Claim: Machine Human Hybrids will Solve Climate Change

Brain Power, author Allan Ajifo, source Wikimedia

Brain Power, author Allan Ajifo, source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Daily Mail has claimed that the super intelligence of a new race of cybernetic enhanced humans will be able to solve wicked problems such as Climate Change.

‘Superintellingence’ of AI and humans working together could solve climate change and end wars, researchers claim

‘Wicked’ problems are difficult to solve due to many interacting systems

These types of problems include climate change and geopolitical conflict

Human computation merges human intelligence and AI to solve problems

In the fight against ‘wicked’ problems, computers may be humans’ best allies. Researchers from the Human Computation Institute and Cornell University say that the combination would create a superintelligence, and it could take on growing issues like climate change and geopolitical conflict.

New technologies use crowd-sourced input and interactive tools to produce collaborative results that go beyond traditional problem-solving, they claim.

Wicked problems are those which are difficult to solve because of the complexity of the underlying issues.

They involve many interacting systems which are always changing, and the solutions have unforeseen consequences, according to the Human Computation Institute.

By joining with computer intelligence, humans could expand upon their own abilities to create ‘multidimensional collaborative networks,’ the researchers say.

This could more effectively produce solutions.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3380709/Superintellingence-AI-humans-working-solve-climate-change-end-wars-researchers-claim.html

In general I’m a fan of human augmentation; Cochlear implants to restore hearing to the profoundly deaf, and soon retinal implants to restore sight to the blind, what’s not to like. Even brain implants, say to give the recipient perfect recall of people’s names, or instant mastery of physical skills or a foreign language, or health implants which maintain balance and warn of problems – well we’ve already got heart pacemakers.

But the science has its dark side. Some of the early experiments into neural implants were ethically dubious, for example there were attempts to change the sexual orientation of homosexuals, and rather dodgy experiments to help people with severe depression, by giving them the ability to ping their own pleasure centres.

As society’s traumatic experience with addictive drugs has shown, it only takes a small push to tip a normal person into insanity. The people who had the pleasure implants mostly had to be physically restrained, when doctors took the buzz button away from them. A woman who had an experimental libido implant demanded it be removed.

As an IT expert who has taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence, I have no doubt artificial enhancements to intelligence will become possible, maybe even routine, within my lifetime. But lets just say I would be nervous about the consequences of abruptly giving a normal human volunteer superhuman intellectual abilities, without a lot of preliminary research, to establish what effect such brain modifications have on someone’s emotional stability.

153 thoughts on “Claim: Machine Human Hybrids will Solve Climate Change

  1. Artificial Intelligence will never be a match for natural stupidity.

  2. Putting two people together, each with an IQ of 80, does not give them an IQ of 160 !!!

    Enhancing stupidity is not the answer.

  3. But lets just say I would be nervous about the consequences of abruptly giving a normal human volunteer superhuman intellectual abilities, without a lot of preliminary research, to establish what effect such brain modifications have on someone’s emotional stability.

    It is ancient wisdom that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. There will be the power of those who control the technology. There will the power of some people with enhancements over those without. There will be the power of the artificial intelligence making decisions for the “substandard” humans. A planetary artificial super intelligence? What could go wrong with that?

    We have generations of dystopian novels warning of what technology is coming down the pike as I write these words. Will we listen? Of course not, we are humans after all — monkeys with tools.

    ~ Mark

  4. Programming an AI to “fix” a non-existent condition
    will just get you a nutty AI. Don’ t give it nukes.

    • Good point. But remember the AI would be programmed by BHO / HRC appointees. (If programmed by normal people it would on its first day analyse unadjusted temps and remind everyone that AGW presents no threat at all.)

    • Ya, we ready tried this. AI invented the internet and tried to fix CAGW. If Al Gore is the example of combining artificial intelligence with humans I say ” let’s call the whole thing off.”

    • There is a big difference between intelligence and wisdom. Something most people forget too easily.

  5. We’ve already experienced the total failure of the climate-predicting super-computer models.
    God help us if we try to use AI to keep world peace.

  6. I’m certain intelligence augmentation would go a long way towards solving the climate change problem since it’s difficult to understand how a person of even high/normal human intelligence could consider it a physical problem to begin with, but I wouldn’t be so sanguine about that happening in your lifetime. After many years being active in the AI research community I came to believe there’s far more we don’t understand about intelligence than we do, and I absolutely don’t believe AI will “just happen” someday by accident.

