[FRIAM] serious AI question

Steve Smith sasmyth at swcp.com
Sun Jan 29 18:54:23 EST 2023

DaveW , et al-

Fascinating concept and not far from some of the maunderings I went 
through when I read Snow Crash <https://www.zompist.com/snow.html> 
(Stephenson) and Jayne's Bicameral Mind 
theory decades ago.   I also wandered into similar territory when I was 
trying to describe Fred Unterseher's ideas (and practice) around 
holographic mandalas here a few months ago?

Taking your ideation as seriously as my background/understanding allows:

I think of what you describe as triggering a "refactoring" (using a 
system development term). Or an avalanche in "punctuated criticality" 
<https://arxiv.org/abs/cond-mat/9701157>speak. Or Poincare's 
Or Piaget's Accomodation 

It is not clear to me how one would go about labeling the training set 
in this case, I am hoping there will be some discussion here of that 
that would look like.  I'm definitely a charlatan when it comes to ML 
and AI LLM technologies of today.

I am also not clear "to what end" such a project would be mounted?  I am 
sure most answers have a component of "because we can".

In the sense that "seeking enlightenment" in the Buddhist sense is 
(probably?) entirely an oxymoron, this would seem on the surface to be a 
fools errand at best and perhaps something like deeply wrong-headed (aka 
Evil?) at worst.

Your references to the (in)effability made me think of Chomsky's Deep 
which I am pretty sure others here know a lot more about than I do.  
Also the (related?) very idea of an ur-language 
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Human_language> .

Spike Jonze seemed to investigate/reference this obliquely in his movie 
Her <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Her_(film)> and particularly in the 
AI's own development of a super/transcendent-AI in the spirit of Alan 


I am also a little ambivalent on this specific conception, perhaps 
because I am probably intellectually more drawn to Gradualism than to 
Subitism <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subitism> in ideas of Buddhist 
Enlightenment.  Perhaps because my first *effective* introduction to 
Buddhism was through Stephen Levine's A Gradual Awakening 
<https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/402994> and Vipassana 
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samatha-vipassana> Buddhism.  And the 
paradox reflected in my favorite line from pop-western Buddhism: /"The 
only difference between before enlightenment and after enlightenment is 
that you realize you have always been enlightened"/

    /"the Lotus Flower blooms in Muddy Waters"/

The general bootstrap structure of the impending singularity 
<https://frc.ri.cmu.edu/~hpm/book98/com.ch1/vinge.singularity.html> is 
fascinating to me.  I prefer Vinge's conception 
<https://frc.ri.cmu.edu/~hpm/book98/com.ch1/vinge.singularity.html> over 
that of Kurzweil which seems excessively narcissistic and 
self-indulgent.  And all this lead me to find this Chalmer's paper on 
the topic: https://consc.net/papers/singularity.pdf. A few years ago I 
picked up Bostrom's book Superintelligence 
and found it to be a very good survey of the state of things... but I 
now feel that this 9 year old work is quite dated and nevertheless 
deserves a re-read?   If I can find time between my DDOS attacks on 
FriAM here (nod to EricS).

- Steve

On 1/28/23 4:10 PM, Prof David West wrote:
> This is a serious question albeit one in a realm that many would dismiss as non-serious. First, some background.
> Rinzai Zen is the "sudden enlightenment" school that asserts the possibility of a single event serving as a 'trigger' that evokes/instills-in-the-mind a state of enlightenment. The trigger might be a closed fist of your guru striking your ear, or—as was the case with Hui Neng (illiterate peasant who became the Sixth Patriarch) overhearing a fragment of the Diamond Sutra spoken by a passerby of the fish market where he was working.
> This kind of "evocative trigger" is analogous to your nose detecting the scent of cinnamon as you walk past a bakery and your mind instantly filled with a complete memory of grandmother's kitchen, all the scents and sounds, and emotions, an activities, in complete detail.
> A 'Zen evocative trigger' would, by analogy, fill your mind with—put your mind in a state of—Enlightenment. This might be ephemeral, satori with a lower case 's', or permanent, Satori with an upper case 'S'.
> There is a large body of art (calligraphy, painting, poetry, ceramics, ...) that embodies exactly this kind of trigger; one that can be 'sensed' even if its sensing does not trigger (S)satori.
> So the question: is it possible to construct a self-learning AI with a training set of such art and, once trained, turn it loose on the Google image base to find other examples of art with evocative triggers?
> Of course, there is a hidden assertion: whatever the quality or characteristic of the art that embodies the 'trigger' is ineffable; which means, in this case, it has no "representation" (word, symbol, brush stroke, etc.).
> davew
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