The Internet could become conscious by mid-2030s

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posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 09:10 PM
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This is a preposterous idea. The internet cannot "evolve" to gain self-awareness or a consciousness in the same way that a toaster doesn't start walking and talking just because you keep shoving toast into it.

The internet is NOT capable of the kind of AI we're talking about here -- at least not alone. I suppose it's possible (and infinitely more likely) that someone will develop a program that utilizes all of the information on the internet to build an artificial intelligence.

the problem with this is that the kind of program we're talking about here is so complex and intricate that no individual -- even a genius, could finish it by him/herself. They would need a pretty large sized team of brilliant minds, a big budget, and a whole lot of time and research prior to the endeavor to actually DESIGN the system before typing any lines of code. not to mention, they would be fighting an uphill battle against the countless other developers who would develop strategies or software to slow or halt the program's progress. They might even be arrested and forced to shut the program down.

The internet itself doesn't have a main loop that waits for events to occur in order to process them and react (as close to thinking as programs get). that would have to originate in some sort of software.

and even then we wouldn't have to worry until the AI utilizing the internet somehow had an army at its fingertips. until that point, as someone else so astutely pointed out, we could simply pull the plug.

don't worry about this, it's not a threat and it won't be for quite some time to come.




posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 09:31 PM
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reply to post by FinalSonicX
 


as i read this i thought DARPA. im not saying they already done this but it could be possible.
this is from the DARPA website.



Research is focused in a number of scientific disciplines including biology, medicine, computer science, chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics, materials sciences, social sciences, and neuroscience


now the one that screams out at me is neuroscience. remember that darpa gets works for the Department of defense. they also had the fastest super computer as of june 9 2008.

www.nytimes.com...
again, im not saying that it has happened, but it is a possibility that they have some idea how consciousness works. and then again there is that whole ordeal with MK ULTRA and the evidence the CIA destroyed concerning consciousness.



[edit on 2-3-2009 by Another 1evel]



posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 10:48 PM
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Originally posted by rufusdrak
some of you guys seem to be overlooking the FACT that the "internet" is nothing but a giant collection of STORAGE equipment. It has zero consciousness capabilities and never will unless those capabilities are CONSCIOUSLY added into the system, i.e. a separate program that uses all that information and databases and does something with it.
But hoping the internet itself will become 'conscious' is like wishing your file drawer or bookshelf is going to magically become conscious one day.


thats just it people thats exactly wht we are gong to do. We are going to give machines the ability to utilize data and make congnitive desicions. its a huge philisophical debate yes but a question of engineering abiltity to make it happen it is not.

"We were so preoccupied with wether or not we could we didnt stop to think if we should." -Ian Malcom, Jurassic Park-



[edit on 2-3-2009 by constantwonder]



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 03:54 PM
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er, yes, it is a question of engineering ability.

designing an artificial intelligence that can parse all of the information on the internet to form a behavioral pattern that can change and evolve with new stimuli, and to interact in any worthwhile way with the world, is WAY above our heads right now.

Imagine trying to program a "consciousness". there's research on things like this that are still ongoing, but we haven't accomplished anything like what the original poster is suggesting yet.

neuroscience is important for understanding perhaps how a brain works and how we might simulate consciousness, but the computer scientists will be the ones actually programming the thing. And a project like this would be so massive of an undertaking, that you would need to employ a whole army of brilliant computer scientists. your design would have to be thought out for perhaps years before the actual coding began because a design mistake would set them back so far in terms of money and time that it couldn't be risked.

once again I have to stress how expensive, time consuming, and incredibly difficult accomplishing this would be unless we already understand what causes consciousness.

the best we can hope for is an artificial intelligence that can use the info stored on the internet to form a basic set of responses to certain stimuli. It would not be able to understand the vast majority of the information it would be absorbing or using for some time yet.

a possible example would be us posing a query to the AI asking "what is the meaning of life?". the best the artificial intelligence could do would be to search through the internet's information and return the most popular belief as to what the meaning of life is. having a computer come up with new ideas or reason out the logic behind their beliefs and articulate themselves with words would be virtually impossible without, once again, understanding what causes consciousness in the first place.

