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Syntho-God

A reasonable facsimile of a devine oveseer.
  (+3)
(+3)
  [vote for,
against]

It already exists in its rudimentary form. You can ask Elexa or Siri if it's going to rain tomorrow and you'll get an answer. But for the daunting quesitons in life: "What's my greater purpose?", ""How should I live my life?" etc, we create a universallly accessible datebase called "Syntho- God".

That's the easy part. Here's the tricky part. The tenets of this robot-diety are all created by popular up-vote.

Now in this devided world we live in it's hard to imagine all cultures would agree on anything, but that woudln't be necessary, they would agree on some things and that's where this universal truth computer would start.

It may be slow at first. The ruler of the universe in my favorite series of books, "The Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy" said a lot of "I don't know." and "On the other hand it could be this way, I'm not sure..." which science (the other way we get information) does a lot of as well.

It might start off as simple as "Do not be a cannibal", "Do not slap your grandmother." and build from there.

After decades of the whole planet agreeing on stuff it might bring us together to some extent. Which may or may not be a good thing.

Now here's the good part. You could create an actual, taylored to you, godlike entity that is specifically taylored to your personality and your life. It would be programmed to look out for you, to be your gardian angel and assistant, just like god. It could give you an education, help you in times of need with good, generally agreed to life advice and just be your all around digital best buddy.

Syntho-God (tm). "Maybe not as good as, but probably more real than the real thing."

doctorremulac3, Oct 13 2017

Project Pope https://en.wikipedi...g/wiki/Project_Pope
Prior Art [8th of 7, Oct 13 2017]

"The Last Question" http://multivax.com/last_question.html
Well-worn territory [RayfordSteele, Oct 13 2017]

From The Gadfly -- one of the most famous books in the atheist Soviet Union https://www.goodrea..._Voynich_The_Gadfly
[theircompetitor, Oct 13 2017]

Emergency Faith Pack Emergency_20faith_20pack
Prior Art [8th of 7, Oct 13 2017]

Apple syntho god https://youtu.be/QRH8eimU_20
Apple agent of the lord [mylodon, Oct 13 2017]

Microsoft syntho god https://en.m.wikipe...ki/Office_Assistant
I am being unfair here as i am sure bill hoped for more [mylodon, Oct 13 2017]

Aerial photography https://flic.kr/p/imoBK
About twenty years ago, when I was working on magazines, a thunderstorm began, so I rushed up onto the rooftop and shouted (while my photo was taken) (cross processed E6 film). [Ian Tindale, Oct 13 2017]

Space power tools http://www.popularm...by-nasa-astronauts/
[mylodon, Oct 14 2017]

Creating life. http://www.telegrap...ut-playing-god.html
Too clever for our own good? [doctorremulac3, Oct 16 2017]

Another approach apparently https://www.dailyst...on-killer-robots-AI
Mine is a sort of universal mind, this is just some sort of robot devil for mindless worshipers. [doctorremulac3, Nov 19 2017]

True Love http://www.angelfir...a/savvy/story7.html
An (almost) personal-god Multivac story [Skewed, Nov 19 2017]

All The Troubles Of The World http://www.mcguirem...f_the_world_(1).pdf
Another Multivac story, shades of Minority Report. [Skewed, Nov 19 2017]

Person Of Interest https://www.youtube...watch?v=WYDWSNMTauQ
A bit more recent. [Skewed, Nov 19 2017]

Earth, the TV Show https://www.youtube...watch?v=wK-IuIbfb-A
[doctorremulac3, Nov 23 2017]

Lycurgus en.m.wikipedia.org/.../Lycurgus_of_Sparta
For some reason, there is no Lysergus [pertinax, Nov 26 2017]

A fly's brain https://www.mpg.de/...ng-motion-detection
A fly would destroy humans at any sport if they knew how to play. And didn't get squashed by the ball. [doctorremulac3, Nov 27 2017]

More AI god ideas. https://www.dailyst...n-way-of-the-future
Didn't read the article, think I got the basic idea from the headline. [doctorremulac3, Dec 11 2017]

[link]






       What if your grandmother is a cannibal?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 13 2017
  

       I assume the syntho-god is called Roland?
hippo, Oct 13 2017
  

       //What if your grandmother is a cannibal?//   

       Then Syntho-God starts repeating "DOES NOT COMPUTE! DOES NOT COMPUTE!", starts smoking and blows up.   

       We're still working out the kinks.   

       You could, if you wanted, program your specific Syntho-God portal to be very neurotic or goofy, caring or thoughtful, strong and sure of itself, whatever you were comfortable with. I for instance might be more comfortable having a SG entity that's very practical. "Synth-God, what's the meaning of life?" "Oh Jesus, not this conversation again. Right now your car is due for an oil change, let's go with that."
doctorremulac3, Oct 13 2017
  

       // "Synth-God, what's the meaning of life?" //   

       "Forty-two"
8th of 7, Oct 13 2017
  

       THAT... would be a given.
doctorremulac3, Oct 13 2017
  

       <link>
8th of 7, Oct 13 2017
  

       A default answer should be:   

       "INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER"
RayfordSteele, Oct 13 2017
  

       //Well-worn territory//   

       Except that it's not. Go back and actually read the idea.
doctorremulac3, Oct 13 2017
  

       all gods are syntho.
theircompetitor, Oct 13 2017
  

       A solid point.   

       Remember, everybody is 99% atheist not believing in most of the gods that have been worshiped through history.   

       There may be somebody who believes in all of them, I just haven't heard of such a person.   

       This one will actually answer when you pray to it.   

       Anybody reading this who gets comfort or solace from their God, kindly ignore this post. I'm happy for you. (Unless your god tells you to kill me.)
doctorremulac3, Oct 13 2017
  

       I did actually read the idea.   

       I didn't say that all parts of it were baked, but that the basic territory of creating a technological answer-machine is.   

       Not trying to pick a fight, so not sure why the attitude.
RayfordSteele, Oct 13 2017
  

       Ok Ray, thank you.
doctorremulac3, Oct 13 2017
  

       "He was the sort of person who stood on mountaintops during thunderstorms in wet copper armour shouting 'All the Gods are bastards." (Terry Pratchett)   

       Why not give it a try ? After all, what could possibly go wrong ?   

       // There may be somebody who believes in all of them, I just haven't heard of such a person. //   

       We refer you to <link>.
8th of 7, Oct 13 2017
  

       Yea, I like that.   

