analogy   873

« earlier    

Is the human brain analog or digital? - Quora
The brain is neither analog nor digital, but works using a signal processing paradigm that has some properties in common with both.
 
Unlike a digital computer, the brain does not use binary logic or binary addressable memory, and it does not perform binary arithmetic. Information in the brain is represented in terms of statistical approximations and estimations rather than exact values. The brain is also non-deterministic and cannot replay instruction sequences with error-free precision. So in all these ways, the brain is definitely not "digital".
 
At the same time, the signals sent around the brain are "either-or" states that are similar to binary. A neuron fires or it does not. These all-or-nothing pulses are the basic language of the brain. So in this sense, the brain is computing using something like binary signals. Instead of 1s and 0s, or "on" and "off", the brain uses "spike" or "no spike" (referring to the firing of a neuron).
q-n-a  qra  expert-experience  neuro  neuro-nitgrit  analogy  deep-learning  nature  discrete  smoothness  IEEE  bits  coding-theory  communication  trivia  bio  volo-avolo  causation  random  order-disorder  ems  models  methodology  abstraction  nitty-gritty  computation  physics  electromag  scale  coarse-fine 
5 weeks ago by nhaliday
The Hanson-Yudkowsky AI-Foom Debate - Machine Intelligence Research Institute
How Deviant Recent AI Progress Lumpiness?: http://www.overcomingbias.com/2018/03/how-deviant-recent-ai-progress-lumpiness.html
I seem to disagree with most people working on artificial intelligence (AI) risk. While with them I expect rapid change once AI is powerful enough to replace most all human workers, I expect this change to be spread across the world, not concentrated in one main localized AI system. The efforts of AI risk folks to design AI systems whose values won’t drift might stop global AI value drift if there is just one main AI system. But doing so in a world of many AI systems at similar abilities levels requires strong global governance of AI systems, which is a tall order anytime soon. Their continued focus on preventing single system drift suggests that they expect a single main AI system.

The main reason that I understand to expect relatively local AI progress is if AI progress is unusually lumpy, i.e., arriving in unusually fewer larger packages rather than in the usual many smaller packages. If one AI team finds a big lump, it might jump way ahead of the other teams.

However, we have a vast literature on the lumpiness of research and innovation more generally, which clearly says that usually most of the value in innovation is found in many small innovations. We have also so far seen this in computer science (CS) and AI. Even if there have been historical examples where much value was found in particular big innovations, such as nuclear weapons or the origin of humans.

Apparently many people associated with AI risk, including the star machine learning (ML) researchers that they often idolize, find it intuitively plausible that AI and ML progress is exceptionally lumpy. Such researchers often say, “My project is ‘huge’, and will soon do it all!” A decade ago my ex-co-blogger Eliezer Yudkowsky and I argued here on this blog about our differing estimates of AI progress lumpiness. He recently offered Alpha Go Zero as evidence of AI lumpiness:

...

In this post, let me give another example (beyond two big lumps in a row) of what could change my mind. I offer a clear observable indicator, for which data should have available now: deviant citation lumpiness in recent ML research. One standard measure of research impact is citations; bigger lumpier developments gain more citations that smaller ones. And it turns out that the lumpiness of citations is remarkably constant across research fields! See this March 3 paper in Science:

I Still Don’t Get Foom: http://www.overcomingbias.com/2014/07/30855.html
All of which makes it look like I’m the one with the problem; everyone else gets it. Even so, I’m gonna try to explain my problem again, in the hope that someone can explain where I’m going wrong. Here goes.

“Intelligence” just means an ability to do mental/calculation tasks, averaged over many tasks. I’ve always found it plausible that machines will continue to do more kinds of mental tasks better, and eventually be better at pretty much all of them. But what I’ve found it hard to accept is a “local explosion.” This is where a single machine, built by a single project using only a tiny fraction of world resources, goes in a short time (e.g., weeks) from being so weak that it is usually beat by a single human with the usual tools, to so powerful that it easily takes over the entire world. Yes, smarter machines may greatly increase overall economic growth rates, and yes such growth may be uneven. But this degree of unevenness seems implausibly extreme. Let me explain.

