Please can Sam Harris shut the fuck up about Artificial Intelligence
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08-10-2016, 05:27 AM
RE: Please can Sam Harris shut the fuck up about Artificial Intelligence
(08-10-2016 05:00 AM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  But talking about killer robots is fun...

Basically you've hit the nail on the head there.

But even if we were to have killer robots, wouldn't it be preferable to have armies of robots blowing each other up than armies of men shooting limbs off each other and then left to waste begging on street corners with PTSD?
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08-10-2016, 05:46 AM
RE: Please can Sam Harris shut the fuck up about Artificial Intelligence
(08-10-2016 05:24 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  
(08-10-2016 04:59 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Except, I have to disagree. We very quickly went from splitting the atom to killing a fuck ton of civilians with it. Our past gives me much pause.

Get back to me when AI has anything like the funding that the Manhatten project got which was a concerted effort involving hundreds of thousands of people.

Also, there have only ever been two atomic bombs dropped in anger. But a fuck ton load of nuclear power stations created in the meantime which if we didn't have would require dirty coal burning power stations hastening global climate change.

Our past shows that ultimately the progress of technology is more beneficial.


Power plants came after the bombs. Nobody had much time to talk about the ethical implications before the bombs dropped, because such research was top secret. Right now AI is still hypothetical, and given how generally fucked our ethics are right now, I'd rather try to hash these things out before Ultron connects to the internet. Fortunately we had a second chance with the splitting of the atom, but even then, we came perilously close to destroying ourselves; we cannot guarantee we'll have a second chance with AI. Not only that, but we've been incredibly lucky in regards to our nuclear arsenal. I do support nuclear power, but I cannot ignore our spotty track record with armaments.





The sooner we can get our own shit in order, the sooner we can welcome the advent of artificial intelligence with open arms.

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08-10-2016, 05:51 AM
RE: Please can Sam Harris shut the fuck up about Artificial Intelligence
(08-10-2016 05:27 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  
(08-10-2016 05:00 AM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  But talking about killer robots is fun...

Basically you've hit the nail on the head there.

But even if we were to have killer robots, wouldn't it be preferable to have armies of robots blowing each other up than armies of men shooting limbs off each other and then left to waste begging on street corners with PTSD?

You're making a lot of assumptions about these imaginary hypothetical killer robots, What if they do get PTSD? Its very easy to upset the machine spirit during activation. You could fail to apply the appropriate amount of sacred oils or even burn up all your incense too early. These are the kind of things you need to worry about. Now excuse me while i have a nerdgasm from all this killer robot talk.
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08-10-2016, 05:52 AM
RE: Please can Sam Harris shut the fuck up about Artificial Intelligence
(08-10-2016 05:46 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Power plants came after the bombs.

The first nuclear reactor was built two and a half years before the first atomic bomb was detonated. It wasn't built to produce electricity but the design was there before any practical atomic bomb design existed.

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08-10-2016, 05:54 AM
RE: Please can Sam Harris shut the fuck up about Artificial Intelligence
(08-10-2016 05:51 AM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  You're making a lot of assumptions about these imaginary hypothetical killer robots, What if they do get PTSD? Its very easy to upset the machine spirit during activation. You could fail to apply the appropriate amount of sacred oils or even burn up all your incense too early. These are the kind of things you need to worry about. Now excuse me while i have a nerdgasm from all this killer robot talk.

I bet if we programmed them they'd be as xenophobic towards their own kind as we are. "You're made by Mitsubishi, you're not one of us Applebots, die, die die!"

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08-10-2016, 06:00 AM
RE: Please can Sam Harris shut the fuck up about Artificial Intelligence
(08-10-2016 05:54 AM)Elder Cunningham Wrote:  
(08-10-2016 05:51 AM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  You're making a lot of assumptions about these imaginary hypothetical killer robots, What if they do get PTSD? Its very easy to upset the machine spirit during activation. You could fail to apply the appropriate amount of sacred oils or even burn up all your incense too early. These are the kind of things you need to worry about. Now excuse me while i have a nerdgasm from all this killer robot talk.

I bet if we programmed them they'd be as xenophobic towards their own kind as we are. "You're made by Mitsubishi, you're not one of us Applebots, die, die die!"

Just wait until the Microsoft bots meet the Apple bots.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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08-10-2016, 06:06 AM
RE: Please can Sam Harris shut the fuck up about Artificial Intelligence
(08-10-2016 02:50 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  I'm getting sick of Sam Harris and his ilk posting bloody TED talks or videos about the dangers of Artificial Intelligence running amok and making humans extinct. He talks about having to avoid a digital apocalypse.

It literally is the equivalent of arguing that we should be concerned about space travel because one day we'll invent interstellar travel and meet aliens which will then want to destroy us. In other words, complete science fiction.

