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Programming Technology

Can Curiosity Be Programmed? 269

Posted by samzenpus
from the killing-the-computer-cat dept.
destinyland writes "AI researcher Jurgen Schmidhuber says his main scientific ambition 'is to build an optimal scientist, then retire.' The Cognitive Robotics professor has worked on problems including artificial ants and even robots that are taught how to tie shoelaces using reinforcement learning, but he believes algorithms can be written that allow the programming of curiosity itself. 'Curiosity is the desire to create or discover more non-random, non-arbitrary, regular data that is novel and surprising...' He's already created art using algorithmic information theory, and can describe the simple algorithmic principle that underlies subjective beauty, creativity, and curiosity itself. And he ultimately addresses the possibility that the entire Universe, including everyone in it, is in principle computable by a completely deterministic computer program."
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Can Curiosity Be Programmed?

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Oh wait, you're not talking about children... nevermind.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:16AM (#30929498)


    #!/bin/sh
    for i in who what where when why how; do
        echo "But $i, dad?"
    done

    I hereby submit this project to the /. community under the GPL v2.

  • 001 Gather data
    002 Hypothesise
    003 Go To 1
  • by BitZtream (692029) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:24AM (#30929550)

    And he ultimately addresses the possibility that the entire Universe, including everyone in it, is in principle computable by a completely deterministic computer program.

    The problem with this is that you need to be outside the universe in order to do so, you can't calculate the universe from within itself any more than a VMWare can run a machine faster than the host processor.

    You'd also need more mass in your computer than exists in the universe, observable or otherwise.

    So sure, I'll go with the theory that its possible, just not by any thing in our universe.

    Likewise, nothing in our universe could leave it to perform the calculation elsewhere, as doing so links the two realities together, so you now need to simulate both.

    Everything is interconnected and the very act of attempting to simulate the universe changes the simulation. Every new version of the simulation would instantly require a new version to take into account the changes from the previous version.

    The theory is ... cute at best, but unworkable.

    • by biryokumaru (822262) * <biryokumaru@gmail.com> on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:30AM (#30929584)

      VMWare should, in theory, be able to simulate a system faster than the host processor, as long as it doesn't actually run that fast.

      We should, in theory, be able to simulate the universe, just not as fast as the universe actually moves.

      Besides, I bet we can just gloss over a lot of the boring bits and stay within a margin of error while ultimately simulating faster than the universe is actually transpiring. That doesn't seem unreasonable.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by BitZtream (692029)

        Yes, I agree, I should have specified.

        We will not be able to simulate in real time or faster.

        However, glossing over bits means you are also, wrong, however so slightly.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by HateBreeder (656491)

          You made so much sense in your previous post.. too bad you had to make this one as well.

          Simulating the universe from within the universe is impossible - regardless of the rate, as your simulated universe should contain the simulation itself.... which is a positive feedback loop.

          • by asliarun (636603)

            You made so much sense in your previous post.. too bad you had to make this one as well.

            Simulating the universe from within the universe is impossible - regardless of the rate, as your simulated universe should contain the simulation itself.... which is a positive feedback loop.

            (For the sake of argument) So what?
            By your definition, our universe should collapse every time we bring two mirrors parallel to each other.

            One other thing: Why can't VMWare run an OS faster than the OS running natively?
            If you assume that VMWare does a better job of optimizing hardware utilization compared to the OS, the OS will definitely run faster in a VMWare host.

            • Why? because it means that the amount of information you need to simulate will grow to infinity, which is impossible to contain.

              example:
              Simulate the universe from within... when you reach the point where you simulate your own simulation, it must contain the simulated universe, which in turn contains another simulation of the universe and so forth.

              You can't simulate that because you will quickly run out of memory. Regardless of how much memory you have for the simulation.

              Assuming perfect mirrors....

              When you

      • by p00ya (579445) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @03:38AM (#30930532) Homepage
        Even at a slower rate than real time you cannot simulate the universe from within the universe. This has been proved by Cantor diagonalization (see Wolpert's "Physical limits of inference" paper).
        • A Turing machine can simulate a Turing machine. So is the universe no Turing machine?

