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#36293 - 03/13/10 12:13 AM The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil
SOLERIFT Offline
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Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Dallas, TX


Ray Kurzweil tells about his vision of Singularlity— a point when computers will acquire full-blown artificial intelligence and technology will infuse itself with biology. Interesting piece of calculated speculation.....

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#36325 - 03/13/10 02:01 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SOLERIFT]
felixgarnet Offline
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Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 688
Loc: UK
Fascinating stuff, SOLERIFT, thank you.
During the early 90's I worked as PA to a blind lawyer and he used the Kurzweil Reading Machine which was cutting edge technology then. I recall there were various voices to choose from, including the annoying "Kit the Kid" which we used to read serious legal documents sometimes for a laugh.
I personally welcome nanotechnology. What Kurzweil is predicting may prove to be the breaching of the "final frontier" keeping man and machine as separate entities. When Virtual Reality was first hinted at a s a possibility I said it would enable people to perform magickal operations in cyberspace to affect their subjective reality in the physical world. It seems that this will soon be possible sans PC, lap-top and all.
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"Here's to Artifice!" - Anton Szandor LaVey.

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#36344 - 03/13/10 10:11 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SOLERIFT]
ta2zz Offline
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Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 1552
Loc: Connecticut

I for one would like to see the day true eternal life is achieved even if that life extension is in a virtual world. To increase the chances of humanity surviving certain steps need to be looked at and taken. I also feel that the steps to becoming H + are as important as trying to get off this rock we are on. I have followed stories on H + since first reading this in 2001.

Because technology is advancing so quickly, Hawking said, 'computers double their performance every month'. Humans, in contrast, are developing much more slowly, and so must change their DNA make-up or be left behind. 'The danger is real,' he said, 'that this [computer] intelligence will develop and take over the world.'

Hawking, author of the best-selling A Brief History Of Time and a professor of mathematics at Cambridge University, recommended 'well-aimed manipulation' of human genes. Through this humans could 'raise the complexity of... the DNA [they are born with], thereby improving people'. He conceded the road to genetic modification would be a long one but said: 'We should follow this road if we want biological systems to remain superior to electronic ones.'

He also advocated cyber-technology - direct links between human brains and computers. 'We must develop as quickly as possible technologies that make possible a direct connection between brain and computer, so that artificial brains contribute to human intelligence rather than opposing it.'


I leave you a link to Mr. Kurzweil’s reply from 2001 as well… Nothing new here except a new book, I bet he makes a lot of money off the books he sells.

http://www.kurzweilai.net/articles/art0288.html?printable=1

~T~
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We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams. ~Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy

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#36645 - 03/17/10 02:26 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: ta2zz]
SOLERIFT Offline
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Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Dallas, TX
 Originally Posted By: ta2zz

I for one would like to see the day true eternal life is achieved even if that life extension is in a virtual world. To increase the chances of humanity surviving certain steps need to be looked at and taken.


Right on - those are my sentiments exactly. Modifying ourselves is the next logical step in our "evolution" - and if you ask me - leaving this planet without modifications to make us more impervious to our mortality could end up becoming a severe hinderance to our exploration in the long run.

 Originally Posted By: ta2zz


We should follow this road if we want biological systems to remain superior to electronic ones.'


This is probably the best argument I have heard to defend these new advancements against those who would fear them and condemn them. Yes there are dangers - and the "bugs" and "glitches" we may have to deal with might be terrifying in their possible effects - but Technology, as we continue to push it for our own convenience - will only get smarter and exponentially more efficient - therefore it would be wise of us to keep our selves updated and integrated - otherwise WE may find ourselves being obsolete.....

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#36647 - 03/17/10 02:38 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: ta2zz]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3139
One of the assumptions Mr Kurzweil made was in 2029(?) man should have located all regions and functions of the brain (which IMHO is a bit too positive).

He also claims that the calculating power we have in our portable phones will be available in devices not bigger as a cell. Once heard I immediatly thought of the physical limits of computers.
I am aware about Moores law that the calculating power/capacity of every new computer is doubled every 2 years (not every month as someone mentioned before). The limit of this law is the physical building of the computer. Theoretically speaking, the smallest you can get is about the size of an atom. Speaking in reality, the use of the skeletons of different diatoms (Bacillariophycae), most preferred the Centric diatoms (Coscinodiscophyceae) is about the best and smallest we can get.

Now a second remark would be the link "fusion human and machine", while it may be possible to "fuse" both of them the simple idea that machines still need to be programmed is 1 factor to more or less stop fantasizing about it.
Yet, artificial intelligence can hardly been seen as intelligence. Most modern robots, and I'm quite sure robots in the future, will not have the same capabilities as the human brain. Modern robots and other machines or programmed to calculate and notice (by calculation) certain inputs (data).
It is possible to give the impression a machine got a brain of it's own, yet it is nothing BUT a machine which reacts on pre-instructed commands and programmation.

