Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

General chat about fembots, technosexual culture or any other ASFR related topics that do not fit into the other categories below.
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Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by Robotman » Sun Apr 03, 2016 12:19 pm

I was having a discussion with Kishin over email, and we thought we'd post it here to spur some discussion on the topic:
Robotman wrote:I have yet to watch the whole thing. :P But I have noticed that Ex Machina is this generation's "Terminator" that some people point to as "proof" that we shouldn't build strong AI or humanoid robots.

It's a fucking work of fiction people! Do you ever get the feeling that you're trapped on a planet with very few smart, logical people and around 7 billion complete idiots?
Kishin wrote:LOL if that AI that went totally racist and lazy is any indicator, robots would be just as annoying as the average redneck, with roughly the same motivations!
Robotman wrote:Well, here's the thing... that Tay AI was a publicity stunt and not much more. Any serious attempt at AI won't be let loose on fucking Twitter. If the purpose of the AI is for marketing, then by all means, confine it to the cesspool of online social media. But for true strong AI, a more thoughtful approach is needed, and I'm sure serious AI researchers are well aware of this.
Kishin wrote:Oh of course. We really don't know how strong AI will behave. People assume the worst, and it COULD actually happen. But I doubt it will happen in our lifetime. Hell at this point I'm not sure sex androids will be a viable option in our lifetime. People seem so opposed to anything sexual.
Robotman wrote:Quite true. And most people by far don't understand some very important concepts about AI and AI development. Most people just think that AI will be just one big development that will be a computer version of us.

This couldn't be farther from the truth. And Hollywood is squarely to blame for this as well. This bullshit trope keeps getting recycled over and over again, and it really has hurt the public image of AI and even robotics development.

I remember when that exciting Boston Dynamics bipedal robot video came out last month, about 90% of the comments I read were either jokes or legitimate fears about "This is how Skynet starts". For fucking Christ's sake, people. Far too many people were actually, seriously, and for real commenting on how when the robots become sentient, they will take revenge on us because the dude with the beard pushed that robot with a hockey stick.

And the worst part is that the overwhelming negative reaction that video got is part of the reason why Google is now selling Boston Dynamics. This is why we can't have nice things.

Anyway, back to why AI won't me one monolithic duplication of the human mind...

if you look at most of the AI projects in development, they fall into three categories:

1) privately funded for profit

2) privately funded for research

3) military

The third one is speculative only, and no one really knows what the US and other military forces around the world are doing in the field of AI. We can only guess.

The first one is aimed at making money, obviously. Every AI being developed here is intended to be part of a product, and if it doesn't work for that goal, it will be modified, reworked or scrapped.

The second one is more along the lines of what science fiction writers have been describing since the 50s. It's aimed at discovering the limits of what cognitive processes can be replicated in hardware and software. It's the one most likely to yield anything close to a fully interactive human mind in the form of a computer, and still most people have no idea just how deeply complex and far away that is.

Most people think that an AI controlled entity would have hopes, fears, dreams and goals of its own innately. This assumption is also completely wrong. Those things would have to be programmed into it on purpose, and while we were doing that, we would no doubt ask ourselves "why are we programming this robot to fear the unknown?" or "why are we programming this computer to be ambitious?"

Those are qualities that have evolved with us as a species and there is no need for an AI controlled entity to have them. It would have no use for them. That's why I just roll my eyes at so many of the artsy videos that get posted every now and then featuring fembots... they're all so damned trite and cliche. Oh look, the fembot got jealous. Oh look the fembot went psycho and killed her master. Oh look the fembot longs to be human. It's all unrealistic bullshit.
So anyone want to add their own perspective? Counterpoints?

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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by FaceoffFembot » Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:52 pm

Yeah, most depiction of AI in pop-culture errs on the side of "strong AI" for cheap luddite kicks, although I don't think anything short of brain uploading will allow us to reach this level of complexity. But it allows for interesting parables: Ex Machina is arguably about female empowerment, Matrix is Cartesian navel-gazing, and Asimov's short stories are fun little reasoning romps.

But on the other hand, "dumb AI" Skynet has already (wrongly) killed. Big companies like Microsoft are ready to wage their PR by dropping their bot without any safeguards in a known toxic environment, and Twitter being unable to implement simple measures to contain harassment. You might argue that this is simply not their priorities, but I have a creeping feeling the people hold the reins of our future are just that fucking incompetent.