If we count by economic value, humans now do most of the mental tasks worth doing. Evolution has given us a brain chock-full of useful well-honed modules. And the fact that most mental tasks require the use of many modules is enough to explain why some of us are smarter than others. (There’d be a common “g” factor in task performance even with independent module variation.) Our modules aren’t that different from those of other primates, but because ours are different enough to allow lots of cultural transmission of innovation, we’ve out-competed other primates handily.

We’ve had computers for over seventy years, and have slowly build up libraries of software modules for them. Like brains, computers do mental tasks by combining modules. An important mental task is software innovation: improving these modules, adding new ones, and finding new ways to combine them. Ideas for new modules are sometimes inspired by the modules we see in our brains. When an innovation team finds an improvement, they usually sell access to it, which gives them resources for new projects, and lets others take advantage of their innovation.

...

In Bostrom’s graph above the line for an initially small project and system has a much higher slope, which means that it becomes in a short time vastly better at software innovation. Better than the entire rest of the world put together. And my key question is: how could it plausibly do that? Since the rest of the world is already trying the best it can to usefully innovate, and to abstract to promote such innovation, what exactly gives one small project such a huge advantage to let it innovate so much faster?

...

In fact, most software innovation seems to be driven by hardware advances, instead of innovator creativity. Apparently, good ideas are available but must usually wait until hardware is cheap enough to support them.

Yes, sometimes architectural choices have wider impacts. But I was an artificial intelligence researcher for nine years, ending twenty years ago, and I never saw an architecture choice make a huge difference, relative to other reasonable architecture choices. For most big systems, overall architecture matters a lot less than getting lots of detail right. Researchers have long wandered the space of architectures, mostly rediscovering variations on what others found before.

Some hope that a small project could be much better at innovation because it specializes in that topic, and much better understands new theoretical insights into the basic nature of innovation or intelligence. But I don’t think those are actually topics where one can usefully specialize much, or where we’ll find much useful new theory. To be much better at learning, the project would instead have to be much better at hundreds of specific kinds of learning. Which is very hard to do in a small project.

What does Bostrom say? Alas, not much. He distinguishes several advantages of digital over human minds, but all software shares those advantages. Bostrom also distinguishes five paths: better software, brain emulation (i.e., ems), biological enhancement of humans, brain-computer interfaces, and better human organizations. He doesn’t think interfaces would work, and sees organizations and better biology as only playing supporting roles.

...

Similarly, while you might imagine someday standing in awe in front of a super intelligence that embodies all the power of a new age, superintelligence just isn’t the sort of thing that one project could invent. As “intelligence” is just the name we give to being better at many mental tasks by using many good mental modules, there’s no one place to improve it. So I can’t see a plausible way one project could increase its intelligence vastly faster than could the rest of the world.

Takeoff speeds: https://sideways-view.com/2018/02/24/takeoff-speeds/
Futurists have argued for years about whether the development of AGI will look more like a breakthrough within a small group (“fast takeoff”), or a continuous acceleration distributed across the broader economy or a large firm (“slow takeoff”).

I currently think a slow takeoff is significantly more likely. This post explains some of my reasoning and why I think it matters. Mostly the post lists arguments I often hear for a fast takeoff and explains why I don’t find them compelling.

