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Living Machines Are Impossible

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posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 11:50 AM
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originally posted by: Soylent Green Is People
a reply to: Astrocyte

I think our brains are simply a physical collection of organic matter and chemicals that, when working together, interact in such a way to form what we call consciousness.

So if the brain is just physical material, and what we call consciousness emerges from that material, it seems that (theoretically, at least) a machine could be built that does the same thing. I'm not saying we could build such a machine anytime soon, but that doesn't mean that such a machine will never be possible.



You can't prove a negative. But if you study the Von Neuman computer architecture and the get-fetch-execute cycle of the microprocess NOTHING has changed in the computers since the beginning. The most basic building block of a computer is a NAND gate. Whether you have 1 NAND gate or a trillion, computers still have exactly the same one thought. It never changes. And it repeats perfectly.

Let me give you an analogy of why what you are saying is so crazy. It would be like saying the field next to your house has a pretty arrangement of rocks (NAND gates). And at some point those rocks are going to self-assemble into high consciousness, assemble into an auto-bot type robot that comes over to destroy your house. I'm not saying the rocks are going to self-assemble anytime soon, but that doesn't mean the rocks can't self-assemble or it will never be possible. You see, you understand rocks. But just because you don't understand NAND gates you have a superstitious mythology about computers.

Everything on a computer is dumb with no self awareness. Computer is just a glorified calculator able to sutract two numbers and making a decision about what to subtract next. Intelligence is a whole lot more than just subtracting or adding two numbers together.

Sorry, no matter how pretty the rocks look, they are still just rocks.


edit on 26-11-2017 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 12:43 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

exactly, they will never be able to actually have an original thought.



posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 12:55 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

My point is that I think a brain is just a meat machine and the thing we call consciousness is nothing more than that meat machine interacting with chemicals.

I don’t believe that consciousness is some mystical thing that magically resides in our brains, but rather something that our advanced meat machine brains has created for us...

...but consciousness is still just the result of that brain machine.

Again, I’m not saying that an artificial human-like brain is something that we will soon be able to develop, but that’s not the same as saying it would be impossible to develop.




edit on 26/11/2017 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 04:44 PM
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a reply to: ChaoticOrder






Really? Why can some very smart animals like dolphins and elephants recognize themselves in a mirror?



As Carl Safina (in his book Beyond Words, 2015) writes, demonstrating the capacity to recognize one self in a mirror reflects the existence of an awareness of a "body self". Some animals, as you write, have this function, and so we can see that between us at the top and the more general "animals aware of living", there are creatures like elephants, whales, and great apes, who have rudimentary forms of self-awareness, the extent of which - because we do not 'speak' echolocation, as in whales, or understand elephant sounds - is right now not understood.

But anyone who would seek to draw a parity between animals and humans do not seem to care much about noticing and establishing distinctions between things.




This argument doesn't really make sense because digital life forms still require energy to survive, computing requires some resources, especially the heavy computations required to produce a conscious machine


I don't see how you can see that it doesn't make sense. Do you acknowledge dissipative structures? If so, is there not a difference between the "work" they perform and the way and manner humans manipulate metals to LINEARLY channel information?

The issue is between the medium and the information. Computers dissociate the two so that medium is of a very simple nature with understandable properties. Conversely, life is a SINGULARITY in that energy and information processing are combined in the simple act of the living organism.

This point has been emphasized by Deacon, Kauffman, and others, and only someone with emotional difficulties i.e. very invested in the concepts and hopes of AI - would consider it an unreasonable or unmeaningful distinction.

You must use Occhams Razor here: what is more likely? That you are dealing with cognitive dissonance as a function of emotional investment i.e. NEED; or, that there is no distinction between energy/information to be made, and therefore, no difference between real living processes and computers.

Self-delusion is not a very flattering thing. Self-aware people can see it; and also, even more importantly, know what sort of mundane conditions give rise to it.




