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I have been asked to mention the following.
The Nature of The Identity — with Reference to Androids

The nature of the identity is intimately related to information and information processing.

The importance and the real nature of information is only now being gradually realised.

But the history of the subject goes back a long way.

In ancient Greece, those who studied Nature – the predecessors of our scientists – considered that what they studied – material reality – Nature – had two aspects – form and substance.

Until recent times all the emphasis was on substance — what substance(s) subjected to sufficient stress would transmute into gold; what substances in combination could be triggered into releasing vast amounts of energy – money and weapons – the usual Homo Sap stuff.

You take a block of marble – that is substance. You have a sculptor create a beautiful statue from it – that is form.

The form consists of the shapes imposed by the sculptor; and the shapes consist of information. Now, if you were an unfeeling materialistic bastard you could describe the shapes in terms of equations. And if you were an utterly depraved unfeeling materialistic bastard you could have a computer compare the sets of equations from many examples to find out what is considered to be beauty.

Dr Foxglove – the Great Maestro of Leipzig, is seated at the concert grand — playing on a Steinway (of course) with great verve, (as one would expect). In front of him, under a low light, there is a sheet of paper with black marks – information of some kind – the music for Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 9, no. 2.

Aahh! Wonderful.


But … all is not as it seems….

Herr Doktor Foxglove thinks he is playing music.

A grand illusion my friend! You see, the music – it is, how you say — all in the heads of the listeners.

What the Good Doktor is doing, and doing manfully — is operating a wooden acoustic-wave generator – albeit very skilfully, and not just any old wooden acoustic-wave generator – but a Steinway wooden acoustic-wave generator.

There is no music in the physical world. The acoustic waves are not music. They are just pressure waves in the atmosphere. The pressure waves actuate the eardrum. And that in turn actuates a part of the inner ear called the cochlea. And that in turn causes streams of neural impulses to progress up into the higher brain.

Dr Foxglove hits a key on the piano corresponding to 440 acoustic waves per second; this is replicated in a slightly different form within the inner ear, until it becomes a stream of neural impulses….

But what the listener hears is not 440 waves or 440 neural impulses or 440 anything – what the listener hears is one thing – a single tone.

The tone is an exact derivative of the pattern of neural impulses. There are no tones in physical reality.

Tones exist only in the experience of the listener – only in the experience of the observer.

And thanks to some fancy processing not only will the listener get the illusion that 440 cycles per second is actually a “tone” – but a further illusion is perpetrated – that the tone is coming from a particular direction, that what one is hearing is Dr. Foxglove at the Steinway, over there, under the lights – that is where the sound is.

But no, my friend….

What the listener is actually listening to is his eardrums. He is listening to a derivative of a derivative … of his eardrums rattling.

His eardrums are rattling because someone is operating an acoustic wave generator in the vicinity.

But what he is hearing is pure information.

And as for the music ….

A single note – a tone – is neither harmonious nor disharmonious in itself. It is only harmonious or disharmonious in relation to another note.

Music is derived from ratios – a still further derivative — and ratios are pure information.

Take for example the ratio of 20 Kg to 10 Kg.

The ratio of 20 Kg to 10 Kg is not 2 Kg.

The ratio of 20 Kg to 10 Kg is 2 – just 2 – pure information.

20 kg/10 kg = 2.

Similarly, we can also show that there is no colour in reality, there are no shapes in reality; depth perception is a derivative – and just as what one is listening to is the rattling of one’s eardrums – so what one is watching is the inside of one’s eyeballs – one is watching the shuddering impact of photons on one’s retina.

The sensations of sound, of light and colour and shapes are all in one’s mind – as decodings of neural messages – which in turn are derivatives of physical processes.

The wonderful aroma coming from the barbecue is all in one’s head.

There are no aromas or tastes in reality – all are conjurations of the mind.

Like the Old Guy said, all is maya, baby….

The only point that is being made here is that Information is too important a subject to be so neglected.

What you are doing here is at the leading edge beyond the leading edge and in that future Information will be a significant factor.

What we away back in the dim, distant and bewildered early 21st Century called Information Technology (I.T.) will be seen as Computer Technology (CT) which is all it ever was – but there will be a real IT in the future.

Similarly what has been referred to for too long as Information Science will be seen for what it is — Library Technology.

Now – down to work.

One of the options – the android – is to upload all stored data from a smelly old bio body to a cool Designer Body (DB).

This strategy is based on the unproven but popular belief that one’s identity is contained by one’s memory.

There are two critical points that need to be addressed.

The observer is the cameraman — not the picture. Unless you are looking in a mirror or at a film of yourself, then you are the one person who will not appear in your memory.