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by sourcerror (1718066)
            I guess not. At the atomic level there's a lot of randomness.
            Einstein wasn't quite statisfied with these consequences, that's why he said: God doesn't play dice. [hypography.com]
            • by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday January 28, 2010 @10:08AM (#30932696) Homepage Journal

              At the atomic level there's a lot of randomness.

              Can we be sure? What seems random may not in fact be truly random. The flip of a coin is considered random, but if you could account for all the variables with enough precision; angle of the coin, angle of the thumb, force of the flip, distance to the floor, etc, you could likely predict each and every toss.

              Rather than being random it could be that it's just more complex than we know, or that we can't determine the variables with enough accuracy. What is the exact value of PI?

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by MobyDisk (75490)

                but if you could account for all the variables with enough precision; angle of the coin, angle of the thumb, force of the flip, distance to the floor, etc, you could likely predict each and every toss.

                Unfortunately, you can't. :-( That's called the hidden variable theory [wikipedia.org]. It has been proven that there can be no set of information that could be used to compute quantum randomness.

                Einstein refused to believe that, and proposed the EPR thought experiment as a way to disprove it. Unfortunately for him, he died before John Bell resolved the EPR paradox, finally disproving hidden variables.

          • Not with infinite memory anyway. And yours also doesn't have infinite memory.

            A smaler memory computer may or may not be able to simulate a larger memory computer, that depends on what the larger memory computer is doing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JWSmythe (446288)

      If/when a true AI exists, it will need some randomization to make it curious. Sure, you can chart point A to B to C, but what if randomly it skews off to somewhere just west of point Z enroute, and observes.

      That doesn't have to be a physical route. It could be as simple as taking a random word from a dictionary, searching that on your favorite search engine, taking a random result from there, and then following the result from another random word. An unpredictable path, but

      • by wisty (1335733)

        It won't just need to be a bit random. It will need to be capable of spotting (and following up) on false leads. Making mistakes. Look at John Nash. Look at Kepler (yes, that Kepler) who spent most of his time trying to make the planets' orbits "fit inside" his crazy "Harmonices Mundi" theories. A bit of geometry (Kepler solids) that he tried to extended to "harmonic analysis to music, meteorology and astrology; harmony resulted from the tones made by the souls of heavenly bodies—and in the case of as

      • I think that this could be covered by the fact that senses are imperfect. A lot of intelligence is about making sensible decisions and conclusions based on incomplete and unreliable data, but just because something is the most rational action to take doesn't mean it will necessarily be correct. Making incorrect decisions and conclusions will lead to dead ends (hopefully ;), but the things discovered on the way could lead to entirely novel discoveries. As a down-to-Earth example, imagine you need to complete

    • Sure, but put simply, he's just saying that there is no such thing as randomness and that with absolute knowledge of all the variables, one could predict with certainty the exact state of any object at any given period of time from now in a similar way to how you could crudely work out how long it's going to take a ball to hit the ground when dropped from a certain height with basic high school Newtonian physics.

      That relies on there being no randomness in the universe of course...

    • by Thiez (1281866)

      A deterministic universe is interesting from the 'do we have free will?'-perspective, but the whole uncertainty principle ruins our attempts to simulate the universe even if we could build one 'outside' reality. Frustrating really, we are surrounded by very uncooperative hardware.

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        There is no free will, uncertainty or chaos.

        There is only our inability to understand/simulate it on the level required to remove the little bits of errors that we refer to as 'randomness' or entropy.

    • by Urza9814 (883915)

      It seems to me that you are assuming that this outside universe obeys some basic laws of our own. Why make such an assumption? I mean, if we're going to go so far as to hypothesize a computer built outside of our own universe, why couldn't this outside place obey radically different rules than our own universe? Suppose that outside our universe, there is no such thing as time. Calculations are put into the computer and the result returns instantly. While it is true that theoretically you could still never c

      • by Potor (658520)

        Suppose that outside our universe, there is no such thing as time. Calculations are put into the computer and the result returns instantly.

