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    1. #1
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      Transcendent Man

      Has anybody here watched it?

      I just saw it and it is pretty dam good. Really makes you think and get excited.
      I wish it went for longer though.

      It's about Ray Kurzweil and mostly the singularity, but also some of his inventions.

      Transcendent Man (2009) - IMDb

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      Just saw the trailer. Now i wanna watch the whole movie! i don't wanna live forever, but i wanna see AI with consciousness...of course how does that work if we don't even fully understand consciousness? we know very little about it.

      He mentions he is going to bring his father back from the grave...does that mean he is going to bring back the dead or does that tie into AI and consciousness?

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      We don't really need to understand something completely to create it. For example, most medicines we don't understand 100% how they work. Aspirin and paracetamol are good examples. We could just copy the brain, make it digital and then change the bits we want to change, feed it information etc.

      His father left him everything he had, like all his notepads, books and music etc. He says there will be an AI in the future which will be able to create a robot which is pretty close to his father, based off the information in those things. It's all in the movie. I definitely recommend watching it.

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      First of all, I am pretty sure people know how aspirin work, it is well documented and been used for a long time. However, people do have idea's for how to copy the brain. The one I often hear is that you slice the brain off in levels(really super thin) and take photos of every single layer and then you could make a three dimensional map of the entire brain.

      Personally I do want to live forever, and when I say forever I really do mean forever. I never heard a single good reason, for why someone wouldn't want to live forever. It may not be possible, but if it was I think everyone would love to live that long, they are just scared of the idea.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Alric View Post
      First of all, I am pretty sure people know how aspirin work, it is well documented and been used for a long time. However, people do have idea's for how to copy the brain. The one I often hear is that you slice the brain off in levels(really super thin) and take photos of every single layer and then you could make a three dimensional map of the entire brain.
      Um well, being pretty sure isn't an argument. Neither is "been used for a long time". Some scientists noticed the indigenous people using a tree for relieving pain. They analysed it and chose acetylsalicylic acid as the most likely main active component. I'm not sure how exactly, maybe just it's structure or something.
      Point is, it had been used for thousands and thousands of years, they didn't understand how it worked, they just knew it worked. Same with us.
      We have a bit more of an idea, but we still don't know. Just a few theories.

      Yeah I know about that project of replicating the human brain with slices reproduced in a computer, I think I mentioned it in the AI thread. It's very interesting.
      Do you happen to have a link to any info on that? I was looking for where I read it, but can't get it online.

      Quote Originally Posted by Alric View Post
      Personally I do want to live forever, and when I say forever I really do mean forever. I never heard a single good reason, for why someone wouldn't want to live forever. It may not be possible, but if it was I think everyone would love to live that long, they are just scared of the idea.
      People think it's somehow good or noble or.... something, to die because we have had to rationalise it for 60 thousand years.

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      What about this site then? It is a really short article on how aspirin works. There are dozens more of sites like that too, going into detail on how it works. How Does Aspirin Work in the Body? | eHow.com

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      Yes but they are not sure. That is only a very recent discovery, and there is debate about it.

      Anyway forget aspirin, there are so many things that we don't understand the workings of, but we can change and utilise.
      We don't know how the sun works precisely, we can guess, and we can be pretty sure about some things, but we don't know exactly how it works. But we can use it to grow plants and get a tan and for solar power etc.

      There's probably a better example, but can't think of one atm.

      But the point is that we don't have to understand the human brain to create one. And I'm assuming you agree with that because you mentioned the slicing and photographing thing. Which wouldn't really make us understand the brain but we would have made one, although it could lead to an understanding eventually.
      Last edited by tommo; 03-10-2011 at 03:23 AM.

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      I'm an asprin junkie. If i'm trapped on an island for a long long time i want an unlimited supply of asprin as the 1 thing to bring with me. It means that much to me....because i can't stand having headaches.

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      I tried looking for the information, but I couldn't find where there was an actual debate. Everyone seems sure they know how it works, and I could not find any counter arguments that stated that it does not work in the way explained. And there was tons and tons of sites saying the same things. We also know how the sun works, in great detail. When you say we, it sounds more like you mean random people. However when I say we, I am talking about our collective knowledge. We have many scientist who know all this stuff.
      Last edited by Alric; 03-10-2011 at 03:27 AM.