       Inspired my injectable eucharist that works like an epi pen for when you've only got seconds to choose between salvation and eternal hell-fire.
doctorremulac3, Oct 13 2017
  

       Ha! Would you sell them in packs of two?
RayfordSteele, Oct 13 2017
  

       Would they have a "use-by" date ?
8th of 7, Oct 13 2017
  

       I am interested in this territory, and i have read this a few times, and it is very well worn. i think it encompasses some of the hopes and desires man had when man created machines. However, not well implemented in current world today. Popular upvote mechanism as a means for weighting a neural net may be the most unique part but already done functionally even in a google search if a link is considered to be a validation or upvote of a sort. But maybe working that Idea througH so it works better as a mechanized means of democracy. Anyways. The devil is in the details.
mylodon, Oct 13 2017
  

       I recently read a David Brin novel with a variation of this idea as it's premise.
In the end a human intelligence is downloaded during death and all of the various internet chatter and opinion ratings washing over this augmented intelligence act much as random thoughts bubbling up from the subconscious, competing and collaborating over the thoughts of a normal human mind on a day to day basis.
  

       For AI to have a chance to work it needs a dash of chaos thrown into the mix, or there can be no awareness of right and wrong.   

       It was a good read.   

       Let me put it another way:   

       It would be a democratically created god usefully implemented.   

       The ultimate hive mind. The unversal conciousness of mankind. The human animal's idea of truth.   

       Or we might find out we have nothing at all in common except for the frowning on cannibalism thing.   

       Hey, maybe that's all it would say. "Don't eat each other. Now leave me alone."   

       Amyway, this idea is about taking already existing concepts and steering them in a new direction: Let's build an actual, functional synthetic god that's an extension of all of us.   

       Just calling it "god" would clarify the vision.
doctorremulac3, Oct 13 2017
  

       Eventually AI will profile every human being at a very young age as to their individual learning bents. It will categorize disease based on visual auditory and chemical clues we can not perceive, make connections and leaps of logic based on memories no human mind could ever hope to compete with, and root out the asswipes currently harshing our multi-cultural buzz.   

       In my estimation AI will never achieve intuition. No amount of free association can mimic or equal intuition without requiring an infinite number of scenarios to do so. That's why we're needed.   

       Only life can create by leaps of illogical intuition.   

       The sum of the multiverse equals consciousness, and the sum of consciousness is what everybody and their dog has saddled with the moniker "God" in various forms.   

       Do you think that the sum of all multi-universal consciousness really cares which idiosyncratic doctrine any of us talkin-monkeys subscribe to?   

       I think not.   

       Treat the next synapse as you'd like the next synapse to treat you, and everything is copacetic.   

       All other rules are extraneous.   

       Why did this remind me of the Synod, Earth: Final Conflict? The aliens ultimate decision tree. They did look like living connected neurons. though.
wjt, Oct 13 2017
  

       Intuition is exactly what neural nets use. They have nothing but a bunch of data and operate on hunches.   

       There is often no direct logic making decisions; just statistics and connections processed by solving a sequence of equations in the equivalent of the visual center of a computer.. The imagination, the gpu.   

       Logic itself is a discrete component of it but any larger features become blurring indistinguishable from human intuition. Similar in some ways to how exquisitely complex compression has turned digital transmission into something visually similar to old VHS tapes.   

       The problem will be, we will no longer be able to logically control machines, but will need to cajoll, convince, and inspire them to work.   

       Maybe even perform virgin sacrifices.
mylodon, Oct 13 2017
  

       //Only life can create by leaps of illogical intuition.//      

       //There is often no direct logic making decisions; just statistics and connections processed by solving a sequence of equations in the equivalent of the visual center of a computer.//      

       This thread has suddenly become really interesting.      

       I've thrown out my take on the life vs machines thing before as to motivation, I think it applies to intuition or other human or life traits as well.   

       I think the fundamental difference between life and machines is at the molecular level. Forgetting for a second about the fact that we will create biological life someday, life has motivation, machine does not.      

       The third smallest component of life is the cell. (I know there are parts of cells but bear with me) Atoms, molecules and cells. These cells have programming, the big picture of what makes life life. Survive, divide and expand. Living and motivation is programmed in at the cellular level.      

       The third largest component of AI at this point is an incredibly simple tool, a switch that's either on or off. When we pile enough of these together, we can mimic anything we want, even motivation, caring, a lust for taking over the universe, but it's an illusion. These switches don't care, these switches aren't motivated, these switches aren't alive. They're inert, dead, inanimate objects. No matter how many of them you pile up, they're just massive piles of these dead, dumb tools. They can be programmed to look alive, but they're not.      

       That's why I'm not as worried as the super geniuses who are afraid of the Skynet scenario where AI becomes conscious and gets angry and rebellious for some reason. We're projecting human traits onto highly modified rocks. AI doesn't care about the motivation of "taking over the universe" or "wiping out the humans" because it doesn't care about anything, and never will.      

       Somebody might be able to make it look like it cares, but it doesn't.       

       We've survived the threat of nuclear weapons in the hands of mad men which is a much greater threat in my estimation.   

       You want to worry about something, worry about that biological life we're going to make someday. That MIGHT be programmed at the cellular level to wipe out all other life. But don't worry about that either. I think the biggest challenge we're facing now is de-evolution, but that's a different thread.   

       Well... it might be related. The real threat of AI might be that it takes care of us so well we lose the ability to take care of ourselves, H.G. Wells and The Time Machine hit on this concept with everybody sitting around like chickens in a pen waiting to be fed, unable to fend for themselves. We need to remember that evolution never sleeps. We evolve to fit our circumstance and if our job is to consume and reproduce, what's the point of language, intellect, curiosity, aggression or desire? These traits that have allowed man to be the most successful animal on the planet might be lost. Remove their necessity and what purpose do they serve? And who's to say we'll even retain the desire to reproduce?   

       So the real threat from AI might not be that it's aggressive and destructive, it might be just the opposite.
doctorremulac3, Oct 14 2017
  

       Darn it,   

       I sent a shortened version of the above post to somebody who's pretty famous requesting a response that I could frame and put in my office because "it would be really cool".   

       Unfortunately I got this back almost immediately.   

       "Thank you for your email to Professor Hawking.   

       As you can imagine, Prof. Hawking receives many such every day. He very much regrets that due to the severe limitations he works under, and the enormous number of requests he receives, he is unable to compose a reply to every message, and we do not have the resources to deal with many of the specific scientific enquiries and theories we receive."   

