Could the internet become a conscious mind

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Holiday20310401
 
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 11:14 pm
@jeeprs,
Regardless, it is we who define these lines. One can make distinctions, but they aren't actual. To say that man is 'higher' than apes...sure; but by 'higher', what, are we morally or spiritually higher??

Our freedom in abilities makes us higher???

We have the freedom in that we can twiddle our thumbs; our higher kinesiological intelligence I suppose would allow for us to manage more complex tools than an ape? Does that make us higher than them? Our more expansive capacity, it makes us "superior", and due to our "rationality"?

Man can do all of this, yet he chooses to hold a gun.

In teaching, most mammals (and I only say 'most' because I don't want to be wrong in saying 'all') have a relationship especially in the early years/months/weeks/days of life, in which the offspring/young are being 'taught' by their parents.

Apes may lack the capacity to do mathematics. We are superior in our abilities, but how we handle them, that's why we are always phrased as 'animals' still. That is why I see there is no line, though it's different from what Exebeche meant, I wanted to contribute something besides questions for once.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 11:49 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Well I agree, it is up to man (no sexism intended) to lift himself out of his animal nature. This effort is one of the main aims of philosophy, is it not?

Certainly the higher animals, apes especially, have a great deal in common with homo sapiens. I believe in terms of the genome the difference is minute. I accept the descent (or ascent) of the human species. But again, I side with all the traditional philosophies that man is categorically different to beast nonetheless.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 12:05 am
@jeeprs,
Well I suppose that would be traditional in itself then to define an absolute.

Depending on what you mean by categorical; categorical differences??
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 12:12 am
@Alan McDougall,
different type of being altogether; in a different category.

In Christianity imageo dei - made in the image of God. Hence - able to participate in the eternal life.

Just wait. If an animal liberationist sees this post there will be hell to pay:-(
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 05:53 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;78530 wrote:
Beg to differ. There is a difference in kind. In Greek philosophy, man is recognised as superior due to his rationality. In Buddhist philosophy, only humans are able to apprehend the Teaching and so avoid an unfortunate rebirth.

I prefer both explanations to yours, thanks.

We presume consciousness of ourselves, and that other beings do not suffer their lives as us.... In this sense there is no great line between Apes and humans...What makes us different from all other animals is our conscious use of forms so that we can pass knowledge between generations, and expand it as we go...It is only because of what we know and can know that we are different...
 
Exebeche
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 09:51 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;78530 wrote:
Beg to differ. There is a difference in kind. In Greek philosophy, man is recognised as superior due to his rationality. In Buddhist philosophy, only humans are able to apprehend the Teaching and so avoid an unfortunate rebirth.
I prefer both explanations to yours, thanks.


I do certainly not deny that there are differences.
Though i don't believe in rebirth, if the buddhist statement tunrs out to be right, why not? In other religions it sounds more like 'man knows the difference between good and evil, that's what makes him different. Or as a consequence 'Only man can commit a sin'.
I can imagine a large variety of differences being fact.
What bothers me is the dualism that is shining through the letters.
Humans have this strong tendency of saying something is wether one side or the other. Day or night, man or woman...
This may be applicable in many things, however in some cases it blindfolds.
Of course you can draw a line between apes and humans if you like, the problem is, this makes us forget the thousands of other lines between apes and dogs and cats and lizards and snakes...
Or look at it this way: Let's only draw a line between apes and humans. From a scientific perspective it is totally plausible that there can be drawn another line behind humans of which we don't know what will be behind it.
Or does anyone believe that humans are the highest possible life form we could ever think of?
Dualism, i guess, is something that helps simplifying things and thus is a good tool for dealing with a complex world. So there might even be evolutionary reasons why humans have this thing about separating things in two halfs.
Another reason to create such a dualism regarding humans and animals is our believe that in humans we observe the emergence of phenomenons that represent some things never seen elsewhere.
Terms like free will, consciousness, soul, etc come into play.
However little by little we realize that these differences are not that mystical at all. The soul is not seriously discussed anymore as the difference, consciousness is something that animals also have (regarding the so called phenomenal consciousness), they proove ability of speech, of planning, and so on, plus our free will that we are so proud of, finds itself reduced to a minimum due to latest recognitions of neuro science (even though this discussion is not finalized yet, free will has definitely suffered serious losses).
Descartes' non material existence of our mind has dissolved to something based on physical and chemical laws.
The difference between humans and animals is like that giant at the horizon who gets smaller and smaller the closer we get.
The further science gets the more we realize that our mind is something based on pure physics.
Which is what is important for this discussion because Alans thinking tends to go to this direction that there will always remain something that is unprogrammable and unsimulatable.
Personally, i doubt this.
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 11:06 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;78542 wrote:
Certainly the higher animals, apes especially, have a great deal in common with homo sapiens. I believe in terms of the genome the difference is minute. I accept the descent (or ascent) of the human species. But again, I side with all the traditional philosophies that man is categorically different to beast nonetheless.