I agree that we won't see robots decide their existence is crap and lunge at us with knives and so on for quite a while, but we don't need that to fuck ourselves over. Hubris comes in many shapes and forms.

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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by darkbutflashy » Sun Apr 03, 2016 3:05 pm

My 2Â¥: Public perception of anything is shallow. Most people aren't really interested but they are able to discuss it anyway. Just to socialize with other people sharing the same shallow opinions on the topic as themselves. And, to drive it further, things aren't interesting if you cannot use them as a tool for social interaction. That's it. We are programmed to do that. Use information for social interaction. Only.

Meaningful communication over a topic or even knowledge transfer is far more complicated and has to follow procedures as catching our attention, guiding it around the usual fallacies the uninformed listener always fall for, and finally assign an interesting task to solve to prove for our mind it's great for having learned something entirely new! I don't see that happen often.

(Related: it's often asserted kids learn better because their mind is far more flexible in making new nervous connections. That may be true for toddlers but not for school kids. So, why do school kids learn better than adults? Because the learning procedure is properly followed!)
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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by --NightBattery-- » Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:13 pm

Maybe part of this information could be used to make an ASFR oriented article for the Wiki.
Regarding Ai.

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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by daphne » Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:29 am

Fun fact: when you take coding in college you design your very first AI around second semester.

You also learn, not coincidentally, why 99% of everything you hear in the news and media about AI is complete horseshit.

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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by darkbutflashy » Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:19 am

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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by Rotwang » Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:39 am

Somewhere in the early 90's a popular science magazine invited people to design a "cyborg" of the thousands of drawings sent in only a dozen or so were not some variation of a "killing machine". The few that didn't were either astronauts, rescue workers or some dangerous job that would require something a bit tougher than the average human. The rest were mostly retreads of terminator or seemed to invariably incorporate one or more weapons.

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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by dale coba » Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:10 pm

I say the first "A.I." offs itself like Marvin the Paranoid Android tried to.
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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by 33cl33 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:56 am

I don't blame 'hollywood' so much. I worked there for quite a few years. Turns out, we get such shitty films because those are literally the best ideas a lot of people are having.

We have some great stories on this site - but you're nuts if you think any of them would pull the kind of audiences that would justify the expense of putting them up on the big screen with decent actors, sets, pro grip and lighting, and even passable CGI.

Major studio films are always playing to the lowest common denominator, and the fact that Ex Machina got made in that sweet spot of about $30 million (and likely didn't make a profit) is just pure luck for us.

The fact that they don't seem super-interested in portraying a more realistic exploration of AI and humanoid robotics is likely the same reason we see so many sequels, prequels, remakes, and reboots.

It's really hard to sell the idea of a truly novel script (one that explores all the real nuance of humans interacting with possibly intelligent robots / plus, hopefully, sex) to a company that will have to fork over many millions, when there's no track record for that imagery or topic making any money.

But a dangerous killing machine? We know that sells tickets. (frankly, I'd love to see thrillers that don't assume that death is the scariest idea in the world. And I think we'll see some in the not-so-distant future)

Movies aside, I think we'll get there. But I think it will be a circuitous route that comes from all of these networked devices (smart watches, phones, fitness sensors, smart home devices, self-driving cars, drones, google now, siri, echo, surveillance tech) solving lots of little problems together. Which is why I'm not particularly concerned with AGI getting out of hand. I doubt we'll figure out how to install morality, independent desire, or true curiosity before we figure out how to make really good problem-solvers. It'll be a long time before we run out of little (or big, like asteroid impacts) problems to solve.

Maybe your robot companion will really just be a body that's an interface for all of the sensors and computing devices in your 'smart' home.

Thinking "Her" with a body, minus the magical leap to independent motivations.

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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by Kishin » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:49 am

Ex Machina
Budget $15 million
Box office $38.3 million

No idea about home sales, but I'm sure it did fine.
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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by Murotsu » Sun May 01, 2016 4:00 pm

Here's a bit more to ponder:

Right now I lump the whole AI / robotics / android, cyborg, etc., genre into two primary groups:

The Japanese and the Hollywood versions.

The Japanese version is AI / robots are an extension of humanity that expands and exists side by side. Ghost in the Shell, or Appleseed to name but two variants, is what you get. AI isn't "the enemy" but rather just a new lifeform of sorts, as well as an extension of humanity itself. It sees an event like The Singularity as largely benevolent but not without problems. These are overcome by humanity and AI together.