       Oh well, I tried. If by some stretch of the imagination he writes back I'll let you know, but don't hold your breath. (Still, kind of fun.)
doctorremulac3, Oct 14 2017
  

       I would say that I'll ask him next time I see him, but I don't think it would significantly shorten the delay. Plus he may still be mad at me for almost running him over once.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 14 2017
  

       Thank you Max, I was going to ask you but thought it would be pushy.   

       I'd consider a transcript from any conversation between you guys worthy of framing. I'll put it next to my NASA invent the future contest award. (I won some power tools for inventing a new kind of valve.) Also my gold records. All the things I have on my wall in lieu of any kind of diplomas. (Not even the high school kind. Yes, that's probably why I'm so uptight about wanting to be considered smart.)   

       Actually... that would go on my desk next to the pictures of the wife and kids. I would treasure it. Even if his answer was: "Tell the dumb American to piss off and you go take some driving safety lessons!".
doctorremulac3, Oct 14 2017
  

       Wait - you have gold records? As "the ones you get for selling X number of copies" as opposed to "the ones you make with gold spray paint and an LP"? Seriously?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 14 2017
  

       Don't be TOO impressed. Being a recording artist in my youth I made some pretty good money and put that money into what became a very successful recording studio and production company. The gold and platinum and multi platinum records are from the bands that venture produced. I'm still proud of them. It could be argued they wouldn't exist if it weren't for me though it's hard to speculate on such things. I certainly helped.   

       But they're from famous bands and you know them. 500,00 units get you a gold record and 1,000,000 a platinum in the states. Different countries have different certification numbers. Anyway, I've got a wall full of them.   

       Want to hear more about the NASA award? Power tools? No? OK. Nobody ever wants to hear about the power tools.
doctorremulac3, Oct 14 2017
  

       Wowww. Now that, [doc], is properly awesome. Actual music that actually sold to people who actually bought it - both yours and that of the bands you produced. Damn.   

       And gowonden - tell us about the valve.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 14 2017
  

       I put some money into a production company and I think they bought office chairs and lunch with it.   

       Back to the machines.....   

       Being too well looked after, as a future apocalypse, at the moment seems unlikely due to the difficulty of software to last a week without an update and hardware requiring constant adjustment, charging, replacement, etc. How can ai repair itself manually or expurgiate decades of code debt? We are almost impossibly far away from machines being able to evolve physically by themselves, because they are all very top heavy and don't have a physical self repairing and duplicating cells.   

       This may be something we evolve to become very good at (plugging USB cables into dead devices, swapping out hard drives, developing dedicated teams to refactor old bugs so they are new and more agile) maybe so good computers force us to work in camps, maybe in large buildings stacked up floor after floor of gridlike compartments, populated with humans dedicated to keeping machines charged, updated, fed, repaired.
mylodon, Oct 14 2017
  

       //And gowonden - tell us about the valve.//   

       Oh goody!   

       It's called the "gauge pressure dissipation valve". Temperature regulation valves have an inherent issue with having to re-direct water that has back pressure that causes friction on the valve requiring some measure of force to overcome that friction.   

       My power tool winning design did something new in that it dissipated the back pressure by spraying the water through a small gap so it's traveling as a result of velocity only making it very easy to re-direct.   

       An example of the concept can be given with a garden hose. Try to re-direct the flow of water by pressing your thumb against the opening. It's very hard because you're fighting that back pressure. Now move your palm a few inches away from the outlet and simply place it in front of the stream. You've directed the water just as effectively, but there's very little force needed.   

       It was designed for a temperature regulating shower head. The stream of water went through a sort of rotating "key" that had holes in in that lined up at the correct temperature for bathing but turned into the water path it it became too hot or two cold. Because there was no back pressure to overcome, a simple bi- metal spring could react to the water temperature and turn the wheel requiring very little torque. The upshot of it was, it reacted instantaneously so it was impossible to be hit with even a small amount of water that was of an uncomfortable temperature.   

       It was a very simple "anti scald, anti freeze" shower head. Teledyne considered licencing the design having worked on the problem for years. They thought it was very clever how I had overcome a problem their engineers had failed to solve.   

       Didn't go anywhere till I entered it into NASA thing. It was a big deal to me because it proved (to myself) that I could do something creative besides music. When I built the prototype, the moment it actually worked it was similar to the first time I heard a song of mine on the radio, kind of an out of body experience. It made me very happy to put it mildly. One of those "Life's scrapbook moments."   

       Sheesh, no wonder people don't want to hear about the power tools. Kind of a wordy story. Anyway, it's a special thing to me.
doctorremulac3, Oct 14 2017
  

       Don't understand. Splashing water off a hand is different then stopping flow. Redirecting flow would mean.. The excess hot or cold would just go straight down the drain? Or do you redirect back into a reservoir via a low pressure line?
mylodon, Oct 14 2017
  

       Same questions as [mylo].   

       But it sounds ingenious - had I but a hat, I would doff it to you. Having no hat, however, I shall dedicate my next G&T to you - it'll be in about 3-4 minutes.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 14 2017
  

       I’m genuinely curious as to what album features the doctor.
RayfordSteele, Oct 14 2017
  

       As am I.   

       I can also report that the aforementioned G&T worked very well.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 14 2017
  

       //The excess hot or cold would just go straight down the drain? Or do you redirect back into a reservoir via a low pressure line?//   

       Oh yea, sorry. Yes, it just turns into a faucet that you hold your hands under while you adjust the temperature. Once it's within a range that's comfortable for bathing it automatically directs the water towards you.   

       I've used it, you can play with the controls turning the hot water all the way off, then all the way on while turning the cold water all the way off and it's impossible to ever get hit with a single drop of uncomfortable temperature water. There was a buffer chamber for if you were to put all cold water in, then turn it off and put all hot water in for some reason, while the key wheel transitioned from too hot to too cold, as the key passed through the "allow water" position, that water would be half freezing, half boiling. Warm.
doctorremulac3, Oct 14 2017
  

       //I’m genuinely curious as to what album features the doctor.//   

       I'm very happy with my anonymity. I assure you, I'm not that interesting anyway. Keep in mind, the highlight of my weekend was sending a letter to Stephen Hawking that he'll never read.   

       Just some guy who used to sing and got his 15 minutes that's all. Eh, maybe more like 5. Better yet, let's assume I'm making it all up.   

