Failures and breakthroughs – exposed, reflected, considered

Posts Tagged ‘life

Creepy or cool? some AI breakthroughs and formula of life

leave a comment »

You keep on hearing about AI is bad and once AGI is around, it will kill us off – paperclip maximization principle is a telling example? Check the below tidbits pushing the envelop.

Music

Historically, people line up to attend concerts of famous artists. Now, there is AI that generates pure gold jazz or what sounds like a mix of jazz and classic. Would you line up to hear these pieces? Would you still line up if you didn’t know whether it’s an algorithm or a human?

Fiction

Do you like Harry Potter? What about this Harry Potter? This algorithm learnt from the first few chapters of J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter and created a novel of its own. Forget about J.K.Rowling, move on.

Film

TV series are great. Here is a script of Silicon Valley, generated by AI. Or a credibly-looking video from few dozen words (and some prior video training). Hollywood took heed.

Human behaviour

MIT researches created their AI system, which predicts human behaviour by approximating human “intuition” from myriads of data, and pitted it against human teams at data science competitions. The algorithm didn’t get the top score but it beat 615 of the 906 human teams competing. In two of the competitions, it created models that were 94% and 96% as accurate as the winning teams. Whereas the teams of humans required months to build their prediction algorithms, this algorithm trained 2-12 hours.

Cannibalism

Once virtual Adam and Eve (AI bots) were done with apples, they ate Stan, an innocent bystander (another AI bot) that happened to look like an apple.

Formula of life

OK, all the above are creepy, cool, scary, depending on your knowledge, interest and approach to life. But could these AI concepts eventually yield or create actual or natural life forms?

Even Artificial Life community acknowledges that the definition of “life” is contentious.

What Darwin’s theory talks about and what we believe is that there is clear difference between living organisms (in how they come to be and evolve) and everything else (from water vortexes to AI systems to coastal lines of England). Popular hypotheses credit a primordial soup, big bang and a colossal stroke of luck for creation of of life. Erwin Schrödinger framed life merely as physical processes in his treatise “What is Life?”.

But till now we had hard time explaining how (open) thermodynamic systems like our universe and even Earth evolved and how lifeforms evolved in them. We have answers for (close and weak open) ones. Till now.

According to Jeremy England from MIT given it a thermodynamic framing: it’s all about entropy (to create life, one has to decrease entropy). Carbon is not God. In his view, there is one essential difference between living things and inanimate chunks of carbon atoms: the former tend to be much better at capturing energy from their environment and dissipating that energy as heat. He has math formula, which indicates that when a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun) and surrounded by heat (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy. This implies that under certain conditions, matter may acquire key physical attribute associated with life.

Now back to AI craze above. Imagine if we could introduce systems that artificially decrease entropy in AI systems as per Jeremy England’s prescriptions, near future could see a new Cambrian explosion of artificially constructed forms of life, which are….. songs, movies, fiction, ….. and perhaps new and better beings!

Here are more creepy/cool AI applications or here. Enjoy!

P.S.  Ralph Merkle think of Bitcoin as life:

Bitcoin is the first example of a new form of life. It lives and breathes on the internet. It lives because it can pay people to keep it alive. It lives because it performs a useful service that people will pay it to perform. … It can’t be stopped. It can’t even be interrupted. If nuclear war destroyed half of our planet, it would continue to live, uncorrupted.

Advertisements

story of a farmer and surprises of life

leave a comment »

One day a farmer’s horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, neighbors came to visit. “Bad luck,” they sympathized.

“We’ll see,” he replied. Next morning the horse returned, bringing three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” neighbors exclaimed.

“We’ll see.” Following day, his son rode one of untamed horses, was thrown and broke his leg. Neighbors again came to offer their sympathy.

“We’ll see.” Next day, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. Neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things turned out.

“We’ll see.”

Written by Hayk

June 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Posted in society

Tagged with , , ,

awake and alive

leave a comment »

Wakefulness is the way to life.
The fool sleeps as if he were already dead,
but the master is awake and he lives forever.
He watches. He is clear.
How happy he is! For he sees that wakefulness is life.
How happy he is, following the path of the awakened.
With great perseverance he meditates, seeking freedom and happiness.
  
from the Dhammapada of Gautama Siddhartha (Buddha)

Written by Hayk

October 17, 2011 at 7:43 am

future of human life and biomimicry

with one comment

4.5 billion years of evolution taught nature what works and what lasts.

We’ve been increasingly distancing ourselves from nature: agricultural revolution – grow stock and abandon hunting/gathering; scientific revolution – “torture nature for her secrets;” industrial revolution – machines replace muscles.

Biomimicry is the study of nature for solutions to our problems. Having 96% of our bodies built upon carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, nature can teach us how to:

  • use only the energy needed
  • fit form to function
  • recycle everything
  • curb excesses from within
  • tap the power of limits
  • devise systems that can face unknown situations
  • update ourselves by feedback loops

Written by Hayk

October 3, 2011 at 8:04 am

fame and fortune (chapter 44 of tao te ching – translated by ursula le guin)

leave a comment »

Which is nearer,
name or self?
Which is dearer,
self or wealth?
Which gives more pain,
loss or gain?
 
All you grasp will be thrown away.
All you hoard will be utterly lost.
 
Contentment keeps disgrace away.
Restraint keeps you out of danger
so you can go on for a long, long time.

Written by Hayk

September 29, 2011 at 6:51 am

dim brightness (chapter 7 of tao te ching – translated by ursula le guin)

leave a comment »

Heaven will last,
earth will endure.
How can they last long?
They don’t exist for themselves
and so can go on and on.
 
So wise souls
leaving self behind
move forward,
and setting self aside
stay centered.
Why let the self go?
To keep what the soul needs.
 

Written by Hayk

September 20, 2011 at 7:01 am

is dalai lama a dictator?

leave a comment »

What you might not know is that Dalai Lama is considered a “religious dictator” (against his “competitor” Dorje Shugden‘s worshippers) by some.

In the West, he is mostly beloved/admired for his intense charism and Hollywood connections, projecting an image of an avuncular “Santa Claus.” Western fans see in him a “secular saint” or a “politically correct god for a godless world”.

Furthermore, admiration for Dalai Lama taps into older Western ideas about Tibet (forbidden to Westerners during 1792-1903 period) as a remote and mystical Shangri-La.

Sleep is the best way to meditate according to Dalai Lama.

Written by Hayk

September 18, 2011 at 9:17 am