[FRIAM] A* and emulatoin

Steve Smith sasmyth at swcp.com
Mon Jun 27 14:30:05 EDT 2022

I accept your problems with "synthetic" as described and agree that 
cobbled or mashed up has a more promising connotation than constructed 
or designed or fabricated.  It has been a *long* time since I thought 
about that (faulty) dichotomy.   The morality/ethics is also awkward for 
me...  I suppose it isn't as much about individual/group as 

Since I've been reading Charlton *on Bateson* I am very reminded how 
Bateson's seemly ideosyncratic language used to really put me off, but 
now I feel more he was likely working in the interstices of meaning 
between/among the conventional uses and landed on one bit of lexicon or 
other awkwardly at least in part because the conventional use *was* off 
in some way (or in it's precision it was naturally *wrong*?).   I'm 
still struggling/fumbling with it.

On 6/27/22 7:04 PM, glen wrote:
> Yeah, I don't like "synthetic" as much because it seems to rely on a 
> false dichotomy between us and the other animals. Is a termite mound 
> "synthetic"? Granted, "artificial" may hide some of that, too. But I 
> think it's reasonable to say there are, say, naturally occurring 
> (geological) mounds. Then there are artisan-generated, artificial, 
> termite mounds, where the termites are the artisans. [⛧]
> And none of that artisanal stuff *requires* the artisan to 
> reductionistically "understand" everything from first principles in 
> the way "synthetic" might. "Synthetic" also often carries another 
> false dichotomy between synthesis and analysis. It's false because 
> nobody ever does pure [synthe|analy]sis. They're always done together. 
> "Artificial" allows for that mode mixing. [We've had this discussion 
> before in the usage of terms like "naturfact".]
> And that targets artificial morality nicely, I think. I've never 
> really grokked the difference between morality and ethics, I think 
> because making the distinction is a kind of composition/division 
> fallacy. Ethics seems to carry the pretense of (or a slippery slope 
> to) universality/monism, whereas morals seem to carry the pretense of 
> individualism/relativism. If laid out on a spectrum, that's fine. But 
> to draw a sharp line seems like sophistry.
> While I'm a consultant on a project regarding the ethics of AI in 
> medicine, what interests me most is simulating the agency of an 
> individual practitioner ... similar to the way we used to play 
> red-blue-gray teams back at lockheed ... or the way you might simulate 
> modern [cough] cyberwarfare.
> [⛧] Of course, you have to go all the way down to the 3rd defn in AH 
> to find the right one. So if "synthetic" might mean "cobbled together 
> from stuff you found lying around", then maybe it's better than 
> "artificial". What I mean by both terms is closer to "glitch" ... a 
> little bit of intent and a little bit of accident.
> AH "3. A phenomenon or feature not originally present or expected and 
> caused by an interfering external agent, action, or process, as an 
> unwanted feature in a microscopic specimen after fixation, in a 
> digitally reproduced image, or in a digital audio recording."
> On 6/27/22 09:54, Steve Smith wrote:
>> I appreciate your addition of the 'M' to the *-match and want to 
>> remind myself out loud in front of you that I once (and maybe should 
>> again) preferred *synthetic* to *artificial*.... in the early days of 
>> VR, "Artificial Reality" was in the running as a term, but I felt 
>> *Synthetic Reality* carried the assertive sense of intentionality.  
>> "Artificial" felt more passive... an artifact of a willful creation 
>> with "Synthetic" feeling closer to the dynamic act of 
>> *synthesizing*.  And of course now (maybe not then), the spirit OF a 
>> mashup vs a whole-cloth thing comes through with "Synthetic".   This 
>> of course before I came to learn the terms artifice and artificer in 
>> this context.
>> Is "Ethics" not in some sense *artificed* or *constructed* 
>> morality?   I don't know, it is definitely an interesting tangent to 
>> all the other tangents that we tangent on here (tangentially).   As 
>> an aside, does a tangent of a tangent (of a tangent) imply higher and 
>> higher derivatives, it seems like it is precisely that?!  but in what 