There will be memories of that favourite holiday place, of your favorite tunes, of the emotions that you felt when … but you will only “appear” in your memories as the point of observation.

You are the cameraman – not the picture.

So, we should view with skepticism ideas that uploading the memory will take the identity with it.

If somebody loses their memory – they do not become someone else – hopping and skipping down the street,

‘Hi – I’m Tad Furlong, I’m new in town….’

If somebody loses their memory – they may well say – ‘I do not know my name….’

That does not mean they have become someone else – what they mean is ‘I cannot remember my name….’

The fact that this perplexes them indicates that it is still the same person – it is someone who has lost their name.

If a person changes their name they do not become someone else; nor do they become someone else if they can’t remember their name – or as it is more commonly, and more dramatically, and more loosely put – “cannot remember who they are”.

So, what is the identity?

There is the observer – whatever that is – and there are observations.

There are different forms of information – visual, audible, tactile, olfactory … which together form the environment of the observer. By “projection” the environment is observed as being external. The visual image from one eye is compared with that of the other eye to give depth perception. The sound from one ear is compared with that from the other ear to give surround sound. You are touched on the arm and immediately the tactile sensation – which actually occurs in the mind, is mapped as though coming from that exact spot on your arm.

You live and have your being in a world of sensation.

This is not to say that the external world does not exist – only that our world is the world “inside” – the place where we hear, and see, and feel, and taste….

And all those projections are like “vectors” leading out from a projection spot – a locus of projection – the 0,0 spot – the point which is me seeing and me tasting and me hearing and me scenting even though through the magic of projection I have the idea that the barbeque smells, that there is music in the piano, that the world is full of color, and that my feet feel cold.

This locus of projection is the “me” –it is the point of observation, the 0,0 reference point. This, the observer not the observation, is the identity … the me, the 0,0.

And that 0,0 may be a lot easier to shift than a ton and a half of squashed memories. Memories of being sick; of being tired; of the garden; of your dog; of the sound of chalk on the blackboard, of the humourless assistant bank manager; of the 1982 Olympics; of Sadie Trenton; of Fred’s tow bar; and so on and on and on –

So – if memory ain’t the thing — how do we do it … upload the identity?
(To be continued)

Most of the threats to human survival come down to one factor – the vulnerability of the human biological body.

If a tiny faction of the sums being spent on researching or countering these threats was to be used to address the question of a non-biological alternative, a good team could research and develop a working prototype in a matter of years.

The fundamental question does not lie in the perhaps inappropriately named “Singularity”, (of the AI kind), but rather in by what means are neural impulses translated into sensory experience – sounds, colors, tastes, odours, tactile sensations.

By what means is the TRANSLATION effected?

It is well known that leading up to sensory experience – such as music – that it is not just a matter of neural impulses or even patterns of neural impulses, but patterns of patterns – derivatives of derivatives of derivatives – but yet beyond that, translation has to occur.

Many of the threats to human existence, including over-population and all that it brings – can be handled by addressing the basic problem, instead of addressing each threat separately.

It would be helpful to discuss these theoretical concepts because there could be significant practical and existential implications.

The Global Brain (GB) is an emergent world-wide entity of distributed intelligence, facilitated by communication and the meaningful interconnections between millions of humans via technology (such as the internet).

For my purposes I take it to mean the expressive integration of all (or the majority) of human brains through technology and communication, a Metasystem Transition from the human brain to a global (Earth) brain. The GB is truly global not only in geographical terms but also in function.

It has been suggested that the GB has clear analogies with the human brain. For example, the basic unit of the human brain (HB) is the neuron, whereas the basic unit of the GB is the human brain. Whilst the HB is space-restricted within our cranium, the GB is constrained within this planet. The HB contains several regions that have specific functions themselves, but are also connected to the whole (e.g. occipital cortex for vision, temporal cortex for auditory function, thalamus etc.). The GB contains several regions that have specific functions themselves, but are connected to the whole (e.g. search engines, governments, etc.).

Some specific analogies are:

1. The Broca’s area in the inferior frontal gyrus, associated with speech. This could be the equivalent of, say, Rubert Murdoch’s communication empire.
2. The motor cortex is the equivalent of the world-wide railway system.
3. The sensory system in the brain is the equivalent of all digital sensors, CCTV network, internet uploading facilities etc.

If we accept that the GB will eventually become fully operational (and this may happen within the next 40–50 years), then there could be severe repercussions on human evolution. Apart from the fact that we could be able to change our genetic make-up using technology (through synthetic biology or nanotechnology for example) there could be new evolutionary pressures that can help extend human lifespan to an indefinite degree.

