Author Topic: Robots and their impact on the future  (Read 157832 times)

tomsang

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1100 on: January 02, 2017, 08:20:26 PM »
http://qz.com/875491/japanese-white-collar-workers-are-already-being-replaced-by-artificial-intelligence/

Thanks for the article.  I think their last sentence sums up the near future, HBR writes. “And yet, we have to admit that there are some knowledge-work jobs that will simply succumb to the rise of the robots.”

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1101 on: January 03, 2017, 09:17:11 AM »
Difference is, someone would have had to made a conscious deliberate effort to make a simulation.  In order to do that, they would need a specific motivation.  If the universe is just the product of random physics, then there need not be any purpose.

I think I wasn't clear enough.  If our universe only has meaning because an alien programmer designed, it why does the alien's universe have any meaning? 

This is the same argument that befalls all supernatural causation stories.  "What made the universe?  God.  What made God?  Nothing, God just is."  Why can't the universe just be, and we can cut out the middle man?  Why the need to superimpose the intermediary step?  You haven't really answered anything if your answer still defaults to "just because" upon closer inspection.

In this case, why the need to superimpose the alien programmer to give our universe hypothetical purpose, if his universe is equally meaningless?


lol, I think I wasn't clear enough!  I was never proposing that the alien programmer world was any more "meaningful".  The fact that our world (in whatever form it exists) has conscious individuals gives life "meaning". 
What I was asking is what motivation the AP would have to take the effort. 
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1102 on: January 03, 2017, 09:22:43 AM »
Bakari:
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In order to actually model all of reality, you also have to model the computer programs.  So what happens when you try to model computer programs that model the universe?  They would have to also have accurate models of the universe - including of themselves... endlessly recursive (reminds me of the full video game within Day of the Tentacle).  It would require infinitely complex processing.

No, the alien programmer (AP) would "only" need to model our universes base physical laws and let the complexity build up from there - same as if it were not a simulation.  AP would define gravitational laws, quantum mechanics and electromagnetic laws etc as well as the initial conditions of all the stuff in the simulation then let it run and eventually the AP could observe cave men in faded blue jeans using the internet.  When I build simulations I identify the most low level widgets in the system, build those then let them interact.  You can get crazy complex behavior from very simple systems interacting.  basic idea: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flocking_(behavior)


Granted, but if it were a supposedly accurate model of the "real" world, then it would have to be capable of running an in-program version of itself.  And if, within the simulation, the software "individuals" get so complex to create a legitimate form-of self-awareness, and go on to create societies with technology - technology which includes simulation software - then the hardware running the model has to be complex enough to be able to run another recursive copy.  The entire premise is in fact dependent on the idea that such a simulation would in fact be able to create a society that could create such a simulation.  Which means you would then have another layer underneath that.

The fact that the details don't have to be manually programmed in does not solve the endlessly recursive issue.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1103 on: January 03, 2017, 09:57:56 AM »
This is the same argument that befalls all supernatural causation stories.  "What made the universe?  God.  What made God?  Nothing, God just is."  Why can't the universe just be, and we can cut out the middle man?  Why the need to superimpose the intermediary step?


on a semi-related note - my wife's first thought, when I explained the conversation and that Elon Musk buys into it (at least in theory) was: Why bother trying to protect the environment then?
Seems a valid question.  There are a lot of very religious people who feel the same way: if God wants us to live here, He will ensure we don't wreck the place.  And on the other hand, if at some point he should get bored of us, or feel we have fulfilled out usefulness, he can just pull the plug (literally, in the place of AP God) and it won't have mattered what we do.


Here's another thing I thought of, after reading all the links: why are we assuming that a civilization with the technology to create simulations good enough to foster self-awareness in the sub-routines representing individuals would specifically model their own real universe at all, much less specifically their own ancestors?  Yet all of the theories revolve around the probability of someone modeling "the universe" or "reality" or even "ancestors".  If we are to be in any one of millions, the chances are good that "reality" has absolutely nothing what-so-ever in common with anything at all the we observe.


Modeling life using nothing but laws of physics and initial universe conditions creates the same problem that we have looking for advanced alien life: there is somewhere on the order of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets.  We could find a loophole that allows faster-than-light travel and still wouldn't be able to visit them if we started looking when the first bacteria started replicating and continued until the sun runs out of fuel (that's about a 9 billion year life span for all life on Earth, and since the Sun is an average star, probably represents a roughly average time for any planet with life to foster it).


The only way it would be remotely reasonable to believe that the entire universe as we know it was modeled just so someone or something could watch what we do is if we assume that everything beyond the sky (or lets say even the solar system) is fake, just drawn in place so that we won't suspect, Truman Show style.  Because if the entire universe was actually modeled, the developers would never even find the self-aware sub-routines, never mind the massively wasted resources that went into making it all.


The authors of the articles the links led to are a little more skeptical too:

 It's worth noting that Bostrom doesn't share Musk's confidence. He's said that he doesn't see any obvious way to choose between the three options:If (1) is true, then we will almost certainly go extinct before reaching posthumanity. If (2) is true, then there must be a strong convergence among the courses of advanced civilizations so that virtually none contains any relatively wealthy individuals who desire to run ancestor-simulations and are free to do so. If (3) is true, then we almost certainly live in a simulation. In the dark forest of our current ignorance, it seems sensible to apportion one’s credence roughly evenly between (1), (2), and (3).... For what it's worth, I side with critics who think the three options aren't actual exhaustive: I don't see a reason to believe that even very advanced civilizations will manage to easily simulate consciousness.
http://www.vox.com/2016/6/2/11837608/elon-musk-simulation-argument


]It’s not so much that this thinking is “flawed” as it is “so useless it invalidates all of human thought and achievement from pre-history to today.” Think about it: If we are to be convinced by this sort of non-argument, then why not assume that every person around you is a time traveler? After all, if we imagine that time travel will one-day exist on an infinite time-line, then we must also assume that time travel has been used to visit every single time and place in our planet’s history — including this one. People will, in principle, want to have fun vacations in the past, putting on period-appropriate clothing and walking around using slang wrong; how could we be so arrogant as to assume that the people we meet are part of the real, finite population of our time, and not from the far more numerous ranks of temporal travelers from any time?
http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/227126-neil-degrasse-tyson-says-its-very-likely-the-universe-is-a-simulation


If, in fact, self-awareness can be fostered in a computer program, wouldn't it be at least as likely that YOU personally, reading this right now, are the ONLY self-aware one, and the entire rest of the world is being fed to you artificially?  It would be just as impossible to ever know (the proposals to determine if we are are dependent on the flawed assumption that such simulations would be done the way we do them today, which in turn assumes that AP only tried to make models realistic to their own world) it could achieve most of the potential goals of such a program, while being many orders of magnitude faster, easier, cheaper, etc.  This could be your own personal Truman Show, except that everyone else is a extremely excellent stimulant - one's which cease to exist the moment you look away.

