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I was inspired to write this thread by a "The end of all life" blog and it is somewhat complemented by it.

Couple of years back I watched some documentary on TV about prolonging the human lifespan (in the medical way). There was a brief comment, a theory if you will, that got my attention.

The theory, in general, was that if you scan complete human body, capturing it's finest details down to the subatomic particle level, store that data in computer's memory and use it in a program that simulates laws of physics, add a virtual environment, you would get a fully conscious and fully functional human body in a digital form. The digital 1:1 copy of you. Only difference would be the with passage of time. You can imagine that the "simulation of you" wouldn't be in a real-time and to simulate one second of alive human body would take some super-computer years, maybe decades. But perception of time, or if you prefer, the time passage in the simulated universe would not be any different from the real time passage, if the laws of physics are same.

That sounds like a distant, but very possible future. One can even imagine that someone would try to make a simulation of not just one person, but whole community, or, perhaps the whole planet, giving that the tech. level of the distant future super-computers would be capable of such complex performance. And why stop there? Why not the whole universe?

Now, taking that into account, who's to say that the reality isn't simulated here? And the "God" most people believe in, is just some geek that ran the new "The Sims"?

If you read my comment on "The end of all life" blog, you will see that I mentioned "interconnected universes". That complements this theory.

Bluntly put:
If our universe is nothing but a simulation on some computer, then "interconnected universes" can only mean one thing: NETWORK. (Maybe this is on-line version of The Sims?)

This theory could raise many questions, and the biggest one, the question of all questions would be:
"If this is a simulation after all, what is stopping that someone that ran this simulation from flipping the switch?"

If you think about it for a while, you would realize the ethics involved.
To understand my point, you must take into consideration couple of things:

a) If you create a fully conscious replica of you that is in no way different from you, or there are some superficial differences (same kind of differences that exist between two different persons), yet it is still fully conscious and sentient, regardless of whether it is in "digital" or "organic" form,

b) If you follow philosophy of René Descrates (I think, therefore, I am) you would conclude that "digital you", the moment it starts, would became another conciousness... another personality.. another mind.. another sentient being.. another existence.. another soul, if you will.

I guess, turning it off could be considered as same as parent killing it's own child. One just don't have the moral right to terminate somebody else's existence, no matter what form of existence it is.

What about "more than one digital person" situation? I guess that the same ethics comply there, only on the larger scale.

And what if people finally realize the concept of the universe and put it in a simple formula, (like Albert Einstein was trying to do before he died) and make an absolute universe simulation from it's beginnings (big bang), just like the universe that we are experiencing now, and that has been going on for billions of years (on our time-scale)?
That could be interpreted as ... well, divine act. The genesis.

God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

God created man in his own image. In God's image he created him; male and female he created them.

(Gen. 1:26,27)

I guess multiple universes theory (or "networking", as I have bluntly illustrated) can be considered as some sort of virtual polytheism.

Post Scriptum:
This thread may be interpreted as sacrilege to some people (religious fanatics) that conceder mentioning of God, in any form other than some religious material quotes, as a mortal sin.

To those people I will say this:
This story is fictional. Any resemblance of the events, names, personalities, places, organizations or religions in this story to actual names, events or religions is pure coincidence.:twisted:

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Last Post by Chaky
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Thank-you for your interesting post.

I believe in hard science. I cannot wait for true vitual reality! I study, research, and dev A.I.. I believe Artficial Intelligence will be one of our next major break-throughs, affecting our world greatly. I support genetic research and cloning.

Life as a simulation: This already exists but far from what is possible in the future, I believe. I can create a life-simulation with my compiler, complex or simple; when, though, does it gain consciousness? I do believe machines can and will gain consciousness, perhaps not in our lifetime, but eventually. Our brains are the most complex (organic) supercomputers on the planet-- but then there is the introduction of the "spirit".

I do not believe my life is a simulation; it is relative, I presume, based on one's belief or lack of religious beliefs. I believe deeply in science--I am also a Protestant Christian. I believe in the Big Bang (The Genesis), but I believe I have free will as "programmed" by God. Is my free will just a hard-coded element similar to the options I might give to my A.I. entity? Well, I believe it is not. It is a gift, not syntax embedded with the intentions of fulfilling a slighted experiment.

Thanks again for your post. I enjoyed reading it.

Regards,
sharky_machine

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I wasn't referring to the computers as "smart" or "sentient". Just as a tool for simulating reality. Simulating the reality to the point when it becomes 100% copy of a reality, or alternate reality, but reality nevertheless. Together with all goods and bads, including life itself.

