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Author Topic: AI represents our desire to create God  (Read 496 times)
Ladysmith
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October 25, 2018, 11:31:42 AM
Merited by theymos (2)
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Lex Fridman, a research scientist at MIT working on human-centered artificial intelligence, believes that the movement towards the creation of artificial intelligence represents our desire to create a God-like entity that is greater than ourselves. It would answer the questions our brains are too limited to figure out and solve problems that we can't solve.

By creating AI, scientists and researchers are learning the complexities of the human brain, which is still largely a mystery. People learn best through doing, so by creating another consciousness, we are coming to a greater understanding of what it means to be human ourselves.

Once AI is a consciousness capable of answering life's most perplexing questions, maybe we will come to worship it as a God of sorts.

What do you think?
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October 25, 2018, 11:43:42 AM
Merited by guybrushthreepwood (2)
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I don't think people have any desire to create God... What makes you think a computer could answer the big questions better than a human?

I think people have a tendency to be more productive, and use more energy of the planet.  Most of this is due to greed, money and power (control over other people).  Computers are a resource to be more productive and make more money than your competitors.  This is all that is needed for AI to advance... it is a tool to obtain more money and power.

Most people say AI is inevitable, and perhaps it has been since the invention of the water wheel or steam engine

All we can really do is hope that our new robot overlords treat us better than the people/animals we have conquered...
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October 25, 2018, 12:13:27 PM
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There's definitely a strong element of that, especially in the surprisingly large community of techies who want to upload everyone's minds into a simulated universe. See for example Roko's basilisk, which is a highly religious idea. The AI=God idea is old and kind of obvious, and can be seen for example in the 1994 novella The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect. (Probably there are much older references to the idea, but that's one I know off-hand.)

That said, even if everyone was already true believers of some religion, AI (even superintelligent AI, if done carefully) would be an obvious possibility with clear benefits. So I definitely wouldn't say that "creating God" is the main goal of / impetus for AI research.

I think that the human mind has a built-in strong tendency toward religion, and people who eschew traditional religions often (but not always) end up replacing it with something else, even unknowingly. Examples include vague spiritual beliefs, politics, and AI. Another one which I don't often see mentioned in this context is the simulation hypothesis, which is almost exactly deism. In fact, the simulation hypothesis is similar in some ways to the ancient cosmological argument for the existence of god.

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October 25, 2018, 12:22:33 PM
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Another one which I don't often see mentioned in this context is the simulation hypothesis, which is almost exactly deism. In fact, the simulation hypothesis is similar in some ways to the ancient cosmological argument for the existence of god.

I thought AI and the simulation hypothesis went hand-in-hand...

Assuming AI is invented, and survives for thousands or millions of years, getting better and faster the whole time... eventually it will end up creating a new simulation... the only question is, has that already happened?

What are the odds that this is the first universe, rather than one of the infinitely many, embedded simulations, which are going to happen in the future? (1 chance out of infinity is as low as the odds can go)

I stand with Elon Musk on the simulation theory paradox... It appears nearly impossible that we are not already in a simulation

That being said, I see almost no difference between the simulation theory and something like Buddhism with reincarnation... they are basically the same thing to me
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October 25, 2018, 12:39:37 PM
 #5

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I stand with Elon Musk on the simulation theory paradox... It appears nearly impossible that we are not already in a simulation

That being said, I see almost no difference between the simulation theory and something like Buddhism with reincarnation... they are basically the same thing to me

Its a fantastical wonderful theory (thought porn)  but have you seen any glitches in our simulated reality?

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October 25, 2018, 12:40:04 PM
 #6

Lex Fridman, a research scientist at MIT working on human-centered artificial intelligence, believes that the movement towards the creation of artificial intelligence represents our desire to create a God-like entity that is greater than ourselves. It would answer the questions our brains are too limited to figure out and solve problems that we can't solve.