(Note: this is not a post about whether an intelligence explosion will occur. That seems very likely to me. Quantitatively I expect it to go along these lines. So e.g. while I disagree with many of the claims and assumptions in Intelligence Explosion Microeconomics, I don’t disagree with the central thesis or with most of the arguments.)
ratty  lesswrong  subculture  miri-cfar  ai  risk  ai-control  futurism  books  debate  hanson  big-yud  prediction  contrarianism  singularity  local-global  speed  speedometer  time  frontier  distribution  smoothness  shift  pdf  economics  track-record  abstraction  analogy  links  wiki  list  evolution  mutation  selection  optimization  search  iteration-recursion  intelligence  metameta  chart  analysis  number  ems  coordination  cooperate-defect  death  values  formal-values  flux-stasis  philosophy  farmers-and-foragers  malthus  scale  studying  innovation  insight  conceptual-vocab  growth-econ  egalitarianism-hierarchy  inequality  authoritarianism  wealth  near-far  rationality  epistemic  biases  cycles  competition  arms  zero-positive-sum  deterrence  war  peace-violence  winner-take-all  technology  moloch  multi  plots  research  science  publishing  humanity  labor  marginal  urban-rural  structure  composition-decomposition  complex-systems  gregory-clark  decentralized  heavy-industry  magnitude  multiplicative  endogenous-exogenous  models  uncertainty  decision-theory  time-prefer 
7 weeks ago by nhaliday
The Space Trilogy - Wikipedia
Out of the Silent Planet:

Weston makes a long speech justifying his proposed invasion of Malacandra on "progressive" and evolutionary grounds, which Ransom attempts to translate into Malacandrian, thus laying bare the brutality and crudity of Weston's ambitions.

Oyarsa listens carefully to Weston's speech and acknowledges that the scientist is acting out of a sense of duty to his species, and not mere greed. This renders him more mercifully disposed towards the scientist, who accepts that he may die while giving Man the means to continue. However, on closer examination Oyarsa points out that Weston's loyalty is not to Man's mind – or he would equally value the intelligent alien minds already inhabiting Malacandra, instead of seeking to displace them in favour of humanity; nor to Man's body – since, as Weston is well aware of and at ease with, Man's physical form will alter over time, and indeed would have to in order to adapt to Weston's programme of space exploration and colonisation. It seems then that Weston is loyal only to "the seed" – Man's genome – which he seeks to propagate. When Oyarsa questions why this is an intelligible motivation for action, Weston's eloquence fails him and he can only articulate that if Oyarsa does not understand Man's basic loyalty to Man then he, Weston, cannot possibly instruct him.

...

Perelandra:

The rafts or floating islands are indeed Paradise, not only in the sense that they provide a pleasant and care-free life (until the arrival of Weston) but also in the sense that Ransom is for weeks and months naked in the presence of a beautiful naked woman without once lusting after her or being tempted to seduce her. This is because of the perfection in that world.

The plot thickens when Professor Weston arrives in a spaceship and lands in a part of the ocean quite close to the Fixed Land. He at first announces to Ransom that he is a reformed man, but appears to still be in search of power. Instead of the strictly materialist attitude he displayed when first meeting Ransom, he asserts he had become aware of the existence of spiritual beings and pledges allegiance to what he calls the "Life-Force." Ransom, however, disagrees with Weston's position that the spiritual is inherently good, and indeed Weston soon shows signs of demonic possession.

In this state, the possessed Weston finds the Queen and tries to tempt her into defying Maleldil's orders by spending a night on the Fixed Land. Ransom, perceiving this, believes that he must act as a counter-tempter. Well versed in the Bible and Christian theology, Ransom realises that if the pristine Queen, who has never heard of Evil, succumbs to the tempter's arguments, the Fall of Man will be re-enacted on Perelandra. He struggles through day after day of lengthy arguments illustrating various approaches to temptation, but the demonic Weston shows super-human brilliance in debate (though when "off-duty" he displays moronic, asinine behaviour and small-minded viciousness) and moreover appears never to need sleep.

With the demonic Weston on the verge of winning, the desperate Ransom hears in the night what he gradually realises is a Divine voice, commanding him to physically attack the Tempter. Ransom is reluctant, and debates with the divine (inner) voice for the entire duration of the night. A curious twist is introduced here; whereas the name "Ransom" is said to be derived from the title "Ranolf's Son", it can also refer to a reward given in exchange for a treasured life. Recalling this, and recalling that his God would (and has) sacrificed Himself in a similar situation, Ransom decides to confront the Tempter outright.

