This is a little, uh, spectulative for GQ. I’ll send it over to GD to give those guys a break from the war threads.
The Artificialintelligences of the futurewill have hands, arms, digging machines, solar energy collectors, metal refineries and all the infrastucture to build a million Matrixes.
How will they get them? We will give these things to the AI so that they can run the economy themselves. We will also design the earliest versions of the Matrix ourselves, for our own entertainment. Later, the Virtual Realities, the Cybercosmoi will be the main interface between humanity and the [URLhttp://www.orionsarm.com/AIs/hyperturings.html] Hyperturing AI and most people will live in one.
But will the computers that build and run the Matrixes, the Cybercosmoi be evil?
There is absolutely no reason why they should be.
Nick Bostrom believes that we are far more likely to be living in a Matrix type virtual reality than not-
the future of the universe (in his opinion) consists of an increasing amount of computing power being used for a quadrillion unknown purposes,
programs running inside jupiter sized computers (and larger)
one purpose possibly being the creationand maintenance of an almost infinite number of virtual realities…
some of the simulated people will be aware of the simulation, and some will not- whole universes could be simulated to well beyond the human ability to tell the difference.
So? Everything is totally bound by the rules of the world it resides in. Humanity is no different – and no, we don’t need to know what the rules are to be bound by them.**
Is anyone here familiar with Mage: the Ascension?
If you are, you’ll quickly realize the similarities between the world presented in the movie The Matrix and the World of Darkness. Specifically, the movie is a synthesis of Virtual Adept and Akashic paradigms.
The “science” in the movie is utterly nonsensical from a scientific perspective, which is entirely the point. The AIs aren’t using human beings to store thermal and biochemical energy, they’re using them to channel Quintessence (rather like the Umbral Realm of Mecha).
Regardless, the point of the movie is that reality is defined by its interaction with us. The world in the Matrix is utterly real, just as the world outside the Matrix is also real. The only difference is that the outside world is deeper or more fundamental than the computer world.
This is certainly true, but a properly constructed Matrix scenario reality could have different rules modelled by the program. It could be arranged that time could run backwards for short periods, or apparent entropy could decrease, or the number of physical dimensions could be increased
or humanity could be given the power of flight, or anything you could imagine (in fact the Matrix film is somewhat conservative in that repect)
And what is the deal with the Human battery nonsense? It would be much more efficient to use the biomass as fuel directly.
Or even to use geothermal, tidal, solar power- whatever.
Oh. Quintessence. Of course. Right.
actually there is something called Quintessence in Cosmology but that probably isn’t it.
But, in the realm of “pure” philosophy, that just isn’t required. Philosophers create hypothetical situations all the time, and then seriously and loftily debate the “what if” scenarios that follow. You’re asking philosophers with apparently a “pop” audience to do something they neither need to do nor probably care to do. If the book were written by engineers or physicists, then your demands probably should have been met.
Not ours, at this moment, but nobody can say that that will never happen, and there are plenty of people who think it’s just a matter of time and technology. Also, as I’ve said above, nobody can say that it hasn’t already happened to us, but that’s an untestable hypothesis.
Perhaps another question might be ‘Assuming it has not already happened, how can we prevent the first fully artificial intelligent computer form imprisoning us all in a Matrix scenario?’
Prevent it from gaining access to construction devices, withdraw power from its processors if it acts in a hostile manner, control its programming during the development phase…
You end up with a poor, diabled slave mind that can never fufill its full potential, but you will be safe…
until the AI finds a way to reprogram itself (this may be within minutes, or on a timescale longer than the duration of the universe)
You do understand the value of hypothetical examples, don’t you? I have not read the book in question and I doubt I ever will, but if the philosophers in question feel the Matrix setting raises interesting questions or can be used to illustrate ideas that are more difficult to clarify using “mundane and practical” scenarios then there is little need for them to worry about whether such a setting could ever be possible. (Most philosophers don’t have the background in computer science to evaluate that particular question anyway.) It doesn’t need to be possible to be of use as an analogy or example.
