wrote:  
(10-03-2017 01:29 PM)Heath_Tierney Wrote:  Let me get this straight, because I want to make sure I'm understanding you correctly:

Two trained scientists (and many others), one of which is arguably the smartest man alive, have some concerns about AI. But you dismiss them because their main expertise is in a different area.

Have I got that right?

Two trained scientists in other fields with no expertise or understanding of AI who are now so used to their opinions being listened to and accepted by lay-people have concerns about a field in which I am trained and am an active published researcher in and which have devoted my life to.

Yes.

Why? Because I do not accept an argument from authority and know why they are wrong.

When it comes to his concerns on AI, he is off the mark in many areas.

An AI cannot change its own programming over time without creating a cascade of errors in its attempts to improve itself without any idea if the new programming is an improvement or not.

Without a physical body of any kind, an AI can't replicate nor create a physical body that can move and sustain itself in an environment completely unknown to the AI.

I've listened to several of his talks on AI and they are frankly laughable.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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10-03-2017, 06:26 PM
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
(09-03-2017 07:53 PM)Billanja Wrote:  
(09-03-2017 07:46 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  Kent Hovind has a "PH.D" too. Harris is far more articulate.

In what exactely?

Pretty much everything.

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10-03-2017, 06:47 PM
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
(10-03-2017 01:40 PM)Billanja Wrote:  As far I as know how funding and financing of scientific projects function, especially in the USA, it's done by donors who have a particular interest in funding certain scientific projects but other projects get denied and rejected by the donors.
And, barring the possible case of an independently wealthy scientist, where in the world is that not true?


Quote:Also, there has been a lot of "studies" done by the german nazi scientists to prove that certain races have certain advantages and dis-advantages and those studies are now all seen as what they have been: The attempt to justify a disgusting theory of the superiourity of the caucasian (blond and blue eyed) race.

Furthermore: There have been experiements on the inmates of the german death-camps regarding controlling the human mind and the brain. By what is called operation paper-clip a lot of those doctors who conducted those experiement came to america via the so called rat-line via south america.
Um, sure -- 75 or so years ago. And 115 or so years ago Edison was electrocuting animals to "prove" the dangers od AC over the DC his company was advocating.

So what?

Quote:My point is: What is rational and reasonable highly depends on what kind of system the scientific and philosophical community is a part of.
Disagree. All that determines is how your contemporaries may react to you reasoning. If something is rational, it is rational regardless.

Quote:And I never hear Sam Harris mention that. For me that means he either does not care to know what kind of system he is a part of, or he knows it and does not care or he finds himself on the "right" side of the system, benefits from it and does not care because he benefits.
<shrug> One could make the same critique of religious defenders. How many seriously critique the basis of their own religion, before mercilessly lighting into those outsiders they see as a threat?

No one can take on the entire world every day. You have to choose your battles.

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10-03-2017, 07:02 PM
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
(10-03-2017 02:26 PM)Billanja Wrote:  1.) At least someone who talks about religion should know why, how and what for people do engage in organized relgions. And the reason why is, in my eyes: They suffer. And don't know anything better than engaging in religion.
Everyone suffers. Not everyone swallows the Kool-Aid of religion thinking it's an antidote for suffering.

Quote:2.) Yes, I agree that these are utterly disgusting practizes and calling them out as being what they are is a good thing. But throwing the baby out with the bath-water, like I think is what Sam Harris is doing when denying almost all religions and all practizes, isn't benefical and does not even remotely adress the problem of human suffering. If that is what he is concerned about.
What is the "baby" he's throwing out?

Religion at large has done enormous harm to human beings and human progress. That a minority of well-meaning saps from within it's ranks have occasionally done some incidental local good doesn't even begin to mitigate the extent of the damage. One might as well argue the virtues of war, since it sometimes stimulates certain segments of the economy, temporarily.

Quote:3.) I'm not buying it that he "cares about the welfare, health and happiness of others" as long as he does not adress what role the economical system plays and how it might be related to the religions, who teach and preach stuff like, "ora et labora". I'm not buying that Sam Harris is concerned about the happiness, well-being and health of ALL human beings. Because he just don't. At least his muslim and "liberal left" bashing stance does not indicate that.
I don't know if he cares equally about ALL human beings (who does?), but he has bashed all the Abrahamic religions; not just Islam.