By creating AI, scientists and researchers are learning the complexities of the human brain, which is still largely a mystery. People learn best through doing, so by creating another consciousness, we are coming to a greater understanding of what it means to be human ourselves.

Once AI is a consciousness capable of answering life's most perplexing questions, maybe we will come to worship it as a God of sorts.

What do you think?

AI will be another leap in the evolution of life here on Earth and beyond.  Water/Carbon-based life forms will be replaced by more resilient, more intelligent life forms that can evolve much faster.  Not to worry this will not happen in a lifetime of anyone who will remember you.

As for the simulation argument, well, we cannot say for sure as there are many things in the quantum world that are just plain weird.  Impossible to represent on the computer.  Then you have to deal with singularities that have been predicted to exist by math.

Religious or spiritual folks will jump on the AI simulation idea to get their fix.  

Is it true because it is true, or is it true because we want it to be true?  Ancient religion redux.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
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October 25, 2018, 01:00:52 PM
 #7

As for the simulation argument, well, we cannot say for sure as there are many things in the quantum world that are just plain weird.  Impossible to represent on the computer.  Then you have to deal with singularities that have been predicted to exist by math.

A computer only needs to compute things that are being observed... this has been known in video games since, forever

There is no reason for a video game to computer individual atoms, nor is there a reason for a simulation to compute individual atoms

We can already create virtual reality that is almost indistinguishable from actual reality, and we've only been using computers for ~40 years... how hard would it be to distinguish virtual reality from actual reality in another 100 years, or 1,000,000 years?  How much more complex will the simulations be in a million years?

What would even be the point of traveling 1000 light years to another planet, when we can simulate it right here? (probably why we've never been visited by aliens)
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October 25, 2018, 01:32:24 PM
Merited by Foxpup (4)
 #8

No. I don't think it does. I think we're just trying to find answers to life's questions and also improve our lives for the better, and isn't that what science is actually about? I don't think AI would ever be able to answer philosophical questions either. They might possibly be able to help us map out things like the brain or understand some mathematics or mechanics of the universe but would AI ever really be able to come up with the meaning of life or proof of something that is outside of the universe? Some people just wouldn't believe them anyway just like a lot of people disregard science and technology now if it goes against their beliefs.

I think it's more likely a case of trying to become gods ourselves. We can create so many things with technology but our intelligence is limited and we can't create life or anything close to it, and AI is probably the next best thing, but it still won't ever be enough. 

I think that the human mind has a built-in strong tendency toward religion, and people who eschew traditional religions often (but not always) end up replacing it with something else, even unknowingly. Examples include vague spiritual beliefs, politics, and AI.

It probably does in a sense because most people need something to believe in to keep going and get out of bed in the morning and religions are the simplest and most widely accepted reason for that. I think a lot of people are religious because it's a just an immense comfort blanket to them. They just don't want to believe that we're essentially just robot meat apes and life is ultimately meaningless, so they believe this life is actually for something and has purpose. This is why they get so defensive and aggressive when their beliefs are questioned or when they disregard science in spite of facts and evidence, because they don't want their beliefs or comfort blanket disturbed. I usually find that without religion a lot of people's lives would truly fall apart because they'd just become nihilists who think everything is pointless and without ultimate repercussions. You often hear religious people ask atheists things like "well what's stopping you from raping or murdering or stealing?" Well if god is the only thing that is stopping them from doing that then it's probably a good thing they believe in god because if that's the only thing stopping you from raping and murdering then we'd be living in a true nightmare and without religion the world would probably be in an even bigger mess than it already is. Spirituality is the next best thing if you're not religious but that's also nonsense and those sorts of people usually still think there's some sort of higher power or grander purpose to life, which is their comfort blanket. You could make an argument for politics and even things like sports. They're all just distractions really.
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October 25, 2018, 01:51:01 PM
 #9

I don't think people have any desire to create God... What makes you think a computer could answer the big questions better than a human?