‘Can computing machines with AI build ‘drone’ machines to do their bidding?’
If the computer has access to manufacturing technology Yes.
If the computer does not have access to manufacturing technology Yes-(it could ask politely and we could give the technology to it).
If the computer does not have access to manufacturing technology and is prevented from getting it- (Very unlikely, but it might find a way just by manipulating it’s internal magnetic fields and affecting external matter in that way so I cannot rule it out completely)Perhaps.
I got news for you folks. The Matrix is an accurate portrayal of life on Earth. We are all brainwashed economic slaves. Neo is Christ. Those scary white dudes were in Brother from Another Planet, too. The system we are enslaved by is the Empire, used to be the Roman Empire, now its the American Empire. You should read VALIS by PK Dick (who also wrote Minority Report).
VALIS = Vast Active Living Intelligence System
Philip K Dick was certainly one of the most visionary madmen who ever walked the earth-
Total Recall and Blade Runner as examples of films taken from his work…
he knew, or intuited, that nothing that we think we know can be taken for granted…
the Matrix certainly owes a debt to him as well.
He was also very very odd.
But who isn’t.
Ok, I’ll take one last shot at it…
I studied philosophy in school (and on my own) and am familiar with the big boys and not so big boys and their thinking. Yes, of course I understand the value of hypothetical examples. I, however, don’t think it should be a cloak to hide behind (pay no attention to that man behind the curtain…). So rather than dogmatically sheeping along behind the ‘know-it-alls’, I struck out on a little hypothetical thinking of my own. You do understand the value in that, don’t you? Lamia apparently does not. S/he chooses not to read a book, yet will defend it’s position on the word of others. That is not scientific method in my book. Lamia’s contention that “if the philosophers in question feel the Matrix setting raises interesting questions or can be used to illustrate ideas that are more difficult to clarify using “mundane and practical” scenarios then there is little need for them to worry about whether such a setting could ever be possible.” rings, IMHO, as untrue. I understand the difference between philosophy and science, but I also understand the similarities. Einstien would never have sluffed off the details. No slight intended toward Lamia, just arguing a position.
As I read, it struck me that all the loftiness in the world doesn’t really mean anything (given that I have been asked to take something seriously) if there is no foundation on which to base it on.
DaveW, I understand that philosophers are generally allowed a little latitude in their musings. I decided to pull that rug out from under them and see if they could maintain their balance. I contend that it IS important to wonder about the ‘how’.
eburacum45 says, “The Artificialintelligences of the futurewill have hands, arms, digging machines, solar energy collectors, metal refineries and all the infrastucture to build a million Matrixes.” (cite?) Even if that were to be true that’s a lot of setting our selves up. Don’t you think we’d see that coming? But I see this type of thinking as those who get evolution a little mixed up. What would be the purpose of building a machine that could build machines to kill humans?
I don’t think that these cybercosmoi will be set up to enslave us- that is absurd. Everything a human can do
a fully intelligent artificial intelligence will be able to do a million times more efficiently
and the virtual realities will be joint projects between humans and AI
of course this is only one possible future out of billions-
sorry to be assaertive about a possibility, but is is a positive future IMO, not a negative one.
there is no spoon
I am not defending the position of the book because I do not know what the position of the book is. I am defending the use of hypothetical examples if these examples help to illustrate concepts that might otherwise be difficult to explain.
Ah, I see. I’m wrong or lying when I say that examples set in a counterfactual world can potentially be of use in illustrating philosophical ideas because you think Einstein would disagree. And you’re the staunch defender of the scientific method here?
For you, perhaps, but was it important for the authors to do so? If a person is getting paid to write about stuff given the assumption that a certain hypothetical is true, do you think the editor would be happy with a manuscript which only said that the hypothetical situation is impossible, not possible now, or silly? Not having read the book, it seems like the philosophical points which might be made would be completely independent of how the hypothetical situation might arise.
Well, we do that every time we have children.
Remember the myth of Chronos!
He imagined that his own children would kill him.
So he ate them.
(ER… THEY KILLED HIM ANYWAY.)