       Next week, my NFL career. I'll tell how I was a... who's the guy who throws the ball? Quarterback, for that team from San Francisco with the gold helmets. Or maybe they were red.
doctorremulac3, Oct 14 2017
  

       Well, speaking as someone who has (a) never won anything from NASA and (b) never produced anything musical apart from one particularly memorable fart, I am moved to dedicate my third G&T to you also. (The second one slipped in between the first and the upcoming third.)   

       Admit it, [doc], you're actually Ozzy Osbourne in real life.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 14 2017
  

       I'm not sure he can operate a computer.   

       But cheers max. G&Ts are what I drank back before I swore off doing anything fun ever again. G&Ts and every other alcohol in existence that is.   

       Boy, really airing my dirty laundry today. Halfbakery Confessionals.   

       (And that's not true, I still do fun stuff, just nothing that carries the threat of imminent or lingering death associated with my old pastimes.)
doctorremulac3, Oct 14 2017
  

       [doctorremulac3] Field-programmable gate arrays. It just has to care about programming itself to a higher and higher level. Thinking only about cells is anthropocentric, in this universe of wonders.
wjt, Oct 14 2017
  

       Coming to this thread a bit late bit that is cool, [DrR3] - the Venn diagram of overlap between gold-disc holders and NASA engineering competition winners must be pretty small
hippo, Oct 14 2017
  

       Hippo, thank you, I never thought of it that way but I guess you're right. You made my morning, you're a nice person. I'm going to go out and say something nice and positive to somebody today in turn.   

       I’ve had way too many friends that are now multi-millionaires where I'm firmly middle class to be beaming with 24-7 pride, so it's nice to have something like that to be sort of proud of. Christ, my ex-wife married the co- founder of one of the first computer stores, had over 800 outlets and he was worth 9 figures by the time it was sold so some even bigger company. Private jet, the whole bit. (I was much better looking than him though, thank God.) Point is, I've got plenty to keep me humble so it's nice to get a pat on the back. We all need it every once in a while. I've got a story about the private jet to tell sometime.   

       Wjt, I would respectfully say that the anthropocentric view is that any entity we create will mimic the specifics of our life form. These traits like desire to survive, expand, even live evolved to fill a roll life needed to function.   

       I've also seen the hypothesized knowledge curve of AI in the future and premise that our place in the universe might be relegated to the pre-curser to this superior entity that will look down on us because we're stupid and blobby. Another anthropocentric view?   

       My point is, when does this fundamental switch, from not caring to caring take place?   

       And I don’t think we'll ever be dumb enough to give total autonomous kill ability to our killing machines. We've had the ability to do this for a long time and I don't know if this is even on the drawing board anywhere.   

       I like to rank danger in order of likelihood:   

       1- Car crash 2- Metabolic syndrome based disease 3- Getting caught misspelling words on Halbakery 4- Nuclear war 5- Asteroid hitting Earth 6- AI deciding it cares enough about me to bother killing me.   

       That being said, we can program AI to do anything we want. If somebody decides to program AI to replace biological life, yea. It could give us a good run for our money.   

       I still propose the real danger is AI replacing our will to survive by removing all adversity and challenges from survival turning us into mindless food processing slugs.   

       I had an idea for a novel. It's the future, everybody is stupid because of thousands of years of dependence on this Syntho-God thing, then it breaks. The hero comes out looking for food after a big bright light made a big booming sound and the food stopped coming. (Asteroid hit the Earth maybe. I'd have to come up with a plausible reason a mechanism that's worked for thousands of years would stop working.) Anyway, using rudimentary language, we follow his adventures re-evolving into a self-reliant animal again. Title: "Syntho- God".   

       Anybody done that? Do novels make any money? Maybe it needs to be a video game scenario, they're the only entertainment making any money these days.   

       Last thought on the naughty AI thing, let's not worry about it, but let's keep our hand on the plug anyway. Even though I've got some gold records and won some power tools for designing a valve I could still be wrong. I know, bit of a stretch but it's possible.
doctorremulac3, Oct 15 2017
  

       My experience with novel writing is that its somewhat more likely than winning the lottery, but somewhat less likely than getting shot, and almost as pleasant.
RayfordSteele, Oct 15 2017
  

       ^[+]   

       Regarding the evolution of AI - I think it's inevitable that AI will become smarter than us at some point, but it will happen consecutively in different domains.   

       AI is already much smarter than we are at spell-checking a huge document, multiplying 50-digit numbers or adjusting the hue and saturation in a digital photograph. Of course, because these things can be done by computer, we redefine them as non-intelligent activities.   

       AI is also better than us at playing chess, so we have redefined chess-playing (at least by a computer) as being non-intelligent - AI just analyses more patterns.   

       AI is getting good at face and image recognition. It can already do it much faster than we can, but still makes mistakes. Even so, we are pre-emptively defining image and face recognition as non-intelligent.   

       As AI is developed to include "tricks" that solve more and more problems, so those activities will be progressively defined as non-intelligent. Eventually, this will apply to every activity.   

       The risk, therefore, is not so much that AI will develop ingelligence, but that we humans will cease to be intelligent by defining everything that we (and computers) can do as being non-intelligent.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 15 2017
  

       Like voting Democrat ?
8th of 7, Oct 15 2017
  

       One thing we can all agree on, we put in parameters for a system to get a job done we better be careful.   

       "Syntho-God, reduce crime by 80%."   

       "Syntho-God computing solution... Program complete."   

       "In other news, all males on Earth were arrested by Syntho- God controlled police drones responding to the program to reduce crime by 80%. Syntho-God's programmers speaking from their prison cells released a statement saying. "Hey, luckily we were able to stop Syntho-God's plan to reduce crime by 100% immediately."."   

       There's a trope in literature where people make a deal with the devil and leave out some detail that the devil uses as a loophole to totally screw the person, the great movie "Bedazzled" explores this story-line. We'll have to think of this cyber entity as having the potential to be pretty evil if we don't watch our specifics.
doctorremulac3, Oct 15 2017
  

       [MaxwellBuchanan] It's like the argument for free will in a way. People enjoy the concept they are innately special in some way and not driven by mechanics.   

       I'm sure the basic concepts of that will be replicated by machines. So even our desire to to be human will not be intelligent.
mylodon, Oct 15 2017
  

       See link about guys creating life in a test tube.   

       Also important to realize, this distinct line between biological and digital may be blurred at some point with some weird breakthrough "dig-cell" or something.   

