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Old 03-08-2011, 03:50 PM   #101
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Weren't they into pedophilia too?
Son, goto your room. I will be there in a second.
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:53 PM   #102
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Though as mentioned earlier there have been behavior based breeding on wild animals that proves genes do have a significant impact on behavior.
Is talking about behavior the same thing as talking about morality? I'm not trying to equivocate, I'm honestly asking -- are we willing to accept that all our conceptions of morality, justice, and "the good" can be bound up into behavior modification?
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:54 PM   #103
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Actually, the reason I did was because of debates like this, but between religions, not the God or no-God debate. I dont class myself in the whole "which religion am I" thing, but I do respectfully believe in a higher power, with an open mind.
Do you believe the logical equivalent of "God" (higher power, capable of creating life) could come in the form of aliens that are just a bit smarter or more advanced than we are?

Given the entire world's population of smart people and financial resources, do you think it's conceivable that if everyone were to work on ONE SINGLE PROJECT to create a form of life that it could be done? If you hooked every piece of data and every piece of computing hardware together into one giant super-duper-wopr computer, could it conceivably become sentient? Similarly, could the "whole of humanity" team create a meat-based robot that was chemical powered?

Forget for a moment that we've got other menial jobs to attend to and just imagine what we could do working together.
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:00 PM   #104
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Son, goto your room. I will be there in a second.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4H2LChs5Nw

So…the gays who are so very, very tolerant kicked out nambla? But the ancient philosophers loved their little boys…and this is just wonderful, and should be condoned, approved, and applauded?

OMG! (yeah I said the G word…)
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:01 PM   #105
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Is talking about behavior the same thing as talking about morality? I'm not trying to equivocate, I'm honestly asking -- are we willing to accept that all our conceptions of morality, justice, and "the good" can be bound up into behavior modification?


I guess that asks deeper questions about the basis of human morality, justice and "the good". Questions I don't think anyone really has answers to.

I will add that on this very forum several folks stated that their only reason for not being murderous is from fear of divine retribution. Interesting in that god created these individuals with these tenancies, while others who do not derive their morality from a particular god are normal functioning members of society without murderous impulses.
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:06 PM   #106
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Do you believe the logical equivalent of "God" (higher power, capable of creating life) could come in the form of aliens that are just a bit smarter or more advanced than we are?

Given the entire world's population of smart people and financial resources, do you think it's conceivable that if everyone were to work on ONE SINGLE PROJECT to create a form of life that it could be done? If you hooked every piece of data and every piece of computing hardware together into one giant super-duper-wopr computer, could it conceivably become sentient? Similarly, could the "whole of humanity" team create a meat-based robot that was chemical powered?

Forget for a moment that we've got other menial jobs to attend to and just imagine what we could do working together.

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Old 03-08-2011, 04:13 PM   #107
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Do you believe the logical equivalent of "God" (higher power, capable of creating life) could come in the form of aliens that are just a bit smarter or more advanced than we are?

Given the entire world's population of smart people and financial resources, do you think it's conceivable that if everyone were to work on ONE SINGLE PROJECT to create a form of life that it could be done? If you hooked every piece of data and every piece of computing hardware together into one giant super-duper-wopr computer, could it conceivably become sentient? Similarly, could the "whole of humanity" team create a meat-based robot that was chemical powered?

Forget for a moment that we've got other menial jobs to attend to and just imagine what we could do working together.
Well, I honestly havent thought of God as an alien before now, but technically he would be an alien anyways by definition. Im not buying this whole scientology **** tho.

I really cant say one way or another if we would succeed in such a task. Probably get very close to creating, but never really succeeding.
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:20 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by y8s
Given the entire world's population of smart people and financial resources, do you think it's conceivable that if everyone were to work on ONE SINGLE PROJECT to create a form of life that it could be done? If you hooked every piece of data and every piece of computing hardware together into one giant super-duper-wopr computer, could it conceivably become sentient? Similarly, could the "whole of humanity" team create a meat-based robot that was chemical powered?
We'll find out shortly. The worst case prediction for smarter than human AI is 2050. I think it will be sooner.