    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Alric View Post
      I tried looking for the information, but I couldn't find where there was an actual debate. Everyone seems sure they know how it works, and I could not find any counter arguments that stated that it does not work in the way explained. And there was tons and tons of sites saying the same things. We also know how the sun works, in great detail. When you say we, it sounds more like you mean random people. However when I say we, I am talking about our collective knowledge. We have many scientist who know all this stuff.
      I thought it may come across that way. But no I mean scientists. General population is dumb as shit and doesn't count in this issue.

      As I said, I can't think of a good example at the moment. Maybe the information I had on Aspirin was outdated.

      I'm not going to get in to the sun thing either, I'll think of a better analogy soon.

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      Found a stream, i'll report back after watching it.

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      I liked it. I was not a fan of that religious crap on it, though. It really does show you how far technology has gone from the start of computers to computers in your pocket like iphone/ipod. I was mostly waiting for the AI stuff, but thye have some good points about it. Ants would look at us as god because how tall we are and small they are, and we just walk around stepping on them all with no care in the world, but once AI gets consciousness it will be the same way for them. Humans become the ants because the AI will continue to improve and get smarter and smarter, and it can do that on it's own. What happens when robots become SO SO SO smart? are they going to try and wipe us out, or feel pity for us because we are nowhere close to their intellect. It's hard to understand what will happen....and how smart robots will become if they have consciousness would be mind boggling. It can literally do anything, anytime. Kind of a huge risk giving them life not knowing their intentions.

    13. #13
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      Well, as Ray Kurzweil says, he talks of them in the third person "they" but they will really be part of us. We will merge with technology.

      Unless that other guy creates an artificial brain before we get nanobots etc. in our bodies.
      The only humans they would wipe out is the group who resist the change.

      I agree about the religous shit too. I was saying to myslef when they brought that stupid priest in to it "Religions shouldn't even factor in to this, forget about that stupid ignorant shit".
      Some average or crappy science show producers always feel the need to put some religious debate in there as well, like it serves any purpose or holds any ground or has any place in the debate. Journalists do this all the time.
      If they simply stopped that, religion would be left in their little churches scattered here and there and would slowly die out.
      Last edited by tommo; 03-10-2011 at 01:18 PM.

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      I don't think there is a good example any more. Not only has our technology rapidly improved, but so has our knowledge of the world around us. There are no common things, that we can not explain any more. Since there are no good examples, we might as well stick with the brain. We do understand the basics of how the brain sends signals, and we have a good idea of what each part of the brain usually does, and when it triggers. It is really about fine tuning and perfecting our knowledge.

      We may not need to understand the brain 100% to recreate it, but I think there is a good chance we may end with that kind of understanding of the human brain by the time we have computer strong enough to store it.

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      Yeah I was wondering if there were no examples left.

      Oh well, at least we agree lol

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      Quote Originally Posted by LucidFlanders View Post
      I'm an asprin junkie. If i'm trapped on an island for a long long time i want an unlimited supply of asprin as the 1 thing to bring with me. It means that much to me....because i can't stand having headaches.
      Drink more water.

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      There is still a good example, anti-depressants. "Blah blah blah is THOUGHT to work by altering levels of norapinephrin in the brain". Even the commercials they admit that they don't know exactly how it works. It just does, so they prescribe it.

      And any good solid reason for not wanting to live forever is CHOICE. People have the right to choose a natural life, and death (which is a part of life). If they choose a natural life, they have a perfectly good argument to not live forever.

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      The thing that Kurzweil and other futurists seem to ignore is the cyclical nature of progress. They assume that the next 50 years will bring uninterupted advancement in all of the sciences, but it is clear to me that we are about to enter a period of economic regression that will set back the time tables that Kurzweil proposes by quite a bit, not to mention the effects of our shifting ethics and morality will have on advancement. The green movement will seriously effect how our technology progresses in the next 50 years.

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      Choice isn't an argument.

      I thought of the anti-depressants example too, but then I remembered.... they don't work.

      Quote Originally Posted by Xaqaria View Post
      The thing that Kurzweil and other futurists seem to ignore is the cyclical nature of progress. They assume that the next 50 years will bring uninterupted advancement in all of the sciences, but it is clear to me that we are about to enter a period of economic regression that will set back the time tables that Kurzweil proposes by quite a bit, not to mention the effects of our shifting ethics and morality will have on advancement. The green movement will seriously effect how our technology progresses in the next 50 years.
      Yeah some people have brought this up. That even evolution (which he uses as an example) has not constantly been advancing quicker and quicker, after the Cambrian explosion there was very little evolution.

