The Quest for the Singularity

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The Quest for the Singularity

Postby pack3tg0st » Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:28 pm

Scientists and Engineers believe we are within 30 years of creating the 'singularity'. That is, creating artificial consciousness. This is more than AI... they're talking a conscious machine...

Sounds dangerously Sci-fi, but its currently a topic with the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers).

A nice suite of articles on the current quest for creating the singularity.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/static/singularity

My favorite of the bunch is the article on Consciousness: http://spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/ima ... -conscious

Anyway, the current idea is that the IEEE thinks we'll be able to fully map our brains within a couple of decades using Nanobots... once the brain is mapped, and they understand how the 'hardware' in our brain works, they will be able to re-create the brain electronically.

This of course means they will also be able to take maps of anyone's brain... efficiently making a 'backup' of all information stored in your noggin, personality and all, and upload it to a machine.

I was shown this information recently by a buddy of mine, and I'm still trying to wrap my head around what this means for our species...

Anyway, as Sci-fi as it sounds... the IEEE is looking at this as a real possibility...

Anyway, I tried to discuss this with other people elsewhere, and unfortunately it didn't go far... This is a subject that I find utterly fascinating... I am by no means the 'expert' on this area, but does anyone have any thoughts regarding this?
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Re: The Quest for the Singularity

Postby Chorlton » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:36 pm

pack3tg0st wrote:
Anyway, I tried to discuss this with other people elsewhere, and unfortunately it didn't go far...


Maybe because they simply dont trust you or you have them on ignore?
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Re: The Quest for the Singularity

Postby pack3tg0st » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:49 pm

Chorlton wrote:
pack3tg0st wrote:
Anyway, I tried to discuss this with other people elsewhere, and unfortunately it didn't go far...


Maybe because they simply dont trust you or you have them on ignore?



Or perhaps because Mur keeps deleting my posts in the thread where it was being discussed... and you keep trolling me non-stop to derail.

I fixed the Mur problem by posting a parallel topic in the Tech forums...

Now to see what it will take to get you to follow the RU T&C's.
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Re: The Quest for the Singularity

Postby Harmony » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:33 pm

I just can't grasp the concept of how this could work.

Are our thoughts connected to our brains or are they something that is completely separate as in being a part of our souls?
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Re: The Quest for the Singularity

Postby pack3tg0st » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:33 am

Harmony wrote:I just can't grasp the concept of how this could work.

Are our thoughts connected to our brains or are they something that is completely separate as in being a part of our souls?


This came up on another forum where I was discussing the topic as well...

The best I could come up with, is that this sort of technology would either prove, or disprove all of the metaphysical concepts of the soul, and greater self...

But, then I got to thinking about it... and it really wouldn't do any good...

Do you think people would change their positions on the metaphysical if it was either proven, or disproven?

I highly doubt it...

Hasn't worked with religion... there's no reason to expect it to work elsewhere...
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Re: The Quest for the Singularity

Postby Harmony » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:58 am

I have no religion, so when I say the soul, I am not tying it into a metaphysical link as to why I can't grasp the concept.

People that have been declared clinically dead have said they had memories when they were not alive, whether this is true or not is still being disputed but if it were true that these memories happen, to link thought with the function of the brain would not make sense.
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Re: The Quest for the Singularity

Postby pack3tg0st » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:14 am

Harmony wrote:I have no religion, so when I say the soul, I am not tying it into a metaphysical link as to why I can't grasp the concept.

People that have been declared clinically dead have said they had memories when they were not alive, whether this is true or not is still being disputed but if it were true that these memories happen, to link thought with the function of the brain would not make sense.


Unless our 'memory storage device' is capable of being corrupted...
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Re: The Quest for the Singularity

Postby ryguy » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:33 am

As an EE (was a member of IEEE for about 5 years after graduation), I like the work as proposed by the white papers - neural networks was a serious interest of mine in college and remained so for many years afterwards. I actually did a senior presentation on the current state of nanotechnology (back in 1998...lol).

I think that mapping out neural networks and learning how they "fire" in relation to emotion, thinking, psychological reactions, normal daily functioning, etc....will reveal a lot about human psychology as well as how we can make artificial "beings" a little closer to human - but in all honesty I don't think they'll ever make it (even in 30 years) to the point where they can reproduce a fully functioning human brain.

By fully functioning - I mean a self-healing device that can keep teaching itself not only new concepts but also new emotional reactions or "common sense" between multiple meanings of the same phrases. There are thousands of intricate details that go into human communications - much includes intuitiveness that incorporates the input of the other person's facial expressions, tone of voice, etc...