There could also be enhancements to the human mind via attachments / interfaces of some kind, or drugs to foster higher function. BTW there is a movie coming out in 10 days on the latter, "Limitless".

http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/i...ent/limitless/
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:25 PM   #109
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We'll find out shortly. The worst case prediction for smarter than human AI is 2050. I think it will be sooner.
Thread dorifto, but:

I just finished reading an advance copy of an upcoming novel called "Robopocalypse" by Daniel Wilson (author of "How to Survive a Robot Uprising"). I can only half-heartedly recommend it -- the structure of the story is a little distracting, and the writing itself is pretty run-of-the-mill, but he's got a few interesting ideas in there. There's also some boilerplate Skynet stuff in there, but it comes across as an homage rather than just laziness.
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:28 PM   #110
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Well, I honestly havent thought of God as an alien before now, but technically he would be an alien anyways by definition. Im not buying this whole scientology **** tho.

I really cant say one way or another if we would succeed in such a task. Probably get very close to creating, but never really succeeding.
I wasn't talking scientology. I was talking possibility.

And if god is some supersmart alien type, what business does he have dictating how we live? Because if we don't do as he says, he'll smite us?

I tell you what: if an alien race says "do what we demand or we'll kill you all", you don't typically just do it and pretend to be happy. You send your nukes.
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:31 PM   #111
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And if god is some supersmart alien type, what business does he have dictating how we live? Because if we don't do as he says, he'll smite us?
I give it 50/50 odds that my cat thinks I'm God.
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:33 PM   #112
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Do you believe the logical equivalent of "God" (higher power, capable of creating life) could come in the form of aliens that are just a bit smarter or more advanced than we are?
I think the problem with this question is that the section I've bolded doesn't really describe the most important features of most people's conception of God, which involves the perfections of being.

Higher power is one thing, but most define God as omnipotent, which is different.

Capable of creating life is one thing, but the biblical description is creation ex nihilo (out of nothing), which I don't think most people attribute to the concept of aliens.

And so on.
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:33 PM   #113
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I give it 50/50 odds that my cat thinks I'm God.


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Old 03-08-2011, 04:57 PM   #114
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I give it 50/50 odds that my cat thinks I'm God.
And 50/50 that your cat thinks it is God.
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:01 PM   #115
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Joe and chicks: Sorry if I seem arrogant, in reality I'm just lazy, thus the linkage.
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:01 PM   #116
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Therefore, I think it takes MORE faith to think that some fluke of nature produced all life, than someone or something making it.
You would really enjoy this movie (I think you can watch it on Amazon for $3):
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:21 PM   #117
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Anyway, the arguement I was going to make originally before blaize stirred the pot was that I love NASA, and I think we need it. How much technology have those guys desigend and developed that we use everyday now? From a national security perspective we need a strong holding in space as well. A strong space program is as necessary as a strong Navy, Army, and Air Force.
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:27 PM   #118
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I think the problem with this question is that the section I've bolded doesn't really describe the most important features of most people's conception of God, which involves the perfections of being.

Higher power is one thing, but most define God as omnipotent, which is different.

Capable of creating life is one thing, but the biblical description is creation ex nihilo (out of nothing), which I don't think most people attribute to the concept of aliens.

And so on.
Ah right, there was once only just the one dude and nothingness.

It's a nice concept, but to even the mildest skeptics, it's unprovable. It requires solely the word of god himself saying "trust me, there wasn't anything else but me." And we already know how not-forthcoming god is.

It screws with my understanding of the first law of thermodynamics (and its corrollary, the law of conservation of mass--unless like woman we were made from god's rib or something).

In any case, I think our existence (creating life) is a hugely important feature of god's relevance. Would he still be relevant if he never created sentient beings capable of believing in him? Tree, woods, noise?
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:31 PM   #119
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We'll find out shortly. The worst case prediction for smarter than human AI is 2050. I think it will be sooner.
Granted, we're moving into philosophy at this point, but what does "smarter" mean?

In 1997, a large IBM computer codenamed Deep Blue defeated world champion chessmaster Garry Kasparov in a six game tournament. Was Deep Blue smarter than Kasparov?

In 1946, the first general-purpose digital computer, ENIAC, was put into service performing arithmetic calculations for the purpose of generating artillery ballistics tables. Previously, this task had been performed by large numbers of people, using mechanical calculators. ENIAC was able to produce in minutes solutions which required days or even weeks under the previous method. Was ENIAC "smarter" than a room full of people?

