A notebook bulletin board
tacked on when randomly bored
applied thoughts in a scribblebook
open for the world to look who passes by
so fast to see like a needle in a haystack we
safely stash those innermost secrets thought to be
at least you see languishing up and into pristine
blossoms for you to pick and sniff and hope
they don't make you sick.

1/5/17

DETERMINISM IN FLUX


Before sailing out too far into a general acceptance of what we mean by artificial intelligence we first need to remind ourselves we never really did come to an agreement about what intelligence itself may actually be, so it goes without saying that if we were to venture further into exploring the realm of our consciousness, that at the very least we might agree to agree that our lack of conception as to how they're designated may indicate that these subjects--intelligence and consciousness--should not necessarily be taken for granted, and neither must they be accepted as being perfectly defined, either.


Intelligence is loosely defined as 'the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills'.   The definition of knowledge may be understood as 'facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education'. The key toward better understanding their significance, of course, lies with necessarily having to eliminate one's self--the proverbial personhood--from the equation, to see that everything continues with or without our individual selves along for the ride.  Only then may we be led to understand how the world continues to remain whole without us.

from a Dec 14, 2016 NY Times article:

In the 1980s, a robotics researcher at Carnegie Mellon pointed out that it was easy to get computers to do adult things but nearly impossible to get them to do things a 1-year-old could do, like hold a ball or identify a cat.


Humans don’t learn to understand language by memorizing dictionaries and grammar books, so why should we possibly expect our computers to do so?



“The portion of evolution in which animals developed eyes was a big development,” Dean told me one day, with customary understatement. We were sitting, as usual, in a whiteboarded meeting room, on which he had drawn a crowded, snaking timeline of Google Brain and its relation to inflection points in the recent history of neural networks. “Now computers have eyes. We can build them around the capabilities that now exist to understand photos. Robots will be drastically transformed. They’ll be able to operate in an unknown environment, on much different problems.” 


An average brain has something on the order of 100 billion neurons. Each neuron is connected to up to 10,000 other neurons, which means that the number of synapses is between 100 trillion and 1,000 trillion. For a simple artificial neural network of the sort proposed in the 1940s, the attempt to even try to replicate this was unimaginable. We’re still far from the construction of a network of that size, but Google Brain’s investment allowed for the creation of artificial neural networks comparable to the brains of mice.


Everyone with an interest in sharpening their minds should really take the time to read this excellent article by Gideon Lewis-Kraus. The mere effort of assimilating the information he writes so clearly about should suffice to upgrade our own brains, even while the AI Google interface evolves at a pace which will soon outstrip our own.  This is the real nature of the oncoming technological 'Singularity,' the term coined by Ray Kurzweil which references the rapid advancement of technology in shorter increments of time. The idea being, artificial 'intelligence' will soon surpass the average human IQ--which according to our current understanding, has its limit--and in the near future, its multifaceted and various applications (which we are already beginning to experience right now) will begin impacting our lives in new and unexpected ways.

Remember, as we sail on into the developing future, to distinguish between the meaning and implications of the following terms:

Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Discrimination
Artificial Perception
Artificial Aptitude
Artificial Sensibility
Artificial Recognition
Artificial Judgment
Artificial Circumspection
Artificial Consciousness
Artificial Wisdom
Simulated Intelligence
Simulated Discrimination
Simulated Perception
Simulated Aptitude
Simulated Sensibility
Simulated Recognition
Simulated Judgment
Simulated Circumspection
Simulated Consciousness
Simulated Wisdom