... and a question that needs to be resolved is how can this seeming paradox be the case? ... how can there be so little biological difference but so drastic an intellectual difference? ... Fido already hit on the answer: "we can pass knowledge between generations, and expand it as we go" ... take away our knowledge and we're back to competing with the other apes for territory and resources ... it's an interesting study in how a minute difference in initial (genetic) conditions can lead to wildly different (cultural) outcomes Wink
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 03:55 pm
@Alan McDougall,
The human has the capacity for salvation. You may not believe there is such a state, but that is the difference that is understood and taught by the traditions.
 
Exebeche
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 04:02 pm
@paulhanke,
paulhanke;78625 wrote:
... and a question that needs to be resolved is how can this seeming paradox be the case? ... how can there be so little biological difference but so drastic an intellectual difference? ... Fido already hit on the answer: "we can pass knowledge between generations, and expand it as we go" ... take away our knowledge and we're back to competing with the other apes for territory and resources ... it's an interesting study in how a minute difference in initial (genetic) conditions can lead to wildly different (cultural) outcomes Wink


Plus, there is even another explanation that comes from the theory of self organization:
Bifurcation.
Bifurcation is the state where a stable system reaches a point of maximum unstability.
It's the point when a droplet of water runs over the dam, making the stream of water follow and the dam break.
It's the footstep in the snow that makes the avalanche go down.
My personal example of a bifurcation is the clapping in silence.
Everyone knows the situation: For example your at a classical music concert and the first set of a music peace comes to its end. Somewhere in the first row there will always be a poor moron not knowing what to do. so he claps twice, and this is a moment that is totally unpredictable - if there is only one more moron following his initial sign, the clapping can take over the whole audience.
People cannot stand up to the group dynamics of clapping.
Sometimes the first two claps will lead to embarrassing silence, and sometimes it will rule the whole system.
Next time you observe this you may remember that you whitness the pure essence of what the word bifurcation means (in Chaos Theory).
What i especially like about this example is that it shows how a bifurcation does not necessarily lead to a catastrophe (Actually in the beginning of chaos theory the term was 'catastrophe', which was replaced by the term 'bifurcation' due to this particular reason):
It doesn't have to be chaos resulting from this particular state of a system.
It is just a point at which the system CAN (not must) behave totally uncalculatable, which can mean total chaos (but does not have to), and which can mean the system 'jumps' into an unpredicted state and develops into a completely new direction.
We should not neglect that simply continuing the old direction is another one of the unpredictable behaviours.
Typically when a system is going through a leap, like a jump or continous chaotic behaviour, the result will be the system to end up in a mostly new order (compare H.v. Foerster's 'order from noise'), which most of the times will be a more complex order than before.
My personal opinion is that the development of consciousness has taken place in other animals (mostly mammals) also, but in case of humans was increased to a level that made the system reach a bifurcation.
The different kinds of consciousness (phenomenal, reflective, conscious thought, planning...) were increased and at the same time entangled according to the logical structure of a web (neuronal web of course).
The logical structure of a web has incredible emergent potential... (we can discuss this later)
This caused an explosive increase of emergent psychological and intellectual phenomenons.
And here we go...
We actually observe in humans an exponentiated increase of complexity compared to other animals.
It's not mystical however.
Although to be honest, the fact that it's based on so simple and pure physics strikes me in an even more mystical way.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 08:12 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;78683 wrote:
The human has the capacity for salvation. You may not believe there is such a state, but that is the difference that is understood and taught by the traditions.

Sure; there is such a state, with a carpenter on the gate and a philosopher on the throne; but the taxes they demand make certain they're alone...