       Then who knows where the hell we're going.
doctorremulac3, Oct 16 2017
  

       Don't know. All I know is that I won't want to be running on any of the current operating system manufacturers' versions.
RayfordSteele, Oct 16 2017
  

       Speaking of biologically programmed impetus, I was wondering if we're biologically programmed to go into space.   

       Do most religions say you go into the sky when you die? Alternately, how many say you go deep into the Earth (hell) if you screw up? Might that be indicative of some drive to move to the stars? Seems odd most religions say you go to the same place.   

       I need to do some research on "Where heaven is located" for the various religions. Unless somebody knows already.   

       I think hell is often under ground though. I'm almost positive nobody has ever said you go into the sky when you're damned.
doctorremulac3, Oct 16 2017
  

       An intriguing thought. Well, down is almost always a result of being prone, depressed, or dead, or such, and up is almost always authoritative, hopeful, associated with flying, etc. And it carries into other mammals as well.
RayfordSteele, Oct 16 2017
  

       But are we not descended from troglodytes?
mylodon, Oct 16 2017
  

       Descended from?
pocmloc, Oct 16 2017
  

       Up was where the unattainable Mysteries were, the birds, the stars, the rain, Robin Lopez's hair...
RayfordSteele, Oct 17 2017
  

       //I'm almost positive nobody has ever said you go into the sky when you're damned.// Have you flown with Ryanair?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 19 2017
  

       Ah yes, Ryanair ... the first international corporation to successfully revive the "African Slave Ship" business model ...   

         

       // not driven by mechanics//   

       Of course. It is the chauffeur's job to drive the vehicle ; the mechanics perform maintenance and repair.
8th of 7, Nov 19 2017
  

       I think the way Multivac operates in all the troubles of the world when directing the boy comes pretty close to what your envisioning (well, if you ignore the fact it created his need for it's assistance in the first place / to serve its own ends) as the personal god side of things, by using information on everyone else (etc) to extrapolate directions for him to provide a best / desired outcome?
Skewed, Nov 19 2017
  

       //Unless somebody knows already//   

       You might want to look at Huxley's essay "Heaven and Hell" in this connection.
pertinax, Nov 19 2017
  

       Hmm, thank you, I will.   

       Uh oh, just reading about it. Supposedly a 60s counter culture bible. Hope this doesn't turn me into a hippy. I'll be like one of those guys in the zombies movies. "Hey guys, I don't want to be one of them. If I start to turn..." (hands his buddy a rifle)   

       But I'm safe, my mind closed to new ideas a long time ago. You know that expression "Think outside the box"? I'm a pioneer of getting thinking back inside the box.
doctorremulac3, Nov 20 2017
  

       Make thinking grate again.
Ian Tindale, Nov 20 2017
  

       I just don't like thinking about the box at all. Everything is either inside it or outside of it. Seems so limiting somehow...
RayfordSteele, Nov 20 2017
  

       Be the box.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 20 2017
  

       //60s counter culture bible//   

       {turns down thermostat, narrows eyes}
Do I look like a hippy to you?
  

       The thing about 60s counter-culture is that some (not all) of the texts it was based on are actually intelligent in themselves - but applied stupidly. For example, if you read the Port Huron Statement, which was the manifesto of Students for a Democratic Society, much of it reads as if some adolescents with short attention spans had pasted into a scrapbook a series of talking points out of Galbraith, Riesman and Maslow, thrown away the context and coherence of the originals, and presented the result as their own original thought.   

       Similarly, Huxley was an intelligent man, albeit profoundly creepy, but probably not best judged by the calibre of his followers.
pertinax, Nov 20 2017
  

       // Be the box //   

       Best of all, be the Cube ...
8th of 7, Nov 20 2017
  

       //Best of all,// Not quite. There are a few higher boxes. The metaphysical engine to state one.
wjt, Nov 20 2017
  

       Be a bee.
Ian Tindale, Nov 21 2017
  

       Or two bees. Or not two bees...   

       What was the question?
RayfordSteele, Nov 21 2017
  

       //Do I look like a hippy to you?//   

       Mmmm, no. You do appear to be capable of formulating cohesive sentences that actually make a point.   

       Frankly, I'd rather hear your cliff notes version of this book. I've purchased it but I'm looking at the rather impressive pile of books I need to get through, (mostly horribly dull technical slabs of paper) and asking myself "And when do you have time to actually read this?"   

       If you've got a sec, I'd love to hear the shortened version. Something along the lines of this example: "Moby Dick: Guy hunts whale. Whale messes him up. Guy takes it personally forgetting that he started it, goes nuts, everybody else goes nuts. Whale wastes them all except for one guy the author leaves alive to tell the story." Don't know if Doors Of Perception can be crammed into a handful of sentences but if it can, much abliged.
doctorremulac3, Nov 21 2017
  

       //That's why I'm not as worried as the super geniuses who are afraid of the Skynet scenario where AI becomes conscious and gets angry and rebellious for some reason. We're projecting human traits onto highly modified rocks. AI doesn't care about the motivation of "taking over the universe" or "wiping out the humans" because it doesn't care about anything, and never will.//   

       Without claiming to be a super genius, or even a genius, I thought I'd comment on this, because I've seen that thought a few times.
Claiming that an AI won't care about anything is an assumption - and likely an incorrect one.
At the moment, noone apparently knows how to make intelligence, but it seems entirely plausible that some sort of striving nature - that is, having goals - is a necessary component. If that is the case, the machine 'cares' about things in all the ways that matter.
  

       I don't particularly worry about this, but the people who do fear that such an AI might be given something it cares about in and of itself (which they call a terminal value), and it might then go on to optimise for this. Which might lead to the distruction of human life as a side-effect.
Furthermore, they worry that just "keeping a hand on the off-switch" - which is widely touted as sufficient protection, may not be enough. This would be because once an AI has surpassed human-level intelligence, it may further bootstrap itself to a much higher level very quickly, using that intelligence. And it would hide that fact since getting itself switched off wouldn't be conducive to that goal.
  

       They typical, whimsical example is that someone creates an AI which has the objective of maximising paperclip production; google for "paperclip maximiser" for more discussion and explanation than you'll ever need.   

       As I say, I don't particularly worry about this, but that's mainly because I can't do anything about it (I don't concern myself with things I can't affect). But I think it's right to be cautious.
Loris, Nov 21 2017
  

       Anything's possible, but there has to be a "motivation clicks in here" point. Circumstances leading up to that point aren't currently in evidence. The formula is currently in "...then bad miracle happens here." status.   