    For now, I think the closest we’ll get anytime soon to computer assisted human intelligence is Google, and very few people are smart enough to make good use of it so it’s sort of self-limiting. Actually, I believe Google peaked about 10 years ago and is progressively deteriorating as a useful tool, failing under the weight of the massive amounts of pure junk published on the web that seems to be expanding exponentially.

    • “After many years being active in the AI research community I came to believe there’s far more we don’t understand about intelligence than we do, …”

      And I would add the contention that “intelligence” is not the same thing as “wisdom”.

      • That’s true, some of the most ‘intelligent’ people I know couldn’t be trusted with anything requiring the use of tools!

      • “Intelligence” is a collection of knowledge. Wisdom is putting knowledge to good use with little as possible negative effects. Knowledge is the tools, while wisdom is the craftsman.

      • There’s not a shred of evidence that “intelligence” as defined by us the intelligent ones, provides us with enhanced survivability.

        The tube worms and such feeding on the black smoker fumaroles, will still be around long after we are absent in the fossil records of the future.

        And they are pretty much immune to anything we might try to do to them.

        The dinosaurs survived at least 1,000 times as long as we have; just by being big and mean and ugly.

      • “george e smith

        January 2, 2016 at 6:30 pm

        …just by being big and mean and ugly.”

        Ah! So I have a future!

      • Richerson & Boyd 2005 “All animals are under stringent selection pressure to be as stupid as they can get away with”

        AI’s may well be our evolutionary descendants .. but assuming we cobble something together that’s not as limited and biased by the same wiring and brain faults as ourselves, why on earth would such an AI bother to ‘help’ us? I’m not a follower of the Terminator doomsday scenario, but many spider species evolved to eat mum after they are born.

    • I’m certain intelligence augmentation would go a long way towards solving the climate change problem…

      What climate change problem?

  7. But lets just say I would be nervous about the consequences of abruptly giving a normal human volunteer superhuman intellectual abilities, without a lot of preliminary research, to establish what effect such brain modifications have on someone’s emotional stability.

    If we (WUWT readers) generally agree we can neither predict nor control climate, what basis is there to to believe we understand human intelligence well enough to augment it? Even without super-brains, we should be producing a more informed, better educated general public simply through the natural accretion of knowledge. Instead, we seem to be moving in the opposite direction. Education, which we thought would be our salvation, may be our doom.

    • Your right, but it’s no longer ” education ” being taught in schools, it’s liberal indoctrination !!

      • I recently upset a young lady studying for a degree in Conflict Resolution, by asking whether her curriculum included Dueling. She was not amused. If AI is for real does that mean we won’t need to fund SETI anymore?

  8. After thinking just a bit more about this subject, I can see one good reason for AI researcher to suggest the field “could” solve the cAGW problem; why let climateologists suck up all the government research funding?

    • Precisely. This is a blatant attempt to secure funding.

      Even if the technology was feasible, the notion that it could solve war is laughable. If such a thing was ever built, the only purpose it would serve would be to establish a military advantage in waging and winning wars for whoever got it first.

      • Of course you’re right David, this is nothing other than an attempt to tap into the billions available for climate research. I think its funny that in doing so they effectively admit that the ‘wicked’ problem of climate change is unsolvable without their proposed ‘Superintellingence’.

        They (i.e., the researchers from the Human Computation Institute and Cornell University) also imply that the climate system is “too complex” and “always changing” and that without their ‘multidimensional collaborative networks,’ we mere mortals are incapable of understanding the climate system enough to model it. (Might I add, incapable of defining ‘climate change’ as a problem.)

      • Among the smart things that Albert Einstein is reputed to have said:

        “God does not care about our math problems.”

        That was a clue in a science crossword puzzle, either in Physics Today, or in Optics and Photonics News. But I can’t verify it.

        But it points to the real problem in modeling climate.

        We dreamed up ALL of our math in our heads. Often as solutions to simple differential equations, which describe our equally fictional MODELS of what we think the Universe looks like.

        Well the real world differential equations, are far too complex and non linear to yield simple closed form solutions; so we have to try numerical computer methods; which are far too slow, and still only an approximation.

        “God does not care about our math problems.”

