# The mathematics of artificial intelligence.

Assuming that *sentience is a form of inyelligence*
If we could build an AI with a form of awe, we would already have a sentient entity.
I agree. The single difference would be that it is not an organically based neural system..
Combine this with the ability to self duplicate.
(@ River, does it matter how? Look at the great variety of artificial duplicating machines already in use.
Thus the question, if we have a self duplicating sentient/intelligent being, how would you classify it?

Last edited:
I agree. The single difference would be that it is not an organically based neural system..

Yeah, it's just that it's fantasy.
It's like saying if we just had a magical propulsion system that could get us to A. Centauri in a day, we'd be able to colonize the place.
That's a magical 'if'.

I'm OK with 'if's, but let's not forget em.

Thus the question, if we have a self duplicating sentient/intelligent being, how would you classify it?
It would be a little early for classification.
But it would simply be artificial inorganic life form. AILF.

Yeah, it's just that it's fantasy.
It's like saying if we just had a magical propulsion system that could get us to A. Centauri in a day, we'd be able to colonize the place. That's a magical 'if'.
I'm OK with 'if's, but let's not forget em.
It would be a little early for classification.
But it would simply be artificial inorganic life form. AILF.
Time would be no problem for a non-organic life-form such as a titanium skeleton in a vacuum. A single AILF would be sufficient for exploring a vast region of space over long spans of time.

But then, if it could experience awe, it would also be able to experience loneliness...... OK, we need two AILFs

Last edited:
Time would be no problem for a non-organic life-form such as a titanium skeleton in a vacuum. A single AILF would be sufficient for exploring a vast region of space over long spans of time.
Just because something doesn't need oxygen, doesn't mean it doesn't need
• propulsion
• fuel, lots and lots of fuel
• repair mechanisms
• repair supplies
• an industry for collecting raw materials, refining them and turning them into materials and fuel
• an intelligence powerful enough solve unforeseen problems
• an intelligence powerful enough to handle all the above tasks at once
• a way to communicate back to us (otherwise what's the point?)

Just because something doesn't need oxygen, doesn't mean it doesn't need
• propulsion
• fuel, lots and lots of fuel
• repair mechanisms
• repair supplies
• an industry for collecting raw materials, refining them and turning them into materials and fuel
• an intelligence powerful enough solve unforeseen problems
• an intelligence powerful enough to handle all the above tasks at once still needs a way to communicate back to us (otherwise what's the point?
I see no ptoblem with any of these human obstacles, except for the intelligence part. There are plenty of necessary energy dources and elements strewn about the universe.
But then, nature found a way to intelligence all by itself, so one thing is clear. It is doable and we have a head start and time is not an important factor for the AI. It is for humans.

I was only considering the viability of a self-sustaining AI (other than human), not it's use for human purposes.

Last edited:
Just read that Voyager us about to leave the solar system and entering interstellar space.. 36 years of self sufficiency, not bad for a relatively rudimentary AI.
https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/interstellarvoyager/

Now if we had an AI with "learning abilities for functional applications", such as terra forming and hatching frozen human embryos, we'd eventually end up with a version of "Veger", a mathematically based artificial intelligence assisting mankind to traverse the universe..

Last edited:
I see no problem with any of these human obstacles,
What do you mean human obstacles? Those are obstacles for any probe.

There are plenty of necessary energy dources and elements strewn about the universe.
And how will it harness them? The same way humans will : with time, effort and problem-solving. It will take a greater or lesser time to go land somewhere, find and extract the various chemicals and possibly purify them into a fuel. And it doesn't happen instantly, it doesn't happen without expenditure of more energy and it doesn't happen without risk.

Calling it AI doesn't just hand wave these things away.

Deciding that metal can be substituted for flesh does not go a long way toward solving the challenges of deep space exploration. It's just that we'd be applying our problem-solving to a different kind of traveller.

Where does intelligence begin?
How can a brainless slime mold solve a maze to find food? It does so by the mathematical function of "subtraction" for a host of comprehensive responses to its environment.
or this

Last edited:
Where does intelligence begin?
How can a brainless slime mold solve a maze to find food? It does so by the mathematical function of "subtraction" for a host of comprehensive responses to its environment.
We've been through this before.
Slime molds have chemical adaptations that allow them to seek out food. It's sophisticated, sure, but it is instinct nonetheless. It is not intelligence, and it is not a mathematical function.

Mathematical functions are, by definition, abstractions - used to describe things such as nature. They are not things.
(Although you can make things that are analogues of functions, such as waterfalls to describe electrical current, but that is a abstracting an abstraction, not making a function real).

And intelligence is not simply a sophisticated seek and find algorithm. Intelligence involves the ability to adapt to new stimuli, finding new solutions to problems not previously encountered.