Ransom attacks his opponent bare-handed, using only physical force. Weston's body is unable to withstand this despite the Tempter's superior abilities of rhetoric, and so the Tempter flees. Ultimately Ransom chases him over the ocean, Weston fleeing and Ransom chasing on the backs of giant and friendly fish. During a fleeting truce, the "real" Weston appears to momentarily re-inhabit his body, and recount his experience of Hell, wherein the damned soul is not consigned to pain or fire, as supposed by popular eschatology, but is absorbed into the Devil, losing all independent existence.
fiction  scifi-fantasy  tip-of-tongue  literature  big-peeps  religion  christianity  theos  space  xenobio  analogy  myth  eden  deep-materialism  new-religion  sanctity-degradation  civil-liberty  exit-voice  speaking  truth  realness  embodied  fighting  old-anglo  group-selection  war  paying-rent  counter-revolution  morality  parable  competition  the-basilisk  gnosis-logos  individualism-collectivism  language  physics  science  evolution  conquest-empire  self-interest  hmm  intricacy  analytical-holistic  tradeoffs  paradox  heterodox  narrative  philosophy  expansionism  genetics  duty  us-them  interests  nietzschean  parallax  the-devil  the-self 
january 2018 by nhaliday
Sacred text as cultural genome: an inheritance mechanism and method for studying cultural evolution: Religion, Brain & Behavior: Vol 7, No 3
Yasha M. Hartberg & David Sloan Wilson

Any process of evolution requires a mechanism of inheritance for the transmission of information across generations and the expression of phenotypes during each generation. Genetic inheritance mechanisms have been studied for over a century but mechanisms of inheritance for human cultural evolution are far less well understood. Sacred religious texts have the properties required for an inheritance system. They are replicated across generations with high fidelity and are transcribed into action every generation by the invocation and interpretation of selected passages. In this article we borrow concepts and methods from genetics and epigenetics to study the “expressed phenotypes” of six Christian churches that differ along a conservative–progressive axis. Their phenotypic differences, despite drawing upon the same sacred text, can be explained in part by differential expression of the sacred text. Since the invocation and interpretation of sacred texts are often well preserved, our methods allow the expressed phenotypes of religious groups to be studied at any time and place in history.
study  interdisciplinary  bio  sociology  cultural-dynamics  anthropology  religion  christianity  theos  protestant-catholic  politics  ideology  correlation  organizing  institutions  analogy  genetics  genomics  epigenetics  comparison  culture  pdf  piracy  density  flexibility  noble-lie  deep-materialism  new-religion  universalism-particularism  homo-hetero  hypocrisy  group-selection  models  coordination  info-dynamics  evolution  impact  left-wing  right-wing  time  tradition  spreading  sanctity-degradation  coalitions  trees  usa  social-capital  hari-seldon  wisdom  the-basilisk  frequency 
january 2018 by nhaliday