. Also this argument that consciousness cannot arise without evolution is some what flawed because there is a thing called evolutionary algorithms which simulate the process of evolution by applying ideas from genetics and biology, incorporating ideas like survival of the fittest to apply an evolutionary pressure, thus giving the digital creatures a need to fulfill certain tasks in their virtual environment if they want to stay alive.


If you insist on there being a dualism, I can't disabuse you of that.

All I and anyone knowledable of biology can say is that LIFE DOESNT WORK THAT WAY.

Software/hardware is a distinction made by computer designers; not nature.

A singular semiotic process which moves and generates emergent properties, does so in terms of its being a singular continuum i.e. the wavelike motion of reality. The "outside", or hardware, you know, is not actually in fact "hard". The two processes, or idea of an external body and an internal semiosis, are a single process.

Mainstream biology is gradually coming towards a systems view of things, and the systems view does not make a distinction between hardware/software like computer programs do.




An algorithm is not an equation, it's instructions for manipulating binary data.


You do not seem to recognize what true natural complexity is. A computer will NEVER be big or complex enough to tolerate the computations which make the human mind what it is.

Take this problem. Of scale. Scientists like to abstract away from cthe molecular complex of cortical neurons and pretend it can be a simple 1 or 0. That's not how it actually works though. Cortical neurons come IN And OUT of representations, so there is no 1 to 1 correlation between emergent properties like a percept of consciousness and neurons.

Why should this be the case is obvious. Neurons are abstractions in that they operate WITH OTHER NEURONS to give rise to emergent states. Furthermore, individual neuron activity is itself partly driven by an endogenous chemistry which entails BILLIONS of molecules. Why do we ignore this facet? Because it is too complex for programmers. They pretend that their models are accurate when they aren't; and they aren't because there is unaccounted for matter which fits into the picture to which their models are far too rigid to properly accommodate.



posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 04:56 PM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People


You have an overly simplistic understanding of the matter.


The "meat machine" is a dumb-cliché; it isn't true just because it is a popular thing to say (and how it could ever get popular is a function of a culture that discourages self-awareness i.e. it is more fun to "chase the impossible dream"; isn't that a weird cliché, btw, the "impossible" dream? Why call it impossible, and still go after it anyways? Craziness?).

Anyways, life is semiotic. If you don't know what that means, by books by Umberto Eco for an introduction into semiotics. When you get the hang of it, read CS Peirce; after that, you can move into the modern field of Biosemiotics or Biopoetics.

Point is: it is a massive delusion to think the 28 zeros worth of atoms in your body self-organize by random. It is a truly careless thing to believe and an even more careless thing to assert in conversation with others.

I hate that this is a cultural "thing"; and I recognize your saying it to be a function of that - i.e. how culture motivates us to know ourselves and reality in certain ways simply to "feel good" about ourselves. I did it a lot too, and it has taken me some time to realize how powerfully clichés - via our need to experience a coherent sense of self (which is intrinsically social) - smuggle their way into our awareness and compelling us to say stupid things.

But alas; culture is a powerful beast. Paradigms take time to break down.



posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 05:05 PM
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originally posted by: badw0lf
So many assumptions, makes it painful.; I'll just say, I completely disagree with your entire post. Entirely.


My thoughts exactly. There's just so much wrong here that I don't have the energy to after it. It would take too long.



posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 05:21 PM
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originally posted by: Astrocyte
a reply to: Soylent Green Is People


You have an overly simplistic understanding of the matter.


The "meat machine" is a dumb-cliché; it isn't true just because it is a popular thing to say (and how it could ever get popular is a function of a culture that discourages self-awareness...


Dumb cliché or not, the brain is still just a physical thing, and the brain effect we call consciousness is simply that physical brain doing its thing with physical neurons and chemical reactions creating electrical impulses that interact with those neurons.

It's my belief that consciousness and self-awareness are just a material thing. Consciousness is the exact sum of its parts, plus outside input from our senses; it is not any more than that.