Then there's the Hollywood version. AI / robots are technology and technology is evil and out to destroy mankind. In the Hollywood version no good ever comes from AI or robots... unless they are cute and stupid. Smart robot = evil robot. You don't get a scenario where robots are simply part of the culture and co-exist with humanity.

Don't jump on me for somewhat oversimplifying this. But, you really need to set sort of a baseline of parameters to get a feel for the whole discussion.

My personal view tends to be the Japanese version. Smart machines are not going to be inherently evil somehow. I also think that humanity and robots will have things to offer each other, and if they don't... If AI gets so much smarter than humanity, then humans will make great pets! :D

It's not like Cro-Magnons decided one day "Hey let's go wipe those Neanderthals off the planet!" There's just nothing in doing that. A smart robot isn't going to do it either.

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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by --NightBattery-- » Sun May 01, 2016 9:41 pm

I think the western started the utopian future with dutiful robots fiction during the golden age of science fiction (Circa 1930-1960) long before the Japanese had their miracle recovery after ww2.
Just.saying.
But i agree with all of you that now that most of west has a current paranoia about robots gettin' crazy. Must be a jungiang thing and the collective lost of faith in science by normal people ironically pampered by technology...umh, yeah.
Hollywood way and Japanese way. Let's call them like that.

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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by Murotsu » Sun May 01, 2016 10:23 pm

I think it is in good part a notion in the Western world that technology in general is evil / dangerous, particularly among the more liberal part of society. I know I'm often astounded by the scientific and technical ignorance of the liberal arts type of background person. It is almost as if they were willfully ignorant of technology. That doesn't even include those who would be Luddites of a sort.

These are the sort that would fear an AI or robot passing a Turning Test. I think that would be a considerable feat worthy of awarding those who managed to develop such technology. For them, the storyline is always the same: Us versus them.

It's Star Trek the Next Generation borg wanting to assimilate everything and everyone even though there is no reason to do it. They're evil because they simply have to be evil. You'd think some degree of logic would still apply...

Piers Anthony's Adept series does a better job with fembots, robots, and androids. They are an integral part of society and not made out as particularly good or bad, but rather motivated by the same sort of stuff anyone might be.

A good example of this fear / ignorance is anything to do with things nuclear. Nuclear power, bombs, whatever are seen as some sort of mind numbingly insanely dangerous thing that should be fled from. The mere mention often sending the more liberal sort into fits of hysteria. The idea of AI, robots, and fembots is seen as little different.

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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by Kishin » Mon May 02, 2016 4:23 am

A lot of the evil science perception falls squarely in the lap of Crichton, who pretty much found the downside of any new scientific advancement. From genetically created dinosaurs, to computer generated commercials, to robots in a theme park. Everything Crichton ever wrote about or directed seemed to be about how science would always be twisted for evil ends and it annoys me that this luddite mentality continues to persist. I have no idea why Strong A.I. would suddenly decide that humans were a direct threat to its existence and try to murder us all. Seems that might only happen if you say...abused the shit out of it first?
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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by jolshefsky » Mon May 02, 2016 5:39 am

Digital duplication instantly made copyright irrelevant. Since the cost of duplication dropped to zero, there was no inherent barrier (cost) to it. That is, the cost of duplication was necessary for copyright to have any teeth: the risk of losing one's investment was deterrent enough since the cost of, say, publishing a book was a substantial portion of the sales price.

Our (U.S., but similarly worldwide) justice system is based on the idea that humans have the ability to make rational, informed decisions. But what if it is not a human that makes that decision? We already wrestle with irrationality (from a temporary insane outburst to a lifetime of poor teaching), and with the side-effects of bad decisions (e.g. who is at fault if the ingredients in a food cause long-term health problems?). But non-human decision-making things will wholly break that system. We're likely to see an example with self-driving cars in the not-too-distant future. If a self-driving car kills someone, whose fault is it? If it drives away, is that hit-and-run? Is the occupant (formerly "the driver") responsible in any way? What would "justice" look like in this case?

We need to make a decision fast. Should it be just accepted that sometimes people are killed by autonomous machines–as if it were as natural and unavoidable as dying of old age? Or should all of the same version of the software that goes into an autonomous machine be immediately quarantined, rendering them all inoperable until a suitable fix is found?