« earlier    

related tags

1929  1930s  1950s  1955  1985  2002  2015  2017-08-28  2017-08-30  2017-09-01  2017  :/  abex  abstraction  academia  acmtariat  advice  aesthetic  africa  age-generation  agnesmartin  agri-mindset  agriculture  ai-control  ai  aids  albion  algorithm  algorithms  alienation  alignment  allegory  allodium  alt-inst  amazon  amusement  analysis  analytical-holistic  anatomy  anglo  anglosphere  animals  animated  animation  anomie  anthropic  anthropology  antidemos  aphorism  app  application  approach  approximation  archaics  architect  archive  ariadnesthread  ariely  aristos  arms  art  article  asia  atoms  attention  attribution  audience  author  authoritarianism  autism  auto-learning  automation  aws  axioms  backup  banking  barons  behavioral-gen  beholder  bernadettecorporation  biases  big-peeps  big-yud  bio  biodet  biology  biotech  bits  blowhards  body  book  books  bostrom  bounded-cognition  brain-scan  brianeno  britain  broad-econ  canon  capital  career  catherinopie  causation  cc:0  cell  change  chart  children  china  christianity  cinema  circus  civil-liberty  civilization  cjones-like  clever-rats  cliometrics  clipart  clothes  cloud  coalitions  coarse-fine  cocktail  code  coding-theory  coffee  cog-psych  cognition  cogsci  cold-war  comics  coming-apart  commentary  commercial  communication  comparison  competition  complex-systems  composer  composition-decomposition  composition  computation  computer  computerscience  concept  conceptual-vocab  confucian  conquest-empire  consciousness  constraint  consumption  contrarianism  convexity-curvature  cooperate-defect  coordination  correlation  corruption  coryarcangel  cost-benefit  counter-revolution  counterfactual  creative  creativity  crooked  crux  crypto  cryptography  cs  cultural-dynamics  culture-war  culture  culturewars  current-events  curse  cybernetics  cycles  dafna_shahaf  dan  darwinian  data  database  dating  death  debate  debugging  decentralized  decision-theory  dedre_gentner  deep-learning  deep-materialism  deepgoog  definite-planning  definition  definitions  degrees-of-freedom  democracy  dennett  density  detail-architecture  deterrence  developmental  devops  dictionary  diet  digital  digitalpainting  dimensionality  direct-indirect  dirty-hands  discrete  discussion  disease  displacement  display  distance  distribution  diversity  document  domain  donaldtrump  dopost  douglas_hofstadter  drama  drawing  drugs  duality  duty  early-modern  econ-metrics  economics  econotariat  eden-heaven  eden  education  edwardhopper  eea  efficiency  egalitarianism-hierarchy  egt  electromag  elite  embodied  emileantonio  empire  empirical  ems  endo-exo  endogenous-exogenous  engineering  enhancement  entertainment  envy  epidemiology  epigenetics  epistemic  error  essay  ethanol  ethics  eu  europe  evolution  evopsych  example  existence  exit-voice  expansionism  expectancy  experiment  expert-experience  explain  explanation  extrema  facts  farmers-and-foragers  feedback  feudal  fiction  fighting  film  fitness  flexibility  flux-stasis  font  food  foreign-policy  formal-values  forms-instances  fragment  frankstella  free  frequency  frontier  futurism  games  gardener  gear  gearbox  gedanken  gender-diff  gender  general-survey  generalization  generative  genetics  genomics  georgiaokeefe  germanic  gesture  giants  gibbon  gif  git  gnon  gnosis-logos  gnxp  goodiepal  google  gotchas  government  grad-school  gradient-descent  great-powers  gregory-clark  group-selection  growth-econ  gwern  habit  hanson  hardware  hari-seldon  health  heavy-industry  heterodox  heuristic  hi-order-bits  high-dimension  higher-ed  history  hmm  hofstrader  homo-hetero  howto  hsu  human-capital  humanity  hypocrisy  idea  ideas  identity-politics  identity  ideology  ieee  ifttt  iidness  ikea  image  immune  impact  important  incentives  india  indigenous  individualism-collectivism  industry  inequality  info-dynamics  information  infrastructure  inhibition  innovation  insight  institutions  integrity  intelligence  intelligenceamplification  interdisciplinary  interests  interpretability  intervention  interview  intricacy  intuition  investigative-journo  investing  iq  iraq-syria  iron-age  irony  is-ought  isteveish  it  iteration-recursion  janus  japan  jargon  jas  jeffreyscudder  jimmiedurham  josh  journos-pundits  kajasilverman  kayfabe  key  kittens  korea  kumbaya-kult  labor  land  landscape  