Now, machines and computers have enhanced our lives and made some tasks more easily. But there is a certain limit to be achieved, and this limit is the physical component.
I heard the various claims of machines being fused with humans and proloning our life. I say there is a limitation to it. Our body is VERY complex and no machine is capable of calculating, directing or seeing every single biomolecular process in our entire body. The process of aging is a natural one resulting from a slowly defuncting gene replication. This process cannot be altered (you may claim in current scientific period, I give you that), the proloning of life can towards (yet again) a certain physical limit. It is in my opinion that the age of 100 is the overall maximum limit a human body can live, above it would be quite useless for all sensory organs be it mechanically modified or not.


Edited by Dimitri (03/17/10 02:47 PM)
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#36661 - 03/17/10 05:51 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: Dimitri]
SOLERIFT Offline
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Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Dallas, TX
 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
One of the assumptions Mr Kurzweil made was in 2029(?) man should have located all regions and functions of the brain (which IMHO is a bit too positive).


I agree - this "singularity" may be further off than Kurzweil thinks, but the exponential development we are seeing makes it interesting food for thought - to say the least.

In the late 19th century - the invention of telegraph and wired communication was fantastic, and the idea of wireless communication was imagined but not taken seriously - it was thought to be "past the limit" of physics, when in reality, it was simply past our knowledge and most importantly - our limits of our imagination at that time - that all changed when manipulation of radio frequencies became possible with the invention of transducers - which came only a few decades later.....

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
"Now a second remark would be the link "fusion human and machine", while it may be possible to "fuse" both of them the simple idea that machines still need to be programmed is 1 factor to more or less stop fantasizing about it. "


What is our body other than a piece of hardware that is esentially programmed by environmental stimulus and its own consciousness? Our minds can use the tools we have invented to reprogram our own genetics - and thus rewrite our own software (mind and body)

You are right - a machine WILL need to be programmed...... and??????

There is no doubt that a machine will need to be programmed - why would this be a hinderance to the "fusion" of man and machine?

Don't get me wrong - There will be HIDEOUS mistakes and abominations before this "fusion" can happen in any kind of stable way, but it is far from impossible.

The idea of nano-machines that can repair the bodies cells and keep the body immune against pathogens by interacting with ones own physical cells while receiving queues from the body itself to spring into action - is not too far fetched - it could provide a level of relative "physical immortality" previously unimaginable, but not "absolute".

The integration of said technologies can also have an effect on our intellectual faculties.

If we can modify genes - and we now know we can, despite this field being in it's relative infancy - then we may also find a way to enhance our intellectual faculties, and I would not think it unreasonable that we can create a "jump" in evolution by modifying our own genetics..... - and who knows what solutions will be invented by H+ beings who have modified their own genetics and have thus moved beyond the mental limitations that you and I cannot yet see through.....

This may sound WAAAAY crazy - but everything that was "crazy" over 100 years ago is now every day reality - so much so that most people I know have an unbelievable capacity to take our technology and how fast it has evolved for granted.

Vast quantities of human knowledge are available at our fingertips - literally, we can speak to anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time, and we can get from Paris to New York in a few hours with the right amount of cash...... all these things were considered well "past our limits" less than a century ago.

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
Yet, artificial intelligence can hardly been seen as intelligence. Most modern robots, and I'm quite sure robots in the future, will not have the same capabilities as the human brain. Modern robots and other machines or programmed to calculate and notice (by calculation) certain inputs (data).
It is possible to give the impression a machine got a brain of it's own, yet it is nothing BUT a machine which reacts on pre-instructed commands and programmation.


Ever seen Virtuosity? (I know - its a movie - a fiction - and not the best movie at that, granted, but Russel Crowe plays a virtual being who is able to break out of his software program and place himself in a body made of nanobots - this happens because he became self-aware because his parameters were so well written.

When you said "machines will still have to be programmed" - I assume you mean that no matter how well we program them, they are still not self-aware. True - to a degree......

Thats a very deep philosophical hole - how do we define self awareness? Most organic life is very mechanical and repetitive - if we try to define what makes a biological organism different from a machine, we will end up talking in circles - or at best referring to the vague ability to "choose" or to "know" - the ability to react to stimulus does NOT count, as that CAN be programmed - the ability to self-propagate does NOT count, as that can be programmed (at least on the level of software currently)

And to get to the point - for much of humanity - their own "choices" are programmed by the choices of others...... they are hardly - "self-aware" at all - if you mean the ability to react independent of stimulus on "desire" alone, but even "desire" is arguably programmed - our animal motivations and seemingly self-willed desires are embedded within our programming (DNA) to a certain extent.

"Self-awareness" - I posit - may happen when the functional parameters of a system get programmed so well - that it's own parameters can re-write and adapt themselves based on stimuli.....

How so? Simple, yet infinitely complex ;\) - if we create a program so advanced, with so many interlinked functions and "if/then/execute" parameters (generally speaking) as to sustain a software environment that is adaptable to external stimuli and able to re-write itself based on its own computations - we can create a subtle form of self-awareness. This "self-awareness" can exist and can advance itself well past our original parameters - all though the irony is - it was still programmed by us originally.