I don't know the answers, but I do know that asking the question is the mature thing to do; ignoring it is less mature.
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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by darkbutflashy » Mon May 02, 2016 12:07 pm

Kishin wrote:A lot of the evil science perception falls squarely in the lap of Crichton, who pretty much found the downside of any new scientific advancement.
Posted this before.
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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by --NightBattery-- » Tue May 03, 2016 3:12 pm

jolshefsky wrote: We need to make a decision fast. Should it be just accepted that sometimes people are killed by autonomous machines–as if it were as natural and unavoidable as dying of old age? Or should all of the same version of the software that goes into an autonomous machine be immediately quarantined, rendering them all inoperable until a suitable fix is found?

I don't know the answers, but I do know that asking the question is the mature thing to do; ignoring it is less mature.
i don't know the answers either but,
I understand the modern traffic signs evolved from dumb people getting killed too often by coach rides somewhere in the old world (england i bet).
seemingly when you can't modify things at best you create a complex system of protection around it.
Also, i remember there was this Firestone and Ford tire controversy (somewhere between 2000 and 2008) when they made crappy cars with crappy tires and lots of people die, It was a corporate abuse and yet nothing changed and cars kept thriving, maybe it could be the same with robots!

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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by stelarfox » Tue May 10, 2016 9:58 am

hello, the main problem of all this you are talking about is, PROFIT.
Almost every big industry except a few ones like perhaps nasa (that do not get a big funding compared to others), do this for PROFIT, or in lesser terms for military application, but as that ones are not made by the military themselves are also made by some private corpration again, for profit only.

So if they can cheat they will, how they may cheat is unknown but they are going to use any resource, legal or not (if not legal will be hiden).

On the other side most people is stupid, think honestly about yourself are you are going to find some stupid thing about yourself, i know i have a lot of stupidity on me, even if i consider myself someone logical in nature, i still do stupid stuff that is totally illogical. and humans as mass, is even more stupid. what this had to do is that people make things they do not want to do because they think is they want, now, applied to this subject, means that people will program robots to pretend to be humans even if they are afraid of it. Why, because they are idiots.
Also they will try to give them rights, and that will be the real problem.
I will not debate on how or when ai's will develop being sentient because its impossible even to be acurate of what being sentient is.
now some people says we humans are sentien but if that is true why are we poisoning ourselves and the future of mankind and making wars with other humans. if people were really sentient will see throw that and not do it. But i do not Want to debate about humans but about gynoids or Androids.

For me there can be 3 types of this kind of robots, without even touching the 4th case that is cyborgs, as i am not touching that aspect now.
1) Drones, they are robots controlled by a program, the most problem you can have with them is someone to hack them on set a virus on them. but besides that not a problem even if, this exist today truly in many factories.
2) AI's: this do no exist yet, not at the point i mean, and yes i will back this up in science fiction but a true AI for me should be in some way (not saying tv did this in an acurate form), like in the andromeda series, where the AI is just the main computer of a ship, (not the part where it gets downloaded to a body). on such at first, its sentient but does not really feel. and just obeys because is what its programmed for, even if is always supposed to be sentient.
3) gynoids/Androids: this you can say can be just ai's with a body so why to mix, but what i mean for this is what some writers say as "borrowed personalities". or even "copied personalities". where to make the robot in this case memories of some human where used (and may even possible eventually to just transfer fully all the memories and possible feelings).

none of this is real, but if we do not destroy ourself i think it may be possible.
now this presents a problem and in all that i though and enquired at least 300 people. (i know its not a lot but its more than 5). there are 3 posibilities.
1) Asimov style: robots are just things even if they can think for themselves, this has 2 possible futures.
a) if robots at any point have enough rights to make themselves, the few "personalities" that are mean will overrite all others and really cause a war, a big one that will end in one or both races extint.
b) if robots never have enough rights to change themselves , this can go on forever with a few scatered rogues.
c) And how i will program them if i had to do them, 3 asimov laws + a four law that it gives positive feedback when doing what its suppose to do. if you want it translate it to a human mind, pleasure when they obey.