>> dimension?
>> On 6/27/22 4:16 PM, glen wrote:
>>> Thanks very much for that link to mental contagion. It targets a 
>>> number of problems I have with intersubjectivity, even if the 
>>> author's nowhere near as skeptical as I think they should be. >8^D
>>> I drafted and deleted a response to Marcus' point about simple or 
>>> high-order prediction. My draft targeted the distinction between 
>>> [si|e]mulation more directly than yours. But yours homesteads a much 
>>> more aggressive territory. (Tangentially, one of the A*'s I've been 
>>> most interested in lately is AM - artificial morality. It turns out 
>>> that simulation has a huge role to play in spoofing biases.)
>>> I intended to end that deleted post with my old rant about the (lack 
>>> of a) difference between verification and validation ... a standard 
>>> pedantic stance of gray bearded simulationists. I was once laughed 
>>> out of the room at an SCS meeting for suggesting they're 
>>> foundationally the same thing. Pffft!
>>> But all this hearkens back to the long-running thread on 
>>> [in|ex]tensional attributes and the ontological status of their 
>>> distinction. When is mimicry sufficient and when is "from whole 
>>> cloth" necessary? As someone quipped re: Lemoine's attribution of 
>>> sentience to LaMDA, "I have met meat Beings I consider less than 
>>> sentient."
>>> On 6/25/22 23:55, Steve Smith wrote:
>>>> This is what made it through my semi-permeable filter-bubble 
>>>> membrane first thing this morning (CET):
>>>> https://theconversation.com/googles-powerful-ai-spotlights-a-human-cognitive-glitch-mistaking-fluent-speech-for-fluent-thought-185099 
>>>> which became grist for the mill we have been grinding with here of 
>>>> late.  It highlights interesting things like how flawed (but 
>>>> useful?) the Turing Test is.  The TT represents precisely "the 
>>>> glitch".    I think this idea points in the general direction of 
>>>> conscious empathy...   if we recognize language fluency *as* mental 
>>>> fluency, then it is more obvious that we would grant others who 
>>>> present language fluency as being similar to ourselves, possibly 
>>>> assuming that "other" is closer to "not other" simply because of 
>>>> the familiar language that flows out of us.
>>>> In my (limited) EU travels this season I have heard only a 
>>>> half-dozen languages with half as many accents/dialects each... In 
>>>> english-speaking ireland, a little gaelic slipped out here and 
>>>> there but the accent referenced it with every lilt.   This was not 
>>>> unfamiliar to my ear, so I mostly heard it as "same", but in Wales, 
>>>> the Welsh was not nearly (at all?) familiar and the 
>>>> romanisation/anglification of the written Welsh was overwhelmingly 
>>>> unfamiliar.  When I read a sign, I felt like I was left with a 
>>>> mouthful of consonants and diacritics that I had to spit out just 
>>>> to clear my vocal passage to start on the next phrase.
>>>>    It gave me more sympathy for my non Southwest colleagues 
>>>> struggling with the various anglifications of the hispanification 
>>>> of a dozen different native American languages (starting in my 
>>>> neighborhood with Tewa/Tiwa/Towa and expanding out withe Keres and 
>>>> Dine' and Zuni ...)  The (nearly conventional/normalized) rendering 
>>>> of most of these languages is for me familiar enough that I don't 
>>>> struggle or wince, but after (especially Welsh)... "I get it".   
>>>> When confronted with each British accent (I couldn't identify or 
>>>> distinguish many if any) it took a few hours at least to become 
>>>> habituated enough to not be disturbed (intrigued or put off, 
>>>> depending) by the unfamiliar sound patterns and often idiomatic 
>>>> constructions.
>>>> I thought i would be able to "hear" French as comfortably as I did 
>>>> Italian 10 years ago, but it seems the "Romance" connections 
>>>> between Spanish and Italian and the plethora of Latin words/phrases 
>>>> in science made it much more familiar than French. The tiny bit of 
>>>> French I think I am habituated to are a few Americanized stock 
>>>> phrases and maybe a very little bit of dialogue from movies...  
>>>> After a week of hearing almost nothing *but* French it no longer 
>>>> felt outrageously "Other" even if I couldn't hardly parse a thing 