And after all, very intelligent and knowledgeable physicists have, in all seriousness, proposed that Schrodinger's cat literally does not exist if no one is looking at it.   I don't think that makes the proposal any less silly...
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1104 on: January 03, 2017, 10:09:34 AM »
I don't think it is endlessly recursive.  I build simulations for a living, and every single one is a simplification of a more complex system, but designed to capture the relevant characteristics and behaviors being studied.

You don't need to model internal combustion engines to model traffic flow.  You don't need to model hydrogen bonds to model the weather.  You don't need to model stellar fusion to model the solar system.  You simplify the parts that matter the least, and put you're effort into the details of interest.  By this reasoning, each step down becomes a more simple (smaller) universe, so if we're a simulation we must exist within a more complex (and larger) one.

The fact that there appear to be a finite number of particles in the universe suggest this is at least theoretically possible.  Forget about the idea that outer space is all faked for our own perception, even the sum total of all creation, every atom of every grain of sand on every beach of every moon currently being sucked into one of a trillion black holes, could theoretically be simulated as bits in a sufficiently large computer.  It just takes a much bigger and more complicated universe than ours to hold that computer.

And similarly, we have already run simplified models of universes.  Every big bang simulation ever run is it's own tiny universe, born, evolving, dying within the confines of a machine more complex than its entire existence.  You can watch some of them play out on YouTube.

brooklynguy

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1105 on: January 03, 2017, 01:39:58 PM »
on a semi-related note - my wife's first thought, when I explained the conversation and that Elon Musk buys into it (at least in theory) was: Why bother trying to protect the environment then?

Because we have no guarantee that the programmer would, or even could, intervene in a way that we would find desirable.

In another sense, this question could be interpreted as a subvariant of the broader, more fundamental question that is generated when you extend its underlying logic to its extreme--namely, if our entire perceived-reality is merely a simulation, then why does anything that occurs inside it matter?  And I think you already answered that question when you said:

The fact that our world (in whatever form it exists) has conscious individuals gives life "meaning".

This variation of the question, I think, is the same as asking why anything matters if determinism is true and we have no free will or why anything matters if all life in the universe will ultimately cease to exist.

The answer, in each case, is that nothing truly matters, except to the extent that we believe that it does.  Said differently, life, objectively, has no meaning, but, subjectively, it does (or, at least, it can).  So why should we bother to try to protect this world of ours if it is merely a figment of our collective perceptions?  For the same reason that we should do anything to which we assign positive value:  the very fact that it is something to which we assign positive value.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1106 on: January 03, 2017, 02:02:44 PM »
A unique difference between simulations and 'reality' seems to boil down to memory.  I'm not sure how you get a computer to make that final leap toward selectively remembering past events and assigning them weights and values.  It is such an unpredictable variable in human influence (each individual has an unpredictable action based on how memory was stored, accessed, and ultimately the influence it has on current decisions).  Humans are therefore unpredictable, but not entirely random either.  Throughout our life, we become a more sophisticated user of our memories to 'self actualize', to varying degrees, but this is the ultimate test to me that I'm not living in a simulation.  How could I possibly track all of the memories of my immediate family, acquaintences, friends, distant family - so as to have them exist in ways that are relatively unpredictable, but also not random.

Similar to the Uncanny Valley, people either quickly know when real life is being faked or have a sudden replusion to a simulation close to being able to mimic real life.

Or I could wrong and I'll honestly never know (or be shunned as crazy, being the only one complaining about this bogus simulation), but that scenario really isn't worth much time debating.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1107 on: January 03, 2017, 02:15:00 PM »
A unique difference between simulations and 'reality' seems to boil down to memory.  I'm not sure how you get a computer to make that final leap toward selectively remembering past events and assigning them weights and values.  It is such an unpredictable variable in human influence (each individual has an unpredictable action based on how memory was stored, accessed, and ultimately the influence it has on current decisions).  Humans are therefore unpredictable, but not entirely random either.  Throughout our life, we become a more sophisticated user of our memories to 'self actualize', to varying degrees, but this is the ultimate test to me that I'm not living in a simulation.  How could I possibly track all of the memories of my immediate family, acquaintences, friends, distant family - so as to have them exist in ways that are relatively unpredictable, but also not random.

Similar to the Uncanny Valley, people either quickly know when real life is being faked or have a sudden replusion to a simulation close to being able to mimic real life.

Or I could wrong and I'll honestly never know (or be shunned as crazy, being the only one complaining about this bogus simulation), but that scenario really isn't worth much time debating.

I did not follow the link, but I want to test my memory. Is that what they refer to about simulating facial muscles? In between totally fake and totally believable? Just 'off' a bit, and fundamentally disturbing.

I have thoughts on the simulation thing, but seeing as how this is the first normal day after the last few weeks, I have way too much other stuff to do.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1108 on: January 03, 2017, 03:57:49 PM »
This is the same argument that befalls all supernatural causation stories.  "What made the universe?  God.  What made God?  Nothing, God just is."  Why can't the universe just be, and we can cut out the middle man?  Why the need to superimpose the intermediary step?


on a semi-related note - my wife's first thought, when I explained the conversation and that Elon Musk buys into it (at least in theory) was: Why bother trying to protect the environment then?
Seems a valid question.  There are a lot of very religious people who feel the same way: if God wants us to live here, He will ensure we don't wreck the place.

And what answer would an atheist environmentalist tell the religious person?  They don't need God for meaning.  IF it is a universe created and one that could be destroyed on a whim, by God (or programmer, running a simulation) doesn't necessarily remove meaning, depending on how you define that meaning.

on a semi-related note - my wife's first thought, when I explained the conversation and that Elon Musk buys into it (at least in theory) was: Why bother trying to protect the environment then?

Because we have no guarantee that the programmer would, or even could, intervene in a way that we would find desirable.

In another sense, this question could be interpreted as a subvariant of the broader, more fundamental question that is generated when you extend its underlying logic to its extreme--namely, if our entire perceived-reality is merely a simulation, then why does anything that occurs inside it matter?  And I think you already answered that question when you said:

The fact that our world (in whatever form it exists) has conscious individuals gives life "meaning".

This variation of the question, I think, is the same as asking why anything matters if determinism is true and we have no free will or why anything matters if all life in the universe will ultimately cease to exist.

The answer, in each case, is that nothing truly matters, except to the extent that we believe that it does.  Said differently, life, objectively, has no meaning, but, subjectively, it does (or, at least, it can).  So why should we bother to try to protect this world of ours if it is merely a figment of our collective perceptions?  For the same reason that we should do anything to which we assign positive value:  the very fact that it is something to which we assign positive value.

I love everything about this.  Brooklynguy is the intellect I want to be.  Plus a funny accent!

If we can have an advanced enough simulation that beings inside it experience consciousness, there can be meaning for them (even if "nothing matters in the end"), the same as if there were real world consciousnesses in a universe that was inevitably ending in heat-death (where "nothing matters in the end").

