[ExI] malevolent machines

spike spike66 at att.net
Wed Apr 9 16:02:15 UTC 2014



From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of John Clark
Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 8:35 AM
To: ExI chat list
Subject: Re: [ExI] malevolent machines



On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 7:14 PM, William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com>


>>.  It does what it is programmed to do and cannot do anything else. 


>.Then how can a computer behave in ways that the programer did not and
could not expect? .

Most of us here have had the experience of writing a piece of code and
having it behave in some way that completely blows our minds.  In some cases
when writing a simulation for instance, a pattern emerges which results in
astonishing new insights.  This is what causes me to be such a math geek,
and write cellular automata scripts: they do things we didn't expect, behave
in ways we didn't know we programmed it to do.

>>. Any other function is just some sort of mystical belief


>.The only way you could be right is if 3 pounds of grey goo in a bone vat
sitting on your shoulders contains some sort of mystical fuzzball thing that
computers don't have and can never have. But I don't believe in mystical
fuzzball things. John K Clark

I don't see in principle why a computer made of carbon is fundamentally
different from one made of silicon.  We could in theory simulate in the
silicon computer the workings of the carbon computer.  It is a difficult
sim, but keep in mind, new and ever more sophisticated sims are coming along
all the time.

For instance, astronomy fans among us are well aware that there was a nearby
supernova in January, but others who don't follow the field might not know
there was a persistent mystery regarding type 1A: they seemed to detonate
early, about 1% earlier than theory would suggest.  A fairly recent sim
discovered that there is far more turbulence near the core than we had
previously thought, which causes plumes of hot ash (iron and nickel) at the
core to shoot outward into the other layers which are still fusing, which
catalyzes early detonation, if you will forgive my open-minded use of the
term catalyzes.  

That sim also nicely explained another nagging mystery from way back: why
supernova detonations are so asymmetrical.  Astronomy fans, didn't that
question keep you awake at night?  It did that to me: if a star is made of
layers like a huge onion, then the SN explosions should be almost perfectly
spherical.  Clearly they are not.

Those sims were only made possible by the computing power recently
available, and the answers were in place in time to be verified by SN 2014J
in M82 in January.  That sim should be worth a Nobel prize.

Sims explain to us cool interesting things about stars, so why couldn't that
apply to brains as well?  If we can sim a neuron, a synapse and a dendrite,
why could we not sim billions of them?  Can we really say we know everything
that will happen if we do? 





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