Empirically, we find that there is a basic underlying law that allows neurons the same lifespan as their human host. If natural laws are universal, then I would expect the same law to operate in similar metasystems, i.e. in my analogy with humans being the basic operating units of the GB. In that case, I ask:

If, there is an axiom positing that individual units (neurons) within a brain must live as long as the brain itself, i.e. 100–120 years, then, the individual units (human brains and, therefore, whole humans) within a GB must live as long as the GB itself, i.e. indefinitely.

Humans will become so embedded and integrated into the GB’s virtual and real structures, that it may make more sense from the allocation of resources point of view, to maintain existing humans indefinitely, rather than eliminate them through ageing and create new ones, who would then need extra resources in order to re-integrate themselves into the GB.

The net result will be that humans will start experiencing an unprecedented prolongation of their lifespan, in an attempt by the GB to evolve to higher levels of complexity at a low thermodynamical cost.

Marios Kyriazis

AI is our best hope for long term survival. If we fail to create it, it will happened by some reason. Here I suggest the complete list of possible causes of failure, but I do not believe in them. (I was inspired bu V.Vinge artile “What if singularity does not happen”?)

I think most of these points are wrong and AI finaly will be created.

Technical reasons:
1) Moore’s Law will stop by physical causes earlier than would be established sufficiently powerful and inexpensive apparatus for artificial intelligence.
2) Silicon processors are less efficient than neurons to create artificial intelligence.
3) Solution of the AI cannot be algorithmically parallelization and as a result of the AI will be extremely slow.

4) Human beings use some method of processing information, essentially inaccessible to algorithmic computers. So Penrose believes. (But we can use this method using bioengineering techniques.) Generally, the final recognition of the impossibility of creating artificial intelligence would be tantamount to recognizing the existence of the soul.
5) The system cannot create a system more complex then themselves, and so the people cannot create artificial intelligence, since all the proposed solutions are too simple. That is, AI is in principle possible, but people are too stupid to do it. In fact, one reason for past failures in the creation of artificial intelligence is that people underestimate the complexity of the problem.
6) AI is impossible, because any sufficiently complex system reveals the meaninglessness of existence and stops.
7) All possible ways to optimize are exhausted.AI does not have any fundamental advantage in comparison with the human-machine interface and has a limited scope of use.
8. The man in the body has a maximum level of common sense, and any incorporeal AIs are or ineffective, or are the models of people.
9) AI is created, but has no problems, which he could and should be addressed. All the problems have been solved by conventional methods, or proven uncomputable.
10) AI is created, but not capable of recursive self-optimization, since this would require some radically new ideas, but they had not. As a result, AI is there, or as a curiosity, or as a limited specific applications, such as automatic drivers.
11) The idea of artificial intelligence is flawed, because it has no precise definition or even it is an oxymoron, like “artificial natural.” As a result, developing specific goals or to create models of man, but not universal artificial intelligence.
12) There is an upper limit of the complexity of systems for which they have become chaotic and unstable, and it slightly exceeds the intellect of the most intelligent people. AI is slowly coming to this threshold of complexity.
13) The bearer of intelligence is Qualia. For our level of intelligence should be a lot events that are indescribable and not knowable, but superintellect should understand them, by definition, otherwise it is not superintellect, but simply a quick intellect.

14) The growth of computer programs has led to an increase in the number of failures that were so spectacular that of automation software had to be abandoned. This led to a drop in demand for powerful computers and stop Moore’s Law, before it reached its physical limits. The same increase in complexity and number of failures made it difficult the creation of AI.
15) AI is possible, but it does not give a significant advantage over the man in any sense of the results, nor speed, nor the cost of computing. For example, a simulation of human worth one billion dollars, and she has no idea how a to self-optimize. But people found ways to break up their intellectual abilities by injecting the stem cell precursors of neurons, which further increases the competitive advantage of people.
16) No person engaged in the development of AI, because it is considered that this is impossible. It turns out self-fulfilling prophecy. AI is engaged only by fricks, who do not have enough of their own intellect and money. But the scale of the Manhattan Project could solve the problem of AI, but just no one is taking.
17) Technology of uploading consciousness into a computer has so developed, that this is enough for all practical purposes, have been associated with AI, and therefore there is no need to create an algorithmic AI. This upload is done mechanically, through scanning, and still no one understands what happens in the brain.

18) AI systems are prohibited or severely restricted for ethical reasons, so that people still feel themselves above all. Perhaps are allowed specialized AI systems in military and aerospace.
19) AI is prohibited for safety reasons, as it represents too great global risk.
20) AI emerged and established his authority over the Earth, but does not show itself, except it does not allow others to develop their own AI projects.
21) AI did not appear as was is imagined, and therefore no one call it AI (eg, the distributed intelligence of social networks).