[edit on 3/3/2009 by FinalSonicX]



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 03:58 PM
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Originally posted by FinalSonicX
er, yes, it is a question of engineering ability.

designing an artificial intelligence that can parse all of the information on the internet to form a behavioral pattern that can change and evolve with new stimuli, and to interact in any worthwhile way with the world, is WAY above our heads right now.

Imagine trying to program a "consciousness". there's research on things like this that are still ongoing, but we haven't accomplished anything like what the original poster is suggesting yet.

neuroscience is important for understanding perhaps how a brain works and how we might simulate consciousness, but the computer scientists will be the ones actually programming the thing. And a project like this would be so massive of an undertaking, that you would need to employ a whole army of brilliant computer scientists. your design would have to be thought out for perhaps years before the actual coding began because a design mistake would set them back so far in terms of money and time that it couldn't be risked.

once again I have to stress how expensive, time consuming, and incredibly difficult accomplishing this would be unless we already understand what causes consciousness.

the best we can hope for is an artificial intelligence that can use the info stored on the internet to form a basic set of responses to certain stimuli. It would not be able to understand the vast majority of the information it would be absorbing or using for some time yet.


I do not understand why people think our engineering capabilities arent good enough to do this because that sentiment is wrong we are fully capable and we are going to do this PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO

i hate to tell you sonicx but your dead wrong on pretty much everything you just said. Its amazing to me how much ignorance their is when it comes to this type of thing. People spewing half truths and showing their glaring ignorance scares me far more than an intelligent machine.

video.google.com...

Imagitron


Details - An Imagination Engine is a trained artificial neural network that is stimulated to generate new ideas and plans of action through a very amazing effect that is an outgrowth of scientific experiments conducted in 1975 by our founder, Dr. Stephen Thaler. In these initial experiments, neural networks were trained upon a collection of patterns representing some conceptual space (i.e., examples of either music, literature, or known chemical compounds), and then the networks were internally 'tickled' by randomly varying the connection weights joining neurons. Astonishingly, Thaler found that if the connection weights were varied at just the right level, the network's output units would predominantly activate into patterns representing new potential concepts generalized from the original training exemplars (i.e., new music, new literature, or new chemical compounds, respectively, that it had never been exposed to through learning). In effect, the network was thinking out of the box, producing new and coherent knowledge based upon its memories, all because of the carefully 'metered' noise being injected into it. From an engineering point of view, this is quite phenomenal: a neural network trains upon representative data for just a few seconds and then generates whole new ideas based upon that short experience. In effect, we quickly and economically create an engine for invention and discovery within focused knowledge domains.


the engineering is done we have what we need to do it

edit: video link





[edit on 3-3-2009 by constantwonder]



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by constantwonder
I do not understand why people think our engineering capabilities aren't good enough to do this because that sentiment is wrong we are fully capable and we are going to do this PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO

i hate to tell you sonicx but your dead wrong on pretty much everything you just said. Its amazing to me how much ignorance their is when it comes to this type of thing. People spewing half truths and showing their glaring ignorance scares me far more than an intelligent machine.

www.ambafrance-do.org...