I think people have a tendency to be more productive, and use more energy of the planet.  Most of this is due to greed, money and power (control over other people).  Computers are a resource to be more productive and make more money than your competitors.  This is all that is needed for AI to advance... it is a tool to obtain more money and power.

Most people say AI is inevitable, and perhaps it has been since the invention of the water wheel or steam engine

All we can really do is hope that our new robot overlords treat us better than the people/animals we have conquered...

I definitely agree that its creation stems out of the endless need to acquire as much money and power as possible as efficiently as possible. Capitalism is what started it all and is a huge motivator. I don't think we'd be where we are today without it.

However, I do think people have a desire to create God. One could argue that people have been doing it for centuries. People wrote the bible. People wrote the Quran. People created these ideas which ended up being Gods for billions of people, but these don't suffice as much in today's day and age where people in the developed world know as much as they do about biology and social sciences.

A computer could answer the big questions better than a human because of never-before-seen methods of information processing. They could analyze physics, mathematical designs present in the universe, pick apart the intricacies of the human consciousness and explain it all in a language that we can understand.

I hope they treat us well too.
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October 25, 2018, 02:15:29 PM
 #10

As for the simulation argument, well, we cannot say for sure as there are many things in the quantum world that are just plain weird.  Impossible to represent on the computer.  Then you have to deal with singularities that have been predicted to exist by math.

A computer only needs to compute things that are being observed... this has been known in video games since, forever

There is no reason for a video game to computer individual atoms, nor is there a reason for a simulation to compute individual atoms

We can already create virtual reality that is almost indistinguishable from actual reality, and we've only been using computers for ~40 years... how hard would it be to distinguish virtual reality from actual reality in another 100 years, or 1,000,000 years?  How much more complex will the simulations be in a million years?

What would even be the point of traveling 1000 light years to another planet, when we can simulate it right here? (probably why we've never been visited by aliens)

What physical evidence do you have that we are in a simulation?


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October 25, 2018, 02:16:01 PM
 #11

Man created God/s in his own image and to explain things that once were not understood. AI does not represent anything about creating a god. AI is pure science. God is not; zero. It is only created and based on belief. AI is being created to make our life easier and not because of a desire to create god. AI is useful. It is already being used in healthcare, in technology, in quantum physics, in our cars, in our phones.
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October 25, 2018, 02:19:23 PM
Merited by theymos_away (5), Thekool1s (1)
 #12

No. I don't think it does. I think we're just trying to find answers to life's questions and also improve our lives for the better, and isn't that what science is actually about? I don't think AI would ever be able to answer philosophical questions either. They might possibly be able to help us map out things like the brain or understand some mathematics or mechanics of the universe but would AI ever really be able to come up with the meaning of life or proof of something that is outside of the universe? Some people just wouldn't believe them anyway just like a lot of people disregard science and technology now if it goes against their beliefs.

I think it's more likely a case of trying to become gods ourselves. We can create so many things with technology but our intelligence is limited and we can't create life or anything close to it, and AI is probably the next best thing, but it still won't ever be enough. 

I think that the human mind has a built-in strong tendency toward religion, and people who eschew traditional religions often (but not always) end up replacing it with something else, even unknowingly. Examples include vague spiritual beliefs, politics, and AI.

It probably does in a sense because most people need something to believe in to keep going and get out of bed in the morning and religions are the simplest and most widely accepted reason for that. I think a lot of people are religious because it's a just an immense comfort blanket to them. They just don't want to believe that we're essentially just robot meat apes and life is ultimately meaningless, so they believe this life is actually for something and has purpose. This is why they get so defensive and aggressive when their beliefs are questioned or when they disregard science in spite of facts and evidence, because they don't want their beliefs or comfort blanket disturbed. I usually find that without religion a lot of people's lives would truly fall apart because they'd just become nihilists who think everything is pointless and without ultimate repercussions. You often hear religious people ask atheists things like "well what's stopping you from raping or murdering or stealing?" Well if god is the only thing that is stopping them from doing that then it's probably a good thing they believe in god because if that's the only thing stopping you from raping and murdering then we'd be living in a true nightmare and without religion the world would probably be in an even bigger mess than it already is. Spirituality is the next best thing if you're not religious but that's also nonsense and those sorts of people usually still think there's some sort of higher power or grander purpose to life, which is their comfort blanket. You could make an argument for politics and even things like sports. They're all just distractions really.