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
Now, machines and computers have enhanced our lives and made some tasks more easily. But there is a certain limit to be achieved, and this limit is the physical component.


Agreed.... but with constant revisions to the physical component, we can get closer and closer (think of division/multiplication - we can divide a number by another number infinitely, but we will never arrive at 0, even though the value of 1/202309283098230598029385098235.etc..... might as well be zero)

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
I heard the various claims of machines being fused with humans and proloning our life. I say there is a limitation to it. Our body is VERY complex and no machine is capable of calculating, directing or seeing every single biomolecular process in our entire body.


Perhaps - but limitations are expected, it is in the pushing of these limits, layer by layer, that progress will be made, eventually to exceed our wildest imaginations - bodily functions have a degree of variability - but even your body, as complex as it is - is LIMITED to an extent - and to that extent - will shall find success - we cannot program a system that can adapt to infinite variability - yet - but we will be able to create something that can be able to come very close - for all intents and purposes.....

mapping the entire human genome was thought impossible once it was realized how massive it really was - but when we realized this, we did not have the computational power to consider the possibility of completing the task in one lifetime, now there are computers that can map a DNA strand in less than an hour.

[quote=Dimitri]The process of aging is a natural one resulting from a slowly defuncting gene replication. This process cannot be altered (you may claim in current scientific period, I give you that), the proloning of life can towards (yet again) a certain physical limit.
 Quote:


Indeed so.....

[quote=Dimitri]It is in my opinion that the age of 100 is the overall maximum limit a human body can live, above it would be quite useless for all sensory organs be it mechanically modified or not.


While that may be true right now - I would think that a body can live indefinitely if given the right medium to flourish. Why do you place the limit at 100 years? Is there some special significance to being a century old?

I will cite the example of plants - Many species of plants live only a few months before natural conditions kill them. But, if I remove them from "natural conditions", root them hydroponically, can give them nutrients that are engineered not to degrade, preventing salt build up on the roots, and if all things are kept in "stasis" - the plant never has to die, save for accident or neglect, it can live as long as its tended to.

I see no reason why humans cannot do the same, with the right ingenuity, technology, and will, there is literally nothing that cannot be accomplished - in time.

While the same cannot be said for animals and man; we cannot give an animal perfect environment and extend it indefinitely like we can with plants - but perhaps one day - using new science to fuse the best features of plants, animals and tech together - the barriers will broken and this will be possible for man also.

The answers to how this might be accomplished may be found in the technology that is advancing the science of "suspended animation"

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#36664 - 03/17/10 06:55 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SOLERIFT]
SOLERIFT Offline
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Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Dallas, TX
To put things in perspective :

This example may sound daft - but when you say things like "limitation of the physical component" - I am reminded that there is no real limit to the physical component, only the limits of our ability to conceptualize.

If I went back in time and told a Gutenburg Press publisher that one day all the books he will make in his lifetime, I will be able to fit on a chip the size of my finger - he may say - "whats the point? - the print will be so small no one can read it" - and he would be correct, only because he cannot conceptualize the medium and the in between methods/concepts that would make it possible. But never the less, today I have a 32 GB flash drive that can store every book he ever printed and still have room for more.

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#36710 - 03/18/10 02:03 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SOLERIFT]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3139
 Quote:
What is our body other than a piece of hardware that is esentially programmed by environmental stimulus and its own consciousness? Our minds can use the tools we have invented to reprogram our own genetics - and thus rewrite our own software (mind and body)

You are right - a machine WILL need to be programmed...... and??????

Our body is much more complex then you put it.
If I follow your lines of our body being a piece of hardware programmed by environmental stimulus then with this same statement we actually should have the same ideas when put inside same conditions. Yet we differ and think otherwise.

Genes are not like a computer who are "programmed". Genetics is a bit more complicated as resetting pieces of code. Genes are long DNA-strings made of different organic acids. This "programming" you speak of, or some persons tend to use, is a bad wording for using a wide range of techniques to jam in a few extra chromosomes and replace a few bad ones, hoping the entire stuff works. See it as opening up your computer, cut out a compartiment you want to see replaced and put in the new part whilst only using a hammer and sheer luck.

Don't be stupid to think it is a piece of cake. There are still many secrets and mysteries in cell-regulation.

 Quote:
There is no doubt that a machine will need to be programmed - why would this be a hinderance to the "fusion" of man and machine?

Adaptation is the answer. I guess you know about organtransplantations? The person who underwent the operation is still put in quarantaine because of the risk the organ isn't approved by the body. The same goes for possible machinery. The difference between implanting a new organ and a piece of machinery is while implanting the organ, hormones can be used to increase the chances the organ WILL be approved. This is a technique which cannot be used on anorganic matter.

 Quote:
The idea of nano-machines that can repair the bodies cells and keep the body immune against pathogens by interacting with ones own physical cells while receiving queues from the body itself to spring into action - is not too far fetched - it could provide a level of relative "physical immortality" previously unimaginable, but not "absolute".