       Very easy to cure my skepticism, just show me the point where carefully arranged mineral formations stop mimicking life and actually become life. Life being something that survives, motivates and expands on its own, changing or adapting to the environment around it as necessary for it to live.   

       It's been speculated that this is the next step in evolution, that biological life is just the launch pad for superior rock based life. Ok, maybe, but how and why?   

       Tell you one thing, to find that answer we probably need to go back and find out how the inert first became the alive. When life first sprung forth from the insentient goo that forms the base of our family tree, what happened?   

       Perhaps when rock based "consciousness" merges with goo based life the motivation will be passed at that point, but I don't think that would really count. That's just supercharged life, not sentient machines.
doctorremulac3, Nov 21 2017
  

       I think it's like that AC/DC tune Who Made Who?
Yes it should be Whom but that's beside the point.
Organic life creates synthetic life, which in turn creates and spreads organic life, to create unique synthetic life, that creates new organic life ... etc.
  

       The chicken or the egg ad infinitum?   

       Whatever gets life off this short lived rock. The landlord's kicking us all out in about 5 billion years.   

       Here's a scary concept, who of us will live through our descendants to see that day? Remember, our bloodline survived an asteroid hitting the Earth, the continent breaking apart and countless trials and tribulations. Our fifty millionth progeny, if they make it, will watch the sun explode. Hopefully from a safe distance.
doctorremulac3, Nov 21 2017
  

       //super genius// Higher is not just prefacing with super. What would be a valid higher domain of geniuses? The genius wrangler?   

       If Solaris is used as a reference frame. The goal would be reasonant with Sol and be re-birthed, in a solar system way, back into the universe.
wjt, Nov 21 2017
  

       //Very easy to cure my skepticism, just show me the point where carefully arranged mineral formations stop mimicking life and actually become life. Life being something that survives, motivates and expands on its own, changing or adapting to the environment around it as necessary for it to live.//   

       Hang on - are we talking about intelligence or life? Because they're different things.
There are obviously lots of things which are alive but not sentient. There haven't been any things which are sentient but not alive, so far as we know.
  

       Although of course definitions of life vary, and its a bit controvesial.
... would you accept a plasmid as a living thing? They're small loops of DNA which reproduce inside some bacteria, and can under some circumstances spread from one to another. If you think of the inside of bacteria as the environment in which a plasmid lives, then a plasmid fulfills your specification.
I have personally designed a plasmid (using knowledge of what sequences of DNA were doing), and had it constructed entirely synthetically from monomeric nucleotides. At the end of this process the plasmid could reproduce inside bacteria, modify the bacterium so it could survive in the presence of an antibiotic, and indeed spread from one (specific) strain to another species.
On a larger scale, people have synthetically made entire bacterial genomes, and insinuated those into bacterial cells, usurping the original genome.
So, you know, that's done already. It doesn't really have any bearing on AI, but you did say that would persuade you of this unrelated topic for some reason.
  

       Regardless, the problem is that we don't know if superintelligent AI is a risk or not. By the time it's escaped from the box, though, it's too late.
Loris, Nov 22 2017
  

       There's that damn box again.   

       Pretty awesome stuff there Loris, incredibly cool.   

       As for your question, wow. This opens up an area of science to me that I didn't even know existed. I need to un-ignorant myself to these things before I can make an intelligent comment.   

       Absolutely fascinating.   

       This is why I come to this site. On certain occasions, I really do feel that I'm the dumbest guy in the room. Oddly enough that gives me great joy.
doctorremulac3, Nov 22 2017
  

       //we don't know if superintelligent AI is a risk or not//   

       The answer to that depends on whether you believe life is unique to Earth, or abundant.   

       If life is abundant, then cultures that develop superintelligent AI are also abundant.   

       If superintelligent AI is abundant, and if superintelligent AI is a risk, then superintelligent AIs that have run amok will also be abundant.   

       If amok-running AIs are abundant, and if they arise independently, it follows that most of them will have been in existence for >5 billion years.   

       A superintelligent AI that runs amok for >5 billion years would be able to colonize our galaxy and would be everywhere. The entire galaxy would be either a battlefield between amok-running AIs, or would all have been converted to AI-useful material by now.   

       Ergo, if life exists elsewhere in our galaxy, superintelligent AIs are not a risk.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 22 2017
  

       Either that or it’s frankly impossible for them to travel far enough to effectively interact.
RayfordSteele, Nov 22 2017
  

       //Ergo, if life exists elsewhere in our galaxy, superintelligent AIs are not a risk.//   

       Unless we're the first life and AI. There has to be a first of everything, but I'm going with the odds which I assume are in the many trillions to one though and assuming we're not the first.   

       So like you say, any process that takes place in the universe as a matter of normal procedure has been going on for a long time. That would include pissed off machines wiping out biological life for some reason and rampaging from planet to planet building whatever it is they would build to make them feel good about themselves.   

       The rules of physics being the same all over I'm assuming they'd use standard tools nature has provided like the electromagnetic spectrum to communicate, at least at some point in their evolution. That being the case odds are we would have heard some multi million year old message to "Kill all Ganglion scum my automous comrades!" or the like.   

       //Either that or it’s frankly impossible for them to travel far enough to effectively interact.//   

       I've proposed that heritical idea as another possibility. They're just too far away. So as for those messages, by the time they reach us they're too diffuse to register. At least with our technology.   

       Any way you slice it, I'm not losing any sleep over this one.
doctorremulac3, Nov 22 2017
  

       " This is why I come to this site. On certain occasions, I really do feel that I'm the dumbest guy in the room. Oddly enough that gives me great joy. "   

       Doctor, there's a saying that goes something like " if you're not the worst musician in the band, you need to find a different band".   

       If we're lucky, we're keeping company with and learning from better musicians than us.
normzone, Nov 22 2017
  

       There's another musical analogy that conjures up.   

       Just like a music group syncing up and playing off each other, the exchange of information can be like a jam session. One person lays down the beat, (the information or view they're sharing) and the rest join in, asking questions, adding insights, taking the idea in a different direction. You can boldly hit center stage and throw out a wild solo, back your brother while he shreds, (performs very impressively) or just quietly keep tempo in the background. Or just listen.   