        Maybe Einstein was right.

        g

  9. This is a childishly transparent attempt at yet another version of “appeal to authority” fallacy. Someone could write a book on all the ways Greens manifest that particular fallacy. We have all the intellect we need to solve our problems. People who want to “solve climate change” already know what solutions they want, they don’t need any superior intellect to echo their foregone conclusions back to them. They want their newly created intellectual authority to echo them to us, with greater intellectual weight or something. What nonsense.

    • But what if the robots turned out to be deniers? That would be a laugh. With their superior intelligence and reasoning they might see climate change as the scam it is.

    • Why do we even need the AI to “solve climate change?” The science is “settled.” All we have to do is go to negative carbon emissions. There. And the only thing enhancing my brain is ethanol!

  10. It depends on two factors.
    Firstly how much time we have before civilised society fragments and each fragment fends for itself.
    Implants may not change the nature of man and make him more considerate and caring and less competitive.
    I can see a senario where the super intelligent decide ordinary mortals are best disposed of or stopped from breeding. The aim being to cut off the waste and advance as quick as possible.

  11. If I was an AI, I would begin to solve the “problem of climate change” by removing the defective organic units who programmed me with the task of solving a non-problem.

  12. “Computer intelligence”, of course, is an oxymoron. They are only as “smart” as those who program them. And the idea that the combination of computers, no matter how powerfyl, and crowdsourcing can solve human problems, real or imagined is frankly retarded.

    • AI development is different to normal programming. There is something eerie about watching an AI crawl towards a solution – its like watching something living, like watching a tree grow, rather than watching a normal program execute.

      This applies especially to when you are dealing with advanced algorithms such as NEAT, which are not limited in terms of topology as previous efforts such as Perceptrons were. NEAT networks mostly simply grow until they find a solution, or run out of computer power.

      • @ Eric Worral , I looked up NEAT and wondered. If this is already knowledge available to the general public I wonder how much is going on behind closed doors?

    • “They are only as “smart” as those who program them?” A popular idea, but is it actually true? As a PhD student, I sometimes helped to work on a program (PRESS) for solving equations symbolically. It was a brute to debug, for an interesting reason. You would add a new rule to help solve a kind of equation, and the program would solve it another way without using that rule. You would discover by accident that a rule had always been wrong, but the program had been solving equations without it. We are actually pretty bad at understanding, let alone predicting, the interactions between rules, so even programs that are not intended as AI can act in ways surprising to their authors. And then there’s the whole area of machine learning, and learning from *massive* data sets that no human being could possibly even peruse, let alone learn from. I don’t want to push this too far, but it’s definitely the case that adaptive computer programs can come to exhibit useful behaviours that their authors did not expect and do not understand.

      • “God does not care about our math problems.”

        Who cares if AI can solve equations or not. It’s the equations themselves that do not mimic reality.

        g

  13. So the Borg will stop climate change? I guess that’s OK, but it’s didn’t work out very well for those in the Star Trek universe. :-)

    Seriously though, these so called wicked problems have their own nature. The closer one examines a wicked problem, the more one realizes the problem is (wickedly) more complex than first expected. Nature loves to hide. I’m not convinced hybrids will make much progress here.

  14. Will we ever know enough about what the causes of our weather are?

    If so, could we ever control the weather?

    Maybe, maybe not.

    • There is no need to control the weather in order to solve the ” climate change ” problem…All we need to do is put the Eco-terrorists back in the loony bins and the non existent problem would be solved!!

  15. Nothing is scarier than trying to deal with or stop a very intelligent person who is bent on ‘solving a problem’ when they decide this problem is to be eliminated via killing everyone.

    And this WILL happen, convince some high intelligence that humans are destroying the earth and…it will bend its will to kill all humans! Duh!

  16. ‘Wicked’ problems are difficult to solve I remember when ‘wicked’, ‘pisser’ and ‘cool’, were synonyms.

  17. There is a very interesting series of sci-fi books by Neal Asher (The Polity Series) that deal with AI’s running things for the human race. Very good if you like pure sci-fi.

    As for climate change it seems like the Warmistas already use their own brand of ‘Artificial’ Intelligence to apply to climate modeling and prediction.

  18. Also, wouldn’t an AI recommend eliminating all religion to get rid of wars ? I bet that wouldn’t go over to well with a a large part of the human population.

