driverless cars

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eno
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Re: driverless cars

Post by eno » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:48 pm

simonm wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:42 pm
I seemed to recall being told that one of the ancient greek philosophers also suggested we existed inside someones imagination.
Ancient Indians too: "Consciousness is all there is" (Upanishads)

From philosophical standpoint there are different variants though:
- The base reality is material and we live directly in that reality (which Musk thinks the chances are one in a billion)
- The base reality is material (or at least dualistic) but we live in a virtual reality or imagination generated by super-power AI or "biological" intelligence that itself exist in the base reality
- The base reality is a massive consciousness itself, there is no matter whatsoever (panpsychism)

Chose whichever you want to believe in. Or neither because the base reality could be something so unimaginable that we have no mental ability to understand, just like dogs, as much intelligent as they are, have no mental capacity to understand mathematics.
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Re: driverless cars

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:10 pm

Denian Arcoleo wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:11 pm
Andrew Pohlman wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:32 pm
The way that technology is developed does not accommodate massive leaps as the thought experiment seems to suggest.
1903, the Wright brothers make the first powered flights that cover a few metres. Less than one average lifetime later (sixty six years later) Neal Armstrong steps on to the moon. That's a massive leap.
What you just described are exactly step by step technological gains over a period of 60 years. The Wright brothers were bicycle makers, and their attempts at aircraft design were soon eclipsed by better engineers. Other engineers leveraged off of their work. Design and engineering gains are NOT linear, but come from multiple design teams collaborating or competing in parallel along the same time line. So multiple steps can be made in any given design cycle. In academia, the knowledge is shared/published and developers can easily utilize gains made by other teams. Open source designs are available to all. Commercial secrets slow down broader progress, unless they too form collaborative teams - which is quite common. Look at what Tesla did: they published their methods for battery management so the world could leverage off of their work.

Giant leaps are more akin to "deus ex machina", and that is not typically a reality for humans.
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Re: driverless cars

Post by astro64 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:22 pm

The problem with the simulation hypothesis is exactly the same as that stemming from invoking some higher entity to explain creation of the universe. Where does the civilization come from that creates the simulations? It is an idea that doesn't solve any problem or provide a more satisfying explanation for our "existence".

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eno
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Re: driverless cars

Post by eno » Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:56 pm

astro64 wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:22 pm
The problem with the simulation hypothesis is exactly the same as that stemming from invoking some higher entity to explain creation of the universe. Where does the civilization come from that creates the simulations? It is an idea that doesn't solve any problem or provide a more satisfying explanation for our "existence".
Ha, and is there any alternative idea that provides a more satisfying explanation for our "existence". If it's just physical, how and where would the physical world come from? What would be it's fundamental cause? The "laws of physics"? That means the laws of physics would exist prior to the existence of the world (if the word "prior" makes any sense in the absence of time). But where would those laws exist in the absence of the world and how could abstract mathematical "laws" create something "real" that did not exist in the first place?

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Re: driverless cars

Post by petermc61 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:01 pm

The questions you ask are interesting - however are generally agreed to be ‘outside science’. To discuss them fully and comprehensively can only be done but including a discussion of religion. As you may be aware, this is not a topic (amongst others) that is able to be discussed on this forum, for reasons I fully understand.

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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: driverless cars

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:04 pm

astro64 wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:22 pm
The problem with the simulation hypothesis is exactly the same as that stemming from invoking some higher entity to explain creation of the universe. Where does the civilization come from that creates the simulations? It is an idea that doesn't solve any problem or provide a more satisfying explanation for our "existence".
Does the idea that life is a random event provide a satisfying explanation? Science is so wedded to the material view of the universe that someone like De grasse Tyson is much happier with the idea that we are all avatars in the computer simulation of some snotty teenager from a super-advanced civilisation playing in his bedroom than he is with the concept of G*d. He said this.

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Re: driverless cars

Post by eno » Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:20 pm

petermc61 wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:01 pm
The questions you ask are interesting - however are generally agreed to be ‘outside science’. To discuss them fully and comprehensively can only be done but including a discussion of religion. As you may be aware, this is not a topic (amongst others) that is able to be discussed on this forum, for reasons I fully understand.
There is still space between science and religion filled by philosophy which is neither (natural) science nor religion. The questions raised here belong mostly to philosophy, although they could also be attempted to be addressed from scientific or religious standpoints.