As said before, you can try to let nano-bots fix "broken cells", but the process of aging is unstoppable because no machine will ever calculate any reaction taking place in the body. Nano-technology also involves adding extra supplements to keep the bots working.

 Quote:
If we can modify genes - and we now know we can, despite this field being in it's relative infancy - then we may also find a way to enhance our intellectual faculties, and I would not think it unreasonable that we can create a "jump" in evolution by modifying our own genetics.....

Already responded on the modifying genes part with the mentioned computer and hammer to put things in perspective..

 Quote:
Vast quantities of human knowledge are available at our fingertips - literally, we can speak to anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time, and we can get from Paris to New York in a few hours with the right amount of cash...... all these things were considered well "past our limits" less than a century ago.

Also vast quantities of fairy-tales people tend to believe in are more easily spread. I wouldn't say "past our limits" a century ago. People in those days were more inclined to believe then to investigate. I wonder how long it took you to realize Santa Claus wasn't real... (or any other creature like the easter bunny and likes).

 Quote:
Thats a very deep philosophical hole - how do we define self awareness? Most organic life is very mechanical and repetitive - if we try to define what makes a biological organism different from a machine, we will end up talking in circles - or at best referring to the vague ability to "choose" or to "know" - the ability to react to stimulus does NOT count, as that CAN be programmed - the ability to self-propagate does NOT count, as that can be programmed (at least on the level of software currently)

I guess you haven't got a very good background on microbiology.
Cells are FUCKING complex. Organic life on the first sight indeed looks mechanical and very repetitive, but once taking a closer look with the microscope you'll soon start noticing how vastly awesome complex it is.

I admit I do not know how self-awareness is achieved, but I also know YOU and others do not know it either. This sole piece of information makes it for us impossible to create something with a mind of it's own. If the knowledge of knowing why and how we are self-aware is not available, why would you even talk of making something with self-awareness?

The reaction on stimulus can make a machine look like it has some kind of consciousness, but still it is a piece of costly metal junk ;oving and reacting on stimulu which were being programmed in it's CPU.

 Quote:
How so? Simple, yet infinitely complex ;\) - if we create a program so advanced, with so many interlinked functions and "if/then/execute" parameters (generally speaking) as to sustain a software environment that is adaptable to external stimuli and able to re-write itself based on its own computations - we can create a subtle form of self-awareness. This "self-awareness" can exist and can advance itself well past our original parameters - all though the irony is - it was still programmed by us originally.

You are assuming here, watch out with it.
What differs man from the possible machine/program you fantasize about, is I may program a switch to turn the super-complex into a piece of junk metal without him knowing it exists because I programmed it to do so.
What differs men from machine is our ability to choose and think. A machine only obeys orders.

 Quote:
mapping the entire human genome was thought impossible once it was realized how massive it really was - but when we realized this, we did not have the computational power to consider the possibility of completing the task in one lifetime, now there are computers that can map a DNA strand in less than an hour.

One second here, the entire human genome is not entirely known even with current calculating powers. There is research being done how every single acid of the DNA-genome works and what function it has on the entire body.

 Quote:
While that may be true right now - I would think that a body can live indefinitely if given the right medium to flourish. Why do you place the limit at 100 years? Is there some special significance to being a century old?

I could have said 90 years old but I said 100 for following reasons:
- I like round numbers
- at the age of 100 most of the sensory organs (and rest of the body) is in a very bad stade and the idea of "when shall it finally end" is quite obvious yet unspoken.

 Quote:
I will cite the example of plants - Many species of plants live only a few months before natural conditions kill them. But, if I remove them from "natural conditions", root them hydroponically, can give them nutrients that are engineered not to degrade, preventing salt build up on the roots, and if all things are kept in "stasis" - the plant never has to die, save for accident or neglect, it can live as long as its tended to.

Plants have a less complex ingestion system as we animals have.
It is a very bad idea to compare plants with animals for various biological reasons.

 Quote:
The answers to how this might be accomplished may be found in the technology that is advancing the science of "suspended animation"

Yeah right...
How fun it is to see life passing by and see everyone enjoying whilst you are just "hanging around" doing absolutely nothing.


With the physical limit I did not only ment calculating capacity of machines, but also place in 3 dimension and resources.
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#36724 - 03/18/10 07:44 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: Dimitri]
SOLERIFT Offline
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Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Dallas, TX
 Quote:
Our body is much more complex then you put it.
If I follow your lines of our body being a piece of hardware programmed by environmental stimulus then with this same statement we actually should have the same ideas when put inside same conditions. Yet we differ and think otherwise.


I know that what I wrote was an oversimplification, but for the sake of example without consuming millions of characters, and without attempting to summarize every subject I have ever studied - I thought my example was somewhat appropriate for the length at which I can treat it.

Perhaps "hardware" was a bad generalization. Ok - think of DNA as "Firmware"....., "mind" as software, and body as "hardware".... ;\) Again - simplified, but a little better....