Whether or not you find meaning in the real world shouldn't change if it's a simulation or not (or inevitable without free will, or not).  Or at least I haven't heard why, if you disagree, please explain.  :)
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1109 on: January 03, 2017, 04:11:32 PM »
It almost makes me wonder if there is an moral environmental aspect I miss. That kind of stuff is usually so far off of my radar, that it never even crosses my mind. I could see Bakari's viewpoint (that he was stating, I don't know that he's doing more than playing Devil's Advocate when it comes to this) being valid from that perspective. If it's a simulation, and one only cares about the environment because they don't want that to take lives, a simulation would totally make that a moot point. Personally, I take a more selfish viewpoint. I care about the environment because I play and live in it. I want it to not be shitty.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1110 on: January 03, 2017, 06:49:58 PM »
I don't think it is endlessly recursive.  I build simulations for a living, and every single one is a simplification of a more complex system, but designed to capture the relevant characteristics and behaviors being studied....


But of course!  I think this is a fundamental flaw in all of the proposals that we are "likely" to be in a simulation.  They are dependent on the assumption that the model would in fact capture every detail of reality. 


What is the relevant characteristics being studied?  If it is quantum/atomic level physics, why would you model an entire universe?  If its astronomical level physics, why program in quantum effects, and not just relativity?  If it is conscious living things, why model either of the former?  If it is anything other then conscious things, why add in all the complex variables that are necessary to foster self-awareness?


This is why I asked about motivation earlier.  In order to run an "ancestor" simulation, or a "video game", there would be absolutely no need to model individual sub-atomic particles or distant galaxies, which 99.9% of living things will never see, and the existence of which will not affect in any way - UNLESS, they really are composed of those atoms.  The complexity of observed reality suggests that there is not in fact the simplification one would expect of any simulation.




And what answer would an atheist environmentalist tell the religious person?  They don't need God for meaning.  IF it is a universe created and one that could be destroyed on a whim, by God (or programmer, running a simulation) doesn't necessarily remove meaning, depending on how you define that meaning.


Again, I'm not talking about "meaning".  I agree 100% with BrooklynGuy's reasoning, that we would generate our own meaning regardless of whether or not we are "real".


I question the answer he gave to begin with though:
Because we have no guarantee that the programmer would, or even could, intervene in a way that we would find desirable.


Well, no, there is no guarantee of absolutely anything beyond Descartes's proof that you (the reader) exist in some form. 
Given the premise that we are living in a simulation created deliberately by a sentient programmer, how likely is it they would have either 1) deliberately created a system in which there was no possible way to intervene or alter variables once the program begun or 2) have had no possible way to create such safeguards?  What realistic scenario can we envision with good enough computers to run a complex enough simulation to do all 3 of model subatomic particles, contain a universe worth of total mass and energy, and foster consciousness - and yet lack the sophistication to be able to modify anything? 


To answer the original question:  there is no possible answer that would sway a religious person with that belief.  Given their premise - namely 1) all of creation is here for the purpose of Human use and enjoyment, 2) God wants us to continue to live (at least for now) and 3) God is all powerful, then the conclusion that God will not allow us to make our own home uninhabitable (without providing for some suitable alternative) is entirely reasonable and logical.


Now, my own answer, were I to accept that it is a possibility that this is a simulation, would be that we should be careful just in case this is really reality.  However, the proponents of this theory don't merely suggest it is possible, they propose it is almost certainly true.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1111 on: January 03, 2017, 06:59:12 PM »
I don't think it is endlessly recursive.  I build simulations for a living, and every single one is a simplification of a more complex system, but designed to capture the relevant characteristics and behaviors being studied....

But of course!  I think this is a fundamental flaw in all of the proposals that we are "likely" to be in a simulation.  They are dependent on the assumption that the model would in fact capture every detail of reality. 

What?  Why would you assume this simulation you're in captures every detail of reality?

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This is why I asked about motivation earlier.  In order to run an "ancestor" simulation, or a "video game", there would be absolutely no need to model individual sub-atomic particles or distant galaxies, which 99.9% of living things will never see, and the existence of which will not affect in any way - UNLESS, they really are composed of those atoms.  The complexity of observed reality suggests that there is not in fact the simplification one would expect of any simulation.

Never heard of W?BIC!, huh?  With sufficient computing power, simulating everything is trivial.

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brooklynguy

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1112 on: January 03, 2017, 08:39:27 PM »
What realistic scenario can we envision with good enough computers to run a complex enough simulation to do all 3 of model subatomic particles, contain a universe worth of total mass and energy, and foster consciousness - and yet lack the sophistication to be able to modify anything?

Here's one of many scenarios I can envision in which the programmer would lack the ability to intervene (which need not assume a lack of computing sophistication):  After initiating the simulation, the programmer walked away for a coffee break to allow the simulation to fully elapse; she plans to return to view the results once it has finished (when our perceived-universe ends?), which means we're on our own until then.

Of course, there are even more conceivable scenarios in which the programmer simply would not intervene than there are those in which the programmer could not intervene (because the former wholly subsumes the latter).

So, even if we accept it as given that we are living in a simulation, there can be no guarantee, or even reasonable assurance, that the programmer would intervene in a way that we would find desirable if we wreck our world.  So the rationale behind my answer is the same as the rationale behind your own (which bears a similarity to Pascal's Wager on the Existence of God, running in the opposite direction):  even if there is a higher power (i.e., programmer) out there, we should be careful in our actions just in case that higher power is not standing by to save us.

Plus a funny accent!

It's been over two years since the last time someone on this forum invoked my Brooklyn accent, so I won't feel bad about recycling the response I gave them:



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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1113 on: January 03, 2017, 10:34:40 PM »
The assumption that one could model a full scale or even small scale universe breaks down with the challenges of big data computing.  Try finding a median on 1 trillion data points.  Ok, now try finding the median on 1 quadrillion or 1 quintillion.  Even a simple operation like this does not scale.  Now try implementing gravity where every atom pulls on every atom.  It won't scale.  You will spend a lot of money on Amazon Web Services and significantly lengthen your time to FIRE, and you will still fail.

Now, there's likely many simplifications and optimizations.  But the question of whether it is computationally possible to simulate a complex universe is definitely not settled... it could be impossible.  Check out the Blue Brain Project for an example of a small subproblem of simulation that is very very hard:

http://bluebrain.epfl.ch/

sol

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1114 on: January 03, 2017, 11:28:47 PM »
The assumption that one could model a full scale or even small scale universe breaks down with the challenges of big data computing.  Try finding a median on 1 trillion data points.  Ok, now try finding the median on 1 quadrillion or 1 quintillion.  Even a simple operation like this does not scale.

Why does it need to scale? 

We've been solving these problems for approximately 100 years, with the most rudimentary technology imaginable.  Give us a few billion more years to work on it, and then get back to me. 

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Now try implementing gravity where every atom pulls on every atom.  It won't scale.

Gravity definitely doesn't need to scale.  You only need to compute the average forces, not the individual pulls.  I don't have to know how many atoms Saturn has to calculate its orbit.

And we know that gravity isn't perfectly simulated anyway.  It breaks down at both large and small scales and we seem to have way more of it than we should.  And its massless particle doesn't seem to exist anyway, like they just patched it to mostly work most of the time without having to do any of the calculations. 