For example, "there is nothing but consciousness" idea could be viewed as religion (Indian Advaita for instance), or as purely a philosophical concept (panpsychism). The difference is that a religion is a worldview that one has to firmly believe in without a support of scientific arguments. On the contrary, philosophers (usually) do not to believe in their philosophical concepts religiously, they rather take them as possible meta-scientific hypotheses.
Last edited by eno on Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: driverless cars

Post by petermc61 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:23 pm

eno wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:20 pm
petermc61 wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:01 pm
The questions you ask are interesting - however are generally agreed to be ‘outside science’. To discuss them fully and comprehensively can only be done but including a discussion of religion. As you may be aware, this is not a topic (amongst others) that is able to be discussed on this forum, for reasons I fully understand.
There is still space between science and religion filled by philosophy which is neither (natural) science nor religion. The questions raised belong mostly to philosophy, although they could also be attempted to be addressed from scientific or religious standpoints.
The ‘fundamental cause for our existence’ is a philosophical question???

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Re: driverless cars

Post by eno » Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:29 pm

petermc61 wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:23 pm
The ‘fundamental cause for our existence’ is a philosophical question???
Apparently Schopenhauer and Wittgenstein considered it as philosophical. And I just posted a clip above by a modern professional philosopher Jim Holt who studied it for many years and wrote a book on this subject. Very fascinating book by the way. If you still disagree you can argue with Jim :D
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Re: driverless cars

Post by petermc61 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:33 pm

eno wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:29 pm
petermc61 wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:23 pm
The ‘fundamental cause for our existence’ is a philosophical question???
Apparently Schopenhauer and Wittgenstein considered it as philosophical. And I just posted a clip above by a modern professional philosopher Jim Holt who studied it for many years and wrote a book on this subject. Very fascinating book by the way. If you still disagree you can argue with Jim :D
I don’t think I have the time or interest to argue with anybody of this issue. I have what is called a ‘life’ :lol:

I admit I can’t accept this being a question of philosophy but accept others may choose to make it so.

Pat Dodson
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Re: driverless cars

Post by Pat Dodson » Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:57 pm

“Why are we here?” How would a driverless taxi’s AI respond? :wink:

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Re: driverless cars

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:02 pm

We are way off the topic of driverless cars. But for now, so be it.

Humans can only perceive in 3 dimensions. Compared to the real universe as defined by quantum mechanics, only 3 dimensions represents a huge limitation. All this talk of existing as an alien cyber simulation or as a 2D skin covering hollow 3D space is rather farcical to me. As far as our senses can determine, we function in a physical world. When I stub my toe, it hurts. I play my guitar, and sound comes out. These kinds of things are what it means to be human, and I'm okay with that, devoid of fancy philosophical analyses. Anything else is unsubstantiated. Now, if we could perceive 8 dimensions, our understanding would be very different. :D
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Re: driverless cars

Post by astro64 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:29 pm

Denian Arcoleo wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:04 pm
astro64 wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:22 pm
The problem with the simulation hypothesis is exactly the same as that stemming from invoking some higher entity to explain creation of the universe. Where does the civilization come from that creates the simulations? It is an idea that doesn't solve any problem or provide a more satisfying explanation for our "existence".
Does the idea that life is a random event provide a satisfying explanation? Science is so wedded to the material view of the universe that someone like De grasse Tyson is much happier with the idea that we are all avatars in the computer simulation of some snotty teenager from a super-advanced civilisation playing in his bedroom than he is with the concept of G*d. He said this.
To your first sentence: To some it does. Others may argue that until we have proven otherwise (e.g. by not finding life elsewhere even when we have the advanced capabilities required to really be able to look for it), it may be a far less random event than it may seem. What follows once initial life exists is partially random (the mutations), but not random in responding strongly to external conditions. My objection to Tyson's idea of the teenager remains: it is a weak argument. It just moves the difficulty of explaining "us" to another advanced "them".

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Re: driverless cars

Post by PeteJ » Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:14 am

simonm wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:42 pm
I seemed to recall being told that one of the ancient greek philosophers also suggested we existed inside someones imagination.
God or consciousness is the usual suspect.

The reasoning of Musk, if one can call it that, leaves a little to be desired. It's amazing what people will believe.

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Re: driverless cars

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:26 pm

Pat Dodson wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:57 pm
Why are we here?” How would a driverless taxi’s AI respond? :wink:
I just now saw this post, and that, my friend, is a classic Turing test question. And a great way to show that humans can answer even if they have no idea what the answer is. :D

"The Turing test, developed by Alan Turing in 1950, is a test of a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human." from Wikipedia - disambiguation.

A really bad AI, in a car or otherwise, would give a concrete answer like, "We are here because this location is exactly where I am driving us." A really good AI would be able to answer as any confused human would, "The answer would involve personal philosophy. Why do think we are here?"

Me, personally? I'd admit ignorance and would not even try to answer. :D

The big questions I think car AI should be answering: "I don't know what that object is. Should I mow it over or slow down?"
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