Yes, we "think" and "differ" in our thinking, but our thought processes are essentially made of the same building blocks, despite the varying complexity of forms which arise from our thinking - our "thoughts" are still constrained to the medium (language) and perception of that "language", coupled with pre-existing biological motive forces known as "emotion", all these blocks create "concepts" similar to "sub-routines" - but you are right, the way to make a machine truly self aware is not known, we only have the ability to imitate it with ever increasing efficiency.

 Quote:
Genes are not like a computer who are "programmed". Genetics is a bit more complicated as resetting pieces of code. Genes are long DNA-strings made of different organic acids. This "programming" you speak of, or some persons tend to use, is a bad wording for using a wide range of techniques to jam in a few extra chromosomes and replace a few bad ones, hoping the entire stuff works. See it as opening up your computer, cut out a compartiment you want to see replaced and put in the new part whilst only using a hammer and sheer luck.

Don't be stupid to think it is a piece of cake. There are still many secrets and mysteries in cell-regulation.


No doubt about their complexity in comparison to "code" - there are many mysteries that are far from being mastered..... I did not mean to imply otherwise.

Perhaps you mistake my enthusiasm for merely jumping to stupid conclusions - understood - I would be dishonest if I pretended that I am not making some assumptions, some of them very broad - but make no mistake, I do NOT think this sort of development will be a piece of cake, nor do I assume that I know the answers......

Part of what you said made me laugh - it's soooo true - most methods used today are the equivalent of taking a hammer and seeing what happens.... but it has to start somewhere, right?

Also - amino acids, like all atoms - have, for lack of a better description, a "frequency resonance" - and if we can manipulate this resonance, then we might be able to program our own genetics in a more efficient way - rather than looking at amino acids as mere "physical components".....

I could liken the advent of this tech to the development of a genetic transducer that can recombine genes into new sequences through something akin to sonic, photonic, or even magnetic manipulation.

I do realize that saying things like "genetic transducer", and "frequency resonance manipulator" - it may sound as ambiguous and vacuous as concepts like "quantum teleportation" or "radionics" - but these concepts are far from impossible, and what ever our preconceptions may be, they are bound to change with new data - but thats part of the process.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc

 Quote:
The difference between implanting a new organ and a piece of machinery is while implanting the organ, hormones can be used to increase the chances the organ WILL be approved. This is a technique which cannot be used on anorganic matter.


True - but in that case you are speaking of "replacement" of a body part - not the enhancement of one - allthough - similar rejections are bound to happen - irritations and inflamations occur from the presence of foreign objects in your body, I have to readily admit I have no idea how this would translate to the body with nanoscale foreign objects being introduced.

There have been experiments in "cymatics" by Dr. Hans Jenny and a few others that suggest that sonic treatments may be able to aid the body in not rejecting foreign organs by "tuning" the organ to the body over the course of a lengthy treatment.

Hormones also have a "resonance", if we can isolate or generalize them, perhaps we can assist them using machines made to amplify that resonance thus making the chances of rejection even less (I know, I know, this may sound like new age tripe, but cut putting all overly sci-fi assumptions aside, there is merit to advancing this line of research much further)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05Io6lop3mk

 Quote:
As said before, you can try to let nano-bots fix "broken cells", but the process of aging is unstoppable because no machine will ever calculate any reaction taking place in the body. Nano-technology also involves adding extra supplements to keep the bots working.


True and not true - I agree that fixing broken cells can occur, and that maintenance will be needed (as with any machine) to keep them functioning as desired. I disagree that "aging" is unstoppable. Right now - with what we know about aging, it is not currently stoppable or reversable. Aging (as it is currently imagined) happens from degradation in the original blueprints over time - or rather - the loss of the integrity of transmissive abilities of DNA/RNA. Preventing this might not be a matter of "switching on" or "switching off" a gene sequence, but that does not make it impossible.

 Quote:
Also vast quantities of fairy-tales people tend to believe in are more easily spread. I wouldn't say "past our limits" a century ago. People in those days were more inclined to believe then to investigate. I wonder how long it took you to realize Santa Claus wasn't real... (or any other creature like the easter bunny and likes).


You mean Santa is not real? I need to go sit down - I feel like a fool. ;(

 Quote:
I guess you haven't got a very good background on microbiology.


From that statement, can I assume you have a background in microbiology and are possibly active in that field ?

 Quote:
Cells are FUCKING complex. Organic life on the first sight indeed looks mechanical and very repetitive, but once taking a closer look with the microscope you'll soon start noticing how vastly awesome complex it is.


Because it causes wonder and amazement due to the complexity that it displays does not mean that cells are not mechanical, repetitive and programmed. I know my statements might make it sound as if I think cells are simpletons and that I understand all about them, but there is more to it than that.

 Quote:
I admit I do not know how self-awareness is achieved, but I also know YOU and others do not know it either. This sole piece of information makes it for us impossible to create something with a mind of it's own. If the knowledge of knowing why and how we are self-aware is not available, why would you even talk of making something with self-awareness?


