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zompist bboard • View topic - climate change

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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:30 pm 
Boardlord
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FWIW, I have studied computer science, and I think rotting's AI-god is barmy. I don't think it's very good science fiction, but even if it were... it's a chimera. We don't have an AI god, and we won't have one in time to address climate change.


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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:31 pm 
Smeric
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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:37 pm 
Avisaru
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Last edited by rotting bones on Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:42 pm 
Avisaru
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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:58 am 
Boardlord
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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:33 am 
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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:02 am 
Sanno
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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:24 am 
Sanno
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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:13 pm 
Avisaru
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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:41 pm 
Sanno
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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:44 pm 
Boardlord
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Point taken about AlphaZero. Neural nets can do some amazing and baffling things. However, they're susceptible to the same argument: give me the program and let me increase the number of neurons, and a huge amount of time, and I can beat it. (This is of course exactly what DeepMind is doing as it creates new versions of its game-playing programs.)

The way these algorithms think is based on human brains, and yet is baffling to human consciousness. There's no nice rules like "If you have a queen on the board, add 10 points to your score." There's nodes and weights and what they mean can be mysterious.

So, I recommend to everyone to get a handle on how these things work, and what their limitations are. They are still very much tied to their human programmers and their understanding of the problem domain.

Even more relevant to this thread is his article .


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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:41 pm 
Sanno
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 Post subject: Zizekian We
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:15 am 
Smeric
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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:38 am 
Smeric
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I shan't dignify the "is sal a murderous fascist/is rotting a nazi" conversation beyond neither of them are that and lets all chill.

As for the impact of the migration: its important to keep in mind the distinction between "makes the news and changes some first worlder's lives, maybe brings neonazism into the mainstream again" and "threates to destroy civilization". The whole Syrian crisis has, for sure, displaced a lot of people: incidentally, a small proportion of those millions of people have found their way into the richest chunk of the world right as protracted economic crisis has eroded the standard of living of its middle and lower classes: subsequently, many people in those countries have become angry at having to take in migrants, and perhaps there have been a few terrorist attacks the impact of which has been mainly in the news (I don't properly have the numbers, but I'd bet more people have died from diabetes than from terrorist attacks since the start of the Syrian conflicts in Europe, and you can't blame terrorism on the Syrian crisis either, but rather on US foreign policy and other such things). It's not a good thing that Syria is at war and millions get displaced, but no sane and well-informed analyst would suggest this is even close to compromising the current global order, let alone civilization itself. In terms of human cost, imperialism in Africa, the World Wars, and probably even the Cold War have been more dire than global warming is going to be, though not by much.

___________
as for AI, I'm honestly not buying it, for three distinct reasons.
> one, come off it, computers are really really really really really dumb and AI is always ten years away. The whole "singularity" and "omg we're gonna program god" is like neolithic farmers saying that if we continue to selectively breed wheat it'll conquer the whole world and make them its slaves.
> computers are weird, and intelligence is not a simple, linear magnitude. computers are already smarter than us at some things, and dumber than us at other things
> being smarter than everyone else isn't all its cracked up to be. seriously.

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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:22 am 
Sanno
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I wasn't kidding about Alaska, btw. The worst-case projections that have alarming sea level rises also predict that much of Alaska, a truly vast area that is currently almost entirely unused, will be suitable for arable farming within the next century or so.


Regarding AI: I'm not so sure that computers, or at least Alpha, really is that dumb. The scary thing about Alpha isn't just that it's brilliant at several things - it's that the same algorithm has learnt to be brilliant at several things, and the thrust of the research is to make it brilliant at more things. Alpha has gone from being the best in the world at Go to being the best in the world at all known-information non-probabilistic games. Next up is Starcraft II, apparently - within a few years, Alpha will probably be the best in the world at all non-probabilistic concealed-information games. Then it's hard to imagine it won't rapidly become the best in the world at most of the probabilistic games as well. And all this may look like a bit of fun, except that Google aren't interested in Starcraft in its own right; they're interested in things like financial speculation, which is itself a well-defined game that Alpha will presumably come to dominate within, say, 10 or (best-case) 20 years (probably much less - every step so far as been quicker than anyone expected).

Where AI will find it harder is dealing with individual humans, whose behaviour is so suboptimal and idiosyncratic that it's much harder to predict (whereas games like chess you can mostly adopt the assumption that your opponant is at least trying to win and has some idea of how to do that). But, combined with massive surveillance data, this doesn't seem an unsolvable problem either.

