Sunday, December 27, 2009

A.I vs. A.A.

I had a flash of brilliance this morning, but how to put in this blogpost in a way that is intelligible, interesting, makes some kind of point, thought-provoking, commentable and/or funny(at least to me)

As with all my flashes of brilliance, this one is likely just 'new to me', so feel free to say, "Pfft, I considered, and rejected that when I was like seven, you moron!", any response is better than no reponse at all.

It must have been wondering through my brain cells for a month or two, my considering Pliny's, what is it, 'idea?', 'notion?' of how artificial intelligence would boot-strap itself up from 'nothing' to avoid problems of biased thinking.

I can't imagine how a Pliny intelligence would operate though, because one of the prerequisites for intelligence is, as is my understanding, awareness. I mean, how does an intelligence solve a problem or avert a crisis if it is not aware of said problem or crisis?

Seems to me that there'd be a hierarchy of nature regarding this, I'll just make one up off the top of my head, why not.

Material. :- rocks and such, completely dumb, unaware, unintelligent.

Simple life. :- micro-organisms with no awareness at all, perhaps fungi, like yeast, barely living at all.

Plants. :- are aware of sunlight, grow towards the sunlight. Some have rudimentary awareness of insects. Venus fly-trap for example.

Fish, animals, birds and insects, which show a variety of awarenesses and quite a bit of intelligence, if intelligence is defined as problem solving.

Seems to me that humans would be on the top of the scale here only if we regard problem solving to be the ultimate in awareness.

There's a good case to be made for that actually. We are aware of our limited awareness and build tools, such as microscopes and telescopes to overcome those limitations. We can't reach out with our minds and 'grok' the stars and galaxies of stars, so we build tools to bring the stars into our field of awareness with photos and such.

Two points here. What is Pliny's intelligence without awareness, if that's what he's saying? What is awareness of the spiritual, what is the spiritual and how is it that quite a lot of people seem to be aware of it?

On the first one, it seems to me that, when trying to build artificial intelligence, we need to build an artificial awareness and that is exactly where bias is going to creep in, the intelligence is biased in favour of it's own awareness because it is not aware of anything outside it's own awareness.

On the second one, I think that spirituality is a confused collection of ideas where we try to imagine that we are aware of something that's just not there. (any ideas on that oneblood?)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Just a story.

It was bitter cold out, and I was watching T.V., playin' around on the computer when I felt the freezing draft hit me. Emma's son had been over to give her a couple of gifts for her birthday, a little calender that you rip off the pages/days as they go by and a snowglobe that you put your own picture in.

The draft must have been hitting my leg for a few minutes before I became aware of, then concerned by, it. "Wonder what's goin' on?", I said, mostly to myself, "The front door must be open."

Sure enough the door was half ajar and I cringed to myself at the bitter, bitter cold that was the night 'out there' while feeling that good warm feeling of knowing that the solution to all my problems was 'just that' simple, and I closed it and locked it.

"Josh didn't close the door all the way, I was catching a freezing draft on my leg, it's bloody FREEZING out there!", I told Emma taking another look at her new picture-frame snowglobe thinking, "Wonder which dollar store that came out of?"

The night went on as usual, Emma called through that Fred, my deceased wife's dad had died. Not that Emma 'usually' calls through that Fred died, of course, just that she'll tell me 'things of interest' if and when they pop into her mind, and such. Old Fred was a nice guy and we had a 'history' quite a while back but I'd mostly lost touch with him over the years. He was one of those guys who was always old to me. He was old when I married his daughter, old when she died about ten years later and old when I'd see him on very odd occasions after that.

I thought about Emma's story about how her dad said that when he died he was going to come back as a crow and watch out for her. We'd laughed about that the odd times we'd walked past a couple of crows sitting on the wires.

The night rolled on as usual, "I'd have a drink for the memory of poor old Fred!", I called through to Emma, although it wasn't usual for me to drink to the newly dead Fred, I will respond with something from time to time. Emma wasn't taking the bait, no rum for me 'tonight'.

It was getting late so I settled Emma in for the night, which included picking up the bird from his make-shift perch, a fan, in her room, to put him to bed, and a glass of ice water for her, not from the tap, but from the cooler.

Prettyboy Floyd, insisted on riding on my shoulder to assist me getting the water for Emma but suddenly flew off, round and round the rooms finally settling on his cage and peeking out the door shaping himself in that banana shape that cockatiels get when they stretch their necks to peek.

I closed Emma's door for the night because she likes her thermostat set to "July", when we'd finished marvelling at how the bird gets scared by nothing at all, silly bird.

Off to bed for Prettyboy Floyd, he gets on his perch next to his favourite mirror image, blanket over the top, but I don't close his cage door, I figure bird-brain or not he knows whether he wants to be in there or not as he is not shy about 'telling me' when he wants to be to bed sometimes.

So, I'm laying in the dark, the monitor glowing and the television flickering eerily as it is wont to do and the matress dips slightly, something has climbed on the bed with me.

"Oh, Prettyboy what's wrong with.. ", I started, turning towards what I imagined was going to be the bird and as I swung round from the monitor to face him my hand went around and touched what I still thought was him, except it felt a little too big to be him.

I don't think that you can imagine how surprised I was when I looked down at a cat! When I looked down at a charcoal grey cat with silvery tip ends like something peeking through the mist, in the flickery light of the television.

I scooped him, I'm calling it him here, I scooped him up in the blanket that he was laying on as if he were MY cat, or as if I were his owner and took the 'bag-o'-cat' I'd made and asked Emma if she could guess what I had.

After I'd popped him back outside, we chatted about how strange that was.. now I wonder if his name was Fred?