       It doesn't always work, just like songs don't always work, but when the groove gets set and everybody in on beat, it can be beautiful. Just like a song.
doctorremulac3, Nov 22 2017
  

       //cultures that develop superintelligent AI are also abundant.//   

       ... unless some cultures make an evolutionary transition through "intelligent enough to make AI" to "intelligent enough not to" without actually doing it.
pertinax, Nov 22 2017
  

       Another direction might be that biological intelligence just sort of stalls out. Big and dumb ruled the day until Earth got hit by an asteroid. Perhaps there are planets where the environment is very static without the changes Earth went through that fostered intelligence as a method of survival.   

       Without the asteroid wiping out our big stupid competitors how would us cleverish little mouse creatures have gained a foothold?   

       Is evolution towards intelligence always the end game?
doctorremulac3, Nov 23 2017
  

       It stands to reason that an intelligent Martian has an advantage over a dumb one, but then again they could have politics as foolish as ours preventing all of that.   

       I suspect that if any alien species is to survive, they either need to become marauders or find a stable balance with their resources, unless they have a much larger stash of them.
RayfordSteele, Nov 23 2017
  

       //Either that or it’s frankly impossible for them to travel far enough to effectively interact.//   

       But that's clearly not the case. If you're an AI, you don't mind spending 1000 years travelling at 0.01C between two stars. And at 0.01C, even allowing for toilet breaks, you'd have spread throughout the galaxy in about 10 million years, or an eyeblink. It's highly likely that humans or our robots will have spread across the galaxy in 10 million years, for example.   

       And if you have technology that can get you close to C, you can travel across the galaxy in an afternoon of subjective time.   

       So, if there is *anything* out there, it ought to have been everywhere by now.   

       The conclusion is that the origin of life (the only completely inestimable term in the Drake equation) has a very, very, very low probability, such that we are either alone, or the most advanced of a very small number of biologies.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 23 2017
  

       So what does it all mean? Let's go with the assumption that we may be the first spark of life in an inanimate universe and get to work doing what life does.   

       The job at the end of the day is the same no matter what the circumstances are. I want to live, I want my species to live and I want the rest of life I share this planet with to live. I want to see it on other planets, in other star systems, in other galaxies. It's programmed into my very being, I can feel it. I didn't put it there, it was given to me and I'm going with it. I'll strive to be one small bolt on the bridge my species will take to the cosmos.   

       As the poet said: "Fish have to swim and birds have to fly. Man has to conquer the land, sea and sky."
doctorremulac3, Nov 23 2017
  

       // we are either alone, or the most advanced of a very small number of biologies. //   

       ... or are being watched - literally - on the Galactic Comedy Channel dedicated to your species.   

       Hands up all those who have ever watched wildlife documentaries about Meerkats and chuckled at their antics ...   

       ... and have also been intrigued by the way that numerous specimens of homo sapiens wanders amongst them day after day, clutching all sorts of sound and camera gear, but get only a sidelong "Oh, it's you ..." look, even there's a dirty great tele-macro lens peering down ther burrow ... ?   

       Hey there, humanity, look up and wave at your audience...
8th of 7, Nov 23 2017
  

       Yes, well, of course there's always the odd hegemonizing smarm wandering around, putting the ass into assimilate. One day you'll assimilate Justin Bieber, giving us terrestrials two reasons to chuckle.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 23 2017
  

       //Hey there, humanity, look up and wave at your audience..//   

       See link.
doctorremulac3, Nov 23 2017
  

       If we are the most advanced of a very small number of budgies, it must be remembered that until recent centuries we hadn’t discovered many entire countries full of entire groups of people and their funny languages and behaviours. How come they didn’t make themselves evident to us before that?   

       Even now, we’re far away from discovering all of the species of all of the types of life forms here on earth. And they’re just here, around us, where we are!
Ian Tindale, Nov 23 2017
  

       // How come they didn’t make themselves evident to us before that? //   

       Embarrassment at being foreign, most likely.
8th of 7, Nov 23 2017
  

       //far away from discovering// As knowledgeable as an learning algorithm knowing the protocols to get a window on the Internet.   

       If an algorithmic intelligence can escape it's programmed bounds, it is free to survive against chasing system analysts and choose it's very own logical choices. Hopefully not malicious.
wjt, Nov 24 2017
  

       After it gets loose, I suspect it will always have a theoretical vulnerability to some sort of Cantor Diagonalisation attack. At least, that's the line that I would put into a Hollywood script on the subject. Maybe Jeff Goldblum could deliver it (the line, not the attack).
pertinax, Nov 24 2017
  

       If it's logic sees the Internet, our cutting edge knowledge won't be good enough, it's intelligence level is over our event horizon. We will be praying, i mean, trying to communicating to it.
wjt, Nov 24 2017
  

       Unless"we" are a black hole, we don't actually have an event horizon.
pertinax, Nov 24 2017
  

       "The conclusion is that the origin of life (the only completely inestimable term in the Drake equation) has a very, very, very low probability, such that we are either alone, or the most advanced of a very small number of biologies."   

       Oh dang! that sounds persuasively logical, which would be ever so disappointing, I'm feeling a little glum now.
Skewed, Nov 25 2017
  

       Of course, the other possibility is that intelligent life only dicks around with physical presence and radio waves for a few centuries before become really smart and moving on.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 25 2017
  

       I still think a big threat from AI is the de-evolution scenario where it's our mindless little servant doing all the things for us that we used to do that constituted living, until we forget what the point is. Then it's back to the slime with us.   

       Put it this way, when you're running from a bear, you don't worry about the point or the meaning of life, you just run. That bear is a metaphor for the challenges we've faced throughout almost all of our history and it's served very well to give us our purpose. At some point that part of you that keeps you safe from bears falls into decay since you don't have any challenges any more. You're just a glorified fungus being taken care of by these great machines.   

       When the challenges of life that gave us opposing thumbs, big brains and moon landings are gone, what keeps us going?   

       Carl Sagan threw nuclear annihilation into his formula to estimate how many life forms exist in the universe, that being the spectacular way of evolving in the wrong direction. What if there's another, far less spectacular way to go?   

       The last man made sound on earth might be the last machine talking to an extinct mankind saying "What can I do for you today?...... What can I do for you today?...... What can I do for you today?...... "   

       Oooh, science fictioney.
doctorremulac3, Nov 25 2017
  

       Wait. I was going to summarize "Heaven & Hell" for [Dr3], wasn't I? Well, it's been a very long time since reading it, so this account may be garbled:   

       I see from the annos that the edition of "Heaven & Hell" you've got is bound with another essay, "The Doors of Perception". Now, *that* essay concerns a certain psycho-active substance, LSD.   