I don't believe that a human is capable of "writing a script" that would turn around and say "I'm not in a mood to do that". Or, rather, not on the present computers. Thing is, computers work on principle of absolute logic. It is either 1 or a 0, true or false, right or wrong. Humans work in opposite way. With humans nothing is 100% absolute. Not even a survival instinct. It is always "somewhere in between". We are just not "compatible" with absolute logic. I think that we will have to wait for quantum computers ti kick in, before we consider making a true AI.

Maybe I lack the words to describe human nature in 100 words or less, but one thing never seizes to amaze me:

Example:
If you throw a cue-ball on the pool table 10 times with same force and in the same direction, it will always run the same path. 10 times, million times, infinite times, doesn't make any difference. It is a law of physics.
BUT...
Lets say, I pick up a wrench 10 times. And place it on the table 10 times. I could NEVER repeat the same movement. Hell, I can even REFUSE to place it on a table. That simply does not add up. As far as I can tell, my will alone (and everybody else's) is not in a realm of laws of physics. Or, you could say that me picking up a wrench defies laws of gravity. The wrench is going up instead of down for no apparent reason (as, I am picking it up for no apparent reason).

You could say that, if this is all a simulation, then we are the bug in the software.

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"Simulating the reality to the point when it becomes 100% copy of a reality, or alternate reality, but reality nevertheless."

To simulate "reality" 100% would include consciousness. Or, it would be a ((complete reality- consciousness)= less than 100%) Perhaps the simulation would stand at 75% full at most in this case.


"I don't believe that a human is capable of "writing a script" that would turn around and say "I'm not in a mood to do that". Or, rather, not on the present computers."

No, not just a script but a system based in part on self-learning principals.


"With humans nothing is 100% absolute. Not even a survival instinct. It is always "somewhere in between". We are just not "compatible" with absolute logic."

Not totally true: Humans have absolutes:

  • Life or Death (there is no middle ground)
  • Free Will (Can you use Free Will to choose not to have or use Free Will?)
  • The Survival Instinct: always 100% present even if the reaction acted upon (fight-flight-surrender-die?) is in the end incorrect. The instinct itself does not flounder ; it only solicits a choice that may end up in error.

"I think that we will have to wait for quantum computers ti kick in, before we consider making a true AI."

We cannot wait to research\dev A.I based on supposed technology advancements. We must develop with the tools we have and when the time comes for better hardware we will have laid the groundwork.


"Example:
If you throw a cue-ball on the pool table 10 times with same force and in the same direction, it will always run the same path. 10 times, million times, infinite times, doesn't make any difference. It is a law of physics."

Each time you toss the cue-ball it only appears to follow the same path-- each throw is unique no matter how near-similar it appears to our human eyes. Physics will always act on the ball (the matter) in the same manner, but your 1-Million throws of the ball is in fact 1-Million, unique arcs.


"The wrench is going up instead of down for no apparent reason (as, I am picking it up for no apparent reason)."

Your Free Will allows you to pick the wrench up or not pick it up at all.

"You could say that, if this is all a simulation, then we are the bug in the software."

The software is our minds and spirit. Our bodies are the cases. The bug, if indeed present, may arise from Entropy and the Laws of Thermodynamics, randomness, genetic anomalies, choices of Free Will, and Sin (The Fall).


Simulations can be designed, built, and run; this is great for scientific research for medicine and technology. It can also provide recreation and great fun: VR travel and history of the World, as well as video games which are the closest we have to a civilian VR experience (and developing more by the year). It is all very promising and I cannot wait to see what will be available to us in the next 10-30 years.

Regards,


sharky_machine

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It looks like a great post, except for one thing.

The soul is not a material thing. Irregardless of how the body is put together, but if no soul is present, then there is no life.

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"Simulating the reality to the point when it becomes 100% copy of a reality, or alternate reality, but reality nevertheless."

To simulate "reality" 100% would include consciousness. Or, it would be a ((complete reality- consciousness)= less than 100%) Perhaps the simulation would stand at 75% full at most in this case.

First things first: I am not talking about things in a same aspect as you are sharky.

Take human brain for example. Let's say that consciousness is nothing more than electro-chemical reaction that is going on inside the brain. And let's say that you have CAT scaner that can record 100% of the state of every electron, proton, neutron, atom, molecule, and cell of that brain.