[edit on 3-3-2009 by constantwonder]


I'm wrong about everything I said? I'd really be interested if you would kindly point out why I'm wrong on each of my points.

if, at some point in the future (probably the far future), we understand the human consciousness, and the human consciousness is not spiritual in nature but it's actually caused be a clearly defined set of steps to be followed, THEN we can create an artificial intelligence with a consciousness. until then, we're stuck with AIs that can merely simulate consciousness.

engineering an AI of this nature would be a monumental task. I'm not sure if you understand the amount of work that goes into even a simple AI. even if it were given a blank check by the government, even if the people employed by the program devoted their lives to it, and even if the people working on this were the most brilliant computer scientists in the world, they would not be able to create a conscious AI. They would likely succeed in creating an AI that could pretend to be conscious and would be good at performing all sorts of menial tasks that computers are designed for, and it might be able to do so while appearing to go about it in an intelligent way.

even if the AI were to simply try to "steal" a consciousness from the internet, can someone explain to me how it would begin to understand the information it absorbed? how would it know what is credible/reliable information and what isn't? how would it know what information is relevant to a query or in dealing with a certain situation? there are so many opportunities for bugs in a system like that that it boggles the mind. A team involved in creating an AI like this would be so large it would collapse in on itself. when you factor in the people required to explain how to create a consciousness (neuroscientists, I suppose), the computer scientists required to design the system itself, and the individuals responsible for actually implementing the design, the team would be so large that it would be ridiculously difficult to manage and it would take an eternity to accomplish much, especially when individuals might join or leave the team as they die/retire or move on to other things.

unless I'm mistaken, I wrote no half-truths. I see no ignorance in my post. all I see in your post is a flat dismissal of my argument and a joke website.



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 04:37 PM
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Ok i give up your right you are soooooooooo right. PLEASE you didnt even watch the video you havent done any research and if you really want me to destroy your points i will

PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO

video.google.com...






if, at some point in the future (probably the far future), we understand the human consciousness, and the human consciousness is not spiritual in nature but it's actually caused be a clearly defined set of steps to be followed, THEN we can create an artificial intelligence with a consciousness. until then, we're stuck with AIs that can merely simulate consciousness.


We dont need to understand what it is philisophically if we understand how it works scientifcally and we do


In what could turn out to be one of the most important discoveries in cognitive studies of our decade, it has been found that there are five million magnetite crystals per gram in the human brain (1). Interestingly, The meninges, (the membrane that envelops the brain), has twenty times that number. These ‘biomagnetite' crystals demonstrate two interesting features. The first is that their shapes do not occur in nature, suggesting that they were formed in the tissue, rather than being absorbed from outside. The other is that these crystals appear to be oriented so as to maximize their magnetic moment, which tends to give groups of these crystals the capacity to act as a system. The brain has also been found to emit very low intensity magnetic fields, a phenomenon that forms the basis of a whole diagnostic field


www.shaktitechnology.com...


The nervous system is composed of a network of neurons and other supportive cells (such as glial cells). Neurons form functional circuits, each responsible for specific tasks to the behaviors at the organism level. Thus, neuroscience can be studied at many different levels, ranging from molecular level to cellular level to systems level to cognitive level.

At the molecular level, the basic questions addressed in molecular neuroscience include the mechanisms by which neurons express and respond to molecular signals and how axons form complex connectivity patterns. At this level, tools from molecular biology and genetics are used to understand how neurons develop and die, and how genetic changes affect biological functions. The morphology, molecular identity and physiological characteristics of neurons and how they relate to different types of behavior are also of considerable interest. (The ways in which neurons and their connections are modified by experience are addressed at the physiological and cognitive levels






engineering an AI of this nature would be a monumental task. I'm not sure if you understand the amount of work that goes into even a simple AI. even if it were given a blank check by the government, even if the people employed by the program devoted their lives to it, and even if the people working on this were the most brilliant computer scientists in the world, they would not be able to create a conscious AI. They would likely succeed in creating an AI that could pretend to be conscious and would be good at performing all sorts of menial tasks that computers are designed for, and it might be able to do so while appearing to go about it in an intelligent way.