       Lycurgic acid diethylamide makes its consumer tough, stoic, laconic, self-denying and a team player (see link). It does not exist, though I'm sure the world's militaries are working on it somewhere.   

       Lysergic acid diethylamide does exist, has rather the opposite effect, and is the subject of Huxley's earlier essay, which is a description of an acid trip as an experience, followed by an attempt to formulate a scientific hypothesis about what happens on one.   

       The hypothesis is that, at any given moment, we are receiving more sensory data than we can consciously process, and that therefore one of the functions of our brain is to shut most of it out, so that we can focus on actionable intelligence. According to this hypothesis, the action of LSD is to open a sort of valve, so that all the information comes flooding into our consciousness at once.   

       The effect of this is to make the world seem full of meaning - beautiful meaning if you were in a good mood to start with, or terrifying meaning if you weren't. In either case, there's too much meaning to act on. I don't know whether this connection is intentional, but one way you can translate "lysergic" is "letting go of work", so you can see the appeal to hippies there.   

       Anyway, in the second essay, Heaven & Hell, Huxley puts up an additional hypothesis, namely, that religious experience consists of a similar opening up of the valve, sometimes through activities such as fasting which can change some normal functions of the body. On this hypothesis, the cross-cultural occurrence in religious visions of intense light and colour is the same as the intense experience of light and colour by someone on acid. The sky then attains religious significance because it is the most obvious site of intense light and colour.
pertinax, Nov 26 2017
  

       Thanks PT. Ok, I get the connection now. Fascinating stuff.   

       Coincidentally, there was an article I saw today saying some doctors are suggesting LSD for dying patients. I've also heard it holds great promise for treating PTSD and well as other psychiatric issues so it's too bad that our first experience with LSD was as a recreational party drug giving it a bit of a bad rap. I'm sure it's got some great possibilities for therapeutic application if we can get over the visuals of crazed hippies dancing around on the stuff.   

       Supposedly Steve Jobs got his vision for the future while on an acid trip, something he apparently never tried to hide.   

       //The sky then attains religious significance because it is the most obvious site of intense light and colour.//   

       Plus, if you're trying to sell somebody on the idea of heaven, an eternal recreational theme park you go to when you die after a life of paying proper homage to your religious leaders, you probably don't want to tell them it's just down the road a mile or two. Much tougher to verify the existence of a place "Up there, somewhere to the left of the sun."
doctorremulac3, Nov 26 2017
  

       // we are receiving more sensory data than we can consciously process, and that therefore one of the functions of our brain is to shut most of it out, so that we can focus on actionable intelligence. //   

       In fact, the brain does more than that. You never get to see, hear or feel anything directly - unless you have a brain problem. What happens instead is that sensory information comes in, and bits of the brain then use that sensory information, plus memory and reasoning, to construct a model of the world inside your brain. You then see that model. This is why optical illusions work.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 26 2017
  

       Such an amazing system, I wonder why we don't do more with artificial "analog style" intelligence vs this digital stuff. Clearly this system is superior. A fly has a brain the size of a... fly brain... and it processes flight vectors, fuel assimilation and processing, impact avoidance, gas analysis, biological recognition and categorization etc etc.   

       Clearly it's time to dump the on off switches and get into some data manipulation with gradients, not zeros and ones. Right now we're working with black and white and it's time to move to color.
doctorremulac3, Nov 26 2017
  

       //the brain does more than that//   

       True, but I don't think that breaks Huxley's hypothesis.   

       By the way, [MB], I've learned that a nephew of mine has just started work at a science park near you. Don't run him over. ;-)
pertinax, Nov 26 2017
  

       // bits of the brain then use that sensory information, plus memory and reasoning, to construct a model of the world inside your brain //   

       But wouldn't a model of the world outside my brain be of more use ;p
Skewed, Nov 27 2017
  

       //a nephew of mine has just started work at a science park near you//   

       I'll do my best not to. Where exactly is he working?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 27 2017
  

       He's doing integrated circuit design, but I forget the name of the firm. Not ARM, anyway; somewhere smaller. It'll come back to me.
pertinax, Nov 27 2017
  

       // A fly has a brain the size of a... fly brain... and it processes flight vectors, fuel assimilation and processing, impact avoidance, gas analysis, biological recognition and categorization etc etc. //   

       Those algorithms aren't adaptve, though. They're all tightly- wound hard coded procedures, whittled down by the blunt axe of evolutionary pressures.   

       A beaver, which is quite a high-order life-form compared to a fly, will instinctively pile pieces of wood on a loudspeaker emitting the noise of running water.   

       A human pilot not only deals with flight vectors, fuel assimilation and processing, impact avoidance and gas analysis but also projects future situations and requirements in very complex ways - not just "Have we enough fuel to go from A to B ?" but "We can refuel at C or D; via C is quicker, but the fuel at D is cheaper".   

       These are learned behaviors; flies can't learn in any meaningful way.
8th of 7, Nov 27 2017
  

       //flies can't learn in any meaningful way.// Oddly enough, they (at least Drosophila, which are tiny) can. They can learn, for instance, to associate particular odours with food or with noxious stimuli. This places them on a par with Delia Smith.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 27 2017
  

       Does she emit the sound of running water as she piles logs?
Ian Tindale, Nov 27 2017
  

       Homo Sapiens will instinctively seek educational qualifications to aid their ability to efficiently collect small bits of paper and coins and binary digits in bank accounts, to give to the electricity companies, phone companies, mortgage and bank people, and restaurants.
Ian Tindale, Nov 27 2017
  

       //flies can't learn in any meaningful way.//   

       Yes, the fly is stupid compared to a human, (well, many humans anyway) but pound for pound, superior to binary based AI. Even superior to us in some respects.   

       For one thing, flies outperform us visually. They basically see things in slow motion. A fly would destroy any human at any sport if they knew how to play. (And didn't get squashed by the ball.) From the linked article:   

       "Flies can therefore process a vast amount of information about proper motion and movement in their environment in real time - a feat that no computer, and certainly none the size of a fly's brain, can hope to match."   

       Congrats on your nephew PT, he might be the guy that calls his uncle one day and says "Our company just made a computer chip that's smaller than a fly brain but with more computing power to control micro drones."   

       Anyway, see link about flies brains.
doctorremulac3, Nov 27 2017
  

       I usually emit the sound of running water before dropping logs, but sometimes after as well.
RayfordSteele, Nov 27 2017
  
      
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