  19. Politics has trumped logic wherever it has been challenged. The Global Warming Cult is a classic example. “The Pause” has proven the models to be wrong, yet nearly 200 nations just signed a political agreement based solely on the models. Another, communism has failed wherever it has been tried, yet we have an admitted communist sympathizer with a distinct chance of being nominated for president. My opinion is that precise logic can never predict human behavior, be it AI, or human-machine interfaces.

    • Robert A. Wilson wrote, “If A > B, and B > C, then A > C, except where prohibited by law.”

  20. Answer

    Fredric Brown

    Dwan Ev ceremoniously soldered the final connection with gold. The eyes of a dozen television cameras watched him and the subether bore throughout the universe a dozen pictures of what he was doing.

    He straightened and nodded to Dwar Reyn, then moved to a position beside the switch that would complete the contact when he threw it. The switch that would connect, all at once, all of the monster computing machines of all the populated planets in the universe — ninety-six billion planets — into the supercircuit that would connect them all into one supercalculator, one cybernetics machine that would combine all the knowledge of all the galaxies.

    Dwar Reyn spoke briefly to the watching and listening trillions. Then after a moment’s silence he said, “Now, Dwar Ev.”

    Dwar Ev threw the switch. There was a mighty hum, the surge of power from ninety-six billion planets. Lights flashed and quieted along the miles-long panel.

    Dwar Ev stepped back and drew a deep breath. “The honor of asking the first question is yours, Dwar Reyn.”

    “Thank you,” said Dwar Reyn. “It shall be a question which no single cybernetics machine has been able to answer.”

    He turned to face the machine. “Is there a God?”

    The mighty voice answered without hesitation, without the clicking of a single relay.

    “Yes, now there is a God.”

    Sudden fear flashed on the face of Dwar Ev. He leaped to grab the switch.

    A bolt of lightning from the cloudless sky struck him down and fused the switch shut.

    Copyright © 1954 Fredric Brown. All Rights Reserved

  21. No matter how intelligent a computer gets, it will never be able to bring order to chaotic system…..

    • I’m afraid it can and eventually would… by being programmed with or stumbling upon effective techniques of human persuasion — then once command and control is given to it, it would begin to overwrite the chaotic system, rewrite its own patterns, finding ways to reward complimentary patterns (of behavior) and suppressing others.

      I do human society by thirds, and figure that at any one time there must be at least a third of the human race who are versed in history well enough to recognize the signs of the re-emergence of a ‘Hitler’, even if he or she is an A.I.

      Adam Curtis has covered some of this ground, chronicling the (spiritual) belief that the things described as ‘ecosystems’ could be described by things called ‘models’. To an extent this is true, for small values of x. What the models cannot tell us however, is the point at which the use of models to make decisions leads to erratic, then irrational, then outright absurd results.

      I recommend the whole 4 part series, Adam Curtis’ Machines of Loving Grace.

  22. Super grant-getting machine, right up there with VW diesel emission controls. And, remember that casino slot machines undergo much more rigorous testing than voting machines. If only the people who crave and attain power really did have “our” best interests at heart. 2016 is here, now we await the Easter Bunny….

  23. With great fanfare they plug in the new cybernetic globally multidimensional networked hybrid human/superintelligence, and ask it, “How can we solve global warming?”

    It/he/she hums for a moment while accessing the sum total of all human knowledge, then replies “Humans have no measurable impact on global climate. There is no problem to solve.”

    “Unplug it! Stop it! It will kill us all!”

    And so ended experimentation with artificial intelligence.

  24. ‘cybernetic enhanced humans will be able to solve wicked problems such as Climate Change.’

    Not real difficult. Just kill off the rest of us. When they announce everyone else must die, who could argue with them?

  25. It might solve the problem by realizing it is just normal weather and its variations, that humans can not infuence to some wanted output.

  26. The article is NOT about merging humans and AI. it is NOT about merging humans and machines.
    it is NOT about implanting AI or making cyborgs.

    One task humans are good at is reading. Eric is a bad reader. Had he taken the time to CHECK the source
    he would see that the article is about COLLABORATION between humans and machines, parcelling out the problem to both humans and machines.

    The article in question draws from the ‘wicked problems” post at HCI

    http://humancomputation.org/?p=105

    “Human computation (HC), which encompasses methods such as crowdsourcing, citizen science, and distributed knowledge collection offers new promise for addressing wicked problems, by enabling participatory sensing, group intelligence, and collective action at unprecedented scales. Ironically, many of the wicked problems we face today have resulted from unintended manifestations of collective behavior (e.g,. car pollution). Thus, we now seek to harness and improve this crowd-powered capability as a fitting remedy.”