Last edited:
We've been through this before.
Slime molds have chemical adaptations that allow them to seek out food. It's sophisticated, sure, but it is instinct nonetheless. It is not intelligence, and it is not a mathematical function.
I thought that life on earth is an electro-chemical process.
Mathematical functions are, by definition, abstractions - used to describe things such as nature. They are not things.
(Although you can make things that are analogues of functions, such as waterfalls to describe electrical current, but that is a abstracting an abstraction, not making a function real).
Hmmmm, seems to me that functional abstractions are derived from*physical behavior patterns in reality*
And intelligence is not simply a sophisticated seek and find algorithm. Intelligence involves the ability to adapt to new stimuli, finding new solutions to problems not previously encountered.

Now that we are beginning to master nano technology, there is theoretically nothing that we cannot construct atom by atom.
AI needs not be all that smart, just hardy. Ants are a great example. And human DNA is at nano scale not very complicated and may well lend to chemical duplication. IMO, the possibilities are endless, IF given enough time.

Last edited:
The consensus appears to be NOT ONE of the sequences would produce artificial intelligence. May we then conclude that such a theory as "artificial intelligence" will exist forever, hence it will never be achieved.

How did life appear in the first place? To my knowledge organic life evolved from inanimate chemicals.
So how did that happen? Until Darwin came along, If someone had proposed this as a theory he would have been burned at the stake for heresy, based on belief in a Divine Creator, which IMO is considerably more fantastical than the gradual adaptation to environment.

I keep coming back to the fact that intelligent life did evolve without the help of anyone, but by purely natural functions. At that scale, If nature can create it, we can create it, given sufficient time..

Last edited:
The consensus appears to be NOT ONE of the sequences would produce artificial intelligence. May we then conclude that such a theory as "artificial intelligence" will exist forever, hence it will never be achieved.
Oh, I am not that easily convinced. Life is a mathematical function and there is no natural prohibition to a range of other natural or even artificial approximation.

Oh, I am not that easily convinced.
Well, no. Of course not. You've got a pet idea and you're looking for validation for it.
The problem is, you're mangling established points to do so. To wit:

Life is a mathematical function
Mathematics is an abstract logical language used to describe nature.
Natural things cannot be mathematics, though they can be described by mathematics.

You might as well say a tree "is" English.

Last edited:
Well, no. Of course not. You've got a pet idea and you're looking for validation for it.
The problem is, you're mangling established points to do so. To wit:

Mathematics is an abstract logical language used to describe nature.
Because evrything in the universe functions mathematically!
Natural things cannot be mathematics, though they can be described by mathematics.
Because the universe functioned mathematically long before we invented the languages which describe the observed functions.
You might as well say a tree "is" English.
No, I can say that a tree IS a dynamic mathematical construct. It is a fractal organism, as are all neural systems, such as brains of any size or sophistication.

SPACE IS MATHEMATICAL IN ITS VERY ESSENCE.That is why we can describe universal mathematical functions from OBSERVATION!.

Why are you so determined to reject empirical evidence of universal mathematical functions and constants?

Last edited:
Because evrything in the universe functions mathematically!
Mathematics is an abstractive language that describes events.
So, no.

You are confusing forces and properties of nature with the description of them.

A moon orbits its planet in a near-circular path because the force and velocity at any given moment is (simplistically) pushing/pulling on it. These forces and properties have no value - no unit - unless we assign one. And the moon does not know - three seconds from now - what direction to go (because it hasn't been exposed to those forces yet). It just reacts to immediate forces.

No, I can say that a tree IS a dynamic mathematical construct.
You'd be wrong.
It can be described mathematically.

It is a fractal organism
Fractal mathematics was invented by humans. we use it to describe self-similar structures.
The structures are self-similar because of their physics.

SPACE IS MATHEMATICAL IN ITS VERY ESSENCE.That is why we can describe mathematical functions from OBSERVATION!.
Re-asserting it doesn't make it true.

The universe is physical in its very existence.

Why are you so determined to reject empirical evidence of universal mathematical functions and constants?
I am not. Why are you so determined to keep beating your wife?

Dude. Physics is what cause the universe's mechanisms to operate in patterns.
Mathematics is what we use to describe the physics.

Stop misunderstanding what math is.

Last edited:
Dave said,
Mathematics is what we use to describe the physics.
Stop misunderstanding what math is.
Dude, stop rejecting the mathematical nature of physical functions and relationships.
You may want to ponder naturally occurring Exponential functions.

From Wiki,
Logarithmic identities
Main article: List of logarithmic identities
Several important formulas, sometimes called logarithmic identities or logarithmic laws, relate logarithms to one another.
"Product, quotient, power, and root" 

Last edited:
Dude, stop rejecting the mathematical nature of physical functions and relationships.
Oh they definitely have a nature that can be nicely mathematically described. No question about it.
The physics (the actually forces and properties in nature) can lead to some very elegant structures.

Ok this is the most condensed analogy:
Mathematics is to Physics, what Time is to Space.

Oh they definitely have a nature that can be nicely mathematically described. No question about it.
The physics (the actually forces and properties in nature) can lead to some very elegant structures.
C'mon Dave,
all you need to say, "some very elegant mathematical structures.
The Table of elements is a perfect example of natural mathematical structures in physics. In wave theory, interference patterns are mathematical constructs.

Last edited: