TTA Community Project. Code Name: Apophenia
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15-02-2015, 12:33 PM
TTA Community Project. Code Name: Apophenia
Many of you will have heard theists argue that if we are just “molecules in motion” from whence, then, does morality come? They are simplistically confusing the physical and intentional stances… confusing hardware with software, perhaps.

And how often have we pointed out to passing theists that consciousness can come from unconsciousness and that every cell of our bodies is non-living etc. etc.

It's getting tedious, right?

On this thread --> HoC's thread I suggested using the combined talents of all the smartarses on TTA, the boil-ology experts, the fizzy-cysts, philosophers, IT programmers, IT systems pros and AI gurus to come up with a model to show how it could work.

Chas figured it was a fools' errand and signed up immediately. FC, Hafnof and Mathilda nibbled but didn't bite.

So, I'm thinking, why not... even if it's just me and Chas.

I'll do a longer write up soon to explain what I'm droning on about.

Watch this space. Wink

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15-02-2015, 12:38 PM
RE: TTA Community Project. Code Name: Apophenia
The theist uses a lot of spooky self serving mumbo jumbo -- for instance --- "Morals", "Souls", and "Spirit" --- three things that are simply made up out of whole cloth --- but form the basis of much of their arguments. It's hard to get the smell of shit out of things, when they're made out of shit.

Or, as a buddy of mine used to say -- "You can't polish a turd".

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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15-02-2015, 12:48 PM
RE: TTA Community Project. Code Name: Apophenia
OLB,
I'm thinking (bear with me, it's not something I do often), that "Consciousness" and even "Life" are in that same category of woolly words.

That's what this project would be about ... modelling these concepts into something tangible.

Or at least, trying to.

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15-02-2015, 01:17 PM
RE: TTA Community Project. Code Name: Apophenia
Boil-ologists, I like it. Especially as I am working among them now. Almost as good as Cunning Linguists for the Computational Linguists.

If it comes to sorting out wooly definitions then I can definitely help with that. Spent a major part of my PhD sorting through all the definitions of emotions. I currently have plans for writing a paper coming up with a formal definition of intelligence, although I want to keep that under wraps for the moment. Consciousness, life, it can all be done.
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15-02-2015, 01:25 PM
RE: TTA Community Project. Code Name: Apophenia
I would be fascinated to see what the great minds of this forum would be able to do in collaboration.

I feel so much, and yet I feel nothing.
I am a rock, I am the sky, the birds and the trees and everything beyond.
I am the wind, in the fields in which I roar. I am the water, in which I drown.
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15-02-2015, 01:43 PM
RE: TTA Community Project. Code Name: Apophenia
(15-02-2015 12:33 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Many of you will have heard theists argue that if we are just “molecules in motion” from whence, then, does morality come?

From the Devil obviously. Drinking Beverage

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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15-02-2015, 01:45 PM
RE: TTA Community Project. Code Name: Apophenia
(15-02-2015 12:38 PM)onlinebiker Wrote:  Or, as a buddy of mine used to say -- "You can't polish a turd".

Your buddy's wrong.



There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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16-02-2015, 04:56 AM
RE: TTA Community Project. Code Name: Apophenia
I'm still not quite sure what to make of your proposal as written. To me analysis of a system breaks it down into subsystems and maps the functions and flows of data, energy and materials between the subsystems via their interfaces. But that seems a medical task well in hand among medical professionals. So are we looking at a more philosophical analysis? The materialist in me wants to say that the physical and metaphysical are divided in a manner such that the physical exists and the metaphysical does not exist leaving no interface between them. That's philosophy cracked, then. What about simulation? I tend to think that the task of simulating life is not to recreate a human but instead to construct a non-human mind. That is something I have nibbled at over the years but have never sat down with all the necessary tools at my disposal to do.

My core idea for creating a mind is to build a large recurrent neutral network. The network would not be trained but instead would be bred with a population of cohorts and would have natural selection applied in accordance with a series of experiments. Each experiment would be conducted as follows: Connect the network to video and audio or perhaps simply text input and output. Connect these inputs and outputs to a random chat system such as omegle. Time each interaction and give longer interactions more weight in the breeding algorithm than shorter interactions. To summarise the selection criteria it would be "do something interesting". I think we would either get minds starting to evolve, or penises. Either result would be interesting.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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16-02-2015, 06:21 AM (This post was last modified: 16-02-2015 06:30 AM by DLJ.)
RE: TTA Community Project. Code Name: Apophenia
(16-02-2015 04:56 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  I'm still not quite sure what to make of your proposal as written. To me analysis of a system breaks it down into subsystems and maps the functions and flows of data, energy and materials between the subsystems via their interfaces. But that seems a medical task well in hand among medical professionals. So are we looking at a more philosophical analysis? The materialist in me wants to say that the physical and metaphysical are divided in a manner such that the physical exists and the metaphysical does not exist leaving no interface between them. That's philosophy cracked, then. What about simulation? I tend to think that the task of simulating life is not to recreate a human but instead to construct a non-human mind. That is something I have nibbled at over the years but have never sat down with all the necessary tools at my disposal to do.

My core idea for creating a mind is to build a large recurrent neutral network. The network would not be trained but instead would be bred with a population of cohorts and would have natural selection applied in accordance with a series of experiments. Each experiment would be conducted as follows: Connect the network to video and audio or perhaps simply text input and output. Connect these inputs and outputs to a random chat system such as omegle. Time each interaction and give longer interactions more weight in the breeding algorithm than shorter interactions. To summarise the selection criteria it would be "do something interesting". I think we would either get minds starting to evolve, or penises. Either result would be interesting.