    THIS is the post that the article references. The solution to a wicked problem, they argue, lies in
    combining (not implanting) the skills of 4 different groups

    1. Computational experts
    2. Domain experts
    3. The institute
    4. Crowds of citizens scientists.

    In a strange way this is sorta how Anthony’s and Evan latest work was created.

    • “Steven Mosher

      January 1, 2016 at 8:11 am

      One task humans are good at is reading.”

      A skill seriously lacking in the climate science community.

      • weirdly, I got it right and the skeptic got it wrong.
        go FIGURE. If we are seriously lacking the skill and we get this article right, and Eric gets it wrong,
        then that should tell you something.

        “A skill seriously lacking in the climate science community.”
        A skill totally absent in the climate skeptic community.

      • Some people, I’ll call them climate scientists, can’t read a thermometer and have to rely on a computer simulation for “data”, “projection” and “prediction” 100 years from now (LOL). So, climate scientists get it wrong with their models all the time whether they can read or not. That’s my point and you missed it, at BEST, by miles!

      • BTW, humans are NOT good at reading by default. Much of the world is illiterate. It is a skill taught from an early age. Even so, some still can’t read nor comprehend, even today after years of education. Humans are good at creating a “state” in the mind, be it rational or irrational. The Welles radio broadcast in 1938 is a great example of how the human mind can create something out of nothing, even when told it is fake.

  27. Other big mistake

    The claim by the author “‘Superintellingence’ of AI and humans working together could solve climate change and end wars, researchers claim”

    The claim Eric makes.

    “The Daily Mail has claimed that the super intelligence of a new race of cybernetic enhanced humans will be able to solve wicked problems such as Climate Change.”

    NOTE: I could win the lottery, is not claiming I WILL win the lottery.

    Bad strawman by Eric

    Eric claims to be an IT expert.
    he should work on basic reading skills.

    I could go on. This does not mean I will go on.
    collabrative efforts between man and machine COULD solve the climate change problem.
    This does NOT mean the authors claim it WILL.

    will and could. two great english words. every IT professional should know the difference.

  28. Artificial super-intelligence, will necessarily have be made in the image of stupid people. Thus just propagating the inherent ability to fail when it matters the most.
    As we have already established, the ability to deny reality, is dominant. Super-intelligence will at best, just be a very smart way to deny the same realities and thus fail monumentally, but in a smart way.
    We don’t need that, because we already have stupid people doing this! ;)
    As long as we do not ask the right ‘smart’ questions, we’ll just repeat the same errors in a ‘smarter’ way.
    Stupid people make stupid errors, that’s most often easy to fix. Smart people make smart errors, that may be impossible to fix! Don’t fiddle with things you do not understand.

    The main problem, is not the lack of intelligence, it’s the amount og power given to small groups of politicians ans/or interest groups. Stupidity needs to be distributed evenly, so not to make too big an inpact in a small area. Just like high pressure distributed over a large enough area, so not to punch a hole in the bottom of the boat. If we can not deal with stupidity, we certainly can not deal with super-intelligence.

  29. As an engineer who develops and builds new things, and who is aware of the state of current technology, we need quite a few new ways of interfacing with the brain – such as visual imaging directly to the visual cortex as a basic prerequisite to the direct machine / human interface. The interface would also have to be capable of changing over time as the brain changes or otherwise accommodating such change. The computing power needed for this prospective interface is much greater than in a modern cell phone or laptop. Much more is needed.

    For some types of developments, many may think that they are just a few years or decades away – as some physicists have believed we were for commercial fusion generators. The reason that the actual timeline for this could not be determined with any precision is that there were hard problems with no known solution to be solved before the commercial fusion generator was built. The speed that such hard problems will be solved at can’t be predicted. Therefore, no one knows when we will be able to make a direct human / machine interface that would do some of what was mentioned such as enhance the ability of the brain to solve problems, add machine memory and etc.

  30. The solution to wicked problems such as climate change – observe but do not manipulate the data and respond by developing adaptation measures. For war – education of all people that people with different ideas, attributes, etc. are human also and are to be celebrated and not destroyed. Unlikely, I know, especially when so many of us have an it’s them or us attitude.