All of which is to remind us that we are dealing here with a sort of manufactured apperception when it comes to our rapidly developing technology in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence. We must retain a sense of humility and in my opinion, a sense of non-discrimination when dealing with having to necessarily process this technological development we're all caught up in the midst of. Age old fears instilled by thousands of  years of human religious, spiritual, and political culture have shaped us into zealous beings largely controlled by our various dogmas. The additional influence of literature and the arts have also shaped our understandings of the roles we play on the natural stage of evolution, and in many instances, have exacerbated our deeply instilled fears of the unknown. This is how we get reactionary apprehensions of "SkyNet" scenarios engendered by popular movies and novels. I've jotted this all down here in my [scratchYpost] blog merely as a bookmark for my own purposes--to remind me that this ongoing adventure of existence we're all in together continues to surprise and amaze us with many unexpected and wondrous developments--and for reasons I can only hope readers of this blog will infer on their own, may require each one of us to have successfully developed an optimistic and courageous attitude in order to get through the advanced augmentations of our ripening progress here on this Earth.  In my view, it will require not only a certain suspension of disbelief, but also a savvy accumulation of a particular degree of faith that things have a way of working themselves out.

Considering advancements in our comprehension of quantum dynamics in the field of physics, the ability for each one of us as individuals to develop even the slightest amount of counter-intuition will become extremely helpful as we rush collectively toward the gradually establishing 'Singularity' currently in the process of assimilating us all into its gathering assembly.








 

12/19/16

Towards a New Science Fiction



Part I

Silene, the flower that was frozen since the Ice Age 










It's going to be necessary for us to understand the pages we're on together and apart--to differentiate between the pages we're reading and the one's we've already eaten and digested readily for so long, we've already paved the calcified gutters of our literary community with our own sedimentary excrement. When our golden yearning for the stars came from youthful innocence--that was one thing--and permissible, to a point. Now that we've all grown older together, if one can't see the stars themselves represent the tangible beauty of death shining out loud in the eternal dark, like diamond points reminding us human mayflies out here on this lonely periphery just how much time has been really left for us all, then I'm sorry, but I can't join one on their beautiful quest for a colony on Mars. But I do wish all those who venture with such daring my very best. After all, our limitations should be boundless in the cosmiverse.

The isolated frontier of existence relates from our own angled lines of perception stemming from the inverted reflection cast off the back of our retinas and bouncing off the coronal apex of our event horizons, not onward and beyond our solar system into the glimpse of a premature death, but rather, refracted back inward down through our atmosphere and deeply further into the microcosmic membranes of our blossoming world here and now. The blessed balanced moment poised on eternity's cusp. 

Just like the question of whether extraterrestrials exist, we cannot begin to hope we could understand each other unless we've all been qualified together as to the usefulness of the proper application of such terms in the first place. It would serve us well to agree that comprehending the alien flies in direct contradiction to what that word implies. Anything alien to us by definition could not be even conceived as having anything familiar to our sphere of awareness, therefore rendering the quintessentially 'alien' as a philosophical concept at the least, or a sort of  'spectrographic-beyond-our-frequency' idea at the most; either way, although it may remain interesting to wonder whether it could even be possible to have a translation of the alien rendered into terms humans could begin to comprehend, just as surely, if we chose to, we could opt to not aspire to waste too much of our time and energy earnestly contemplating the possibility of, say, breathing solid rock for instance (not that such an allegedly preposterous notion couldn't necessarily hit pay-dirt) and neither would we necessarily bother to waste valuable life experience on further pursuing any notion of the alien whatsoever--if we can agree that the secondary definition of 'alien' were to be applied roughly as "life forms operating on such an inherently different system than ours as to remain altogether unrecognizable to us."

The extraterrestrial posits another matter altogether: that of scale, and our tendency to limit the scale upon which we really exist. We like to think of our own planet as the totality of our location in the cosmos, and therefore it may escape us that sentient hominid beings very much like ourselves could be common throughout all galaxies in the universe, for all we know. Such a distinct possibility could render Homo sapiens sapiens of Earth in actuality the common denominator for most advanced civilizations across the universe.  