And while I'm on the topic, WTF is up with the fine structure constant?  This is a pure number inherent to the structure of the universe, like pi it will be the same for every alien civilization regardless of their system of counting or how they do their math and it shows up all over the field of physics in weird and unexpected places, but its value is approximately 1/137.  What kind of bullshit kludge is that?  That's like something a stoner would code.

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Now, there's likely many simplifications and optimizations.  But the question of whether it is computationally possible to simulate a complex universe is definitely not settled... it could be impossible. 

I don't see how you can ever claim it's impossible.  If it's possible model n particles for n=1 and n+1, everything else is just scaling up with a (much) bigger computer.  Who's to say the next universe up isn't 10^10^10^10 times bigger than ours, and modeling our puny 10^80 particles in this little universe is child's play for an average laptop?  Just because a number seems ridiculously large to you and me doesn't mean it actually is.  Hell, our universe is so tiny we can actually SEE THE EDGES.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1115 on: January 04, 2017, 04:32:45 AM »
My point about being a pointless trippy exercise is that even if it were correct, it would make absolutely no difference to our day to day lives, and it would be impossible to ever know either way. 

Right? I mean, the thought might keep Musk up at night (though he should have spent that time focusing on launching rockets on time, in my opinion) but since the fact that we're living in a simulation or controlled by a God or aliens or whatever doesn't give or remove meaning from my (simulated?) experiences.

And the answer would not affect anyone's life in any measureable way; hence my earlier comment on "You know what would really be trippy."
« Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 04:45:42 AM by Metric Mouse »
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arebelspy

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1116 on: January 04, 2017, 05:23:56 AM »
My wife and I both have felt enhanced by the idea that this could be a simulation, in several ways.

You can't say what would affect someone else's life, only what has affected yours.  So your first declarative sentence with "my" is fine; the second trying to apply it to everyone, I disagree with.  :)
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1117 on: January 04, 2017, 09:00:31 AM »
Quote
Now, there's likely many simplifications and optimizations.  But the question of whether it is computationally possible to simulate a complex universe is definitely not settled... it could be impossible. 

I don't see how you can ever claim it's impossible.  If it's possible model n particles for n=1 and n+1, everything else is just scaling up with a (much) bigger computer.  Who's to say the next universe up isn't 10^10^10^10 times bigger than ours, and modeling our puny 10^80 particles in this little universe is child's play for an average laptop?  Just because a number seems ridiculously large to you and me doesn't mean it actually is.  Hell, our universe is so tiny we can actually SEE THE EDGES.

I said it could be impossible.  It's right there above you.  If you think it is possible, the burden is on you to demonstrate it.

Concerning your argument that we just need to solve the n+1 case... consider the following:  I can carry 0 ounces in a backpack.  Surely if I'm carrying n ounces in my backpack, I can carry n+1 ounces in my backpack.  Therefore, I can carry 1,000,000,000 ounces in my backpack.

Obviously there's a straw that breaks the camel's back, because the induction does not reflect reality.  Similarly, we see places in nature where you can't just keep adding 1 thing, solving for n+1.  For example, you can't keep adding 1 atom to a star... it explodes... and it does so because you eventually run into the Pauli Exclusion Principle.  Now, you could say that's a good example of behavior in our universe that suggests it is simulated, and I can see that.  But it's also an example of where "just scaling up" fails.

Onto the edges of the universe.  We don't see the edges of the universe, at least according to current cosmology.  The edges are all the light that has been travelling almost the entire time the universe has been around, and just reached us now.  As the universe ages, we'll receive light from parts of the universe that are even further away, or so the theory goes.  The theory being the universe is infinite in breadth.  Further, if the cosmological constant points to an open universe, then by definition there will be parts of the universe that are so far away that, while they exist, we never receive light from them.  Parts beyond the 'edges' that we never see, but do exist.

Lastly, there are plenty of problems that are unsolvable that are important and would be nice to solve.  For example, the Halting Problem would be a great problem to solve, would massively improve software development, but we know cannot be solved, under any circumstances, the end.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1118 on: January 04, 2017, 09:45:28 AM »
I don't think it is endlessly recursive.  I build simulations for a living, and every single one is a simplification of a more complex system, but designed to capture the relevant characteristics and behaviors being studied....

But of course!  I think this is a fundamental flaw in all of the proposals that we are "likely" to be in a simulation.  They are dependent on the assumption that the model would in fact capture every detail of reality. 

What?  Why would you assume this simulation you're in captures every detail of reality?
It's not just me assuming it, it's built into the premise.  All of the proponents are suggesting simulations which are of actual reality, not some completely made up world.  It was in your initial post on the topic
I.e. if I want to model the real world, in its FULL complexity, wouldn't I need the beings in it to be the same as us, and thus conscious?Pretend I have enough computing power to model every atom and interaction, from the big bang on, within this world (impossible, but pretend). Wouldn't the beings within that simulation think they're real?  How can I correctly model it if they don't?


Bostrom isn't proposing someone ran some random program with random variables just to see what came up, he is proposing an "ancestor" simulation.  Which means the simulation is a direct reflection of the "real" level of reality. Tyson is talking about simulating "the universe".  As in, the real one.  Musk talks about games "indistinguishable from reality".


That's what says that the "universe up isn't 10^10^10^10 times bigger than ours".  If it were, then the simulation WOULDN'T be a perfect simulation of actual reality.


You may not need to know how many atoms in Saturn to calculate it's trajectory, but that would be the simplified version of the simulation again, which we know we aren't in.  Because Saturn really is composed of atoms, and all of those particles really do individually interact.  You would need to model ALL of them, and their interactions with each other, if you want to model Saturn's weather.  And the weather of every planet and star, even ones we can't see.  If the programmer cut corners as big as not modeling every individual atom in Saturn, we would eventually find them.  So why would it be distant galaxies?  Plenty of stuff we can detect today no one ever even considered looking for.  If neutrinos didn't exist, how would it affect the outcome of the program? 


How many corners can you cut, and still end up with individually self-aware things? 

Quote
Quote
This is why I asked about motivation earlier.  In order to run an "ancestor" simulation, or a "video game", there would be absolutely no need to model individual sub-atomic particles or distant galaxies, which 99.9% of living things will never see, and the existence of which will not affect in any way - UNLESS, they really are composed of those atoms.  The complexity of observed reality suggests that there is not in fact the simplification one would expect of any simulation.

Never heard of W?BIC!, huh?  With sufficient computing power, simulating everything is trivial.
No idea what that string of characters is supposed to mean, nor does Google.
Hey Sol, would you agree that setting up and extremely complex simulation on a very good computer is more trivial than a very simple simulation on an old slow computer?


Anyway, we must be going back to the "real" universe that is order's of magnitude more large, complex, and energetic than the real world, because simulating actual "everything" would be intrinsically impossible - every particle in the universe would have to be represented by some state of some physical particle.  If you use quantum computing, that could conceivably be as little as a single subatomic particle per bit.  But you obviously can never have as many particles in the computer storage medium than you have in the universe, simply because the computer itself is part of the universe.  It could never come remotely close.