in any other scenario will depend mostly if.
a) robots cam make themselves
b) robots are made by human deciding factories?
in the case B, if robots get full independance then, they are doomed because, if they are made for profit, who will create a robot just to set it free? answer, only a few weirdos but they will be practically extint. or they will be slaved in the way that they constantly need repairs and have to work for the factory almost full time or get broken.
case A: this is more problematic for humans for 2 reasons, first if they can make themselves they can simply overrun human population. even if they do not want to harm us. of course if they want to harm us because they decide we are illogical and a threat to ourselves thats the worst case.
way's to solve this,
1) feedback when they do something good like obeying, negative feedback when they do something bad,
2) unability of a robot reprograming another robot. (programed to notice other robots and to shut down their processor if they try to reprogram, copy, delete or do anything to themselves or other robot).
3) not giving robots rights, if they were people. let them know they will have no right if they made the change. (and i mean 100% robots not cyborgs).
4) never hide or lie to a robot, they will find the truth and then be unable to know if all you say was not a lie too.
came here babe cyborg.

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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by Saya » Sun May 15, 2016 8:18 pm

If The China Syndrome , The Thing That Would Not Die , Jurassic Park and The Fly prove, it is that any new, controversial or futuristic technology will always get its negative depictions. Often times, people make up their minds about these technologies based on these fictional depictions. But ultimately, I don't think there's anything to worry about when it comes to new tech, save for how certain elements of our society corrupt it. Which, hey, that's been a thing since someone picked up a scythe and fashioned it into the first sword. It's just that the question of creating life, especially an AI, has been viewed negatively for a very long time. We're talking since the time of the Ancient Greeks, the Golem of Prague and Frankenstein.

I myself am cautious, but optimistic. I think any technology has a potential for disaster if rushed into too quickly, and sophisticated AI is no exception. But our understanding of it is so limited, I think making snap judgements as to what will happen--or even could happen--is a bit silly.
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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by Esleeper » Sun May 15, 2016 9:35 pm

I for one think that first we should worry about if the technology will even reach that point of advancement in our lifetimes. At the moment what passes for AI is incapable of meaningful interaction with the world beyond highly restrictive programmed behaviors; it's not even capable of learning unless information is directly programmed into it. Plus we can hardly say that we have the potential to create truly sentient AI when even after thousands of years nobody can even define what sentience entails. Everyone thought that AI would be right around the corner back in the 80s, but since then the only thing they've accomplished is the realization that we need to understand natural intelligence before trying to make artificial intelligence.

If sentient AI comes into being, it's more likely than not that it will do so by accident. It has to, since there's no way we can make it on purpose when the best we can achieve is parrot-talk and comparatively simple algorithms. And as a result, for now the public's perceptions of AI are of no concern simply because those perceptions are of entities which may not even be able to exist.

And besides, it's hypocritical for people to be so worked up over potentially murderous robots when flesh-and-blood humans have just as much potential for destruction at any given time. Not like any of them think of that.

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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by dale coba » Sun May 15, 2016 9:49 pm

H.G. Wells described tank warfare 13 years ahead of the first actual such battle.

If only Truman hadn't murdered two cities, our experience with The Bomb could have gone differently. I dare say The Bomb proved for all time that new technology can be the destroyer of worlds.

Esleeper wrote:when flesh-and-blood humans have just as much potential for destruction at any given time.
I realllly don't have that much potential for destruction. One synthetic intelligence gone rogue could decide to set up a covert factory and launch sophisticated cyber attacks.

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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by Esleeper » Sun May 15, 2016 10:13 pm

dale coba wrote:
Esleeper wrote:when flesh-and-blood humans have just as much potential for destruction at any given time.
I realllly don't have that much potential for destruction. One synthetic intelligence gone rogue could decide to set up a covert factory and launch sophisticated cyber attacks.
- Dale Coba
And one human intelligence with the right amount of influence could begin a nuclear war this very instant, but that's not the point. The point is that instead of people being so worried about the potential evils a sentient AI could produce, perhaps they should worry more about the real evils that flesh-and-blood humans do produce every second.

Your reference to the atomic bomb does bring up an interesting point. As devastating as it is, The Bomb is still just another tool, and like all tools it's only as dangerous as the person using it wants it to be. But obvious facts like that don't sell movie tickets and books, and everyone knows the hoary old moral of "don't play God by creating life, especially thinking beings" is a recipe for easy money because it appeals to the Western morality. In a way, it's that morality that's made the Japanese view of robots and AI so different from the Western view- it's hard not to vilify them when the dominant belief systems of Western culture all declare (though maybe not explicitly) that such beings would have no souls and therefore be abominations with no right to exist.

