Can a machine know?

Discussion in 'Intelligence & Machines' started by roadblock, Apr 6, 2006.

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  1. mackmack Registered Senior Member

    "Consider mackmack's point that "meaning" is "hidden" in patterns or whatever. Why? Where exactly is it?"

    actually its not hidden but is encased in some "fuzzy logic" thing. imagine you had a word cat. then you have the fuzziness of that meaning. if you are talking about a visual image, a cat can be black, white, spots, yellow, gold, or a combinations of those colors. the cat can be small, or big, or skinny, etc. The tail can be short or long,etc. The whole difference of a cat is the "fuzziness" (patterns). the word cat is what is fixed and never change(well, it can if we change it) and is something we can identify what the pattern is. This is one of the biggest reasons why i tell people that language is very important to human intelligence. because it brings order to chaos.

    i agree with wess in that being able to know means the whole package. the human has to be self-awared, self-learning, be able to find meaning to patterns, must have a physical body etc.

    i also agree with kron in that humans aren't very special in this universe. for example, if this entire universe is one atom in another universe, does this matter? yes because if someone destroys the atom then our uniiverse is gone.
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  3. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    Certainly I agree with that. Language gives a "peg" which concepts can be "hung upon" and act as a node that can relate concepts to one another. Without it it's as you said "chaos".

    Well "special" is a very subjective term. There is no objective means of its implementation. That one might assert something to be special, even something as broad as "humanity", is to state a particular skew of emotional impact on the individual psyche. Therefore, the flat statement "humans are special" with no consideration of the source would be utterly meaningless. So humans are indeed special... mostly to the humans. We may be "special" to "entity x". We cannot be "special" in any other way, because without reference to a perspective as a source of the assertion, there is only "the tao", or the seamless whole of meaningless function.
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  5. devils_reject Registered Senior Member

    Well, a machine definately knows about all the pornographic web sites we visit from time to time...hmm
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  7. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    You think the machine "knows" a bit of pornography from a bit of shock.dll? You think a machine knows it's a machine, or that it's attached to the internet?

    A machine can record bits that just so happen to translate through ascii code to letters that were engineered by minds to mean something to other minds. The pornography you view isn't 'known' until an entity is aware of it. It can become aware of it due to the function of a machine.

    - note:

    When I think of 'machine' I mean 'as we know them'.

    If what was called a machine became conscious... it wouldn't be a machine anymore.

    I think it's apparent though that given that the human mind can create "the illusion (if you must)" of consciousness, a device could definately be devised to perform the same task. That device however, would be far more than a machine, IMO.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2007
  8. sony Registered Senior Member

    So... is the "self" just an experiencer, or does it actually affect things? Is it a device, design or an effect?
  9. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    Self is both the experiencer and that which is experienced. It could be considered the resultant of a device that could probably be designed. Were it designed, the created device could create the effect.
  10. mackmack Registered Senior Member

    "So... is the "self" just an experiencer, or does it actually affect things? Is it a device, design or an effect?"--sony

    what wess is heading at is a good point. life is like a videogame. the things you see around you is the game levels. the AI is designed to play the game and win. (in real life the game is to survive). life can also have a function--that function being: pursue things that give you pleasure and stay away from things that give you pain. This would mean we eat good food, we make more money, take vacations, etc. another function is to stay way from pain. don't eat bad food, don't get sick, don't get into car accidents, don't fall down etc. there are also long term benefits to consider. sometimes people sacrifice short term pain to achieve long term pleasure. one example is work.

    so, the human is actually pursuing pleasure and staying away from pain. the videogame is life. we control this game by following the functions. in affect, humans are self-awared becuase of the senses (functions and build in feelings) and it controls the environment and changes it to fulfill its functions.
  11. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    Actually, the profit function for humans is pretty simple and not quite as you stated it mackmack, but perhaps it's just a semantics deal:

    Human thought is about "what is valued". Every minute conscious action can be explained as "what is most apparently valuable at this time, from the apparent available choices". Value is learned as you describe for the most part I believe. "pleasure and pain" however, become quite abstracted when the considerations you appended are applied. "pleasure" can come from "pain", they can morph into each other, etc.