So that means one of two things - the simulation is not in any way remotely similar to real reality, or if it is a reflection of real reality, they would have to leave out enormous amounts of detail.  So, for example, when we look closer and closer inside an object, eventually it should just be a solid continuous surface, (as most humans would have assumed to be the case for most of human existence).  Or, when we looked out at the stars, they would just be dots of light, nothing more.  When we went to the moon, it would just be one solid mass.
That isn't the case.  They DID model every atom in Saturn.


OR this simulation bears no resemblance to the "real" world.   
But in that case, all the arguments for why we are "probably" in a simulation are invalid.  We can safely assume that a simulation as complex as reality would produce the same effects, up to and including consciousness, but now we are talking about a simulation that is grossly simplified.  We can't assume that a grossly simplified simulation would necessarily produce consciousness.  Even if they could, there is also no reason to assume that future civilizations would produce these grossly simplified simulations in droves.  Even if they did, there is no reason to assume that the simulations would be complex enough that they could in turn run simulations advanced enough to run sub-simulations of their own which could foster consciousness.   Each sub-simulation must be an order of magnitude less complex.  You can't compute the position and velocity of a billion individual particles independently using a million bits - you can't even model one particle's position and velocity with a single bit - and that's assuming we could ever model a bit using a single particle.  For the simulation to run a sufficiently complex simulation, the first order simulation has to be so over-powered that it can accommodate the sub-simulation's data, since there is only one set of hardware.  So the exponentially recursive simulations idea is out.
So if there aren't many multiple layers, we no longer can assume there are "billions" of simulations.  Given that it is necessarily orders of magnitude less complex than reality, we can no longer assume they would all give accurate enough models of "real" consciousness to motivate the creation of any number.  We are no longer talking about "ancestor simulations", if the programmer lives in a world  10^10^10^10 times bigger than ours.


OR this actually is reality, as boring and disappointing as that may be...
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1119 on: January 04, 2017, 09:53:36 AM »
And while I'm on the topic, WTF is up with the fine structure constant?  This is a pure number inherent to the structure of the universe, like pi it will be the same for every alien civilization regardless of their system of counting or how they do their math and it shows up all over the field of physics in weird and unexpected places, but its value is approximately 1/137.  What kind of bullshit kludge is that?  That's like something a stoner would code.


Doesn't this make it more likely that it IS real?  One of the proposals for determining if our reality is a simulation involves looking for artifacts with the assumption that programmers would build in some way similar to our own, with, for example, Cartesian coordinates.  We're assuming this is something done commonly, not just a random one-off (because there needs to be many simulations in order for us to "probably" be in one).  So it's not enough for one random coder to put in a bunch of random variables just for  a laugh, or to see what happens.  They all have to be doing it.  So which is more likely: that any remotely human-like intelligence would pick completely arbitrary non-repeating decimals for physical constants like Pi , the gravitation constant, and the speed of light, or that they would use nice simple round even numbers? 


Or that they would use real life numbers.
If they use real life numbers, than the argument of those numbers being evidence of the simulation obviously don't work.
Of course, if they use anything other than the real numbers, the whole idea suffers from the fact that it is not actually a simulation of reality, and therefor all the assumptions of how frequent such simulations would be created are invalid.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1120 on: January 04, 2017, 09:55:18 AM »
My wife and I both have felt enhanced by the idea that this could be a simulation, in several ways.

You can't say what would affect someone else's life, only what has affected yours.  So your first declarative sentence with "my" is fine; the second trying to apply it to everyone, I disagree with.  :)


He said "measurable" way.  Besides, you would have the IDEA that this is a simulation, whether it is or not, therefor the actual fact of being a simulation has not affected you. 
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1121 on: January 05, 2017, 04:20:52 AM »
My wife and I both have felt enhanced by the idea that this could be a simulation, in several ways.

You can't say what would affect someone else's life, only what has affected yours.  So your first declarative sentence with "my" is fine; the second trying to apply it to everyone, I disagree with.  :)


He said "measurable" way.  Besides, you would have the IDEA that this is a simulation, whether it is or not, therefor the actual fact of being a simulation has not affected you.

Right?  Many people feel enhanced by the idea that aliens on a comet are controlling Earth, and will stop by the next time it passes near. Many people feel enhanced by the idea that there is an all powerful being that benevolently protects people who believe in them while adhering to some grand plan. Many people feel enhanced by the idea that they are lycanthropes.  Many people feel enhanced by the idea that they live in the Matrix. It doesn't change the consequences of their actions in a measurable way.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 04:29:00 AM by Metric Mouse »
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1122 on: January 05, 2017, 04:48:51 AM »
A) What does it matter if it changes it in a "measurable" way?
B) What beliefs can we measure the impact of, and how?

Give me an example of what you mean, because I'm not seeing how this is any different than any other belief changing your behavior.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1123 on: January 05, 2017, 08:30:55 AM »

The original question this tangent was in response to wasn't about whether beliefs can change behavior. 


If the supposed simulation were indistinguishable from reality, then, by definition of "indistinguishable", nothing tangible (measurable) could be different in our lives.  That is a part of the argument for existent being meaningful either way, that is doesn't matter if its "real" so long as it feels real to us. 
But if it is undetectable (if it were detectable, it wouldn't be indistinguishable, nor an accurate model, and all the assumptions that lead to "more likely than not" scenarios break down) then it becomes as pointless a philosophical question as "might this all be my own dream?"
If it does not have a measurable impact, then how is it any more than a trippy exercise?  Plenty of trippy mind-blowing stuff can have an impact on individual's thoughts and feelings.



My point about being a pointless trippy exercise is that even if it were correct, it would make absolutely no difference to our day to day lives, and it would be impossible to ever know either way. 

Right? I mean, the thought might keep Musk up at night (though he should have spent that time focusing on launching rockets on time, in my opinion) but since the fact that we're living in a simulation or controlled by a God or aliens or whatever doesn't give or remove meaning from my (simulated?) experiences.

And the answer would not affect anyone's life in any measureable way; hence my earlier comment on "You know what would really be trippy."
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1124 on: January 05, 2017, 08:42:33 AM »
A) What does it matter if it changes it in a "measurable" way?
B) What beliefs can we measure the impact of, and how?

Give me an example of what you mean, because I'm not seeing how this is any different than any other belief changing your behavior.
*snip*


EDIT: Bakari understood, so perhaps I was not being as unclear as it seemed. Also their explanation was more concise and clearer than mine.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1125 on: January 05, 2017, 11:07:13 AM »
What if our simulating overlords are simulations themselves, and we're just a nested simulation?  We may even be 11 levels deep. 

Cogito ergo sum - the one and only thing that can be definitively proven. 
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 11:12:02 AM by dougules »

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1126 on: January 05, 2017, 12:14:13 PM »
Would the knowledge that you're part of a simulation change anything for you in your day to day life?

If yes, why?