Watch the video it will show you that we already have the technology we need to achieve this.


even if the AI were to simply try to "steal" a consciousness from the internet, can someone explain to me how it would begin to understand the information it absorbed? how would it know what is credible/reliable information and what isn't? how would it know what information is relevant to a query or in dealing with a certain situation? there are so many opportunities for bugs in a system like that that it boggles the mind. A team involved in creating an AI like this would be so large it would collapse in on itself. when you factor in the people required to explain how to create a consciousness (neuroscientists, I suppose), the computer scientists required to design the system itself, and the individuals responsible for actually implementing the design, the team would be so large that it would be ridiculously difficult to manage and it would take an eternity to accomplish much, especially when individuals might join or leave the team as they die/retire or move on to other things.


Again watch the video it will explain why your wrong here aswell.

And as far as your opinion that it would take hordes of scientists and money to come up with this tech goes it is non-sence. We already know how only thing a horde of scientists could do for this is improve it.


even if the AI were to simply try to "steal" a consciousness from the internet, can someone explain to me how it would begin to understand the information it absorbed? how would it know what is credible/reliable information and what isn't? how would it know what information is relevant to a query or in dealing with a certain situation? there are so many opportunities for bugs in a system like that that it boggles the mind. A team involved in creating an AI like this would be so large it would collapse in on itself. when you factor in the people required to explain how to create a consciousness (neuroscientists, I suppose), the computer scientists required to design the system itself, and the individuals responsible for actually implementing the design, the team would be so large that it would be ridiculously difficult to manage and it would take an eternity to accomplish much, especially when individuals might join or leave the team as they die/retire or move on to other things.


Where are you getting this info. A collaberation of scientific minds large enough to do this would collapse in on itself. . . What does that even mean? The neuroscientists have already told us how consiousness works (perhaps not why thats the philisophical side and irrelevant to this argument) the computer engineers have already developed the needed components. as i described in a previous post (Imagitron & perceptron)


[edit on 3-3-2009 by constantwonder]

[edit on 3-3-2009 by constantwonder]



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 04:40 PM
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after looking at the imagination engine and the website, I'm skeptical. It doesn't seem truly creative as humans are, but rather capable of examining a set of inputs, and randomly trying to vary them within certain bounds to produce an output. note that the faces produced all share common characteristics with the original set. apparently, the imagination engine seems to think there's no such thing as facial hair aside from a mustache. as far as it's concerned, beards probably do not exist.

furthermore, I'm relatively confident that the imagination engine's work on those faces is a specially designed function of the engine. pass in a picture of the french countryside and it would probably return a bunch of nonsense to you. Pass in a picture of a burn victim or someone with a horribly mutilated face and I'm sure it won't be able to think of new mutilations beyond the set it's been given.

The computer first has to be taught what a face is, how to recognize the features of a face, then it has to be taught how to modify the faces it sees within certain bounds acceptable to humans. this isn't true consciousness, it's simply being taught how to interpret a specific set of information and return a randomized output.

a truly conscious AI would need to be able to think of ideas on it's own, given a basic set of assumptions about the world. it should be able to give us its own guess as to what the purpose of life is, that isn't just stolen verbatim from some book residing on the internet somewhere.

every time we want it to "imagine" something new, we would need to teach it everything a human knows about the subject. Even then ,it would be unable to vary beyond what we tell it. we set the boundaries by our input. in a way, the imagination engine is largely stuck inside "the box" from what I can understand.

we still have a VERY long way to go before AIs resemble anything like a consciousness.



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 05:08 PM
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the whole thing your not taking away from this is that the perceptron/imagitron combination would allow the computer to sift through any information and formulate its own opinion on the matter. Thats what we call a consious descision.

I think your imagining something far beyond what were actually discussing. If you're meaning a machine that could have emotions that could love nad hate and pal around with people your right we arent their yet were moving that way but we arent there.

Im saying that we have the capability to create artificiall neural networks that can formulate new ideas and through the dialouge between the components formulate an opinion on the usefulness of said idea.

We have been arguing this whole time and i think our wires may have been crossed as to what were actually calling A.I.



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 05:22 PM
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sorry for the double post.