Now, if you have a software that can calculate exact interaction of each and every particle and energy of that brain, you can use the data from that CAT scan to "reproduce" or simulate the brain itself.
That way it is possible (in theory) to reproduce a thought.


You are talking about simulating the abstract process that would be based only on one's perception of that process. 75% would be enormous achievement in that field.

No, not just a script but a system based in part on self-learning principals.

I apologize. By "true AI" I meant sort of a "Human intelligence simulation" not AI as self-learning software.

Not totally true: Humans have absolutes:

  • Life or Death (there is no middle ground)
  • Free Will (Can you use Free Will to choose not to have or use Free Will?)
  • The Survival Instinct: always 100% present even if the reaction acted upon (fight-flight-surrender-die?) is in the end incorrect. The instinct itself does not flounder ; it only solicits a choice that may end up in error.

Life or death....hmmmm... what is the definition of "life"?

Survival instinct.
On a collective level, it fails to be absolute. Example: a war.
On a individual level, it also fails to be absolute. Example: smoking (self-destructive behavior).

Free will.. A freedom of choice... that still puzzles me.

We cannot wait to research\dev A.I based on supposed technology advancements. We must develop with the tools we have and when the time comes for better hardware we will have laid the groundwork.

I don't know if you knew this, but quantum computers are already being made and sold. It is extremely unreliable, extremely expensive ($100.000) and only used for communication encryption.
In my opinion, that is the only suitable machine for making the "true AI" because it is based on the principle of probability, and not absolute logic.

"Example:
If you throw a cue-ball on the pool table 10 times with same force and in the same direction, it will always run the same path. 10 times, million times, infinite times, doesn't make any difference. It is a law of physics."

Each time you toss the cue-ball it only appears to follow the same path-- each throw is unique no matter how near-similar it appears to our human eyes. Physics will always act on the ball (the matter) in the same manner, but your 1-Million throws of the ball is in fact 1-Million, unique arcs.


"The wrench is going up instead of down for no apparent reason (as, I am picking it up for no apparent reason)."

Your Free Will allows you to pick the wrench up or not pick it up at all.

I was not referring to the actual ball as an object, but to a principle of physics and the way they work (every action causes reaction)
I'm wondering where and how does the free will fit with that principle.

The bug, if indeed present, may arise from Entropy and the Laws of Thermodynamics, randomness, genetic anomalies, choices of Free Will, and Sin (The Fall).

I think that there is no such thing as randomness. I know that quantum mechanic is based on similar thing, but my opinion is that the term "random" is light version of "unknown".

Simulations can be designed, built, and run; this is great for scientific research for medicine and technology. It can also provide recreation and great fun: VR travel and history of the World, as well as video games which are the closest we have to a civilian VR experience (and developing more by the year). It is all very promising and I cannot wait to see what will be available to us in the next 10-30 years.

Me too. Can't wait to see Doom 54 :lol:

The soul is not a material thing.

A matter of the perception, really.

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Me too. Can't wait to see Doom 54 :lol:

No doubt! And I cannot wait to suit-up in my VR gear and "play"
Final Fantasy 60 :eek::cheesy::!:

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The price (and the fact that it is being sold) I've learned from one PC magazine. There was 4-pages article about it.
Price (I think it was in 2002) was $100.000 and pure purpose was the encryption of the data stream.

They said that it would take decades for Cray to break the code.
They also said that any attempt to hack the stream would corrupt the data. (interference of any object disrupts the stream)

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Too bad that Albert Einstein (not you, 'Stein) was completely opposed to the quantum theory. He refused to acknowledge the idea of things not being 100% predictable and that observing the state of one atom alters it's state.

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Very true.

However, later in his life, he tried working on the unified field theory, which tried to incorporate all sciences (including quantum theory, from what I recall) into one theory.

EDIT:

Also, quantum theory was the basis for his "dice" comment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstein

Copenhagen Interpretation" section (1.3.2) above, reference was made to the disagreement regarding Einstein's actual position regarding the quantum theory. The famous quotation "God does not play dice" is often used to support the majority view that he disliked the theory due to its indeterminism.

Others make the case for a different view. They note that the 1926 "Dice" quotation occurred when the quantum theory was just in its first year of discovery and in the subsequent 30 years of his life, one would be hard pressed to find a similar comment from the man. Instead Einstein focused on the conceptually independent subject of 'incompleteness'.

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It was supposed to be his answer to the quantum theory, but he never finished it.

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