If no, then the answer doesn't matter.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1127 on: January 05, 2017, 01:36:47 PM »
Would the knowledge that you're part of a simulation change anything for you in your day to day life?

If yes, why?

If no, then the answer doesn't matter.

One of the subplots in the novel "Reamde" was an effort to hack the algorithm that defined the location of in game gold within a MMORPG.  If we are all in a simulation doing something similar becomes (theoretically) possible. 
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1128 on: January 05, 2017, 01:42:45 PM »
Would the knowledge that you're part of a simulation change anything for you in your day to day life?

If yes, why?

If no, then the answer doesn't matter.

One of the subplots in the novel "Reamde" was an effort to hack the algorithm that defined the location of in game gold within a MMORPG.  If we are all in a simulation doing something similar becomes (theoretically) possible.

Why not just pray to Mother Earth, who could exist and borne us out of darkness, and who controls all life and all things on the planet, asking them for gold? I mean, it is (theoretically) possible.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1129 on: January 05, 2017, 02:08:07 PM »
Why not just pray to Mother Earth, who could exist and borne us out of darkness, and who controls all life and all things on the planet, asking them for gold? I mean, it is (theoretically) possible.

Or Zeus (or other invisible bearded man in the sky) who created the earth and gave life to all mortals.  On the bright side, some of these theories come with their own written instruction manuals on how to beat the game!

HINT: the secret cheat code is apparently "don't eat meat on Fridays."

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1130 on: January 05, 2017, 03:45:21 PM »
Why not just pray to Mother Earth, who could exist and borne us out of darkness, and who controls all life and all things on the planet, asking them for gold? I mean, it is (theoretically) possible.

Why not?  Well presumably you don't believe the Mother Earth existing scenario as plausible, but you do believe the "simulation" theory as plausible.

People who believe in Mother Earth are free to pray to her.

Alan's idea has been thought of by others (and not as the subplot to a book):
https://science.slashdot.org/story/16/10/06/1352205/tech-billionaires-are-asking-scientists-for-help-to-break-humans-out-of-computer-simulation
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1131 on: January 05, 2017, 03:49:25 PM »
Or Zeus (or other invisible bearded man in the sky) who created the earth and gave life to all mortals.

Well, the simulation argument, as well as certain other hypotheses about our existence that involve exogenous superintelligences, essentially are hypotheses for the existence of--for all intents and purposes--gods (with the important distinction that they do not resort to magical thinking).

There was an interesting piece in the NY Times "The Stone" section a few weeks back that I had considered sharing in this thread, which is even more directly relevant now:  "Can Evolution Have a 'Higher Purpose'?".  The author states in pertinent part:

Quote from: NYT
If you walked up to the same people who gave Bostrom a respectful hearing and told them there is a transcendent God, many would dismiss the idea out of hand. Yet the simulation hypothesis is a God hypothesis: An intelligence of awe-inspiring power created our universe for reasons we can speculate about but can’t entirely fathom. And, assuming this intelligence still exists, it is in some sense outside of our reality — beyond the reach of our senses — and yet, presumably, it has the power to intervene in our world. Theology has entered "secular" discourse under another name.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1132 on: January 05, 2017, 04:35:43 PM »
Alan's idea has been thought of by others (and not as the subplot to a book):
https://science.slashdot.org/story/16/10/06/1352205/tech-billionaires-are-asking-scientists-for-help-to-break-humans-out-of-computer-simulation


Seems more than a little short sighted.  Go out of your way to attempt to break (our) "reality"?  Assuming the theory was accurate, this would be the single best way to destroy the universe.  And there is exactly zero reason to believe, given the premise, that there would be any form of "human" left to exist.  If we ARE the simulation, then there is nothing for us to "break out" of
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1133 on: January 05, 2017, 08:40:40 PM »
Why not just pray to Mother Earth, who could exist and borne us out of darkness, and who controls all life and all things on the planet, asking them for gold? I mean, it is (theoretically) possible.

Or Zeus (or other invisible bearded man in the sky) who created the earth and gave life to all mortals.  On the bright side, some of these theories come with their own written instruction manuals on how to beat the game!

HINT: the secret cheat code is apparently "don't eat meat on Fridays."

Dammit... i was trying up up down down left right....
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1134 on: January 05, 2017, 08:51:53 PM »
Why not just pray to Mother Earth, who could exist and borne us out of darkness, and who controls all life and all things on the planet, asking them for gold? I mean, it is (theoretically) possible.

Why not?  Well presumably you don't believe the Mother Earth existing scenario as plausible, but you do believe the "simulation" theory as plausible.

People who believe in Mother Earth are free to pray to her.

Alan's idea has been thought of by others (and not as the subplot to a book):
https://science.slashdot.org/story/16/10/06/1352205/tech-billionaires-are-asking-scientists-for-help-to-break-humans-out-of-computer-simulation

I guess that would be my point. The belief in such foolish things (obscure musical reference, not offensive) is what affects people; the actuality of his noodly goodness or her turtle ly wionder or the Matrix has no measurable impact.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1135 on: January 06, 2017, 12:11:27 AM »
And my point is: that's true of every belief you hold, whether "ridiculous" or not.

Your belief in gravity has no "measurable" impact on your day-to-day life.

It may have an impact (in how you act, and rely on it--but not in a way you can measure), but other people's hokey beliefs likewise have an impact.

There is no belief that has a "measurable" impact, so of course a belief in any deity/simulation/gravity is no different.

Therefore I'm left wondering--what's your point in bringing up that it has no "measurable" impact.  Of course not.  So?
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1136 on: January 06, 2017, 06:24:07 AM »
And my point is: that's true of every belief you hold, whether "ridiculous" or not.

Your belief in gravity has no "measurable" impact on your day-to-day life.

It may have an impact (in how you act, and rely on it--but not in a way you can measure), but other people's hokey beliefs likewise have an impact.

There is no belief that has a "measurable" impact, so of course a belief in any deity/simulation/gravity is no different.

Therefore I'm left wondering--what's your point in bringing up that it has no "measurable" impact.  Of course not.  So?

I think beliefs have impacts. I've never stated otherwise, so you are clearly not comprehending the arguments laid out by other posters and myself.  You yourself said you and you wife feel enhanced by the belief that in a giant computer simulation.  That's great! Others feel enhanced by the belief that they're lycanthropes. Not believing in gravity may cause me to walk off a cliff; it would be measurable. Now if gravity is caused by dark matter attraction or a giant magnet placed in the center of the planet has no impact.  I still fall off a cliff; at the same measurable rate. Wether it is or not is immaterial, it's the belief that has the impact; nothing in the world run by The Matrix is distinguishable from the world watched over by Mother Earth. So all of these beliefs have the same weight for me, and the same level of evidence supporting them, and the same impacton the world. And while mildly trippy to think about the world being a test planet populated eons ago by ancient aliens, these ideas are clearly not novel or particularly mentally stimulating, having been discussed by middle schoolers for basically ever.