language  large-factor  latin-america  law  leadership  leaks  learn  learning  left-wing  legacy  legibility  lehman  lens  lesswrong  letters  leviathan  liner-notes  links  list  literature  lived-experience  local-global  lol  long-short-run  loops  low-hanging  machine-learning  madisonian  magnitude  malaise  malthus  management  managerial-state  manifolds  mankiw  map-territory  marginal  market  markets  material  math  mathtariat  maxim-gun  mayaderen  measure  measurement  mechanical  media  medicine  medieval  mediterranean  medium  memory  mena  meta:medicine  meta:prediction  meta:rhetoric  metabolic  metabuch  metameta  metaphor  methodology  metrics  michael_faraday  micro  microfoundations  microsoft  migrant-crisis  migration  mining  miri-cfar  ml  mmm  model-organism  models  modernity  modules  moloch  moments  monetary-fiscal  money  morality  mostly-modern  multi  multiplicative  museum  music  mutation  myth  n-factor  narrative  nascent-state  nationalism-globalism  natural-experiment  nature  near-far  network-structure  neural-style  neuro-nitgrit  neuro  neurons  new-religion  news  nibble  nietzschean  nitty-gritty  nlp  no-go  noble-lie  noise-structure  nonlinearity  number  nutrition  nytimes  occident  oceans  old-anglo  online  ontology  optimate  optimization  order-disorder  org:bleg  org:edu  org:gov  org:lite  org:mag  org:nat  org:ngo  org:rec  org:sci  organizing  orient  outcome-risk  paid  paint  painting  paleocon  papers  parable  paradox  parallax  parasites-microbiome  parenting  patience  paying-rent  pdf  peace-violence  pedagogy  personal  philosophy  phone  photography  physics  pictorial  piracy  plastic  platform  play  plots  poast  polarization  policy  polisci  political-econ  politics  poll  polynomials  pop-diff  population-genetics  population  populism  postwar  pre-ww2  prediction  pro-rata  problem-solving  processing  programming  project  propaganda  protest  protestant-catholic  psychology  psychometrics  public  publishing  putnam-like  q-n-a  qra  qtl  quantum-info  quantum  questions  quotes  race  random  ranking  rat-pack  rationality  ratty  realness  realpolitik  reason  recent-selection  recipes  red-queen  reddit  redistribution  reduction  reference  reflection  refusal  regression-to-mean  regularization  regularizer  regulation  reinforcement  relationships  religion  renemagritte  representation  reputation  research  resource  review  revolution  rhetoric  right-wing  risk  robertfrost  ronaldreagan  roots  rot  run  russia  ryan_tweney  ryantrecartin  salvadordali  sanctity-degradation  sapiens  scale  scaling  science  scifi-fantasy  scifi  scitariat  screen  sculpture  search  security  selection  self-interest  sequential  sex  sexuality  shadow  sharonhayes  shift  sight  signal-noise  similarity  simile  simplification  singularity  sinosphere  sitter  size  sketch  smoothness  social-capital  social-science  social-structure  social  society  sociology  socs-and-mops  software  software_development  space  spatial  speaking  spearhead  speculation  speed  speedometer  sports  spreading  starbucks  state-of-art  stats  stigma  stories  street  structure  study  studying  stylized-facts  subculture  summary  supply-demand  surface  surrealism  survey  svg  synthesis  sysadmin  talks  tanlin  taxes  tcs  tcstariat  tech  technologies  technology  techtariat  television  telos-atelos  temperature  terms  text  the-basilisk  the-bones  the-classics  the-devil  the-great-west-whale  the-self  the-trenches  the-world-is-just-atoms  theater  theos  thesis  thick-thin  thiel  thinking  thought  threat-modeling  thucydides  time-preference  time-series  time  tip-of-tongue  todo  tool  tools  top-n  track-record  trade  tradeoffs  tradition  trans  traversal  trees  trends  tribalism  trivia  trump  trust  truth  twin-study  twitter  ubiquity  uncertainty  underbelly  unintended-consequences  unitwedstates  universalism-particularism  unsupervised  urban-rural  us-them  usa  user  values  vampire-squid  variance-components  video  videogame  vietnam  vision  visual  visuo  vocab  vocabulary  volo-avolo  war  wealth-of-nations  wealth  webwriting  west-hunter  westminster  white-paper  whitney  whole-partial-many  wiki  wikipedia  windows  winner-take-all  wire-guided  wisdom  withdrawal  within-without  word  wordpress  words  world-war  world  writing  ww1  ww2  xenobio  zeitgeist  zero-positive-sum  🌞  🐸  👽  🤖 

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: