AI is here. It has always been here.

Lumpy Talbot

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This thread is opened because the OP finds himself of late thinking about the world and human interaction on it in a new and slightly worrying way.

On the threads around the Coronavirus outbreak I increasingly can only make sense of certain dynamics (food security, overpopulation, resource-damage) if I consider our environment as an AI that has successfully passed the Turing test.

This sounds suspiciously like 'Gaia' theory propounded by many hippies and some scientists. It is just anthropomorphising an unease, in the same way that the human unease is given names such as the Abrahamic and other religious groupings do.

But curiously there is a landing ground available for those who choose to call the planet 'Gaia', or 'creation of god/yahweh/allah/jesus/Nebbutsheh, the crocodile god of the Slaney/whatever and those of an atheist and logical persuasion. Whatever you choose to call this AI, let's call it 'Nature' for want of a better word, it opens up a whole new series of interesting questions concerning our relationship both physically and psychologically if we take Nature out of the category of flowers, birds and bees but consider a new category- that of the naturally occurring AI, or artificial intelligence.

That would make two AIs on this planet, with the first being us as the Apex Predator on the planet. And the second, the elephant AI in the room, Nature itself in its broadest possible sense.

We observe what happens with other fauna on this planet when they outstrip successfully in evolutionary terms their natural environment. The Tasmanian Devil experiment. Once nearly hunted out of existence, then had a protection order slapped on them, they exploded in population terms and threatened to over-run farmland in Tasmania. So just as there was a discussion about culling back to reasonable levels an illness appeared in the Tasmanian Devil population. It attacked their immune system and destroyed thousands of them. Scientists are still studying this phenomena, I believe.

So there is reason to think that this collection of deterministic probabilities we are calling 'Nature' is without the emotion displayed by various gods, is quite happy to regulate population size in its various species if they don't self-regulate and is effectively a naturally occurring machine which is the second and arguably greatest authority over both our affairs and hers.

If we exploded every nuclear device we had on this planet all life would cease over a few years of distorted atmosphere. But in due course and over thousands of years the planet itself would likely recover. We might even emerge out of the ooze as we did previously. And begin to grope again blindly towards an understanding that there are two AIs on the planet.

Maybe now we are at the stage of the first realisation that the other AI exists and is pretty non-committal and 'meh' about whether we survive as a species or not. There are benefits to thinking of climate change, overpopulation, the increasing likelihood of pandemic, and other existential risks to humanity in this particular way. Call her 'Yahweh', 'Nature', 'Gaia', 'Allah', Nebbutsheh/whatever it really doesn't matter. I think this other AI, this set of deterministic probabilities with some decision tree software wound into it is something philosophically useful as a thought exercise.

The thought is intriguing me so much and is only half formed, but I thought I'd throw it to the trolls to see what they can make of it as they've been looking a bit lean lately and could do with a bone or two.
 


blinding

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This world seems to be a simulation of hardship to build character in the real beings behind the Sims. An educational programme.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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That's the hardest part. Trying to stand so far back as to be able to see this ghostly AI as a human observer is really hard while resisting the attempt to name and categorise it in true human fashion.

It involves trying to stand outside your own psychology which is almost impossible- the old explorer's conundrum. Have you really been the first whitey to just pass smallpox to an undiscovered tribe in a jungle somewhere, and are you observing them in their natural state or have they been changed utterly by their mind-blowing encounter with the Pale People?

It is possible to strip out emotion and interpretative subjective judgement though to a great degree. I'd suggest it as a way of presenting a problem through a different prism which can sometimes shed light on answers from an unusual angle.

Bit like a mathematics problem, constructed either to challenge or provide independent corroboration for another theory somewhere else. Considering that there may be two AIs in existence in this social reality delivers some instant benefits in the form of other insights which I'm still gathering 'neath the oak tree of perception :)
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Would Nature as a dynamic pass a Turing test? I've a horrible suspicion it would. Which means there is a ghost AI at our intellectual table.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Naturally Occurring Regulatory Awareness (NORA). I, Lumpy Talbot, being of sound mind, body and bicycle, do hereby claim the right in discovery of this other AI with which we share the planet to name her NORA. On behalf of the Campaign for the Advancement of the Plain People of Ireland.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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I'm not sure it is a simulation. 'Sh1t's Real', as they say in the housing projects of Tralee.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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If there is no discernible reason therefore to treat it as different to reality the simulation can be ignored, like a set of balanced books. It would be far wiser to move with the observable dynamics than stand still and worry about the dynamics you can't see. In the latter case you'll always only be knocked over at some point.
 

blinding

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If there is no discernible reason therefore to treat it as different to reality the simulation can be ignored, like a set of balanced books. It would be far wiser to move with the observable dynamics than stand still and worry about the dynamics you can't see. In the latter case you'll always only be knocked over at some point.
Might as well enjoy it as best one can.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Yes. Some people see Sam Beckett's work and thoughts on the human condition as unutterably bleak or depressing. But they don't detect the gothic humour under the surface of it that makes the work so blisteringly insightful. The dark humour is there.

I'd say we are still fairly primitive in terms of what we could be but we need another leap or two to move to the next stage of potential. It is only in the last two to three hundred years that most of western humanity at least has moved into the urban environment or to the fringes of it and for thousands of years going back to evolution our environment was the land or the sea or something else very definite and observable that felt real and connected us in a pleasant way as one AI living alongside another AI, neither possibly too aware of each other.

Some don't believe in a 'group psychology' and there's surely a great debate in that area. But I've been in football grounds and observed the tribalism and group psychology there and have therefore seen it with my own eyes.

In recent years I've been trying out tricks and methods of disassociating from the subjective influences as much as possible. Methods to produce good emotion-free analysis. Only problem is I can't tell very often whether such tricks are successful or not because I'm inherently a biased and subjective judge unavoidably.

But it is interesting to try to think about old or intractable problems by shifting an entire category or Atmospheric Unit or whatever you want to call it and looking at the same problem from a completely different trajectory.

It would be advisable I suggest for us to become a bit more diplomatic than we have been in our blundering around in the darkness, should we ever encounter NORA in full battledress.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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If you were charged with negotiating with NORA (Naturally Occurring Regulatory Awareness) on behalf of the Human AI what would the ensuing debate look like?
 

blinding

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If you were charged with negotiating with NORA (Naturally Occurring Regulatory Awareness) on behalf of the Human AI what would the ensuing debate look like?
Should one attempt to kill it first as an introduction ?
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Probably not. At the moment NORA is much more powerful than we are and she's already grown suspicious that there are far too many of us and that we are upsetting the natural order of things toward complexity and away from entropy. If you think of SARs and Corvid-19 as probes of our vulnerabilities it would indicate she is assessing us on a cost-benefit analysis basis.

We can't destroy NORA because we'd destroy ourselves into the bargain and that doesn't work as a solution.
 

blinding

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Probably not. At the moment NORA is much more powerful than we are and she's already grown suspicious that there are far too many of us and that we are upsetting the natural order of things toward complexity and away from entropy. If you think of SARs and Corvid-19 as probes of our vulnerabilities it would indicate she is assessing us on a cost-benefit analysis basis.

We can't destroy NORA because we'd destroy ourselves into the bargain and that doesn't work as a solution.
We could threaten to shoot Ourselves and Nora to confuse it !
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Put down the joint please. Have a snack and go to bed.
I've discovered I can have a joint and a snack at the same time. This would indicate we are, as I have long suspected, still in the Industrial Revolution. A lot of people can date the beginning of the Industrial Revolution for you very firmly but no one can say when the Industrial Revolution ended. We've invented enough new plastic stuff.

Now we need new thinking in order to support the work of the Campaign for the Advancement of the Plain People of Ireland.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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We could threaten to shoot Ourselves and Nora to confuse it !
She might say 'go ahead' and then the confusion would be 100% owned by us from that point.
 

blinding

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She might say 'go ahead' and then the confusion would be 100% owned by us from that point.
We’d have to be real about it alright. Any chance we can unplug her while we are playing mind games. There is always hoovering to do !
 

Watcher2

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I've discovered I can have a joint and a snack at the same time. This would indicate we are, as I have long suspected, still in the Industrial Revolution. A lot of people can date the beginning of the Industrial Revolution for you very firmly but no one can say when the Industrial Revolution ended. We've invented enough new plastic stuff.

Now we need new thinking in order to support the work of the Campaign for the Advancement of the Plain People of Ireland.
what is a plain person of ireland?
 


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