Author Topic: AI, Aristotle, G-d and the bootstrap problem ...  (Read 3120 times)

Offline Baruch (OP)

Re: AI, Aristotle, G-d and the bootstrap problem ...
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2017, 10:46:20 AM »
No.   Because computers aren't found in nature.

And that is a problematic reality/rhetoric.  Computers are created by humans.  So to what extent are humans part of nature?  One can naively answer this .. that humans are the way that nature creates computers, so in fact, computers are found in nature ;-))
« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 03:38:36 PM by Baruch »
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Re: AI, Aristotle, G-d and the bootstrap problem ...
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2017, 11:15:06 AM »
And that is a problematic reality/rhetoric.  Computers are created by humans.  So to what extent are humans part of nature?  One can naively answer this .. that humans are the way that nature creates computers, so in fact, computer are found in nature ;-))
Actually, all the parts needed to construct a computer can be found in nature; just not in the form needed.  A bow and arrow are not found in that form in nature, either; it has to be fashioned from nature by some other product of nature.  All we experience in this world/life is natural.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Baruch (OP)

Re: AI, Aristotle, G-d and the bootstrap problem ...
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2017, 01:03:52 PM »
Actually, all the parts needed to construct a computer can be found in nature; just not in the form needed.  A bow and arrow are not found in that form in nature, either; it has to be fashioned from nature by some other product of nature.  All we experience in this world/life is natural.

Yes, but to what extent is that a meaningless copout?  We could answer to gambling ... in any bet, someone wins and someone loses.  But if you are the one who bet against the house (which on average wins) and you loose all your money, that doesn't mean the same as you hitting the jackpot.

Of course I contend that humanity is both a part of, and not a part of nature ... because metaphysically I don't accept black/white thinking ... I only accept gray thinking.  But per the OP, in black/white thinking, it is hard to imagine a computer or boot sector spontaneously assembling.  This is a general problem impacting not only AI, but abiogenesis and intelligent design.  Taking your POV, then the question of AI is, does nature have more than one way to spontaneously assemble sentient systems, more than just the biological we are already familiar with.  And if the answer is yes, then such an AI would be an alien species, even if we had a part in creating it.
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Re: AI, Aristotle, G-d and the bootstrap problem ...
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2017, 01:30:09 PM »
Yes, but to what extent is that a meaningless copout?  We could answer to gambling ... in any bet, someone wins and someone loses.  But if you are the one who bet against the house (which on average wins) and you loose all your money, that doesn't mean the same as you hitting the jackpot.

Of course I contend that humanity is both a part of, and not a part of nature ... because metaphysically I don't accept black/white thinking ... I only accept gray thinking.  But per the OP, in black/white thinking, it is hard to imagine a computer or boot sector spontaneously assembling.  This is a general problem impacting not only AI, but abiogenesis and intelligent design.  Taking your POV, then the question of AI is, does nature have more than one way to spontaneously assemble sentient systems, more than just the biological we are already familiar with.  And if the answer is yes, then such an AI would be an alien species, even if we had a part in creating it.
I think your drivel about metaphysical stuff is a copout.  either something is of nature, or it isn't.  Period.  That is not black or white thinking.  I, too, see mostly in shades of grey.  But to say that seeing all as natural is a copout or black and white thinking is silly.  Everything we will have from the nature of the universe is here; nothing will be added or subtracted.  The combinations are infinite (or might as well be).  As for being spontaneous, life isn't that.  I thought you were into grey thinking?  There never was (I'm guessing) an instant where life wasn't, then was.  Is a virus alive or dead?  That is the question and not as easy to answer as most think.  So, when an arrangement of atoms, molecules or whatever, changed from a state of nonlife to life most likely was very gradual and not spontaneous at all.   Life is not so easily defined.  And we are a carbon based life; a silicon based life (for example) would be alien to us, but not unnatural or supernatural. 

There is nothing that is not natural; nothing is unnatural that is real.  That is not black/white thinking--it is just a fact.  And I have no idea what gambling has to do with it.  If you think there is anything supernatural then you are engaging in wishful thinking.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Baruch (OP)

Re: AI, Aristotle, G-d and the bootstrap problem ...
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2017, 03:27:39 PM »
"either something is of nature, or it isn't.  Period.  That is not black or white thinking" ... prima facie black/white statement.  But do you mean ... natural = exists and unnatural = doesn't exist?  If so, then natural is maybe gray (or any other range of color).  Also you misunderstood my statement.  Exist/non-Exist is black/white thinking.  But simply defining everything as natural ... isn't black/white thinking, it isn't dualist, it is monist.  I should have broken my prior statement into blocks.

Trying to rephrase your point.  But per sentence 3 ... you are stating that "nothing added" is the dynamic version.  Everything that exists, exists (in some time some where).  Anything that doesn't exist, doesn't exist (in any time anywhere).  But not much exists, that exists, is everywhere and every time.  Somethings may be universal (everywhere and every time) but not everything.  Thus even in monism, it isn't necessary that if there is some life or some consciousness, that everything is alive and everything is conscious ... those could be shades of a spectrum.