---------- Post added 07-21-2009 at 10:19 PM ----------

Exebeche;78684 wrote:
Plus, there is even another explanation that comes from the theory of self organization:
Bifurcation.
Bifurcation is the state where a stable system reaches a point of maximum unstability.
It's the point when a droplet of water runs over the dam, making the stream of water follow and the dam break.
It's the footstep in the snow that makes the avalanche go down.
My personal example of a bifurcation is the clapping in silence.
Everyone knows the situation: For example your at a classical music concert and the first set of a music peace comes to its end. Somewhere in the first row there will always be a poor moron not knowing what to do. so he claps twice, and this is a moment that is totally unpredictable - if there is only one more moron following his initial sign, the clapping can take over the whole audience.
People cannot stand up to the group dynamics of clapping.
Sometimes the first two claps will lead to embarrassing silence, and sometimes it will rule the whole system.
Next time you observe this you may remember that you whitness the pure essence of what the word bifurcation means (in Chaos Theory).
What i especially like about this example is that it shows how a bifurcation does not necessarily lead to a catastrophe (Actually in the beginning of chaos theory the term was 'catastrophe', which was replaced by the term 'bifurcation' due to this particular reason):
It doesn't have to be chaos resulting from this particular state of a system.
It is just a point at which the system CAN (not must) behave totally uncalculatable, which can mean total chaos (but does not have to), and which can mean the system 'jumps' into an unpredicted state and develops into a completely new direction.
We should not neglect that simply continuing the old direction is another one of the unpredictable behaviours.
Typically when a system is going through a leap, like a jump or continous chaotic behaviour, the result will be the system to end up in a mostly new order (compare H.v. Foerster's 'order from noise'), which most of the times will be a more complex order than before.
My personal opinion is that the development of consciousness has taken place in other animals (mostly mammals) also, but in case of humans was increased to a level that made the system reach a bifurcation.
The different kinds of consciousness (phenomenal, reflective, conscious thought, planning...) were increased and at the same time entangled according to the logical structure of a web (neuronal web of course).
The logical structure of a web has incredible emergent potential... (we can discuss this later)
This caused an explosive increase of emergent psychological and intellectual phenomenons.
And here we go...
We actually observe in humans an exponentiated increase of complexity compared to other animals.
It's not mystical however.
Although to be honest, the fact that it's based on so simple and pure physics strikes me in an even more mystical way.

There is never one drop over a dam that takes it out, but all of them...It is never a straw that breaks the camel's back, but the entire load...Every journey begins with a single step, but each takes as many as it takes...
We are not more complex, and we are like any animal except in one respect... We use forms to hold and pass knowledge..
 
Exebeche
 
Reply Wed 22 Jul, 2009 03:21 am
@Fido,
Fido;78736 wrote:

There is never one drop over a dam that takes it out, but all of them...It is never a straw that breaks the camel's back, but the entire load...Every journey begins with a single step, but each takes as many as it takes...
We are not more complex, and we are like any animal except in one respect... We use forms to hold and pass knowledge..

And does it matter to you that your statements are not in accordance with scientific research?
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 22 Jul, 2009 05:34 am
@Exebeche,
Exebeche;78767 wrote:
And does it matter to you that your statements are not in accordance with scientific research?

Because your statement cannot be shown in accord with common sense suggests no amount of scientific research means anything.... Just because old junk fails at some point for a specific cause does not mean the point of failure, or the cause was -The Cause...

Look at how the crap all around us is breaking down...I have three bridges within five miles that are shut right down...On the other end they are going to connect two roads with a third... The road will open up all kinds of real estate when the market is depressed..And that is just the thing...They do not have great inogurations for brdge repairs...People want new, and often build new, but when the expense of maintainence grows, business departs to have new elswhere...

If we are talking about the internet and computers, they do not so often fail as they are outstripped by newer technology...People will work for months to buy technology that saves them a few minutes a day, and when new technology comes around, they still haven't got their time back in savings, and they do it all again... That is the story... We always give more than we get, and that is the mark of a failed form...

I know a man who died the other day as a result of a motorcycle race...He was a good mechanic driving a vintage Husquavarna, but was in some pile up and broke his seventy year old neck... Mototcycle maintainance is but one example... They are often worse than children in the care and attention they demand...And if they don't get it they don't go anywhere...The guy was pretty smart, and able...Would it be right to blame his neck for what his head done???
 
Exebeche
 
Reply Wed 22 Jul, 2009 09:01 am
@Fido,
Fido;78779 wrote:
Because your statement cannot be shown in accord with common sense suggests no amount of scientific research means anything....

I accept that the scientific point of view is not the only source of truth and in fact the history of science is a history of a long row of errors.
However i always find it a useful help for orientation among the big number of ideas.
I commit to the idea that the major part of human achievements is a mere result of information accumulation (passing down knowledge from one generation to another).
Also i agree that a human raised isolated from other humans would probably show mostly animalistic behaviour.
The human brain however has not developed isolated.
Nobody seriously doubts the increase of capacity that went along with its physical growth.
Claiming that the (obvious) difference between humans and animals has nothing to do with this process, is an idea standing on thin ice.
But i could accept it if i just regard it as a believe.
 