If he wants to talk about neuroscience, then fine, go ahead and I'll listen. Sam Harris is a neuroscientist who has hands-on experience in the field. But he does not have hands on experience of Artificial Intelligence. He doesn't appreciate quite how little progress the field has made. He doesn't understand that most of what is called Artificial Intelligence isn't actually AI but just smart programming. So why the fuck should anyone listen to him on the subject?

There is so little funding or dedicated research in this field compared to any other scientific field. Yet you have so called 'experts' (in others fields, or in self promotion) warning against how it can develop. They are promoting themselves with their titillating subjects at the cost of a genuine scientific field that has such potential to benefit human kind.

It is on a par with a Christian church warning against developing Physics two hundred years ago because it could allow us to do terrible things, even though no one at the time would know how.

I could have had a successful scientific career if I had been in any other field. That much is clear to me from working in bioinformatics recently. But I dedicated myself to the field of Artificial Intelligence precisely because of the challenges. But the challenges are so great and the progress has been so slow that the ones giving out the funding don't have any idea of how it could be useful. Add to that self proclaimed experts who are neither qualified nor experienced in the field warning about the dangers of AI, well no wonder there hasn't been any progress.

The field of AI has been plagued throughout its history of people talking up what it can do. This is why we have had multiple AI winters already where funding completely dries up for an entire generation. Yes there are genuine concerns about algorithms running our lives, but this isn't Artificial Intelligence, this is the field of statistics. This is the result of our monetary system and the need for the economy to constantly expand.

Sam Harris is a neuroscientist so he should at least appreciate the scale of the brain. There are about 100 billion neurons in the brain. Each neuron is more than a mere adding unit, each one has the computational complexity of an artificial neural network. Each neuron will connect to on average 7,000 other neurons. Whereas only now are we getting genuine 8-core processors in computers. Yes we could create a supercomputer made up of a massive cluster of thousands of computers connected together, but this would require 10 megawatts of electricity rather than 100 watts. Which means that you can't exactly embody it inside a single body and have a whole population of them evolving over hundreds of generations. Fact is that Moore's law is nearing the end of its reign and won't last long enough.

Sam Harris is spouting pseudo-science which is why I posted in this section.

If Sam Harris wants to be useful, maybe he should use his celebratory status to talk up the good that AI can do and how it could save mankind. There are many, many real and more immediate dangers facing human society right now. Antibiotic resistance, climate change, soil depletion meaning there are only 100 harvests left, an economy that needs to expand exponentially in order to function and therefore uses up the Earth's resources at an exponential rate. These are real dangers that need to be addressed far more urgently some science fiction fantasy.

For me, only space exploitation or fusion power will allow human progress to continue. And for this, AI will be critical because space is a hostile environment for us.

Don't you think AI research has reached a critical point though? It's starting to yield things like self-driving cars, this is more of a commercial application rather than pure research funded by government. I think this is a very important change, it's already producing usable benefits which brings it out of the government research sphere into the commercial sphere.

Harris running his mouth might impact government funding, but I think there is some serious commercial interest in this field now and there isn't anything anyone can do to slow it down at this point.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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08-10-2016, 06:07 AM (This post was last modified: 08-10-2016 06:14 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Please can Sam Harris shut the fuck up about Artificial Intelligence
(08-10-2016 05:52 AM)Elder Cunningham Wrote:  
(08-10-2016 05:46 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Power plants came after the bombs.
The first nuclear reactor was built two and a half years before the first atomic bomb was detonated. It wasn't built to produce electricity but the design was there before any practical atomic bomb design existed.

Fair enough. But it unfortunately wasn't the driving force behind the technology. Plus if we didn't have a valuable use for the technology, like generating electricity, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation.

AI development is a potentially powerful and valuable tool, and it's that very value and power that gives me pause. Given its world ending capability, it's frightening how incredibly blase we are towards nuclear armaments. We cannot pretend that such power won't in some fashion be turned towards warfare, and that is not something be taken lightly, let alone after AI is on the battlefield.


Drones are fucking awesome. I can't wait until they start delivering pizza. But of course, they had to attach missiles to them and fuck it up. We don't need to be giving them AI too. We can't get a handle on weaponized drones, so no, I wouldn't trust us with AI just yet.

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08-10-2016, 06:11 AM
RE: Please can Sam Harris shut the fuck up about Artificial Intelligence
Fun fact: Any continuous function can be approximated by a feed forward artificial neural network with a single hidden layer.

#sigh
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08-10-2016, 06:14 AM
RE: Please can Sam Harris shut the fuck up about Artificial Intelligence
(08-10-2016 06:00 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(08-10-2016 05:54 AM)Elder Cunningham Wrote:  I bet if we programmed them they'd be as xenophobic towards their own kind as we are. "You're made by Mitsubishi, you're not one of us Applebots, die, die die!"

Just wait until the Microsoft bots meet the Apple bots.

The Microsoft bots will shit their pants and reboot, while the Apple bots will panic and drain their irreplaceable batteries.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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