        Instantly - as an instant - is still time. And relative to the input. Only if the results came before the input would this universe be different, and then again, "before", like "instantly", is still temporal.

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        It seems to me that you are assuming that this outside universe obeys some basic laws of our own. Why make such an assumption?

        Because thats they way science works. Its based on observations.

        Of course, your imagination is part of the universe and may just be better connected to whatever may be outside our universe than I am, so you could of course be entirely correct.

        But ... if we don't go based on observations then its not science, its more like fantasy or religion, take your pick.

        The final part of it is s

    • by ScytheLegion (1274902) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:43AM (#30929668)
      I'll be programming all of this tomorrow... on my new iPad
    • If you have to explain why a joke is funny, it isn't funny.

      From TFA:

      How does the compression progress drive explain humor? Some subjective observers who read a given joke for the first time may think it is funny. Why? As the eyes are sequentially scanning the text the brain receives a complex visual input stream. The latter is subjectively partially compressible as it relates to the observer's previous knowledge about letters and words. That is, given the reader's current knowledge and current compressor, t

    • by SharpFang (651121)

      You're missing the difference between running/emulating/duplicating and simulation.

      You don't need to simulate every quark of every atom of a car body to have a reasonable car simulator game. You use a simplified model that approximates the reality to a degree that is defined in requirements of the project.

    • ... and then some of us think that the universe is in fact a computation.

      Here are some 1999 movies that explore this idea: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0139809/ [imdb.com], http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133093/ [imdb.com].

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by noidentity (188756)
      The entire universe CAN be computed. You'd need a computer the size of the universe, with the same laws and state. In fact, our universe exactly fits the requirements, and is computing what will happen right now.
    • by Terrasque (796014)

      Oblig XKCD:

      http://xkcd.com/505/ [xkcd.com]

      Incidentally, it's my favorite xkcd strip

  • Yeah? (Score:3, Funny)

    by oldhack (1037484) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:31AM (#30929594)
    Why you wanna know?
  • by neorush (1103917) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:32AM (#30929600) Homepage
    Aren't we really just talking about coding for patterns of anomalies? We know how to code for patterns, we know how to code for anomalies. Isn't it a matter of processing huge data sets and looking for patterns that have not been recorded before? Of course, you could argue that whether or not the pattern is relevant is the big problem, but curiosity is not necessarily about relevance.
    • by SharpFang (651121)

      Not only.

      There are the following factors:
      laziness vs boredom: save energy when not required, but don't waste it on overhead of inactivity if profit is achievable by reasonably low increase.
      curiosity vs caution: obtain new data deemed valuable, at reasonable cost/risk. The caveat is the value function, which must consider potential usefulness of the data, its availability and uniqueness.

  • Every time you program curiosity, a lolcat dies. "What happens if" is a very dangerous thing to teach to amoral beings.
    • by Siberwulf (921893)
      If you weren't curious, the lolcat would still be 50% alive, damnit!
    • by fyngyrz (762201)

      "What happens if" is a very dangerous thing to teach to amoral beings.

      You've just identified one of the key problems with representative government.

    • by asliarun (636603)

      If curiosity is non-random and non-arbitrary as the article claims, will it end up killing Schroedinger's lolcat?

  • I've watched the ending... Isn't his goal the driving force behind the game Portal?

    AI researcher Jurgen Schmidhuber says his main scientific ambition 'is to build an optimal scientist, then retire.'

  • programming (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:45AM (#30929674) Journal

    I think that the approach commonly taken to achieve some form of AI (curiosity as an example) through programming methods may be a flawed way of going about it. We probably should go about the problem in a similar way to how biological systems developed various aspects of AI. That is, build a system that has some basic rules for its operation that tends to form a system where curiosity and intelligence in general is an emergent property rather than one that is strictly programmed into the system. Take an existing system with some degree of "creativity" inherent in it and model our own technology to at first, mimic the natural system and over time, we tweak the system to suit our purposes as It is extremely difficult to build such systems from scratch.