THAT'S only communication....then you have to move on to navigating (walking) and balance, running, gross & fine motor skills, reading comprehension, visual/audio comprehension, etc...

We are but infants in the understanding of the many processes of the human mind - and we haven't even gotten to the issues of what generates emotion and the importance emotion plays in our decisions and thought processes.

My take, having seen and worked with many of the technologies involved - if the brain is ever perfectly reproduced in a functioning "robot" it'll be a hundred, if not hundreds of years from now, if ever.

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Re: The Quest for the Singularity

Postby pack3tg0st » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:44 am

Oh I don't think they're talking about an artificial brain so much as simulating consciousness...

I don't think a major neural network would be mandatory to achieve this in a machine... as the IEEE articles point out, most of what humans concider 'consciousness' is really just affirmation of consciousness...

reaction to outside simuli, emotions, speech, etc, those are all how we gauge the presence of sentience, not sentience itself.

Its quite possible that the first concious machines will not have many of the 'affirmations' us humans like to look at to prove consciousness...

But, I think the general idea is to learn how the brain functions... once we figure that out, its very possible to 'interface' with it... even if its highly complex...

You could have your entire mental state downloaded... a brain-backup of sorts.

Anyway, the point where we will be able to fabricate a new brain for someone is indeed a very long way off... but I do think that the technology is reaching a state of exponential growth... each breakthrough in nanotechnology yeilds more possibilities for biotech and Information Technology as well...

Yesterday, they announced they have a way to develope nanobots that can read and decode the human DNA sequence... (http://www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=16962.php)

With breakthroughs like this... how long before we can repair our bodies with Nanoreplication?

Once that happens... how long before we can replace our bodies with the same technology...

Its a fast curve these days...
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Re: The Quest for the Singularity

Postby Harmony » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:57 am

Hmmmm, I lost a post, not sure what happened but it isn't here so it must be floating in cyberspace?

If they can ever figure out the brain, hopefully they can figure out what makes people insane.

The post I lost was in response to ryguy, if they could develop a robotic brain that learned, I was wondering if it could also learn to think inappropriately like some human brains have.
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Re: The Quest for the Singularity

Postby pack3tg0st » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:08 am

Harmony wrote:If they can ever figure out the brain, hopefully they can figure out what makes people insane.


Or what makes people consider others to be Insane.

The post I lost was in response to ryguy, if they could develop a robotic brain that learned, I was wondering if it could also learn to think inappropriately like some human brains have.


Humans would quickly become obsolete lol... we wouldn't be able to keep up.
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Re: The Quest for the Singularity

Postby Harmony » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:19 am

pack3tg0st wrote:
Or what makes people consider others to be Insane.



The Hanibal Lecter type of insane is kind of what I meant. Criminally insane folk.

Your point is well taken though, who am I to judge what is sane and what is insane?

There are people out there that are clearly not dealing with a full deck as far as my standards go. :wink:
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Re: The Quest for the Singularity

Postby pack3tg0st » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:26 am

Harmony wrote:There are people out there that are clearly not dealing with a full deck as far as my standards go. :wink:


lol I tend to think everyone else is completely bonkers...

That might mean I'm nuts...

Or it could really be that everyone else is :D
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Re: The Quest for the Singularity

Postby Puppetburglar » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:19 am

ryguy wrote:As an EE (was a member of IEEE for about 5 years after graduation), I like the work as proposed by the white papers - neural networks was a serious interest of mine in college and remained so for many years afterwards. I actually did a senior presentation on the current state of nanotechnology (back in 1998...lol).

I think that mapping out neural networks and learning how they "fire" in relation to emotion, thinking, psychological reactions, normal daily functioning, etc....will reveal a lot about human psychology as well as how we can make artificial "beings" a little closer to human - but in all honesty I don't think they'll ever make it (even in 30 years) to the point where they can reproduce a fully functioning human brain.

By fully functioning - I mean a self-healing device that can keep teaching itself not only new concepts but also new emotional reactions or "common sense" between multiple meanings of the same phrases. There are thousands of intricate details that go into human communications - much includes intuitiveness that incorporates the input of the other person's facial expressions, tone of voice, etc...

THAT'S only communication....then you have to move on to navigating (walking) and balance, running, gross & fine motor skills, reading comprehension, visual/audio comprehension, etc...

We are but infants in the understanding of the many processes of the human mind - and we haven't even gotten to the issues of what generates emotion and the importance emotion plays in our decisions and thought processes.

My take, having seen and worked with many of the technologies involved - if the brain is ever perfectly reproduced in a functioning "robot" it'll be a hundred, if not hundreds of years from now, if ever.

-Ry


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