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Thread: Trinity and the holy nothingness of 0

  1. #1
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    Default Trinity and the holy nothingness of 0

    This comes as a result of a conversation I was having in another thread here… Artificial Human Companions

    We were chatting about Artificial intelligence and computers which got me to thinking about trying to express the human condition in terms of software and programming logic. This is of course what the whole AI trip is about. By achieving true AI mankind will have had to look at himself and come to grips with what makes him fundamentally different and unique, and then replicate that electronically.

    Before I go further, I should probably qualify myself…I don’t know much about computer programming or fuzzy logic or any of that, (I have a basic appreciation and a bit of Python..thats it). But for the purposes of this conversation, I don’t really have to. It’s a more of an abstract thought experiment. If however you feel that you want to show your wizardry of programming in a fashion that could de-rail the thread…please go to Slashdot. I’m sure they will be sympathetic.

    In very broad terms, computer programs are made up of 1’s and 0’s…on/off…yes/no…up/down. If something is such and such then the next thing is so and so, very deterministic. As far as the human condition is concerned, at lot of our actions are predictable and pre-determined knee jerk reactions to everyday common events, (it saves time thinking about whether you REALLY want a Coke or a Pepsi...you just take what you got yesterday), or as a result of some environmental influence, (your Sister likes Pepsi…you hate your sister so you take a Coke..whatever). For such situations, binary (1’s and 0’s) is cool, no hassle…if this..then that. Assuming all variables are known and catered to. I’m sure that one day soon some geek will sit down and re-create the character of his dead poodle in binary…and he’ll probably make a fortune doing it.

    But what of free will? How do we code free will into an AI entity…can we?…do we want to?
    What happens when we stop and really think about getting a Coke or a Pepsi, how do we make a choice?
    I suppose only those who are interested in free will, (or believe in the concept of it) will find this of interest.

    One of the concepts that came up in the other discussion was “Trinary” programming as opposed to “Binary”. Trinary, (actually called ternary Logic for those that care), uses 3 “places” instead of 2… 1 for “yes”, 2 for “no” and a third place..0 for “unknown, irrelevant or both”. In other words…uncertainty.

    The funny thing about uncertainty is its association with choice…you have to be uncertain about something in order to make a choice. I don’t mean choosing between a set of pre-determined outcomes…looking at a menu in a restaurant has an element of choice, but not true free will…if you really feel like lobster Thermador and it aint on the menu…your screwed.

    Coming back to creating true humanlike AI, one would probably have to look at employing a non-deterministic architecture, (like Ternary logic), and weave in this “uncertainty” to make any headway in replicating the vagaries of the human condition. This is all groovy, but the question that really bugs me is:

    Why?

    Why would we need the 0?….From where does this uncertainty arise?…what would precipitate the uncertainty that would necessitate a 0?

    I find it fundamentally unsettling to think that the human condition can be expressed as the ability to say “How the hell should I know if I want chicken or beef...” and truly not know what you feel like.

    So what do you all recon…binary is all that’s needed to understand the machinations of the human mind…or we require that funny little nothing in the middle to make us complete?

    I should probably give credit to Sapiens Vir for getting me to thinking about expressing humanity as 1’s and 0’s. Thanks…I think.
    Prick your finger it is done
    The Moon has now eclipsed the Sun
    The Angel has spread its wings
    The time has come for bitter things

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    When you stop and think about it, there is no thing as free will. There is just programming, so AI's will have to do the same as us and do the best they can.
    lol. good post
    Do onto others as they would do onto you, just do it first.

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    Default

    Then again was it not my choice to reply ?
    Do onto others as they would do onto you, just do it first.

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    Default

    Well, your going to have to tell us

    Just looking at where quantum physics is taking us, and the ramifications implied in its weird workings...uncertainty seems to play a much bigger role in the universe than we might suspect.

    What happens if things we take for granted, (like the fact that walls are solid and can't be walked through), are not absolute...they simply exist a very strong field of statistical possibility?

    What does this mean to pre-determined cause and effect actions?
    Prick your finger it is done
    The Moon has now eclipsed the Sun
    The Angel has spread its wings
    The time has come for bitter things

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    there have been a few experiments already to try and predetermine the way humans, especially in groups, will act. a lot of these experiments were inspired by the works of Freud, who had a pretty deterministic view of humanity. the ability to cater to people's "ES", their instinctual desires, to give them the feeling of being completely satisfied without knowing why (these desires remain in the unconscious most of our lives) was seen as the key to controlling a population. at first it was the government who wanted this knowledge to beable to influence people into acting a certain way. then, of course, big business started drooling over the idea of being able to predetermine and maybe even influence people into buying certain things. it got to the point that the U.S. and British government both gave up the responisibility of meeting the peoples needs and left it completely in the hands of the economy. Long story short, emotion plays a much bigger role than people thought, and creates a degree of uncertainty, making it imposible to completely determine how someone will act in a situation. Not only that, but western society as a whole is slowly but surely becoming disillusioned to the fact that material gain leads to happiness, hence the resurgence in interest in occult, mystical ideas.

    watch the bbc documentary called "the century of the self" on google video. it gives a very indepth and frightening view of the attempts that have been made to control the masses.

    dream freund - Google Video

    Also look into the writings of Freund, and Edward Bernays.