    Ego is the instinct to survive and procreate, as abstracted over its percieved circumstance. Whereas in a simple creature "survive" is a blind, reactive state with no capacity for reflection, to a human, survival becomes "work and family", or whatever the resultant from the percieved circumstance of the individual in question. What's interesting to me, is the seemingly contradictory or inane facts that can end up comprising one's survival, due to the nature of the perception involved. If for instance, one is a cheerleader - a firm ass and pretty hair is part of what is percieved as necessary for survival. On and on and on with the weird shit that becomes a subjective reality, all of which has great merit IMO. If a cheerleader's identity is dependent upon that she is a cheerleader, that she values her firm ass and pretty hair is a necessary aspect of her survival function, and rightly so.

    Further, I believe a principle involved here is "conservation of will". By this I mean that in terms of the abstracts within mind, "will" is basically energy and is therefore conserved in a manner similar to the way energy is, but not exactly. It's sort of "the integral" of the same concept. maybe it could be "conservation of self" instead, whereas I see the two to be quite similar. Basically, a mind will not accept things that counter its foundation or require an excess of effort wherein the hypothesized gain from the effort does not warrant the effort. Moreso even when the gain is a threat to the perception of self, or the foundations of conceptual inter-relationships of the mind in question.

    Something like that.
  12. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    Can a machine know?

    Can a machine know that it knows?
    Not yet.
  13. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    You don't think that in order to "know", you must know that you know?
  14. Roman Banned Banned

    Spider's know how to spin webs. But do they know they know?

    Would it be appropriate to compare arthropods to complex machines?
  15. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    Do they "know" how to spin them, or do they just spin them? Do you think they contemplate how they should go about their task? Can they doubt their skill? Do you have to "know" to go do sleep, or do you just fall asleep?
  16. mackmack Registered Senior Member

    do they know that they know?

    nope, they don't know that they know. let me explain. there are two factors here: one is innate traits and the other are learned traits. a human don't have to know that it is attracted to certain things (man attracted to women and women attracted to man), they just know from innate "given" traits. we don't have to know that pain hurts, we are given that it hurts. if you don't understand this take a needle and poke your skin. that pain is innately given.

    on the other hand there are learned things. things that we learn from society. if society says this is a good thing, then we know its a good thing because we learned it from society. if society say this is a bad thing, then its a bad thing. we see this kind of behavior when different cultures interact with each other. some are offended by someones normal behavior (culture shock).

    and the thing about pain and pleasure that wes mentioned, its just one component to a human being there are lots more, one example is the innate traits and learned traits mentioned above.

    another thing i would like to point out is that your right about things being at the moment that matters. we make decisions based on at-the-moment or we find meaing to tjhings at the moment. this is why the core of my AI program is based on one loop:

    1. the AI takes in the five senses
    2. the AI makes future predictions
    3. the AI takes the best future action
    4. repeat step 1.

    the future prediction is based on pain and pleasure. it makes the best long term future prediction and plan out what its actions should be. then it takes that action.
  17. TimePlotter Registered Member

    First that depends on what exactly you want a machine to know, next is if you have the knowledge to found what the machine knows and know what results you want the machine to provide you. The rest is a game with tax programs and retail outlets.

    A example of this might be Birth Control, Sexuality Behavior Conditioning, Space Development, Life Teachings.

    The first prospect is not what we have been told about Birth Control, its a game of taxation and job organization for all the states to observe rules and regulations. OK with this in mind consider the Birth Control Pill for women, next consider development of the Birth Control Pill and next consider the advances of Birth Control Pills for men.

    Now that your headed towards a taxation based livelyhood with programs to support Birth Control and management of individuals time in providing them with the knowledge which they need to possess your ready to pay that years taxes. So then the next year passes and the next and so on. Its now been 20 years of the same profiling of individuals for Birth Control and many doctors have died and many have retired and could die soon and many have simply ended their work situations or become better doctors and better pharmist.

    Regardless the year of taxation has a leaf and books have been printed and mailed over and over and over and so many people paid their taxes and went along with government programs and rules and regulations. Yet a stump now has started sprouting into a new tree and the entire system of Birth Control and sexuality laws, rules and regulations could become threatened by a better method. What is this new method that could endorse no more Birth Control Pills for men or women and no more publications and no more doctor visits for Viagra and other sexual disorders? Is this new method something thats always been around but because it did not endorse government programs and taxation and medicare properly it never was developed? What about space is this system possible in a space environment and what about the Birth Control Pills being compatible in space? Where does DNA play such a big management cartel for the future without this new method?