In 1839, the first patent was granted for a steam-powered excavating machine (a backhoe). Using this device, it was possible to dig up and move soil and rocks at a scale unattainable by any number of human laborers. Would we even think to apply attributes like "smart" or "alive" to a backhoe?

There's a very significant distinction between pointing out that a particular tool is better than a human at accomplishing some given task, be that task physical or "mental". It is another thing altogether to claim that the thing is "smart" or "alive".

Alan Turing, a famous computer scientist of the mid 20th century, spent a lot of time thinking about whether a computer could ever be called "smart". I will quote from the Wikipedia entry on a thought experiment which he proposed, called the Turing Test:
The Turing test is a test of a machine's ability to demonstrate intelligence. A human judge engages in a natural language conversation with one human and one machine, each of which tries to appear human. All participants are separated from one another. If the judge cannot reliably tell the machine from the human, the machine is said to have passed the test.
(...)
The test was introduced by Alan Turing in his 1950 paper Computing Machinery and Intelligence, which opens with the words: "I propose to consider the question, 'Can machines think?'" Since "thinking" is difficult to define, Turing chooses to "replace the question by another, which is closely related to it and is expressed in relatively unambiguous words."[3] Turing's new question is: "Are there imaginable digital computers which would do well in the imitation game?"[4] This question, Turing believed, is one that can actually be answered. In the remainder of the paper, he argued against all the major objections to the proposition that "machines can think".[5]

Many years later, scientist John Searle proposed a similar experiment by which he sought to demonstrate that just because the behavior of a machine is indistinguishable from the behavior of a human, this does not in any way prove that the machine possesses (or even approximates) any of the qualities of "thought" or "intelligence." Searle's Chinese Room experiment posited that
if a machine can convincingly simulate an intelligent conversation, does it necessarily understand? In the experiment, Searle imagines himself in a room acting as a computer by manually executing a program that convincingly simulates the behavior of a native Chinese speaker. People outside the room slide Chinese characters under the door and Searle, to whom "Chinese writing is just so many meaningless squiggles", is able to create sensible replies, in Chinese, by following the instructions of the program; that is, by moving papers around. The question arises whether Searle can be said to understand Chinese in the same way that, as Searle says, "according to strong AI, . . . the appropriately programmed computer really is a mind, in the sense that computers given the right programs can be literally said to understand and have other cognitive states."

The experiment is the centerpiece of Searle's Chinese Room Argument which holds that a program cannot give a computer a "mind" or "understanding", regardless of how intelligently it may make it behave. He concludes that "programs are neither constitutive of nor sufficient for minds." "I can have any formal program you like, but I still understand nothing."



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There could also be enhancements to the human mind via attachments / interfaces of some kind, or drugs to foster higher function. BTW there is a movie coming out in 10 days on the latter, "Limitless".
And there was a novel about it (well, a short story which later became a novel, anyway) published in 1981 by William Gibson, called "Johnny Mnemonic." Yes, the same one that Keanu Reeves wound up playing a decade and a half later. (Sorry, but he's Ted from "Bill & Ted" to me.)

Science fiction has asked this sort of question pretty much since the beginning of the genre. STTNG even did an episode on it- S02E09 "The Measure of a Man" in which, after Data refuses to be dismantled for research, a Federation tribunal winds up finding that he (it?) fundamentally qualifies as a sentient being and is thus entitled to the same rights as any other citizen. Robin Williams was also legally declared to be a "living robot" in the 1999 film Bicentennial Man.

Both are Hollywood drek. I hereby posit that no machine will ever satisfy the requirements to be "sentient" or "alive", regardless of how convincing a simulation it provides. As it may take several centuries for me to be proven wrong, may my descendants bear my shame.




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Given the entire world's population of smart people and financial resources, do you think it's conceivable that if everyone were to work on ONE SINGLE PROJECT to create a form of life that it could be done?
Define "life." I'm serious. What does it mean to be "alive"?

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If you hooked every piece of data and every piece of computing hardware together into one giant super-duper-wopr computer, could it conceivably become sentient?
No.

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Similarly, could the "whole of humanity" team create a meat-based robot that was chemical powered?
Yes.
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:37 PM   #120
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Define "life." I'm serious. What does it mean to be "alive"?
We don't know enough yet to say for sure.

Some say that consciousness relies upon quantum phenomena. It's just so fast and efficient compared to other means.

If so…the 'puters have a way to go. Perhaps some organic computers will be grown, raised, and trained.
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