Touche - but perhaps I should have stated it differently - I did NOT speak about making something with self-awareness, as most think of it - that "undefinable nebulous something" - but rather a system that was programmed so well as to be almost indistinguishable from a self-aware organism - the "philosophic hole" is being able where to determine real awareness from increasingly more effiecient simulations, and in the long run, to determine if there is even a difference. (Keep in mind I am not talking about simulations as they exist NOW - but many many revisions in the future)

Who knows - some methods and ideas will prove to be less practical than they are impossible - so maybe all I have just posited will be cancelled out with a new way of looking at all the data.

 Quote:
You are assuming here, watch out with it.


Everything starts as an assumption - but - noted, I am reaching perhaps a bit much into the assumption zone.....

 Quote:
What differs man from the possible machine/program you fantasize about, is I may program a switch to turn the super-complex into a piece of junk metal without him knowing it exists because I programmed it to do so.

What differs men from machine is our ability to choose and think. A machine only obeys orders.


Again - when I said not to reference the vague ability to choose and think - it was because those ARE things that a machine can be programmed to do - and thinking can be done by any computer - its called logic and execution - and yes, YOUR LOGIC is a program - a product of conditioning and the recombinations of the subroutines you have been building upon since your first word, first steps, your first time trying to analyze an abstract concept - which you learned first by imitation - a somewhat self-created and highly adaptable form of abstract programming.

The only distinguishable factor I see between organic "self-awareness" and "artificial self-awareness" is that organic self-awareness can re-program it's own logic to varying degress. Kurzweil was talking about machines being programmed with the ability to re-write their own source code - it is logical - but as a software tech and computer science major - I know that it is WAAAAY easier said than done.

A machine will requires some input from humans - but there is no reason that it can not also be the source of some of its own input (through channels defined and programmed by US, granted)

 Quote:
One second here, the entire human genome is not entirely known even with current calculating powers. There is research being done how every single acid of the DNA-genome works and what function it has on the entire body.


When I say "mapped" - bad description - what we have would amount to a map without names or identities for the most of the places - mostly "topographical" data

 Quote:
I could have said 90 years old but I said 100 for following reasons:
- I like round numbers
- at the age of 100 most of the sensory organs (and rest of the body) is in a very bad stade and the idea of "when shall it finally end" is quite obvious yet unspoken.


That is based on the assumption that you will have aged and therefore will be in no condition to desire life any longer. If you are in the body of a 30 year old and nothing is uncomfortable with your "physical component" - then why would your senses break down? Why would you desire death if youth and vigor both mental and physical can be sustained? Perhaps I have missed something.....

We might also be talking about a lifetime where Earth does not have to be our only playground, and in the face of the vastness of space - the notion I hear from people time and time again - that "things need to die" also becomes a mute argument.

 Quote:

Plants have a less complex ingestion system as we animals have.
It is a very bad idea to compare plants with animals for various biological reasons. [/quote}

Agreed - we are vastly more complex than plants, but the principle is similar.

[quote]
Yeah right...
How fun it is to see life passing by and see everyone enjoying whilst you are just "hanging around" doing absolutely nothing.


That certainly is a narrow inference to draw about the possibilities suspended animation could offer us.

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/mark_roth_suspended_animation.html

That remark reminds me of exactly the example I made of the Gutenberg Press man telling me it's pointless to have all his books on a chip the size of my finger because the print would be too small.

Suspended animation can be used to hold the body in stasis and perform medical procedures otherwise impossible, among other possibilities - extending life when otherwise impossible.

When I mentioned it - I did not mean that everyone would be suspended for life and thats it - lol. But rather that some aspects of the process involved in suspended animation could be utilized for the advancement in the science of "anti-aging"

I too, would like more from life than to experience living out my remaining days like a wax sculpture.....

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#36727 - 03/18/10 09:26 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SOLERIFT]
SOLERIFT Offline
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Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Dallas, TX
I think the of the most overlooked points that Kurzweil illustrates is this : by the time programmed intelligence actually becomes adaptable to a level that effectively imitates human mind - the technological advances leading there will have been so many and so drawn out as to be taken for granted and thus barely a surprise at all

although expecting this to happen by 2029 - that seems rather unlikely

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#36739 - 03/19/10 03:47 AM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SOLERIFT]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3139
 Quote:
Yes, we "think" and "differ" in our thinking, but our thought processes are essentially made of the same building blocks, despite the varying complexity of forms which arise from our thinking - our "thoughts" are still constrained to the medium (language) and perception of that "language", coupled with pre-existing biological motive forces known as "emotion", all these blocks create "concepts" similar to "sub-routines" - but you are right, the way to make a machine truly self aware is not known, we only have the ability to imitate it with ever increasing efficiency.

Correction:
The "building blocks" are more or less of the same formation (note the more or less, it is normal to notice slight variations) yet the quantities differ. The difference in quantities make us all different.

 Quote:
Also - amino acids, like all atoms - have, for lack of a better description, a "frequency resonance" - and if we can manipulate this resonance, then we might be able to program our own genetics in a more efficient way - rather than looking at amino acids as mere "physical components".....