  • of course it can (Score:4, Interesting)

    by walkoff (1562019) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:47AM (#30929688)
    When I was a fledgling programmer in the 80s I worked on some financial AI programs for a bank with some very smart people with lots of letters after their names and programming artificial curiosity was assigned to me. After some thought and a lot of dead ends I managed to program a reasonable (for our needs) facsimile of curiosity by assigning weights to the various pathways the program was evaluating and making those weights tend towards 0 (curiosity satisfied) or 1 (Curious) without ever reaching the final values. By having the program modify the weights and make decisions on which paths to follow based on those weights the program acted as if it was curious and came up with several interesting results that were completly unexpected.
  • Show me the runny (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DriedClexler (814907) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:49AM (#30929710)

    Schmidhuber has interesting claims, like about his Goedel machine [idsia.ch], an algorithm that makes provably globally optimal self-modifications.

    But he never seems to get around to actually writing the code, or even non-vague pseudocode to implement these algorithms to show how they actually work and that they actually work. I guess it's just an "implementation issue". Ah, the chorus of the pure theorist...

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Internalist (928097)

      No, he knows and has explicitly stated in a few places that it's uncomputable, in much the same way that Kolmogorov Complexity is uncomputable, but an interesting and potentially useful theoretical construct, nonetheless.

      This vein of Schmidhüber's work is more or less descended from Solomonoff's work on induction and Chaitin's Algorithmic Information Theory stuff (the line of descent is less explicit with the latter), and a bunch of Schmidhüber's descendents, most prominently his student Marcus Hu [hutter1.net]

    • I guess it's just an "implementation issue". Ah, the chorus of the pure theorist...

      Here's a thought (I haven't decided whether I agree with it):

      Would it make sense to divide the work of creating AI into the Getting Ideas part and the Turning Ideas Into Code part? The idea being that you can let people who are good at one part do that part, and let people who are good at the other do the other part. (That goes back to Adam Smith, division of labour.)

      Suppose a physicist establishes a theory about the reflection of light which (among other things) can be used to make more efficient solar c

      • by Trepidity (597)

        Part of it is that CS theory tends to prove things that, while mathematically true, in practice often don't matter. For example, it's a running joke in AI that everything interesting is NP-complete. So we don't care about NP-completeness. What we want to avoid is AI-completeness: problems that, if you could solve them, would imply that you had Full Human-Level Intelligence. We want to solve bits of intelligence without having to solve all of it, but if it's NP-complete, who cares, because everything is. In

        • by Trepidity (597)

          Hah, that's "everyone's happy", of course.

          Incidentally, this [rochester.edu] was the work that started the "reduce to SAT, because it's NP-complete and, btw, fast" trend.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by aaaaaaargh! (1150173)

      You're right, there is not only the minor problem that it can't be implemented. The utility function is the another big issue. Programs like this theoretical Gödel machine or working machines like neural networks and kernel method implementations depend on a utility function that can tell you whether you're getting closer to a solution or not (notwithstanding misleading local maxima and minima), and in order to have such a function you already need to have an intimate understanding of the problem at ha

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:52AM (#30929726)

    A minority of AI researchers have tackled the problem on and off, and even built some small-scale models of curious agents. One of the classic precursors is Doug Lenat's 1977 system Automated Mathematician [wikipedia.org], which shifted from the idea of using AI to prove theorems, to instead looking for theorems that would be interesting if they were true (it didn't actually prove them; it was an interesting-conjecture generator). Essentially a model of mathematical curiosity.

    Some interesting more recent work is a 2001 thesis [usyd.edu.au] that modeled curiosity as a social phenomenon in societies of agents, where agents try to find things that are: 1) new enough to interest its fellow agents; yet not 2) so new that they were incomprehensible in its cultural context.