    Now with that stated, where has science gone wrong in mandating a Birth Control Pill and Taxation Requirement for everyone while certain government employees have little to none tax statements per year while they provided their services of crafting a Birth Control Pill Service provided an abundance of employment taxes across America and the world that invested in their planning and development stages of Birth Control stengthening government programs that were funded year after year for more than the 20 years those were developing. Thats more than 20 million participants worldwide counting their monthly supplies and spending money every time they want more. It's great isn't it to see how government can make this happen for a majority. Now could government go one step further in eliminating the entire ordeal? Just think how many tax collectors have taken advantage of the fees that doctors have paid in taxes each year as they worked to provide Birth Control Pill Users and how much the overall total of incomes were involved down to stocking and warehousing Birth Control Pills.


    Factually its 'A Electronic Device that's Wirelessly Controlled
    and is A Simple Valve Redirector for Implantation in Males and
    Females with a Personal DNA Bank package that providing
    A Fundamental Population Control Augmentation Service'.

    Therefore it depends on what you want the substance your redirecting to do once its collected and placed into a storage situation and whom you want to have access to it as well as how to control the effect of the substance with respect to the other substance it could have come into contact with had there not been such a wireless switching valve to change the ordeal God made for mankind to increase the population of humainty. God should have thought of this device instead of me, since 'religious purposes' pay no taxes yearly. Just how can I cope with a tax on a income from a invention that could be used in space exploration and on earth replacing the Birth Control Pill. Now you know what knowledge you need to know to instruct the machine the mechanics involved in providing this avenue of a tax free society.

    Broken Hearted,
  18. zenbabelfish autonomous hyperreal sophist Registered Senior Member

    A machine can 'know' if its constructors create the conditions for it to know....through aggregation and repetition the machine can also 'know it knows' but I suspect that the machines' Theory of Mind will be limited by its architecture and practical material and logistic variables in much the same way as humans.
  19. mackmack Registered Senior Member

    the term human level AI means we try to build something exact but can it be exact. the answer is maybe. since humans are so diverse and they aren't all the same (not even twins) we can't put the word exact as fixed. but certainly we can build something very similar.
  20. Faize Registered Senior Member

    Hey guys.

    This is a really heated discussion, but unfortunately i think it might be going nowhere. The problem, i think, is that everyone seems to have a different concept or idea of what exactly comprises knowledge and what makes up a machine. To reach any sort of point, these must be defined so that everyone has a common ground to argue on.
    If you agree with me, then let's start trying to list definitions of "knowledge" and "machine" to go on.
    I'll start.

    I propose that knowledge be defined by its classical definition. This was that for something to be qualified as knowledge, it must be a true justified belief. The question is, how can a robot believe?

    Second, machine. Let's start off with the standard dictionary definition: any mechanical or electrical device that transmits or modifies energy to perform or assist in the performance of human tasks.

    If you think we should reach some sort of compromise as to what exactly "knowledge" and "machine" are, then help by proposing your own definition of it.
    If you don't agree with me and want to continue the way you have for the last 5 pages, then whatever. At least acknowledge that you read my suggestion.

    I guess I don't have any credibility because I haven't really contributed to this conversation yet. However, I do not want to do so in an argument without clear purpose.
  21. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    I agree with the definition of knowledge. By the definition of machine however, we could say that machines already know, as our bodies/brains satisfy the definition, unless you don't consider them 'mechanical or electrical".

    Perhaps the real problem is that the problem of mind is outside the scope of our common lexicon.
  22. zenbabelfish autonomous hyperreal sophist Registered Senior Member

    If we consider the 'machine' as an exogenous device -an extension of the human body then (as stated in the last post) a machine can 'know' in the sense that the human is part of the feedback loop that controls the machine...knowing is monitoring.
    If the machine is considered as an autonomous entity then a machine with, for example, a 'coincidence' circuit, would also 'know' in the sense that its communication architecture would register an event had occurred (a coincidence) similarly to a human (particularly at a synaptic level i.e. 1's and 0's).

    The human monitoring the machine could be said to have a true justified belief in the feedback witnessed - why is this not true for the machine?
  23. mackmack Registered Senior Member

    if a human can "know" then i don't see why a machine can't. a human is a form of machine. if this is try, which it is, then that means a machine can know.

    i say this because humans are designed--someone made the human and i don't think it was an accident or randomness. so if someone can design a human being using biological parts instead of mechanical then why can't we build our own human using mechancal parts?

    in other words if a human being is designed by someone then why can't people beleive that an intelligent machine (some artistic creation) be able to know and function like a real human.
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