Using resonance on amino acids.
Chances are, you manage to break the acids. Light is also a wave with a certain frequency affecting our bodies. Heat is also a wave with a frequency affecting our body, otherwise you wouldn't have those burnmarks if you touched a hot plate.

The problem with what you are saying here, is but the mere fact the amino acids will be broken down at random in their molecular chain. This makes it impossible to "restore" it, if you keep in mind that every amino acid is unique. Turning an amino acid backwards already gives it other properties.

 Quote:
I do realize that saying things like "genetic transducer", and "frequency resonance manipulator" - it may sound as ambiguous and vacuous as concepts like "quantum teleportation" or "radionics" - but these concepts are far from impossible, and what ever our preconceptions may be, they are bound to change with new data - but thats part of the process.

I do not know what you meant with the "Dr Quantum" film.
My remark on that thing is the oversimplification of wave-properties to make knowledge available to the new people in science. The interference patron is easily explained by electro-magnetic properties who become more important at atomic level.

 Quote:
Hormones also have a "resonance", if we can isolate or generalize them, perhaps we can assist them using machines made to amplify that resonance thus making the chances of rejection even less (I know, I know, this may sound like new age tripe, but cut putting all overly sci-fi assumptions aside, there is merit to advancing this line of research much further)

I think you are fantasizing a bit too much here.
Hans Jenny is someone studying waves and who is trying to produce a visual screen for sound waves. The video stating "bringin matter to life with sound" is actually a falsity. Sound waves, or waves in general, are a specific way to transmit energy. The rearranging of the matter by a certain sound is but the frequency pattern in a 3 dimensional space, captured onto something 2 dimensional. What you see there are nothing more then a few waves who interfere and travel liniary.

This is very interesting to see and investigate, but applying it for medicinal purposes is yet another step and very doubtfull in my opinion.

 Quote:
I disagree that "aging" is unstoppable. Right now - with what we know about aging, it is not currently stoppable or reversable. Aging (as it is currently imagined) happens from degradation in the original blueprints over time - or rather - the loss of the integrity of transmissive abilities of DNA/RNA. Preventing this might not be a matter of "switching on" or "switching off" a gene sequence, but that does not make it impossible.

Lets take your printer as an example.
You can take out and switch the components as much as you like to keep the darn thing working as it was new. But neverless other factors then simple "renewal" also occur. You can change the hardware as much as you want, but after a certain amount of time there will occur a total breakdown for reasons unknown (casing is too old to sustain and protect all the hardware inside, envirronmental influences,..).

Within the body there is still this thing called apoptose. It is a vital component/action in our body for cell renewal, but it also the main reason we age. Stopping apoptose can result in cancer which will ultimately lead to death, do nothing about it and aging occurs.

 Quote:

From that statement, can I assume you have a background in microbiology and are possibly active in that field ?

I studied biotechnology for 2 years, did 1 year bio-engineering and am now studying envirronmental sciences.

 Quote:

Touche - but perhaps I should have stated it differently - I did NOT speak about making something with self-awareness, as most think of it - that "undefinable nebulous something" - but rather a system that was programmed so well as to be almost indistinguishable from a self-aware organism - the "philosophic hole" is being able where to determine real awareness from increasingly more effiecient simulations, and in the long run, to determine if there is even a difference.

Thats why I remarked the "I can program an off button in a self-restoring machine without it noticing because I programmed it to do so".

 Quote:
Again - when I said not to reference the vague ability to choose and think - it was because those ARE things that a machine can be programmed to do - and thinking can be done by any computer - its called logic and execution - and yes, YOUR LOGIC is a program - a product of conditioning and the recombinations of the subroutines you have been building upon since your first word, first steps, your first time trying to analyze an abstract concept - which you learned first by imitation - a somewhat self-created and highly adaptable form of abstract programming.

Slight detail here, when I studied bio-engineering during the informatics classes it was said to us that computers DO NOT THINK. A computer is nothing more then a machine who was programmed to calculate codes by certain commands we ordered it to do. There is no intelligence within the whole damn thing. What is being written on your harddisk is nothing more then long strings of 0 and 1's in orders we commanded it to do so, and the 0 and 1's on their turns are pieces of basic language (on/off) we instructed by yet other orders. When you calculate 1+1 on your computer, it is a whole proces ordered by informatici and mechanical elements we commanded to work.

 Quote:
That is based on the assumption that you will have aged and therefore will be in no condition to desire life any longer. If you are in the body of a 30 year old and nothing is uncomfortable with your "physical component" - then why would your senses break down? Why would you desire death if youth and vigor both mental and physical can be sustained? Perhaps I have missed something.....

Yes, it is called assumption.

 Quote:
hat certainly is a narrow inference to draw about the possibilities suspended animation could offer us.

Did they also tell you about the risks this involves?
Being in suspended animation for too long could also result in massive brain-failure, muscles being too weak to work and keep your body upright,...