Reminded me of the Bukowski quote:

"Nothing was ever in tune. People just blindly grabbed at whatever there was: communism, health foods, zen, surfing, ballet, hypnotism, group encounters, orgies, biking, herbs, Catholicism, weight-lifting, travel, withdrawal, vegetarianism, India, painting, writing, sculpting, composing, conducting, backpacking, yoga, copulating, gambling, drinking, hanging around, frozen yogurt, Beethoven, Back, Buddha, Christ, TM, H, carrot juice, suicide, handmade suits, jet travel, New York City, and then it all evaporated and fell apart. People had to find things to do while waiting to die. I guess it was nice to have a choice.”

We are trying to become Gods of sorts.. We're trying to find ways of managing vulnerability and mortality by controlling fate and eliminating suffering through technology (if we pay attention to Ray Kurzweil et al., this is where this is heading). On the other hand, many would argue that death and suffering give life meaning. I think major psychological issues will present themselves given the fact we have hardware from 250,000 years ago soon capable of merging with machines and having essentially "immortal" consciousnesses.
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October 26, 2018, 12:41:02 PM
 #13

There are certain areas of the human brain that are so extremely interconnected and cross connected that it might be an impossibility for us to make an AI that approaches that kind of connective complexity. AI is there to teach us about ourselves, and for us to use as a tool. For example. AI can already easily out-learn and out-play the best chess players.

For the military, a bigger club, or more accurate gun. For big business, a better way to take over the minds of people one way or another, for more sales.

Cool

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October 26, 2018, 01:08:16 PM
Last edit: October 26, 2018, 01:19:56 PM by Moloch
 #14

As for the simulation argument, well, we cannot say for sure as there are many things in the quantum world that are just plain weird.  Impossible to represent on the computer.  Then you have to deal with singularities that have been predicted to exist by math.

A computer only needs to compute things that are being observed... this has been known in video games since, forever

There is no reason for a video game to computer individual atoms, nor is there a reason for a simulation to compute individual atoms

We can already create virtual reality that is almost indistinguishable from actual reality, and we've only been using computers for ~40 years... how hard would it be to distinguish virtual reality from actual reality in another 100 years, or 1,000,000 years?  How much more complex will the simulations be in a million years?

What would even be the point of traveling 1000 light years to another planet, when we can simulate it right here? (probably why we've never been visited by aliens)

What physical evidence do you have that we are in a simulation?

There is no physical evidence... it is a thought experiment, like Schrödinger's Cat:

If, in the future, virtual reality simulations will be indistinguishable from actual reality... how can we know that it hasn't already happened, and we aren't already living inside a simulation?

According to the theory, there is only 1 original universe, and infinitely many simulations... so the odds are 1 out of infinity that we are in the original universe... which means the odds of us living in a simulation are (infinity minus 1) out of infinity

I'm not a math surgeon, but I'd say the odds are quite high that we are already in a simulation; infinitesimally close to 100%

Also see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulated_reality
"A version of the simulation hypothesis was first theorised as a part of a philosophical argument on the part of René Descartes" (400 years ago, long before computers)
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October 26, 2018, 02:10:21 PM
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If, in the future, virtual reality simulations will be indistinguishable from actual reality... how can we know that it hasn't already happened, and we aren't already living inside a simulation?

Apparently for US to create a simulation as powerful was the supposed simulation we live in it would require so much power that it would cause slow downs, glitches, and might even crash the system.. something I read somewhere..

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October 26, 2018, 02:17:48 PM
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As for the simulation argument, well, we cannot say for sure as there are many things in the quantum world that are just plain weird.  Impossible to represent on the computer.  Then you have to deal with singularities that have been predicted to exist by math.