You are over-reading my prior post.  Abiogenesis is similar to but not the same as the computer example, since the computer at no time is alive, gradual or otherwise.  Also I haven't brought supernatural as a concept into this string.  Non-natural doesn't necessarily equal supernatural.  I gave an example, a sophistry, where in the computer example, humans are the way that nature makes boot strap code (and how nature builds computers).  But my example doesn't show that computers or boot strap code can develop any other way (which is what real AI implies, and living androids).

Again to summarize, for you, natural = existence = real.  There is nothing unreal, nothing non-existent and nothing unnatural.  And by implication, nothing supernatural.  My point remains, redefining terms so that checkmate is a win, for both players ... is a cop out.  It would be like defining anything and everything to be legal.  Some things may be binary, or pluralistic .. monism as a "only have a hammer so everything is a nail" system.  It is a fact that humans and computers both exist.  If it isn't true that computers spontaneously assemble themselves, then why assume that humans came about that way either?  That goes back to the "spontaneous generation" controversy in early modern times (at that time, microscopic life forms weren't apparent, not even a human fertilized egg).

One can test this empirically ... by putting some random silicon etc in a pile, and wait for 13 billion years, to see if anything interesting happens spontaneously ... or similarly put some random code (not hard to do) into a computer, and wait 13 billion years and see if Exchange email spontaneous emerges.  However, per abiogenesis, if you put some random carbon compounds together in a suitable environment (maybe only on early planets) interesting things have been proven to occur.  Carbon doesn't equal silicon, is why those are different.  But then explain why that is ;-)  The answer, in practical terms, since 13 billion year long controlled experiments aren't viable, is to hand wave like St Augustine, and say that only damn heretics ask damn questions.  Use your professorial ex cathedra power to shut down the questions.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 03:37:21 PM by Baruch »
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Re: AI, Aristotle, G-d and the bootstrap problem ...
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2017, 06:29:47 PM »
Seems we are going in circles here.  All I'm saying is that there is nothing that exists or is real or whatever way one wants to put it, that is not natural.  And all that mankind (or any other life form) crafts from the material at hand is natural and not supernatural.  Anything else is imaginary or fictional.  That's all.

Theists don't believe that and see the supernatural all the time--or so they claim.  But there is not one whiff of proof to show that what they believe to be real isn't imaginary or fictional. 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Re: AI, Aristotle, G-d and the bootstrap problem ...
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2017, 06:38:09 PM »
But per the OP, in black/white thinking, it is hard to imagine a computer or boot sector spontaneously assembling.  This is a general problem impacting not only AI, but abiogenesis and intelligent design.

Those are three completely different problems.   Humans are quite capable of building machines that bootstrap themselves.   Research into AI is proceeding at quite a pace, with no bootstrapping problem in sight.  And abiogenesis research has a number of different research avenues to pursue.   

Quote
If it isn't true that computers spontaneously assemble themselves, then why assume that humans came about that way either?

Humans don't spontaneously assemble themselves.   They grow.
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We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real
tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. -Plato

Re: AI, Aristotle, G-d and the bootstrap problem ...
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2017, 06:44:25 PM »
... or similarly put some random code (not hard to do) into a computer, and wait 13 billion years and see if Exchange email spontaneous emerges. 

You wont get anything with random code.  It doesn't work that way.    But put a replicator into something like <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tierra_(computer_simulation)">Tierra</a>  and you might get something interesting out of the other end.
Winner of WitchSabrinas Best Advice Award 2012


We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real
tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. -Plato

Offline Baruch (OP)

Re: AI, Aristotle, G-d and the bootstrap problem ...
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2017, 07:08:51 PM »
Seems we are going in circles here.  All I'm saying is that there is nothing that exists or is real or whatever way one wants to put it, that is not natural.  And all that mankind (or any other life form) crafts from the material at hand is natural and not supernatural.  Anything else is imaginary or fictional.  That's all.

Theists don't believe that and see the supernatural all the time--or so they claim.  But there is not one whiff of proof to show that what they believe to be real isn't imaginary or fictional.

I understand you better now, thanks.  Natural = physicalism = monism for you, natural as narrowly defined by physics.  Yes, humans do not create ex nihilo ... but then neither did G-d in Genesis.  G-d's spirit hovered over the face of the Deep.  In Christianity G-d isn't totally transcendent as G-d is in Judaism and Islam, otherwise there is no Jesus.  As far as "making" goes, you agree with Aristotle, except physics is your unmoved mover, your Platonic form, existing outside the universe of change and geographic limitation ... it is everywhere and unchanging.  So what is imaginary or fictional doesn't exist as such, except as an idea in people's heads ... but then are you saying what exists in people's heads is only an idea, and ideas aren't physical (or they would exist in nature).  That implies that thoughts are non-material.

Most theists never believe that G-d is immanent, except at most during an "age of faith", but definitely not in the present.  Mystics see the supernatural all the time, and I am a mystic.  But most theists are not, they must rely in faith in what is not seen.  I can see, so I need no faith.
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Offline Baruch (OP)

Re: AI, Aristotle, G-d and the bootstrap problem ...
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2017, 07:13:33 PM »
Those are three completely different problems.   Humans are quite capable of building machines that bootstrap themselves.   Research into AI is proceeding at quite a pace, with no bootstrapping problem in sight.  And abiogenesis research has a number of different research avenues to pursue.   