It's one of the remarks I have against the people at TED, they most of the time sketch an image TOO positive, and the negative sides are mostly being skipped.


Edited by Dimitri (03/19/10 03:49 AM)
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#36751 - 03/19/10 09:15 AM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
SOLERIFT Offline
stranger


Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Dallas, TX
 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
Did they also tell you about the risks this involves? Being in suspended animation for too long could also result in massive brain-failure, muscles being too weak to work and keep your body upright,... It's one of the remarks I have against the people at TED, they most of the time sketch an image TOO positive, and the negative sides are mostly being skipped.


I am aware of the risks, I am not foolish enough to assume there are none, or that the risks are insignificant. To give TEDs speakers credit - are the speakers not to display enthusiasm? - This is what gets other people excited and possibly involved. Lets not forget that TED is an excellent way for people from many different fields to network and perhaps find additional funding through capitalists that are "wowed" by their presentation.

If they came out like a pharmaceutical commercial and waved every possible downfall, it might be hard to drum up sufficient enthusiasm...... Also - if you are engaged in any project whole-heartedly to the extent that it is your brainchild, you cannot help but show enthusiasm, and with that - you will share what your projected goals may be for the entire endeavor -no matter how far fetched they may be.

About apoptosis - programmed cell death. What I am thinking of when I refer to "stopping the aging process" does not involve stopping PCD - perhaps tinkering more with it, but PCD is vital.

Also - just for clarification -when I speak of "nanobots" repairing cells - I do not mean keeping every cell alive indefinitely with no division or death at the cellular level - but repairing cells and organs that have lost homeostasis.

No - if you ASSUME that I am saying we should find a way to stop PCD, that is not what I am saying at all. What I refer to is finding a way to maintain homeostasis, while supplementing that stasis with technology that can assist when it begins to fail.

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#36759 - 03/19/10 01:04 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SOLERIFT]
Dimitri Offline
stalker


Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3139
 Quote:
To give TEDs speakers credit - are the speakers not to display enthusiasm?

I always thought they were talking about their field of interest and the progressions they made, or about some discoveries they made.

Can't say enthusiasm is a bad thing, but entering the field of science it is mostly adviced to sketch the whole Universe instead a little part of it.

 Quote:
About apoptosis - programmed cell death. What I am thinking of when I refer to "stopping the aging process" does not involve stopping PCD - perhaps tinkering more with it, but PCD is vital.

In that case the process of aging is simply continiuos. After all, PCD is just that what regulates aging.

 Quote:
Also - just for clarification -when I speak of "nanobots" repairing cells - I do not mean keeping every cell alive indefinitely with no division or death at the cellular level - but repairing cells and organs that have lost homeostasis.

- Extra supplements for reparation needed
Now, cells simply work the way they have evolved to do so. If there is a cell damaged, apoptosis jumps in. PCD is just a part of the mechanism which repaires tissues and organs. (A second mechanism would be cell-division).

 Quote:
What I refer to is finding a way to maintain homeostasis, while supplementing that stasis with technology that can assist when it begins to fail.

See above.


Your body is a well-coordinated system, a COMPLEX coordinated system. There hardly is anything which needs technological replacement, unless a few faults which should have been erased by evolution (but still are current thanks to healthcare).
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#36760 - 03/19/10 01:36 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: Dimitri]
SOLERIFT Offline
stranger


Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Dallas, TX
 Originally Posted By: Dimitri

In that case the process of aging is simply continiuos. After all, PCD is just that what regulates aging.


I guess my understanding of apoptosis is fundamentally lacking.

I understand that this cell death is part of what repairs damaged tissues by allowing them to die and be replaced, but what part of apoptosis creates the deterioration we see over time? (loss of elasticity, vigor)

Can there not be any kind of modification to our genetics that would prevent the overall bodily system from going into retrograde?

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
Your body is a well-coordinated system, a COMPLEX coordinated system. There hardly is anything which needs technological replacement, unless a few faults which should have been erased by evolution (but still are current thanks to healthcare).

The body is indeed a complex and well coordinated system. No matter how well-coordinated it is - it has one flaw in my eyes - it can, and will, die - if left to its own "natural" course.

I will agree that real "immortality" is one of the largest delusions of grandeur a person can entertain - but I can dream cant I?

In the words of Graucho Marx : "I intend to live forever or die trying"

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#36761 - 03/19/10 02:06 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SOLERIFT]
Dimitri Offline
stalker


Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3139
 Quote:
I understand that this cell death is part of what repairs damaged tissues by allowing them to die and be replaced, but what part of apoptosis creates the deterioration we see over time? (loss of elasticity, vigor)

That would be the flaws which occur during cell-devision.
See the copying of genes as reprinting the copy of a copy of a copy..
In the end there will be some major flaws which wll result in aging.

 Quote:
The body is indeed a complex and well coordinated system. No matter how well-coordinated it is - it has one flaw in my eyes - it can, and will, die - if left to its own "natural" course.

Everything comes to an end, just as it should be.
To die is the most natural thing to do.
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