I'm sorry you feel beliefs don't have impacts on people, (though you've also stated the opposite) I would disagree, but that's not reallythe topic of this thread. I think GuitarStv and Bakari and others have laid out pretty rounded explanations of why the truth or falsity of such beliefs is immaterial.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1137 on: January 06, 2017, 06:52:45 AM »
You missed the point of my post.

Of course beliefs have an impact.

They don't have a measurable one.

If you disagree, please give me the measurement of my belief in gravity.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1138 on: January 06, 2017, 07:59:25 AM »
You missed the point of my post.

Of course beliefs have an impact.

They don't have a measurable one.

If you disagree, please give me the measurement of my belief in gravity.

I guess what I'm not understanding is that there are beliefs that are unproven to have any bearing on anything (ridiculous uncorrelated stuff that may or may not have held a purpose back when instituted, like not eating meat on Friday), beliefs that can't be proven but at least enhance our understanding of meaning (like being a good person should result in feeling good about our life), and then a belief like gravity that is scientifically proven to exist, effects can be measured, and governs reality whether we believe in it or not. 

I guess I'm also not understanding where this coversation is going.  The idea that our consciousness exists in a simulation is intriguing and rich for philosophical discussion, but falls into a 'belief that can't be proven but may enhance our understading of meaning'.  Maybe it's the flavor of the day to try to move it toward being proven, but to me falls under 'time travel'.  Just my common sense tells me that time travel will never exist and also that mankind did not get suddenly trapped in an undetectable simulation.  In either case, I could be right or wrong without any consequence (other than my mind being blown when it is revealed that aliens from the future travelled back to wherever I was on Earth in 2000 and put me in an undetectable simulation because Y2K actually did bring about the apocalypse - and in that case, because reality / belief for me will have changed, I'll have to go about figuring out what to do to adapt, survive, stay sane, and give my existence meaning.  Or it could just eventually be abandoned as a ridiculous notion that never correlated to reality).
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 08:04:11 AM by EscapeVelocity2020 »
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1139 on: January 06, 2017, 08:16:56 AM »
If you disagree, please give me the measurement of my belief in gravity.

# of falls while behaving carelessly is a proxy

broadly

# of deaths at the Grand Canyon would be a good proxy measure

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1140 on: January 06, 2017, 09:58:37 AM »
and governs reality whether we believe in it or not. 
This is the key which almost everyone in this tangent has forgotten.  The original comment was NOT about beliefs!

"My point about being a pointless trippy exercise is that even if it were correct, it would make absolutely no difference to our day to day lives"

If there was no gravity, that WOULD make a difference.  Just about every part of our lives would be different if there were no gravity. Interdependently of whether we believe it in or not, the fact is if I drop a bowling ball over my foot, it will fall and hurt my foot.  If there were no gravity, I could let go of bowling balls anywhere and anytime and not experience a crushed foot.  The existence or lack of existence of gravity affects day to day reality.

-

Maybe my posts are just too long, so this point was glossed over, I'll try to focus better:

Modeling the entire universe with a one-to-one correspondence of particles - the original premise, which the assumption of simulated consciousness depends on - is inherently impossible.
Infinitely nested simulations - which the "1 in billions" idea depends on - is inherently impossible.

The crux of the mistake was summed up by Atrex: "I can carry 0 ounces in a backpack.  Surely if I'm carrying n ounces in my backpack, I can carry n+1 ounces in my backpack.  Therefore, I can carry 1,000,000,000 ounces in my backpack."

In order to represent a single sub-atomic particle in memory, you need, at an absolute minimum, a bit to describe its type (potentially including flavor, spin, or charge) as well as several bits to describe its position and velocity.
Our best memory to date (written at a MB per day), using synthetic DNA can store one bit of data with roughly 250 protons neutrons and electrons.  With quantum computing, lets say we could hypothetically get that down as low as 1:1
You are never going to get a half dozen pieces of individual information storage out of a single particle, so even just statically holding the type, position, and velocity of every particle in the universe in memory is going to take MORE THAN the total number of particles in the universe.  That's without any allowance for processing, let alone any tangential computer architecture.

This means that no matter how good our technology gets, we will never be able to make an accurate detailed simulation of the entire universe that includes both the entire breadth of the universe all broken down to the level of subatomic particles.

We could hypothetically model a universe worth of stars.  You could possibly model every individual atom in the human brain.  You could not possibly ever model every atom in the universe.  It would take a universe sized computer.  It would be called: the actual, real universe. 
Yet we know that the universe we live in actually is composed of individual atoms.

So that means the only possible way this could be a simulation is if the "real" world were many many orders of magnitude larger, more complex, and more energetic than what we experience.

But if that is the case, then this simulation ISN'T a reflection of reality, it isn't a 1:1 map, it isn't "indistinguishable" from reality. 
And if that's the case, there is exactly zero credibility in assuming what the "creators" of real reality are like, what their purpose is, or what they would do.  Which in turn means that we have no criteria to base the assumption that they would "probably" create many copies of simulation, which means we can not claim we "probably" live in one,

Nor that they would "probably" create even a first one.  They would live in such a different reality that they would likely have little if anything in common with us, and we can not reasonably assume they would have any interest in "video games" or "ancestor simulations"

While I will grant that it is entirely conceivable that consciousness could exist in a simulation and not realize it was in fact a simulation, I see no more (or less) reason to think it is true than any other religious origin story.


 
Anything I've said here useful or interesting?  Find a lot more of my thoughts here: http://randomthoughts.fyi

brooklynguy

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1141 on: January 06, 2017, 11:30:47 AM »
Modeling the entire universe with a one-to-one correspondence of particles - the original premise, which the assumption of simulated consciousness depends on - is inherently impossible.

No, the notion of building a full-scale, 1:1 model of the entire (real) universe, in all its detail and complexity (which, as you point out, is probably impossible), is not part of the underlying premise.  Have you read the original Bostram paper?

The argument that we are "probably" living in a simulation requires only the following assumptions:  (i) we will eventually reach a point where it is technologically possible to simulate conscious minds "existing" in virtual worlds that are realistic enough so as to be indistinguishable from physical reality to those minds (and not in fact identical in all respects to actual base reality, as you are incorrectly describing the argument); and (ii) once we reach such point, we are likely to run many such simulations.

Based on these two premises, it follows that we are more likely than not to be living in a simulation.  Note that it does not necessarily follow that we are living in a simulation that bears any resemblance to actual reality, because the universe of possible simulations in which we might be living is not limited to ancestor simulations run by posthuman civilizations--but the mere fact that posthuman civilizations will have the willingness and ability to run such simulations that do bear a resemblance to our understanding of actual reality (if you take that as a true fact) is sufficient to make it more likely than not that we are living in a simulation of some sort.  In other words, from those two premises, you can conclude that we are more likely to be living in an ancestor simulation created by a posthuman civilization than to be living in actual base reality, but not that we are necessarily more likely to be living in an ancestor simulation created by a posthuman civilization than we are to be living in some other simulation (which may or may not bear any resemblance to actual base reality).