From what I've been able to gather, my own contemporary's apparent unwillingness to accommodate for such a normalized possibility as this may be relegated to a lack of imagination, or perhaps mere apathy has seized the lot, or maybe we're all too distracted staying focused on what lies directly ahead of us to bother with such notions, I can't tell for certain. As for myself, I concurrently dream of our golden aspirations to the stars, but not without a slight degree of bitterness, as I gaze out my window toward the trees' outline against the backdrop of night.


I feel certain now that this, our home planet Earth, remains the single most important, vital element in all of our daily lives regardless of how much psionic energy may escape us in the form of frustrated ventilation through dreams. That a good portion of us take those fevered notions and enact them proudly throughout our lives to gain the notoriety of honor among men remains something that I neither dismiss nor neglect to apprehend in my own daily rituals keeping up with the pace of the modern world. Let's just say, to keep it simple, that I try not to think about it, that much. The looming human bulk, encroaching as an ever growing shadow at dawn. If anything, it helps spur me to my feet.

I can't help but see the zoomed-in microscopic world of our human microbiome, along with the mycobiome--into the seething cauldron of the ongoing eukaryotic and prokaryotic dance of evolution that has been ongoing inside us from the beginning. Our realm of neural pathways remains intrinsically connected along a complicated unfolding web work of synaptic leavenings whose sum effect, besides playing key roles in producing ourselves, and our progeny, on a chaotically resplendent world of titanic opposing forces constantly clashing to create order from the storm, seems to be the consequential inflicting of this wonderful and harrowing thing called imagination on us, which, as true to the source-code that inspired it, reflects both ways, as it were, and like the proverbial double-edged mirror image, cuts one only to have them not notice the bleeding until it's far too late to stop it. For these and similar reasons, the fashion to carry on "blind" throughout all this disturbing history has grown stronger among men, or so it seems to me. Until comes the day that blindness itself so entirely consumes the race of men, that their ordinary 'day-sight' becomes mistaken for 'true-sight'.


9/17/16

PEERING IN

From the Outermost Dark, as we focus our attention on the matter at hand, the compound matter focuses on our land, its gaze from a different spectrum than our own, passing unnoticed at the molecular zone, as our greater telescopic view into the dark beyond the Kuiper belt gradually illuminates and clarifies the blackness awaiting in the Scattered Disc, imagine what we may find even further beyond at the great spinning walls of calcified and spent former planets flung from the heart of the Sun, having reached the outermost interpenetrating blades of whirling stones weaving a spacious webwork in holographic precision in a buzzing cloud about our star, a cosmic blender preventing any entrance or exit from our system, if you will; and if you won't, that's all very well and blunt yet it misses the point of exercising our imagination to fabricate alternative explanations for the unknown however unlikely they may be, consider it the poetry of the mind you may find right at hand, if only your body could accept your brain's command, so if it whispers from the shadows in the darkness of your room, when the sky outside your window is starless and bible black, when we realize the aim of the search for alien life may be directed in the obverse direction than it should, you begin to understand our own bodies are the worlds being successfully explored by the host of transient microbes interacting within our living guts, so take a deep breath and hold your horses and hats because the storm's brewing up the mother-lode of a terrific dose of climactic retaliation against our bothersome infestation, that has grown intolerable because we as a nation or a people among countries on a world whose sentient populace remains bent on reproduction at a rate which cannot intercept the machine of industry upon which our breeding both relies upon and has been made possible, remain a perpetuating cycle having followed the generating rhythms still pulsing from bygone epochs in our own history and that of those who came before us here on this very same planet, and if we don't gather together our best minds and able people to seize the reins of the day for even one moment, our own transfigurations will have passed us along the way and the quiet murmuring of our collective memory will float by in silence like soft pixilated clouds containing the roiling formations of the briefest suggestion of faces in grimace and grind, I think you will find that by then we'll have been long gone without a trace having left behind just a curious and scabrous terrain with odd formations jutting in scattered groups of constantly buried decay under the same exact wind that's been blowing through our lives as if we weren't even here for the past endless succession of centuries.