AIs might end up being the exception to the rule a few centuries for now, but right now they're all idiots unable to even comprehend the relatively basic concept of self-awareness that even apes and other animals can demonstrate. When animals which are considered far less intelligent than humans can show a quality that AIs lack, that should say something about the technology's current state.

It's not even a matter of how much processing power they have available to them, it's the deeper issue that that we simply have no idea at all as to how to make an intelligent being in the first place, inasmuch as nobody can even agree on what intelligence is or how it arises. Hence my conjecture that any such sentient AI will not be produced as a deliberate effort on the part of scientists or corporations, but as a confluence of currently-unknowable factors coming together in just the right way to produce something similar to our own form of sentience. And even that is something that will not happen for a long time, I feel.

I say similar instead of identical because I cannot imagine any way that something that makes sense of the world in a fundamentally different manner than us and does so with entirely different "hardware" (so to speak) would have minds entirely like our own. In practice, it would be like dealing with aliens- good or bad, their motives will be unknowable at least to some degree.

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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by Esleeper » Wed May 18, 2016 7:53 am

It seems I wasn't entirely correct on the self-awareness thing, as I found out after discovering this article:
http://www.businessinsider.com/this-rob ... now-2015-7

But for the moment, the basic principles in my last post still apply, inasmuch that artificial intelligence in its current state is nowhere close to human sapience. That will likely take no small amount of time for us to reach barring an unforeseen breakthrough.

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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by Svengli » Tue May 24, 2016 1:36 pm

And one human intelligence with the right amount of influence could begin a nuclear war this very instant, but that's not the point. The point is that instead of people being so worried about the potential evils a sentient AI could produce, perhaps they should worry more about the real evils that flesh-and-blood humans do produce every second.
I think this is a crucial point.

One might broadly describe humans as having a bunch of capacities bound together by some social imperatives. These imperatives are somewhat contradictory - the gain person power and pleasure, to help one's friends, to be admired, to be honestly "good", etc. The "genius" of human intelligence is the ability to balance these urges. Husbands and wives have affairs in secret both because its easier and because they often still feel the urge to fulfill their previous duties.
However, our human urge-balancing-abilities tend to only work well when we're in a society that is function. Extreme power within a human society often produces extreme behaviors that ignores the broad urge to benefit one's fellow human.

The thing also is that this human balancing-contradictory-constraints ability is very much a key to broadly intelligent behavior and is something that even humans do in contexts that aren't broadly social. People driving cars aim to get to their destination while avoiding the immediate threat of accident and an "impersonal" algorithm falls out of that.

My broad thinking here is that successful construction of a more-general AI would essentially involve constructing an algorithm that easily generated this kind of constrain-balancing behavior. Incidentally, it would have to decode and use existing human constraint-balancing algorithms - it would be able to understand vague orders such as "make me president" taking into account the implicit constraints the order-giver would have in mind just like a person (or not just like a person but like a person who didn't have an agenda). And it seems to me that gaining this constraint-balancing intelligence without any of the particular urges of people would be both possible and would make such an entity a tool of incredible power.

And by that token, I don't think the risk of such a thing escaping control of some human is particular high. Some humans have the ability to be nearly perfect helpers and so there's no reason to doubt the possibility of constructing a computer program that acts similarly. A lot of our intuitions about "machine developing free will" comes from the situation where we have experience with simple or complex mechanical things and experience with people and so the only transition we can imagine is between a mechanical thing and a thing having the properties of human. There's also the argument that the process creating an AI could involve so much haphazard training that the constraints we wind-up training the thing to follow might not be what we want - that's legitimate if pure training could get one there but I strongly believe some general understanding of the constraint-balancing process would be needed to create an AI.

The thing is that our human socially-bound, constraint-following intelligence isn't necessarily well-equipped to deal with the immense power that a "tame" AI would provide. We can already the problems that happen today with large levels of inequality. Some people having access to vast power might not make that better.

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Re: Public perceptions of AI and humanoid robotics

Post by dale coba » Tue May 24, 2016 1:45 pm

There no reason not to worry about both.
It's a straw man argument to say one must choose.

"perhaps they should worry more about..." is misdirection, irrelevant, scolding.

- Dale Coba
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