    (I'm an AI researcher, though not precisely in this area.)

    • How about chess playing software? Doesn't it experiment and explore possibilities?

      • Well it's actually quite methodical. Generally, there's a certain number of moves look-ahead (more with a faster processor) and it's simple to pick the optimal move that will result in the best scenario, say, 7 moves down the road.

        I don't know if you've ever heard of a book called Godel Escher Bach, by a man named Douglas Hofstadter. But in it he posits that chess requires intelligent computers to play - this was written about 10 years before chess-playing computers. He didn't like the idea that it could ju

    • I'm an AI researcher, though not precisely in this area

      What's that like? I'm curious.

      • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:14AM (#30930720)

        Depends greatly on what you research. Unfortunately, the vast majority isn't as glamorous as you might imagine. I work in a pretty interesting area (an academic area with connections to videogame AI and game design), and this sort of creativity / discovery-systems / curiosity / art / etc. research is interesting too. But the vast majority is more pedestrian. Sure, there's interesting applications: computer vision, robotics, planning, data mining, bioinformatics, etc. But 90% of the work that comes out is incrementalist stuff; relatively boring proofs of some fact, or new algorithm that's 7% faster in some important special case (I suppose that's true of a lot of scientific fields, though).

        It goes back and forth in waves, though. It seems that there will be waves of pretty exciting AI research, then a backlash as some of it goes over the top into sci-fi Singularity Is Nigh sort of AI, then things swing all the way to the other direction into AI as a really narrow field that's basically applied statistics, control theory, symbolic logic, and planning, and the only stuff that can get published is Rigorous stuff with Proofs (sort of a defensive reaction by people worried about being branded kooks). Then after a few years of that everyone realizes that 5000 more proofs in some super-narrow area aren't getting us anywhere because the field is stagnant with no direction, and people start doing more speculative applications and proposing new problems again. Then repeat.

        It's somewhat unfortunate on the whole that there's such a big gap between what you might call "layperson AI" and "academic AI". The layperson AI (the singularity crowd, etc.) are excited about stuff, and have interesting goals, etc., but often do stuff that verges more on the sci-fi than the scientific. But academic AI is so scared of being them that it consciously tries at times to be super-boring so nobody mistakes them for Hans Moravec.

  • the entire Universe, including everyone in it, is in principle computable by a completely deterministic computer program

    .. as long as you start with a piece of fairy cake [wikipedia.org].

  • Let me see....
    if touch == [ouch] {
    @"damn it";
    }
    else {
    @"oh mama";
    }
  • Only as smart as... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by v(*_*)vvvv (233078) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @01:22AM (#30929876)

    If curiosity is a behavior, then it should be pretty straight forward. In fact, depending on how you define "curiosity", then there are already many examples of programs that are curious. Google or Bing or any web crawler is definitely "curious". A satnav that searches for the best route from point A to point B could be "curious"...

    A robot is only as smart as its smartest programmer.

    And he ultimately addresses the possibility that the entire Universe, including everyone in it, is in principle computable by a completely deterministic computer program.

    The problem that is often ignored with this and similar claims is the problem of observability as illustrated in areas such as quantum physics, and even economics.

    You cannot calculate the behavior of a black box without opening it. If opening it alters the state of its contents, then it may even be impossible. And if you have no means of observation to begin with, then it is downright impossible. Before you can claim you can calculate the next moment in time, you must be able to claim you have observed and know all the variables within the system of interest.

    • In fact, depending on how you define "curiosity", then there are already many examples of programs that are curious.

      This is certainly true. reinforcement learning [ualberta.ca] algorithms trade off between exploitation, choosing actions based on the assumption of a static environment, and exploration, testing alternatives, in case the environment has changed. This could be considered a kind of curiosity. What is more interesting to me, as a neuroscientist, is the human ability detect interesting sights or sounds and focus on them. It's like we have a fast but rough novelty detector that can guide our attention towards some event.