Humans don't spontaneously assemble themselves.   They grow.

Yes, abiogenesis has several interesting experiments that are real.  A spontaneously generated cyan-bacteria, not so much.  May take too long, or in too extreme an environment.

Humans don't bootstrap, they require a man and a woman, and sometimes technical assistance (fertility assistance).  There are no humans who have no parents (but no problem, with evolution).

Sorry, you are incorrect about bootstrapping software.  I can produce a universal functional module (Turing Machine) with some finite memory, part of which is populated with random data.  Then I can run the program.  Random data has yet to produce more than random results, Exchange email hasn't been spontaneously generated.  If I just want random results from random data, I can use a Dungeons & Dragons many-sided die.
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Offline Baruch (OP)

Re: AI, Aristotle, G-d and the bootstrap problem ...
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2017, 07:19:51 PM »
You wont get anything with random code.  It doesn't work that way.    But put a replicator into something like <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tierra_(computer_simulation)">Tierra</a>  and you might get something interesting out of the other end.

Yes, IT doesn't work that way.  But if you create a prior code structure, or organized data for a Turing Machine to work on, then you have indirectly coded the result.  Any program that takes external data (initial internal data is the bootstrap), implicitly produces either a result, or an infinite do loop (halting problem).  Such a set up isn't AI ... that is my point about fraud. .  If I take a monkey, and transplant bat ears onto him, then can I claim that is the famous Bat Boy?

The computer game of Life, or cellular automata ... matches the program of Wolfram:
http://mathworld.wolfram.com/CellularAutomaton.html

But his claims that these explain all of math and physics ... and thus chemistry and biology ... don't hold up.  Otherwise he would have already created the Kurzweil Singularity.
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Re: AI, Aristotle, G-d and the bootstrap problem ...
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2017, 04:20:59 PM »
Jason, please don't ever change your avatar. Reading your posts with that face makes your responses twice hillarious. (I know you miss the doggie, so I'm hoping you won't. You might even be logging more often to see it, considering...)
« Last Edit: January 03, 2017, 04:24:02 PM by drunkenshoe »

Offline Hakurei Reimu

Re: AI, Aristotle, G-d and the bootstrap problem ...
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2017, 04:51:06 PM »
As far as Turing machines go .. the actual requirement is to have a tape big enough for whatever you happen to be doing at the time (it doesn't run out prematurely).  You are black/white in your thinking.  Any HS student can create a Turing machine simulation ... and can run it on some simple program (that doesn't run out of storage).  Now we have gigabytes of RAM, one would never run out of memory, unless you are in an infinite loop (in which case you are done either way).
The halting problem says that you're wrong. You cannot create a Turing machine that will be able to tell you if any arbitrary Turing machine/input pair will halt, because for any you can propose I can create a Turing machine that will defeat it. Linear bound automata (like real computers) will eventually reach a state where they halt or some state that is a perfect recapitulation of some past state and therefore will loop forever, but a Turing machine is not a LBA. A "tape big enough for whatever you happen to be doing at the time" is just a sneaky way of saying "infinite tape." The length of the tape is not bounded to a definite maximum value. A computer with gigabytes of RAM will run out of memory long before you get to a relatively mild 25-state busy beaver game.
Warning: Don't Tease The Miko!
(she bites!)
Spinny Miko Avatar shamelessly ripped off from Iosys' Neko Miko Reimu

Offline Baruch (OP)

Re: AI, Aristotle, G-d and the bootstrap problem ...
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2017, 08:04:32 PM »
Hakurei ... splitting computer hairs isn't a practical argument.  Yes, in any practical sense, memory is finite, but will execute most programs (most programmers design for the hardware).  And there is a halt, or a loop.  Of course sometimes the goal is some output, but sometimes more indirect, the side-effects of execution are what are sought.  Are you simply doing a "must have last comment"?  That doesn't address the OP.  Marketing defines AI, that and the credulity of DARPA or venture capitalists or the completely ignorant computer user.  If moving ones and zeros are AI, then we have had AI for many decades now.  My programmable calculator in the 1970s was worthy of civil rights ;-))  Number 5 Is Alive!  Similarly if random atomic configurations are a life form, then the kitchen garbage I throw out is a life form (not just the mold on the overly old cottage cheese).
« Last Edit: January 03, 2017, 08:06:28 PM by Baruch »
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Re: AI, Aristotle, G-d and the bootstrap problem ...
« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2017, 02:06:29 AM »
Jason, please don't ever change your avatar. Reading your posts with that face makes your responses twice hillarious. (I know you miss the doggie, so I'm hoping you won't. You might even be logging more often to see it, considering...)

Do you imagine the little dog speaking with my deep voice or just the little fella yipping?
Winner of WitchSabrinas Best Advice Award 2012


We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real
tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. -Plato