Bostrom addresses the technological limits of computation that you are focusing on in Section III of his paper.  This bit in particular addresses many of the concerns you raised:

Quote from: Bostram
If the environment is included in the simulation, this will require additional computing power – how much depends on the scope and granularity of the simulation. Simulating the entire universe down to the quantum level is obviously infeasible, unless radically new physics is discovered. But in order to get a realistic simulation of human experience, much less is needed – only whatever is required to ensure that the simulated humans, interacting in normal human ways with their simulated environment, don’t notice any irregularities. The microscopic structure of the inside of the Earth can be safely omitted. Distant astronomical objects can have highly compressed representations: verisimilitude need extend to the narrow band of properties that we can observe from our planet or solar system spacecraft. On the surface of Earth, macroscopic objects in inhabited areas may need to be continuously simulated, but microscopic phenomena could likely be filled in ad hoc. What you see through an electron microscope needs to look unsuspicious, but you usually have no way of confirming its coherence with unobserved parts of the microscopic world. Exceptions arise when we deliberately design systems to harness unobserved microscopic phenomena that operate in accordance with known principles to get results that we are able to independently verify. The paradigmatic case of this is a computer. The simulation may therefore need to include a continuous representation of computers down to the level of individual logic elements. This presents no problem, since our current computing power is negligible by posthuman standards.

Moreover, a posthuman simulator would have enough computing power to keep track of the detailed belief-states in all human brains at all times. Therefore, when it saw that a human was about to make an observation of the microscopic world, it could fill in sufficient detail in the simulation in the appropriate domain on an as-needed basis. Should any error occur, the director could easily edit the states of any brains that have become aware of an anomaly before it spoils the simulation. Alternatively, the director could skip back a few seconds and rerun the simulation in a way that avoids the problem.

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1142 on: January 06, 2017, 11:39:22 AM »
Ah, I think I found something that was bothering me about your arguments Bakari. And it does actually go back to my ideas regarding AI and the singularity. You appear to be arguing the idea of a simulation based on our current understanding of what is possible (ie bits == subatomic particles). From my understanding of the nature of the singularity, it quite literally means that when we get some self-improving AIs, progress will happen faster than we can understand. I personally believe that (and this is a super risky belief /s) there are a lot about this particular (simulation of the) universe that we don't understand yet. I suspect that a fair amount of the limitations we currently understand are due to being 3 dimensional beings, with a very difficult paradigm to grasp when we go out of that space. String theory, quantum mechanics (I seriously cannot see how we can't get unlimited optical speeds without infrastructure based on entanglement), there is a huge amount of opportunity to challenge our assumptions. Based on your assumption, that a bit is the way of storing a bit of data with a 1:1 ratio, I believe you'd be correct. I do not think that's the case, personally. Anything that can create a simulation like this (assuming that we are in one) is beyond those limits we've set based on our current understanding.

Damn, brooklynguy did a much better job with references and stuff while I was typing this.

Fun fact, if (when) I wind up going all posthuman and can make a simulation like this, I will, and put some trigger in when/if one starts questioning things like this and implement some awesome strangeness they experience (vampires? zombies? inverted colors?)
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sol

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1143 on: January 06, 2017, 12:11:05 PM »
If our universe is a simulation, I'm pretty sure they're looking at supermassive black holes and not self-organizing bits of organic carbon.

We're a fringe effect, a random ignorable anomaly in a quiet and uninteresting corner.  All of the action in this simulation is currently generating Xray bursts as quantum gravity tears holes in the fabric of spacetime inside of galactic cores currently devouring other black holes spinning at relativistic speeds.  Event horizons mash together every second of every day while we drive back and forth to work, converting more mass to energy in a single second than our entire solar system has been using for billions of years.

It takes a special kind of hubris to think that we are the purpose of any such simulation.  Always have to put ourselves at the center of everything, don't we?

prognastat

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1144 on: January 06, 2017, 12:17:38 PM »
If our universe is a simulation, I'm pretty sure they're looking at supermassive black holes and not self-organizing bits of organic carbon.

We're a fringe effect, a random ignorable anomaly in a quiet and uninteresting corner.  All of the action in this simulation is currently generating Xray bursts as quantum gravity tears holes in the fabric of spacetime inside of galactic cores currently devouring other black holes spinning at relativistic speeds.  Event horizons mash together every second of every day while we drive back and forth to work, converting more mass to energy in a single second than our entire solar system has been using for billions of years.

It takes a special kind of hubris to think that we are the purpose of any such simulation.  Always have to put ourselves at the center of everything, don't we?

You pretty much said what i was thinking. There is nothing to say that life was simply an emergent property of a simulation with a completely different goal.

It's possible a simulation was built specifically for life, but then it seems there is a significant lack of it the way it appears or it is also completely possible life is just a side effect of simulating the basic laws of physics our universe abides by.

We humans try to do both ourselves. We have rudimentary simulations both for attempting to simulate life and for simulating the laws of physics and how they interact within our universe. If we wanted to get the most accurate simulation and we had an incredible amount of computing power it would not be unexpected to attempt simulating a universe down to the sub atomic level to make sure not shortcuts or assumptions are made and that by simply the physics simulated to that level of detail there is an unknown % of chance life develops. It would be possible for the person running the simulation to become aware of this life, but it would have to have a significant effect on the thing the simulation was built to study.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 12:23:42 PM by prognastat »

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1145 on: January 06, 2017, 12:20:04 PM »
You missed the point of my post.

Of course beliefs have an impact.

They don't have a measurable one.

If you disagree, please give me the measurement of my belief in gravity.

Do you just let go of objects in midair and seem really surprised when they fall to the ground? When doing home renovations, to you check to make sure you're not taking out too many load bearing walls all at once?
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1146 on: January 06, 2017, 12:37:28 PM »
You missed the point of my post.

Of course beliefs have an impact.

They don't have a measurable one.

If you disagree, please give me the measurement of my belief in gravity.
this has already been addressed directly.  I'm not sure repeating the thread will help you to understand.
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1147 on: January 06, 2017, 12:39:35 PM »
On a positive note, I'm going to have a fun weekend telling everyone we are all 'living in sim'!  Cheers
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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1148 on: January 06, 2017, 12:48:33 PM »
Would the knowledge that you're part of a simulation change anything for you in your day to day life?

If yes, why?

If no, then the answer doesn't matter.

Yes - if I knew the universe was a simulation, I would look at the world entirely differently.  Proof of living in a simulation is proof that god exists (and is the one running the simulation).

Maybe if we knew we were a simulation, we would try to find a way to communicate with the god running it. 

Also some might attempt to hack the simulation (The Matrix).



Metric Mouse

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Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1149 on: January 06, 2017, 01:30:57 PM »
You missed the point of my post.

Of course beliefs have an impact.

They don't have a measurable one.

If you disagree, please give me the measurement of my belief in gravity.

Do you just let go of objects in midair and seem really surprised when they fall to the ground? When doing home renovations, to you check to make sure you're not taking out too many load bearing walls all at once?

Good point. Behavior patterns and changes in behavior patterns, are measurable.
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