@Haffy,
Not quite what I had in mind but that sounds friggin' awesome.

This one is more about mapping of those systems and subsystems to show an analogy between artificial and non-artificial systems.

I'll elaborate on the next post.

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16-02-2015, 06:29 AM (This post was last modified: 17-02-2015 12:35 PM by DLJ.)
RE: TTA Community Project. Code Name: Apophenia
OK, then... here we go...

"'Love is merely chemistry'
... is a deception.
We are merely chemistry.
Love makes us master chemists."
~~ HoC

That’s my favourite HouseofCantor message and we can see how TTA’s prophet skilfully plays with, for poetic purposes, what Prof. Dan Dennett has called the Physical Stance, the Design Stance and the Intentional Stance.

As I mentioned at the start of the thread, many-a-theist doesn't get the difference. But what is the difference?

Science tells that everything is on a continuum: Cosmology > Physics > Chemistry > Biochemistry > Biology > Chemistry again. There is no specific point on this continuum that we can point to and say "That's the moment that 'life' begins" or "See that? That's the consciousness moment."

This seems to give the theists, or at least the modern deists, the excuse to say, "Well, in that case, how do you know that the universe doesn't have consciousness?" or "How do you know that cells aren't conscious?".

In the field of Information Technology / Artificial Intelligence, the dividing lines between the three stances is more obvious.... probably because we know for a fact that intelligent design is involved.

So here’s what we could do… flesh out these three stances to create a model of how we get from the physical layers (the chemical components and the ones and zeros of life) to the higher level applications like consciousness and decision making (morality / ethics).

As the project name suggests, this is intended to be an exercise in pattern recognition…
A mapping of biological structures, systems and processes across to the same for Artificial Intelligence / Information Technology.

The basis for this is the presupposition that Dan Dennett is correct when he explains consciousness as akin to a VM (Virtual Machine) or a super-advanced application.
In his book, Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking, he explains how a registry machine (a simple form of computer) works and likens it to the way our unthinking human cells keep on keeping on just be following some very basic rules.

He talks about Conway’s Game of Life to explain how these basic rules keep everything ticking along without us having to think too hard about what our cells are doing.

Mr Dennett hazards that DNA, rather than being the ones and zeros of our biological registry machine, is way higher on the ‘stack’ and, continuing the computing metaphor, is akin to a subroutine such as the magical transformation of a cursor into a blinking vertical line once one clicks on a text box.

So, one can perhaps start to visualise how a silicon-based life-form that is a computer network (and its assorted virtual and physical devices and components) might be ‘mapped’ onto a carbon-based life-form that is an ‘us’ (or a fish, because Full Circle may have a point that we might be better off started with a simpler entity).

Of course, biological life-forms have had a tad longer to evolve than artificial life-forms … so we’ll have some gaps in our visualisation but that’s actually what will make us all very rich… rich beyond our wildest dreams!

The gap analysis will clearly show where, and how far, IT / AI has to go to be as smart as us (well, some of us).
1. Mapping
2. Gap Analysis
3. Book Deal
4. Movie Rights
5. ???
6. Profit.

This is my proposition:
That we use our collective talents to create a visual representation of the IT ‘stack’ mapped against the biological ‘stack’.


Personally, I reckon that Dan Dennett missed a bit when describing his ideas in terms of just hardware and software. My thing is IT Service Management and Governance and I see many patterns here that map to biological systems so that will be my contribution. E.g. What is an IT system’s consciousness? It’s self-monitoring systems? No. If it was, IT systems would be conscious. I think it’s the combination of self-monitoring systems plus the mechanisms (functions and processes) that enable decision making i.e. the system tools plus the service / knowledge tools all the way through to auditing and governance.

I’m hoping that other talents here will be able to contribute by identifying many other jigsaw pieces.

I’m open to suggestions on how to proceed but I think that a good start would be to create two simple lists which can be complexified as we go:
List One: The Silicon Stack
List Two: The Carbon Stack

… then we start looking for some patterns i.e. correlation. We can analyse the gaps later once the mapping takes shape (if it takes shape).

Of course, when we look deeper than the nuts and bolts layers, there will be similarities i.e. the components of the periodic table and the standard model. I don’t expect there to be much debate at the level of the ‘physical stance’ (Dennett, again) but at the levels of the ‘design stance’ and the ‘intentional stance’ there could well be heated debate. We’ll see, I suppose.

Anyway, lemme start things going…
What about using this picture as a start for the Silicon Stack?

[Image: OracleRedStack.png]

Too simple, right? Is there a better one we can use? What about a TOGAF architecture model?

[Image: togaf-page.png]

Too complex?

And perhaps TTA’s biologists have a better pictures than these as a start point for the Carbon Stack?
[Image: Human-Body-Arteries-And-Veins-Diagram.jpg]
[Image: human-body-systems.jpg?w=476&h=353]

Once we've mapped out the fundamentals (the architecture) we could have a stab at the more difficult stuff like storage / memory.

Each of us has our areas of expertise, so take it as far you like in your own way but as an example, we could start, as Phase 1, to simply state that memory on the carbon stack equates to memory on the silicon stack.
For Phase 2, we could dig deeper and start showing the different memory-storage areas e.g. using Service Management language:
DNA = Configuration Management System (CMS)
Central Nervous System = Service Portfolio
Immune System = Known Error Database (KEDB)
Cultural knowledge = Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS)
Phase 3 might be about digging even more deeply and finding the IT equivalents for everything mentioned here

So let us remember the words of George Box “all models are wrong but some are useful” and create a useful model that will help explain to passing theists how morality and consciousness can come from ones and zeros.

Cheers.

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