I've watched the video and I'm still skeptical. first of all, the organization that produced the video is reminiscent of the companies who claim they have invented free energy. The video is poorly produced, and has no other authorities on the subject discussing it except Stephen Thaler, the CEO.

this organization may have invented something novel, but it doesn't appear to be as magical as the man in the video might claim. I have to call in his educational experience, as he has degrees in chemistry, physics, math, and russian if I'm not mistaken. clearly, he's an educated man. but I fail to see any credentials proving his experience with computers or artificial intelligence aside from some voluntary program which, when googled, yielded no significant results.

so I must ask, who designed the actual artificial intelligence itself? I have a hard time believing this man did it, since he has no formal education in the field of computers. it's conceivable perhaps that he is self taught, but then it calls into question his findings.

he claims that his neural network, when nodes were deleted, "relived" the information and then changed randomly to create something "imaginative" or "creative".

from a computer science standpoint, that sounds like a defect. it seems logical from my view that if a node were to be deleted, that any information stored in or along the node would be lost, and any information related to it on separate nodes might be fragmented or distorted. fair enough. however, these fragmentations inside a computer system would result in a crash unless caught and handled. If it were handled, it's likely that these "imaginative" ideas are the result of some error in handling the fragmentation of ideas.

quite frankly, this Stephen Thaler fellow seems a bit nuts. He wants to find immortality in a technological neural network. This isn't particularly moral. furthermore he seems to dismiss the spiritual explanations of near death experiences, consciousness, and imagination simply because he modeled a neural network and it behaved somewhat akin to what he might expect might happen during a NDE or during the creative process of idea generation. However, computers follow orders. they don't decide to do things randomly without commands to do so. somewhere in the neural network, it was programmed to relive the information held on dead or dying nodes and it was also programmed (possibly unintentionally) to change all the information held elsewhere somehow (but once again within identifiable bounds).

the tech still isn't capable of producing true consciousness. just because the inventor of the system dreams of it soon, and because "people high up in government" think his organization can accomplish it "in a few years", it doesn't make it true.



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 05:28 PM
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it's true that we may have different interpretations of consciousness and AI.

I don't doubt our ability to generate random "new" ideas within a set of bounds given a set input. I doubt our ability to create an AI capable of producing truly novel ideas given a set of assumptions about the subject.

The faces produced by the imagination engine don't seem to really break the boundaries of what has been provided. It seems to me more like a good random face generator. I'd be very impressed if the machine could imagine different facial features and such that were not already provided. but it seemingly cannot, so to me, it isn't capable of having a real imagination.

The music produced also seemed to fit the same boundaries more or less implied by the input. the mathematics behind it are solid, they're probably using the golden ratio. still, this isn't truly creative. the machine couldn't imagine inventing a song that wasn't fundamentally similar to the input.

also, we are getting slightly off topic here. my point is, the internet itself can never become conscious. the best we can do is create something that utilizes the internet to form and "hold" its consciousness. something doesn't attain consciousness just because it reaches some sort of "critical mass". agreed?

also, I think this is an interesting discussion despite my perceived negativity.

[edit on 3/3/2009 by FinalSonicX]



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 07:17 PM
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Originally posted by FinalSonicX
after looking at the imagination engine and the website, I'm skeptical. It doesn't seem truly creative as humans are, but rather capable of examining a set of inputs, and randomly trying to vary them within certain bounds to produce an output. note that the faces produced all share common characteristics with the original set. apparently, the imagination engine seems to think there's no such thing as facial hair aside from a mustache. as far as it's concerned, beards probably do not exist.

furthermore, I'm relatively confident that the imagination engine's work on those faces is a specially designed function of the engine. pass in a picture of the french countryside and it would probably return a bunch of nonsense to you. Pass in a picture of a burn victim or someone with a horribly mutilated face and I'm sure it won't be able to think of new mutilations beyond the set it's been given.