  • A completely deterministic program creating the universe and all in it would be meaningless unless some being could use it like a TV show. Perhaps a universe that is not completely deterministic might be a better product with more uses to a supreme being. Perhaps that is why the classic debate between mankind having no free will among its members verses those that believe it is all about free will leaves both sides wanting. Individuals with limited free will may match the actions of other things in t

  • As I understand it, everything we learn and do can ultimately be condensed into one thing. Survival. Think about it, we are alive today because the core tenant of our existence hasn't been broken yet. We, as a species continue to survive. Different behaviors do nothing but aid or take a different path to maintaining this goal. Perhaps curiosity is nothing but an attempt to make our survival more efficient. Perhaps it's a luxury only suited for higher level organism. Who knows.

    My advice? Just create many it

    • As I understand it, everything we learn and do can ultimately be condensed into one thing. Survival. Think about it, we are alive today because the core tenant of our existence hasn't been broken yet. We, as a species continue to survive. Different behaviors do nothing but aid or take a different path to maintaining this goal. Perhaps curiosity is nothing but an attempt to make our survival more efficient. Perhaps it's a luxury only suited for higher level organism. Who knows.

      I think there's a great deal more going on. -Saying that Survival is the primary objective of Life is like saying that schools exist to make sure that enough students graduate to justify the yearly budget. It's a circular argument; if a school is successful, then it will justify its budget and thus every positive action the school took can be argued as having had the singular goal of continued survival. The idea of sharing and exploring knowledge needn't ever enter into the matter for the equation to bal

  • Of course curiosity can be programmed. What are humans if not big, fleshy, biological machines of sorts? Granted we do not work like computers do, but the underlying processes are still structured and computational--if the brain were chaotic it wouldn't work.

    Of course, some people will handwave with "the soul" or silly objections by Searle...

    • Re:Of course it can. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @05:06AM (#30930940)

      Of course curiosity can be programmed. What are humans if not big, fleshy, biological machines of sorts? Granted we do not work like computers do, but the underlying processes are still structured and computational--if the brain were chaotic it wouldn't work.

      ~waves hand~ Speak for yourself, Mister Roboto. ~/waves hand~

      But seriously, this is a really fascinating question. Souls aren't handed out like candy. You have to build them through main force; by actively choosing to be aware from moment to moment. What I am finding to be the biggest challenge in that requires the supreme effort of recognizing one's own automatic nature and cleaning the gunk out of it.

      Every time some subject comes up in conversation which makes me twitch or sweat or want to pull away, THAT indicates a piece of gunk. Each time I want to fall back and use a comfortable and proven behavior routine to deal with a given moment, THAT indicates a piece of gunk.

      After one does enough work, you begin to see very clearly just how messy and automatic the people around you are. -These days, I find I am constantly aware of people's programs and little acts, why they work and what they are designed to do, and where people get stuck running those silly programs over and over day after day, year after year without ever stopping to ask, "What is the real me under this?". The soul is that part of us which is capable of recognizing the automatic nature of the brain and body and stepping in through an application of Will to interrupt the code execution.

      It's difficult and the ego doesn't like it at all; Any suggestion that one is a robot is usually met with disgust and fear, if the accusation is even understood in the first place. The Ego is, I think, a foreign installment designed exactly to keep us from performing that self-examination. With the Ego in place and strong, there is no hope of breaking out of the cage of automatic behavior.

      Like I said, a fascinating topic.

      -FL

      • Yeah, but your talk of "Ego" and "the soul" is all gobbledygook.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Fantastic Lad (198284)

          Yeah, but your talk of "Ego" and "the soul" is all gobbledygook.

          Well, I didn't mean to suggest that YOUR computer was coded by a genius or that your hardware wasn't found in a box of rejects from the late 80's. You'll have to forgive your maker if you can't keep up.

          As for the soul. . . Well, that's not a winnable debate one way or the other, so your call of 'gobbledygook' is no more or less useful.