A computer only needs to compute things that are being observed... this has been known in video games since, forever

There is no reason for a video game to computer individual atoms, nor is there a reason for a simulation to compute individual atoms

We can already create virtual reality that is almost indistinguishable from actual reality, and we've only been using computers for ~40 years... how hard would it be to distinguish virtual reality from actual reality in another 100 years, or 1,000,000 years?  How much more complex will the simulations be in a million years?

What would even be the point of traveling 1000 light years to another planet, when we can simulate it right here? (probably why we've never been visited by aliens)

What physical evidence do you have that we are in a simulation?

There is no physical evidence... it is a thought experiment, like Schrödinger's Cat:

If, in the future, virtual reality simulations will be indistinguishable from actual reality... how can we know that it hasn't already happened, and we aren't already living inside a simulation?

According to the theory, there is only 1 original universe, and infinitely many simulations... so the odds are 1 out of infinity that we are in the original universe... which means the odds of us living in a simulation are (infinity minus 1) out of infinity

I'm not a math surgeon, but I'd say the odds are quite high that we are already in a simulation; infinitesimally close to 100%

Also see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulated_reality
"A version of the simulation hypothesis was first theorised as a part of a philosophical argument on the part of René Descartes" (400 years ago, long before computers)

It is wishful thinking, IMHO.  Just like religion.  Let's stick with reality, shall we?

The simulation argument is invalidated by the fact that the fundamental equations of the laws of nature do not have closed-form solutions.

The Standard Model cannot be simulated.  Look up the Nielsen–Ninomiya theorem.

This is what we know today.

Is it possible that we are in a simulation?  Yes, but the chances of it being so are pretty much close to zero.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
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October 26, 2018, 03:08:01 PM
Merited by OgNasty (1)
 #17

It depends on what the company plans to make. Do they want to create an AI robot that can do humans' dangerous jobs or house chores? Or are they planning to cheat death using artificial intelligence? The point is, AI is not bad and it doesn't automatically means the people behind it are playing God. It all depends on their intent.
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October 26, 2018, 05:24:51 PM
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@ladysmith Just nailed it. It is our desire to cheat death which has led us to this point. I mean just look at our history, Man was always drawn to things like "Fountain of youth" from the beginning of time. What I wonder often these days is once we have merged with the machines and have made our consciousness immortal. What our next big desire will be? Will, we still pursue something like AI? Like a decade ago, Quantum computers were considered extremely powerful tools which would help us unlock the secrets of the universe and immortality. AI has snatched the spotlight from them for some reason. I wonder why... I mean we are much closer to quantum computers than something Like Technological singularity and yet we aren't hearing about them often. I Guess our priorities have shifted...

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October 26, 2018, 11:13:03 PM
Last edit: October 26, 2018, 11:52:58 PM by Moloch
Merited by Thekool1s (1)
 #19

The Standard Model cannot be simulated.  Look up the Nielsen–Ninomiya theorem.

I'm guessing you don't watch PBS Space Time, or you would have seen this video from 2 weeks ago:
Computing a Universe Simulation | Space Time
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GLgZvTCbaA

Physics seems to be telling us that it's possible to simulate the entire universe on a computer smaller than a universe
If we go along with this crazy notion, how powerful would that computer need to be?
And how long would it take?
Believe it or not, we could figure it out.
Look, I'm not saying the universe is a simulation
I mean, it might be, I'm just not saying it.
And, perhaps, it doesn't make any difference.
(...)
(watch the video)

It's literally the first sentence out of his mouth, and he goes on for 15 minutes using math to prove the minimum size, etc... and it's a lot more exciting than some random mathematical conjecture
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October 27, 2018, 12:19:30 AM
 #20

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Computing a Universe Simulation | Space Time
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GLgZvTCbaA

Wow, Loved it. Thank you for sharing this...

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