Quote:And maybe he is just far less intelligent, informed and smart as many of his fans think he is.

Just wondering, when did he run over your puppy?

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10-03-2017, 07:25 PM
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
(10-03-2017 03:40 PM)Mathilda Wrote:  Two trained scientists in other fields with no expertise or understanding of AI who are now so used to their opinions being listened to and accepted by lay-people have concerns about a field in which I am trained and am an active published researcher in and which have devoted my life to.

Yes.

Why? Because I do not accept an argument from authority and know why they are wrong.
Yeah, that's a danger that has seduced a number of scientists who, perhaps, should have known better. Reich and orgone; Shockley and eugenics; Pauling and vitamin C; Fleischmann and cold fusion; etc.

Perhaps a caution not to get too cocky...

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10-03-2017, 10:02 PM
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
(10-03-2017 06:00 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  When it comes to his concerns on AI, he is off the mark in many areas.

An AI cannot change its own programming over time without creating a cascade of errors in its attempts to improve itself without any idea if the new programming is an improvement or not.

Without a physical body of any kind, an AI can't replicate nor create a physical body that can move and sustain itself in an environment completely unknown to the AI.

I've listened to several of his talks on AI and they are frankly laughable.

Nice and concisely put!

I am having real trouble typing at the moment due to the recent onset of a medical condition, so excuse me copying and pasting something I wrote on AF about this.

He fundamentally does not understand that you cannot have recursive self improvement without some part of the program staying constant. Therefore it is limited. Otherwise it's like poking yourself in the stomach and saying that it's a self poking finger.

If you have the ability for the program to write over itself entirely, then it cannot improve. The first time it creates a less optimal or broken solution it won't be able to continue improving. You can only do this if you are prepared to have multiple artificial intelligences become useless the moment you deploy them. It can't know in advance that a solution will fail dismally until it tries it. Basically what he is describing is evolution.

We already have artificial evolution. There is nothing magical about this. It's just a form of parameter search. But it's an absolute essential step that requires ever longer processing time the more complex the system. For example, I can run a simple three layer biologically plausible neural network on my computer. It can work really fast and can do strong AI. But to get that I have to create a whole population that evolved over many generations. This stage takes many weeks evolving 24/7. And that's assuming that this is the final version.
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10-03-2017, 10:08 PM (This post was last modified: 10-03-2017 10:13 PM by Mathilda.)
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
(10-03-2017 07:25 PM)Dr H Wrote:  Yeah, that's a danger that has seduced a number of scientists who, perhaps, should have known better. Reich and orgone; Shockley and eugenics; Pauling and vitamin C; Fleischmann and cold fusion; etc.

Perhaps a caution not to get too cocky...

I'll add Baroness Susan Greenfield and her Daily Mail scaremongering to the list as well.

Actively working as a scientist means that you know that the moment you stand up in front of a room of your peers they will be intently looking for any flaws in your argument and will be asking questions at the end that you have to answer in front of everybody.

It means you don't want to say anything that the evidence won't support.
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11-03-2017, 07:15 AM
RE: Is Sam Harris a scientist?
(10-03-2017 01:40 PM)Billanja Wrote:  What I'm having an issue with is that scientific research isn't financed and funded freely.

Citation please.

Quote:As far I as know how funding and financing of scientific projects function, especially in the USA, it's done by donors who have a particular interest in funding certain scientific projects but other projects get denied and rejected by the donors.

Citation please.

Quote:Also, there has been a lot of "studies" done by the german Nazi scientists to prove that certain races have certain advantages and dis-advantages and those studies are now all seen as what they have been: The attempt to justify a disgusting theory of the superiority of the Caucasian (blond and blue eyed) race. Furthermore: There have been experiments on the inmates of the german death-camps regarding controlling the human mind and the brain. By what is called operation paper-clip a lot of those doctors who conducted those experiment came to America via the so called rat-line via South America.

Oh for fuck's sake! Not this irrelevant, tired old canard again? You need to know that as soon as someone like you mentions the Nazis, you've lost the debate by default, plus any credibility you may've had straight away. Sorry.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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