          That being said, did you feel a stab of irritation upon completing the first sentence? The ego would have been the item making that particular sensation. Sorry. It was just

  • Twilight (Score:3, Interesting)

    by serps (517783) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @01:38AM (#30929972) Homepage
    This article reminds me of the short story Twilight [wikipedia.org] by John W. Campbell. I read it when I was a kid and it left a lasting impression that, should humans lose their curiosity, the striving for knowledge might yet continue.

    And then when I read about the current state of the education system, I get just a bit worried...

  • by shadowbearer (554144) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @01:54AM (#30930048) Homepage Journal

    'is to build an optimal scientist, then retire.'

      Build a what?

      I suspect it's already retirement time. No offense.

    SB

  • 10: CALL Monolith
    20: PRAISE Monolith
    30: GOTO 50
    40: Understand Monolith
    50: Satiated = CALL Curiosity
    60: IF Satiated > Infinity GOTO 40
    70: ELSE GOTO 50

  • To paraphrase Arthur C. Clarke's third law [wikipedia.org]:

    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from Perl.

  • Our greatest gift to god will be creating a mind that can believe in him.

    Why is it that AI research is always mislead by it's name? Namely they are
    too focused on the intelligence aspect of a programmed mind that they
    completely fail to recognize it's subjective emotions and motivation that they
    should be focusing on.

    What is a soul? It's that part of a mind that is able to make a choice. It's
    the part of the mind that isn't logical. It's the part of the mind that can
    judge something as good and bad. It's ha

  • And he ultimately addresses the possibility that the entire Universe, including everyone in it, is in principle computable by a completely deterministic computer program."

    After which he took another long drag on his joint and said, "It's like our whole universe is inside a single election in a larger universe, you dig? Hey, pass those corn chips over, dude! Now where was I? What? Ah, never mind. Put on Conan. It's his last show."

  • Maybe next they should study how to program bi-curiosity. God knows most software is pretty gay these days, and I'd like to know why.

  • I once extensively thought about that subject. The point of curiosity. How it works.

    We humans have an internal model of reality. In fact it’s the only reality that we have. Since we can’t prove the existence of anything outside our minds.
    This model is a set of associations. Which, just as the universe, are defined in a relative way.
    This means, that we can’t handle anything that is not related to something else in some way. Even if it’s just a basic feeling.

    But since we start out with

  • I think Bell's theorem shows us that the Universe cannot be both local and deterministic. That being the case, he's on pretty shaky ground proposing in-principle deterministic computability, although he is not the first to do this. I like Penrose' ideas that there is an element of non-computability involved in Consciousness, not because there's any evidence for it (there isn't much "evidence" for Consciousness at all, apart from your first person experience of it), but because to me it's the difference be
    • P-zombies are a ridiculous construct.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by DynaSoar (714234)

      I like Penrose' ideas that there is an element of non-computability involved in Consciousness, not because there's any evidence for it (there isn't much "evidence" for Consciousness at all, apart from your first person experience of it), but because to me it's the difference between being Conscious and being one of David Chalmers' zombies. I like to think I'm mostly the former.

      That's precisely what all you zombies (ie. everyone other than myself) are programmed to say. Although some of you do produce novel responses occasionally. The Penrose zombie presented his theory to the Karl Pribram zombie (my primary teaching machine) who asked "So what does this mean to psychology?" The Penrose zombie replied "How would I know? You're the psychologist." A strange thing to say because (a) the Penrose zombie didn't flinch from psychology in the 'zombies' issue (v 3 #1) of the Journal of Con

  • And he ultimately addresses the possibility that the entire Universe, including everyone in it, is in principle computable by a completely deterministic computer program.

    He should try to do some actual computational physics/chemistry. The amount of processor power you need to simulate only tiny structures is so enormous that he'd be thrown back to reality really quickly.

  • > the entire Universe, including everyone in it, is in principle computable by a completely deterministic computer program
    Here come the Matrix analogies for the rest of the posts here on end....!

There's a whole WORLD in a mud puddle! -- Doug Clifford

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