      Same with flight, we went from the first plane going barely a few metres, to suddenly being on the moon. But nothing has really happened since then. Entirely due to money.

      However, a lot of money has been put in to researching nanotechnology in almost every country.
      I think that even if a country is economically regressing, they will still be funding this research.
      It's one of the most important things of our time.

      It's also possible that the substantial development and stagnation periods are getting shorter, due to technology becoming faster and better and cheaper. So we may get over this stagnant period very quickly (relatively).
      Last edited by tommo; 03-16-2011 at 03:46 AM.

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      Yea I agree that it being a choice isn't really an argument. Sure you do have a choice, and you can base that choice on anything you want. No one ever said you didn't have a choice. However saying you don't want to live forever, just because you don't feel like it, isn't a real argument.

      I think the green movement is going to help advance technology a great deal. In fact, that is the hope most people have. At this moment, we are basically screwed. The people in charge have basically given up on really fixing things, and are hoping technology will advance far enough, quick enough, that it will be able to save our butts.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Alric View Post
      I think the green movement is going to help advance technology a great deal. In fact, that is the hope most people have. At this moment, we are basically screwed. The people in charge have basically given up on really fixing things, and are hoping technology will advance far enough, quick enough, that it will be able to save our butts.
      Very true. Also, if we switch to mostly solar energy, which I think we will, we have no restrictions (basically - we would have enough for anything we want to do anyway) on the amount of power we can use. At the moment we are trying to make things more efficient because it's so expensive otherwise.

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      Quote Originally Posted by tommo View Post
      However, a lot of money has been put in to researching nanotechnology in almost every country.
      I think that even if a country is economically regressing, they will still be funding this research.
      It's one of the most important things of our time.
      Not to mention private investment in nanotech will grow as nanotech advances are made.

      While you may believe that choice is not a reasonable argument, it absolutely is, simply because someone doesn't want to. Regardless of the basis of them not wanting to live forever, they have some sort of basis that is logical, (while not necessarily rational) to feel that way. In the mind of the person choosing not to, they are acting logically.

      Perhaps a better argument would be a philosophical or spiritual argument on the basis that an eternal life would be unnatural.

      Although I do not see how it would be eternal with a possible cold-death of the universe, or an exponentially expanding universe. I'm not positive as to what the exact time frame is, but unless this can be prevented, in some number of billions of years, this "eternal life" would die with the universe.

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      I think you misunderstood. Choice isn't an argument and it isn't logical or rational. Just because you want to, is never an real argument for anything. That said, a person might have a reason for their choice. Though the reason would be their argument, not that it is simply a choice. So when someone says its a choice and has no reason for it, they then have no argument.

      There are theories of other dimensions, and other universes. With billions or even trillions of years to develop technology it is theoretically possible to travel to the other places, or perhaps even bring more matter into this universe. In which case we could avoid the ultimate result of an ever expanding universe.

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      I see your point, and it makes sense.

      I still have a question, how is the problem of "Swampman" solved by technology, in essence, how can we be sure that the uploaded version of the mind is the actual consciousness and mind of the person, not just a copy that would also claim to be so? There would be no way of knowing unless you yourself DID manage to be "uploaded" to some sort of computerized mind, wouldn't there?

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      I'm getting tired of people saying things like that. Which one is the real one? They both are.
      The thing you call a person is just cells bunched together in a certain way. There's nothing special making that person unique.
      If you copy them exactly, you will have two of that person, and they will both feel they are the real them, they are both correct.
      It's just the ego (whatever that is in the brain, I'm not sure, frontal lobe somewhere) which causes everyone to think they are "me".
      The illusion would keep going in the digital copy likewise.

      So when you say, how could we be sure that it is the actual person and not just a copy. That's the wrong question.
      The real person would never be in there. It would be code that would precisely imitate that persons brain.
      But that code, would also feel like it was that person, just as the brain "code" thought it was too. No difference, except it's in a different form.
      That's assuming we would transcode our brain in to digital format. We might just plug ourselves in, like we plug cochlear implants in to the brain.

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