    Edward Bernays ? Wikipedia

    My opinion: there is no such thing as a completely free will as long as we are somehow conditioned. conditioning starts from the first second you are born, and continues unless we become aware of it, and try to reverse it. But, we will always be human, and that is a conditioning in and of itself. So, our action is partly determined, but not completely.
    Last edited by zoomare; 01-19-2009 at 04:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Dunsany View Post
    I was thinking about this the other day. I know i can pride myself on saying I have free will but is this in reality correct. Coke or Pepsi, hmmm, being from the south it was always Pepsi, as this was programmed into me by my parents if we are to go this route. When I got older it became coke and my sister jokingly called me a traitor. Did I go to coke out of rebellion or free will, or because all the commercials about Coke were enticing. We are born with free will but it becomes moot when parents society work etc. take over. Do I use free will or is it just the pressures from all of these which controls my decisions. My task is to separate the two and take it from there. I think your post makes one think and this is good.
    And this is where the third part of what he was saying comes in, I choose the third option. No soda.

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    Default

    but the third option isn't not choosing, its the fact that you don't know if you want pepsi or coke. You chose option 4?

    0 I don't know
    1 coke
    2 pepsi
    3 no soda
    Mantra yeahhhh. Eggshells you smell.

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    Our brain is not structured all that differently from a computer system. We have synapses which are basically biological switches. They are either open or closed, on or off. It is this pattern of on and off that makes up our memories and I suppose the best way to define ourselves would be the sum total of our life experiences via memories.
    Actually, that could work in an actual 3D brain + brain stem. The human brain is nothing but synapses being triggered by other synapses. Its complex only by number, seeing as trillions of cells exist in the neural systems, sometimes even more. This on off switch is triggered by electricity and hormones.

    So theoretically, if you can get a tiny nano-machine to interpret simple electric jolts and secreted chemicals, you can more than likely create a human brain. The problem with THAT is we have no idea what all of our neurons do to a point. By the time our technology can create robot synapses, we may or may not know what our brain can do to a point, in technical terms.

    Its an interesting idea that I have to think of a little more.


    P.S. Vir, your posts are walls of text!
    Mantra yeahhhh. Eggshells you smell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vir Sapiens View Post
    I know. I'm really trying to make a concerted effort to tone that back. I'm a naturally verbose person and I like to try to explain my ideas as thoroughly as possible. I really am trying to cut back the sheer volume though. Sorry for the off topic here.
    Its nice to know you're so thorough though. I think you can post the same amounts of text with a different paragraph scheem. I always like to be on point when I can, but I feel accomplished when I wall of text.
    Mantra yeahhhh. Eggshells you smell.

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    Cool, lot of good points here...lots to cogitate on.

    Now let me throw another spanner into the works...

    Its fine to say that neurons are like transistors, on or off. By likening the working of the brain to chip, we get the feeling we understand the mechanics of it...we've just got to figure out the how of it.

    But the brain itself is comprised of many different parts, all doing different things. I would argue that these different parts are inherently at conflict with one other, your brain is constantly at war with itself...logic at war with emotion, instinct at war with morals. The whole setup of the brain is inherently unstable and in a constant state of uncertain flux.

    here is another bit of usefull info from Sapiens...shamelessly used by myself...that eloquently fits into this concept and helps explain the 0 bit.

    ...the reason for the trinary maybe state is to reflect uncertainties in the decision making process and to allow for flexibility in thinking and problem solving as opposed to the actual scripting of AI responses. In other words the 0 comes into play when you get two If Then statements in conflict with one another. In a binary system this causes an unresolvable error within the program unless you write further scripts to deal specificly with the conflicting interaction which is tedious from a programming standpoint in that it is difficult to script for those things because it involves a certain amount of idiot testing as I like to call it. With a trinary system if you get those conflicting statements the program can use the 0 as a place holder until the conflict is resolved within the script for a yes or no response.
    So we would need the 0 to help resolve the conflict between the warring parts of the human psyche?

    I wonder...are the thought processes of other creatures linear, or fragmented and conflicting like ours, (No wonder my cat looks so damded smug and happy all the time).

    If the uncertainty in humanity, (the 0), comes from internal conflict...one is forced to ask "what happened to us?". Is the hallmark of enlightenment conflict and confusion?

    Anybody else the irony in that, or is it just me?
    Prick your finger it is done
    The Moon has now eclipsed the Sun
    The Angel has spread its wings
    The time has come for bitter things

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