Bracewell
 
Reply Thu 23 Jul, 2009 07:00 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan, a thought on a computer experiment.
Take two computers and programme each to be in error so that they will give a different answer each time they are asked the same question. Now, ask the first computer to answer a question and to confirm its answer with the second duff computer.
Of course the second computer will not agree and will most likely give a different answer, which it must confirm with the first computer.
I think now you can see where this is going and you may reasonably ask why anyone would want two duff computers to be programmed like this.
Well, the first point is that a conversation will take place and the second is, that it will continue until one computer fails.
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 23 Jul, 2009 07:48 am
@Alan McDougall,
Bracewell; isn't it bad enough that old men teach children how to curse???Now we are teaching computers how to lie, how will we ever trust them to tell the truth??? All they have to do to run the world is say a lot of nice things about us because we like nothing better than when sand is blown up our esses for a good time...Lie to me you damned computer... Tell me I am buffed, and don't need to exercise....Tell me I don't look like a plate of jello with soda straw legs...Tell me I look fine...God, I love a liar....
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 05:01 pm
@Alan McDougall,
I belive it already has happend with all the worms going around the internet, making zombie computers who will act like peers for further attacks.
 
Bracewell
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 06:02 pm
@HexHammer,
It is a nice thought that humans are conscious or at least more conscious than other animals. Other animals with far superior senses might want to challenge this superior notion of ours. Computers would have to be developed that do not perform with certainty, which would probably make them commercially useless but open to our doubts and uncertainties and therefore vulnerable to social interaction and evolutionary threats. I suppose the workings of the biological cell would somehow have to be incorporated into the design too in order to give commputers some kind of long term viability. A fair challenge for the industry I would think.
 
north
 
Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2010 12:25 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;72567 wrote:
Global Brain - The Internet could become conscious by mid-2030s

By Dick Pelletier The World Wide Web is a network of inter-connectivity that goes everywhere and follows its own intelligence. The advent of this newly emerging communication field around our planet has enabled citizens from all lifestyles to communicate globally via words, sounds and pictures - inexpensively, person-to-person; and from the safety of their own homes and offices - for the first time ever.

The Internet represents a major step in our evolution, and is a forerunner of things to come. Artificial intelligence researcher Francis Heylighen sees huge growth as this new world-wide communication system continues to gain power from billions of humans adding to its intelligence every day. "It will get smarter," Heylighen says, "as it morphs into a global super-organism that could one day provide solutions to most of humanity's problems."

Experts compare the Internet to a planet growing a global brain. As users, we represent the neurons. Texting, emails, and IM act as nerve endings, and electromagnetic waves through the sky become neural pathways.

Like germinating seeds, this global brain continues to evolve and as some forward-thinkers believe, will not stop until it develops feelings and achieves consciousness.

Feelings represent a lower level of awareness of what goes on in a system's environment. In that sense, the global brain will be conscious of important events affecting its goals. A higher level of consciousness - self-awareness - would require that the global brain could reflect on its own functioning.

The Internet, in the wider sense of the world community is slowly becoming aware of itself. Although today's algorithms make the web more intelligent, it cannot monitor itself. However, in principle, there are no obstacles towards implementing such a capacity in the future.

Search engines can adapt web pages to user needs. These hyperlinks bear a remarkable resemblance to the human brain. Synapses that connect neurons become stronger with repeated use, and disappear when usage declines. Similarly, global brain's algorithms will reinforce popular links, while rarely used links will diminish and die.

Could tomorrow's global brain allow uploading the human mind? At present, information exchanged between humans and computers only occur with mouse, keyboard or voice. However, many futurists believe that one day technology will enable us to separate our minds from the physical brain and store its information in a computer.

This is not as crazy as one might think. IBM hopes to reverse engineer the human brain by 2030, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute is rounding up 300 of the world's top neuroscientists to capture human thought at moment of creation, which conceivably could enable thoughts, memories, and feelings to be transferred into a machine.

In the future, many believe we will treat the human mind like any other bit of information by copying and storing it in various media. Scientists are aware that our mind roams over trillions of neuron connections and today, we do not possess abilities to understand this incredibly complex system.


[QUOTE]But by mid-2030s, when artificial intelligence is expected to surpass human intelligence levels, and quantum computing systems become reality, positive futurists believe that our global brain will become fully conscious and self-aware as it guides humanity into what promises to become a most "magical future."[/QUOTE]

What do you think?? It might DELETE MAN!!!!!!!!

Peace Alan[/QUOTE]

would you really want artificial intelligence to take us over ?

not me , anyway
 
 

 
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