Theoretically, a machine could be built (someday, but certainly not now nor even in the foreseeable future) that includes all of those parts -- parts that, when summed up and with some sensory input added, could create an artificial consciousness.



edit on 26/11/2017 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 26 2017 @ 06:16 PM
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originally posted by: dfnj2015

originally posted by: Soylent Green Is People
a reply to: Astrocyte

I think our brains are simply a physical collection of organic matter and chemicals that, when working together, interact in such a way to form what we call consciousness.

So if the brain is just physical material, and what we call consciousness emerges from that material, it seems that (theoretically, at least) a machine could be built that does the same thing. I'm not saying we could build such a machine anytime soon, but that doesn't mean that such a machine will never be possible.



You can't prove a negative. But if you study the Von Neuman computer architecture and the get-fetch-execute cycle of the microprocess NOTHING has changed in the computers since the beginning. The most basic building block of a computer is a NAND gate. Whether you have 1 NAND gate or a trillion, computers still have exactly the same one thought. It never changes. And it repeats perfectly.

Let me give you an analogy of why what you are saying is so crazy. It would be like saying the field next to your house has a pretty arrangement of rocks (NAND gates). And at some point those rocks are going to self-assemble into high consciousness, assemble into an auto-bot type robot that comes over to destroy your house. I'm not saying the rocks are going to self-assemble anytime soon, but that doesn't mean the rocks can't self-assemble or it will never be possible. You see, you understand rocks. But just because you don't understand NAND gates you have a superstitious mythology about computers.

Everything on a computer is dumb with no self awareness. Computer is just a glorified calculator able to sutract two numbers and making a decision about what to subtract next. Intelligence is a whole lot more than just subtracting or adding two numbers together.

Sorry, no matter how pretty the rocks look, they are still just rocks.



Rocks?
Really? Rocks?

That is part ridiculous, and part accidental-genius.

The ridiculous part: is why you sometimes seem to heave these massive assumptions about where technology may be at in 100; 500; 1000; or even one million years.
None of us have a clue.

Part accidental-genius: NANDs are made of silicon, from quartz rocks!

Why are folks so quick to write-off the concept of a self-organizing AI?
Are we simply a collection of stupid-atoms? How have we become more?
We are more than just stupid-atoms, somehow.
And rocks, are more than just stupid-rocks.

From building bridges, roads, basic shelters, to towering sky-scrapers, so much of the modern world is built from modified rocks.
Iron-ore is mined to make steel cars, and huge freight trains.
Bauxite is just a very common sand, and yet we refine it into flying machines!
The human body includes many essential minerals.
This whole friggin pale blue dot thing, is made of rocks!

Rocks plus intelligence = new possibilities



posted on Nov, 27 2017 @ 04:15 PM
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a reply to: mysterioustranger

WHat happens when you build a organic machine one day then? Literally design from th egenes up a living organism thats manufactured. then they will truly be living machines. even with a off switch of sorts like pressing a part of their body to shut down brain and other organic systems.



posted on Nov, 27 2017 @ 04:40 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

I just don't buy the idea that consciousness is somehow something only humans can achieve.

Basically anything sufficiently complex and unknown to humans is considered magic by many. I have a strong feeling this is the way you and many others look at consciousness.

It seems to me it is nothing but a complex software program that we are not yet capable of writing. However I do believe AI when it is taught to write it's own code - and some ai is already doing this in a simplistic fashion - will eventually be able to effectively create software that is indistinguishable from what you call consciousness.

If you can except life evolved from single cell organisms through evolution, it is only logical AI will be able to achieve consciousness if it so desires given enough time and effort.

It was only 15 years ago people thought it would be impossible to ever teach a computer how to drive a car - well they are now basically equivalent to humans if not superior. If you ask any AI researcher you will find almost zero that will agree with you that AI will not be able to eventually become conscious. We can definitely argue over whether that will be a good thing for the human race - I don't think it is likely it will be - but I do think it is going to happen and probably in 50 years or less.

Basically I just find the whole human idea that we are some super special organisms in the known universe of billions and billions of planets with undoubtedly trillions of forms of life that have been created and destroyed countless times through billions of years to be an incredibly ridiculous and arrogant point of view.



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