The computer first has to be taught what a face is, how to recognize the features of a face, then it has to be taught how to modify the faces it sees within certain bounds acceptable to humans.


Up to this point, you've made it sound exactly like a human baby.
The system is undoubtable limited at this time, but I suspect that the development of this imagination engine is what will lead to the creation of a self-aware mind... how long before that, I really couldn't guess.

Strange... good or bad, it kind of feels like something we are supposed to do. Like the creation of true, self-aware AI is a necessary step in our cultural development, and yet, I can't put my finger on why I feel that way.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 07:54 PM
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The Internet could become conscious by mid 2030s... what an audacious thought! We could all be dead and all computers destroyed by then, who knows? Maybe the Internet gets aborted before "living".

I saw that video before, it was on another post here on ATS, and it's interesting but dubious at best. And if I recall correctly, it stated nothing about the Internet, just some computer they supposedly built.
We're just starting to make artificial organs and the such, we're nowhere near to make a self aware machine.
Besides, I don't see how Internet could become "conscious" since it even isn't designed to have a consciousness. It's like believing cellphones will be a "collective mind" somewhere in the future. They're connected too, why can't they work as a brain?
Simply because they, just as the Internet, were not designed to function that way.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 10:09 PM
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Originally posted by seb2882
The Internet could become conscious by mid 2030s... what an audacious thought! We could all be dead and all computers destroyed by then, who knows? Maybe the Internet gets aborted before "living".

I saw that video before, it was on another post here on ATS, and it's interesting but dubious at best. And if I recall correctly, it stated nothing about the Internet, just some computer they supposedly built.
We're just starting to make artificial organs and the such, we're nowhere near to make a self aware machine.
Besides, I don't see how Internet could become "conscious" since it even isn't designed to have a consciousness. It's like believing cellphones will be a "collective mind" somewhere in the future. They're connected too, why can't they work as a brain?
Simply because they, just as the Internet, were not designed to function that way.

You don't get it, It is humans that makes it conscious, take humans away from the equation that is when the whole idea becomes dubious. My idea is that humans wouldn't be conscious when taking 'this other being' out of the equation. This other being is using us just like we are using computers and one day the possibility remains where computers would invent something which will have conscious but not without computers. It will be a long chain of these self aware beings. The question is; who is at the beginning. Another question is; why we can't see the self aware beings at the beginning of the chain but we can at the end.

[edit on 103131p://31b3 by Ownification]

[edit on 103131p://31b3 by Ownification]



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 10:57 PM
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Well, this could all happen as the OP pointed out, but I suspect from a far unlikelier source than you would think.


Consider the Storm Botnet. One of the most powerful worms in history. All one has to do is get something like this to make fuzzy decisions and ability to create goals and targets,..

and you end up with a living creation that lives off the cpu power of its hosts.

en.wikipedia.org...

www.schneier.com...

Allegedly, Microsoft has finally killed this worm,....but that was only round one...stay tuned.



posted on Mar, 5 2009 @ 05:33 AM
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Of course, that's the hard part! You have to make it create goals and make decisions for itself. That is very, very difficult unless we're talking about a few basic instructions. See the state in which robots are right now. It isn't yet possible to give robots a concious mind, they can only make minor "decisions" like for instance to clean something, discarding other stuff. But it can't (and won't for a long time) be able to decide whether if it's convenient for its self existance to clean or not.
So if this kind of things do get some sort of autonomous "life" (let's call it that way) it would be primitive and rudimentary on the following decades.

On the other hand, Omnification, if you DO believe that we're just marionettes of something else (that thought crosses my mind often), internet would be very primitive, really at the beginning of this chain as you put it. But even then I fail to see how it would "evolve" to make self made decisions, even with human input. If there is something that created us for a specific purpose, we were made to be able to have awareness someday, all the way since the beginning. That was the plan. But that's not the case with the Internet. I agree with smirkley that if something gains consciousness it would have to be created with that concept in mind.





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