Of course, AI can't do very much unless people let it. Which is why the scariest AIs are the things that governments are giving power to. The US, for instance, already uses an AI to draw up its kill lists, which humans then rubber-stamp.

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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:23 pm 
Smeric
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I feel like the rate should be slowed so that we can get to paradise with minimum catastrophe and plenty of time for adaptation.

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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:20 pm 
Avisaru
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zompist: But these are completely different from Sal's objections. Everyone agrees that I'm wrong. Everyone disagrees on why I'm wrong.

1. I don't understand what difference these reasons make at the level of technical work. Look, suppose I have gathered a thousand years of data on the effects that policies have on governance. I have 3rd millennium hardware on which I want to train a neural network. The network will accept the present state of a country as input and print the policy likely to benefit the least advantaged as output. I don't understand how your reasons apply to this task.

2. But speed is the quality I want to use computers for. Why else would I use computers? Without computation, it is even difficult to tell how various qualities of different countries are correlated with each other, as we've seen on the ZBB. I think it is very difficult to find the right course of action within a maze of conflicting data, and the AI would help in sorting through it all and telling us what we ought to do if we were to consistently follow our own rules.

3. I don't understand what turning yourself into a program has to do with anything. Even after we compute as much as possible, questions might still remain regarding which policies to follow. We could vote on policies or algorithms at that point, rather than voting on which oligarchs or mobsters we distrust the least.

To me, this approach seems more democratic than our current system, which the Greeks would have called an oligarchy. There is no moral prestige in running an oligarchy, only practical benefits. Why wouldn't it be more democratic to let the practical side of policy matters be handled by an AI? Rule by AI is not a dictatorship because the AI is not a person. It is more analogous to a book of laws, a scientific Quran. I think that we should base our code of laws primarily on Platonic forms rather than human traditions. These forms are: 1. Moral principles like maximin, which even Piketty advocated in his book, if you remember. 2. Computing power. 3. Algorithms of empirical induction like the ones for training neural networks.

This position might be different enough from that of the singularitarians that it were best if I stopped calling myself that.

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Last edited by rotting bones on Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:24 pm 
Avisaru
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If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way. - Mark Twain

In reality, our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness, which indeed is a divine gift. - Socrates


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 Post subject: Re: Zizekian We
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:50 pm 
Avisaru
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If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way. - Mark Twain

In reality, our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness, which indeed is a divine gift. - Socrates


Last edited by rotting bones on Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:02 pm 
Avisaru
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If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way. - Mark Twain

In reality, our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness, which indeed is a divine gift. - Socrates


Last edited by rotting bones on Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:41 pm 
Avisaru
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If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way. - Mark Twain

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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:37 pm 
Avisaru
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If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way. - Mark Twain

In reality, our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness, which indeed is a divine gift. - Socrates


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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:32 pm 
Boardlord
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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:14 pm 
Sanno
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 Post subject: Re: climate change
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:39 am 
Avisaru
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I do not believe that "Humans can do X, which computers can't." or "The reasoning employed by humans is not algorithmic." are viable objections against AI for the following reason:

1. I believe the human brain arrives at its conclusions through physical processes. If you don't believe that, fair enough. The rest of this argument doesn't apply to you.

2. Suppose there is a physical process X that can be encoded as a computation Y such that Turing machines cannot perform Y. If that were the case, then we could enrich the repertoire of computations in our theory of algorithms by updating our account of universal computation from "Turing machine" to "Turing machine + computation Y, as observed in process X". For example, if quantum events are allowed, then that slightly rejiggles the boundaries of some lower order algorithmic classes in ambiguous ways.

3. Is there a process X that cannot be incorporated into computation in this way? Well, not physical processes that compute results, but there are "oracles", information about what works arrived at by following sequences of law-abiding events to their conclusion. It follows that the brain cannot deduce their conclusions any more than a computer can. Oracles can be obtained from empirical induction over processes that followed the relevant sequences.

What this discussion tells us is that: 1. If a human can do X, then a sufficiently powerful computer can do X by, in the worst case, reproducing algorithms corresponding to physical processes that the brain uses to reach its conclusions, and 2. Human reasoning doesn't have to be algorithmic for this to work because our theory of universal computation is an abstraction from physical theory that establishes a one-to-many mapping from all possible physical processes allowed under the laws of nature to the set of algorithms.

As for wish fulfillment by algorithm being dubious, I would not accept an algorithm that did not judge popular moods by organizing elections. I only want to learn when and how to hold elections, and what to do with the results by empirical induction over real world events. I don't want to enforce the popular will directly in order to avoid tyranny against minorities.

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