>>>> out of a run-together-spoken-phrase.   Mary and I observed one 
>>>> another trying to speak English to someone who did not speak much 
>>>> if any and we realized that we were both prone to repeat the same 
>>>> sentence with a word choice or two changed, but more emphatically 
>>>> (and therefore more run-together) each time. Not helpful, and 
>>>> perhaps what the few French who bothered to speak to us once it was 
>>>> established that we had no language in common, were doing 
>>>> themselves.   It was hard to recognize even word-breaks in the 
>>>> word-salad coming at us.    The little German we were exposed to 
>>>> had a *different* set of familiar words and sounds and I think the 
>>>> English and German might have a much stronger phonemic overlap, 
>>>> making it not sound quite as foreign... though I was left wanting 
>>>> to clear my throat after hearing much spoken german... and then 
>>>> here in the Netherlands with *many* 
>>>> English-speaking-with-Dutch-Accent we are much more comfortable... 
>>>> and much of the written Dutch is familiar even when the 
>>>> pronunciation is a git foreign.
>>>> https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/the-cognitive-glitches-of-humans-laurie-santos-on-what-makes-the-human-mind-so-special 
>>>> In trying to (re)find the first article, I ran across this article 
>>>> which was a bit more interesting to me.   The point they make about 
>>>> human cognitive bias against anyone who speaks differently (acutely 
>>>> illuminated by the once-familiar term "deaf and dumb" or 
>>>> "dumb-mute" for those who could not speak (due to deafness, 
>>>> aphasia, or perhaps some trauma? The line from the Rock Opera 
>>>> "Tommy"s Pinball Wizard comes to mind:  "That deaf, dumb and blind 
>>>> kid, could sure play a mean pin ballll!"
>>>> A counter to the *negative* bias I recently heard was: "Don't 
>>>> mistake an accent for a personality"...
>>>> It is fascinating to me how many ways we can split a hair in 
>>>> discussing AI, etc.  A* really.   Intelligence, Reasoning, Life, 
>>>> Consciousness, etc. ad nauseum.   And yet it is useful (I think) to 
>>>> note that no one of them is really broad nor narrow enough at the 
>>>> same time.   Each is a facet or reflection of the other. The second 
>>>> article seems to discuss "emotional intelligence" or I think more 
>>>> aptly "emotional knowledge".    My very first (and practically 
>>>> only) published "artpiece"  was a visual study on the distinction 
>>>> between "knowing" and "knowing-about", with AI climbing the steep 
>>>> part of the hill toward a pinnacle (or more likely series of false 
>>>> summits) of "knowing about" without possibly getting at all any 
>>>> closer (at all) to "knowing".
>>>> This leads me back to Marcus' haunting suggestion that "is learning 
>>>> anything more than imitation/emulation?"
>>>> Following Glen's ideation about bureaucracy as a form of tech, I 
>>>> find that a great deal of my daily interaction with other people 
>>>> is, in fact, with their bureaucratic roles.  I am seeking a 
>>>> transaction... knowledge, information, material goods, a service.   
>>>> And given the level of the mutual (mis)understanding I've been 
>>>> enduring for over a month now in those transactions, It now feels 
>>>> like a luxury to expect a service person to articulate their 
>>>> preferences and basis of their preferences in a given baked good, 
>>>> bit of unfamiliar produce, or even (gawdess forbid) Beer! But it 
>>>> has trained me to "listen for emotional content" more than 
>>>> substance.   If I ask for a "Blonde" or a "Bruun" or a "Trippel" or 
>>>> a "Wit" and they rattle off something about one or more of them, I 
>>>> will choose one based on the level of excitement in their voice-eye 
>>>> over any imagined information content their response implied.   I 
>>>> am sometimes disappointed but almost always surprised. The 
>>>> vocabulary of European Beers overlaps (up to language) what I am 
>>>> familiar with amongst American Craft beers but my exploration is 
>>>> wider (through clumsiness if nothing else).   My best strategy is 
>>>> simply to (try to) ask for "whatever is brewed locally".  Also a 
>>>> good strategy for food it seems.

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