[ExI] Best metric for gauging progress towards the singularity?

Omar Rahman rahmans at me.com
Sun Sep 26 21:09:55 UTC 2010


> Very interesting topic.  About the best way I have of thinking about 
> things is critical milestones such as:
> 1.    Scientific discovery of how the ineffable phenomenal qualities of 
> consciousness relate to their neural correlates.   Ultimately this will 
> lead to conscious effing of the ineffable, unification and expansion of 
> our phenomenal conscious minds.  It will allow us to realize what we, or 
> our phenomenal 'spirits' are (as defined and predicted in the expert 
> consensus 'Representational Qualia Theory' camp here 
> http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/88/6 )  Of course, once we objectively 
> discover the phenomenal nature of reality and how our knowledge of 
> ourselves is represented by such, our conscious knowledge of ourselves 
> will finally be able to phenomenally escape from the mortal spirit veil 
> of perception prison walls that are our skull.  Of course, achieving 
> this, as predicted by this expert consensus camp, solves most all of our 
> problems from mortality to still being stuck with primitive animalistic, 
> slow static, unable to really communicate minds (the cause of war and 
> all other problems).

Qualia seem to be useful as a sort of algorithm that run the background processes of the brainOS. Whether the consciousness is an app running on top of that framework or is just a product of the all the qualia interpreting each other is another question. (A very interesting one!) About effing the ineffable I think it will be possible but require work to attain that experience as the qualia of one individual will be hard to integrate into the perceptual system of another. In fact qualia probably change over time in an individual.

What do you say to this scenario: The Wine Taster
A person drinks wine with meals and socially. This person enjoys it, and likes some wines but not others. One day they decide to go to some wine tasting classes. There the instructor/sommelier introduces the students to various wines and points out the flavors. Some of the students have the taste buds to sense these flavors, and some don't. Some of them have the interest in the experience to learn to savor the differences, and some don't. In the end some develop qualia for wine tasting. From this example it would seem that qualia generally exist as potential and can be learned, and perhaps forgotten.

The ability to develop qualia more directly, perhaps but doing simultaneous brain scans of two (or more) people wile they think of blue and then stimulating/anesthetizing the brains of the others so that their 'blue' patterns resembled each other more closely. This could be done in a many to many experiment to get a consensus 'blue' or someone could be a 'blue' leader and the other would emulate the leader.

This brings me back to metrics; right now there are systems that can scan your brain and recognize a few stimulation patterns that correspond to to some things such as 'car'. Someone posted a link here a few weeks ago. What the researcher didn't say (and probably would have if it was true) was whether the stimulation pattern for 'car' in one subject was similar to 'car' in another. If it is similar then we have the beginnings of an alphabet, and there are all sorts of things we know how to do with one of those. We would have Brain-ASCII and we've all seen how far and quickly we've come since the days of ASCII. But if it isn't similar we might only have a couple examples of some proprietary punch card format.

Question:	How large is the current 'character set' of Brain-ASCII? How many 'characters' can we recognize? (Or are we really still at a 'binary' stage....this brain's working...'1'... that brain dead...'0'.)

> 2.    When the last person dies.  (the mortality rate finally reaches 0)

For a moment I thought you were talking about the total annihilation of our species as a metric for progress.......then I realized you were talking about physical immortality or some sort of immortality. I think we will always be faced with scarcity of resources unless we engineer ourselves to not need/want so much...and if we could engineer our needs away we probably won't 'need' to exist. Once people upload or some sort of AI emerges their requirements for resources will probably expand right along with their understanding of the universe and their ambitions. Add into that the potential for a population explosion of digital entities and war and death seem likely to remain with us.

> 3.    Every  human and memory is finally restored and 'resurected'.
> Who knows how long each of these will take.  Many probably doubt the 
> possibility of ever achieving  number 3.  But I bet we are on the virge 
> of number one, which I believe will be the greatest world changing 
> scientific achievement of all time.  The biggest problem we are facing, 
> is communicating what the expert consensus already knows (as is being 
> proved by the consciousness survey project at canonizer.com), to 
> everyone else and the real nuts and bolts researchers looking at the 
> neurons and funding the research of such.
> Looking forward to finding out more about what you think of all such.
> Brent Allsop

I read your story "1229 Years After Titanic", which has a sentiment of owing a debt to past generations which I share.
Number 3 would only become possible if we discovered something new about the nature of time, or if we could trace the history of an atom and then trace the history of all the atoms in the Earth in all their combinations. Maybe a post-singularity entity will do this, maybe this is just plain impossible.

> On 9/24/2010 11:17 AM, spike wrote:
>>> ...On Behalf Of Omar Rahman
>>> Subject: [ExI] Best metric for gauging progress towards the
>>> singularity?
>>> This is my first post here. A link to a video from The Onion:
>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdCnUCN83-k
>>> Watch the ticker at the 1:00 mark.
>>> That was the fun part...
>> Thanks for the Onion link Omar.  Plenty of good geek humor in that one.
>> {8^D
>>> ...I look at the Singularity as the next
>>> step in evolution  following, roughly, a chain like this:
>>> chance outcomes 			(early RNA formation...
>>> ...
>>> engineering ourselves			(Singularity!)
>>> How fast can we adapt to change? And how well can we engineer it?...
>> Regards, Omar Rahman
>> This rough outline is good, and illustrates in a way a comment I made last
>> week.  We should work on these kinds of roadmaps, for they have value.  What
>> I have been recognizing (to my distress) recently is that the time
>> associated with these steps is completely unpredictable.  Even if these
>> steps take place more or less in order, we have no way of guessing how long
>> any of the steps will take.
>> So far, we are sketching a map with no scale.  I have no suggestions on how
>> to derive a scale.
>> Welcome Omar.  Tell us something about Omar if you wish.  {8-]
>> spike
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