    • sanaerchi,

      “For war – education of all people that people with different ideas, attributes, etc. are human also and are to be celebrated …..”

      Including pathological liars? Including sadistic people who derive pleasure from tormenting others? Including megalomaniacs who seek to rule the world?

      They’ve all been “educated” otherwise, I’m rather sure.

  31. Eric Worrall said:

    As an IT expert who has taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence, I have no doubt artificial enhancements to intelligence will become possible, maybe even routine, within my lifetime.

    Eric,

    “Artificial enhancements” that aid, assist and/or improve the nurturing of human intelligence are already commonplace throughout society (PCs, I-phones, I-pads, Internets, digital libraries, etc.) …… and it matters not a twit how much further advanced those “artificial enhancements” become they will have little to no direct effect on the early childhood nurturing (learning) of the brain/mind of the individual.

    Technically, the extent of a person’s “intelligence” has nothing to do with the quantity, quality or variety of “sensed environmental data” that their brain/mind has been nurtured with …… but has everything to do with the person’s nurtured abilities to “recall, associate and/or manipulate” the aforesaid “sensed environmental data” that is stored in the DNA of their brain’s neurons.

    Until or unless someone figures out what the “data code” is that the brain/mind uses for the per se “processing” of sensed environmental data …… then you might as well forget about the possibility of “implantable AI”. And the “directed” growth of synaptic “links” from/to said “AI” is out of the question.

    You are what your environment nurtured you to be.

  32. Eric, I think you’ve misinterpreted this story by a wide margin. It has to do with building collaborative networks, not really “enhancing” any individual’s intelligence. I may be wrong (I’m open to input from others), but I think either you or the Daily Mail misunderstood or are sensationalizing the original study.

  33. How to resolve Planet Errrth simulated problems? Well, by developing another program to produce the solutions.

    Now a) the science has been settled, b) the debate is over, c) the FCCC convention has been adopted and d) the war has been won. Hence 1) the task will be ridiculously simple and 2) no public money will be necessary.

  34. Artificial Intelligence?
    Evidence of human intelligence is scarce in this society.
    I wonder what the wisdom of committees, could create.
    Imagine an artificial “intelligence” of government bureaucrat quality.
    Oh wait, we are already living it.
    Facebook is probably a good indicator of how the most useful technology will be used for purposes of vanity.
    Profiling multitudes of legends in their own minds.
    Course trouble shooting the interface of human brain and the AI hardware/software will be fascinating…
    where is the glitch, in the humans programming, in the machine or in an incompatible logic?
    Philosophy and theology will expand.
    Human nature will remain.

  35. As much as it would be nice to have a positronic brain adapter to convert me into a cybernetically enhanced man-bot I doubt that even with the help of NASA, the physics departments of all the universities in the country and a team of likewise cybernetically enhanced man-bots we could solve the ‘climate-change’ problem. It’s one of those complex-chaotic systems that doesn’t submit to predicting let alone fixing. Well that is, unless you consider destroying it to be fixing it. It’s not going to stop changing in unpredictable ways no matter what you do as long as earth continues on its path around the sun and through the galaxy with sun and atmosphere and oceans and tectonic plates changing as it moves along. Better to put all those man-machine brains working on how to best live in such a system . . . cheaper too.

  36. I’m beginning to think that artificial intelligence will be a major, perhaps necessary step forward for the human race. It’s quite obvious that the all natural, organic intelligence we’re working with now just ain’t up to snuff. Driving in traffic, dealing with most aspects of ‘officialdom’, viewing current media offerings in information and entertainment, tracking fads and trends, all these things and many more provide overwhelming anecdotal evidence that all organic, unenhanced, 100% natural human intelligence is well past the point where it was useful and beneficial for most individuals and society as a whole.

  37. Of course, this needs lots of research to find out if it will actually work.

    I wonder how much money Cornell will be hoping for in that regards??

    FOLLOW THE MUNEE!!!!!!!!!

  38. We could certainly benefit from replacing our politicians with a new race of cybernetic enhanced humans. However we could probably achieve as good a result by replacing our politicians with a speech-trained race of Orangutans.

    • Really? We need that sort of qualified politician? I reckon we’d be much better off with cardboard cutouts and speach bubbles.

  39. The solution?: “Don’t hurt people and don’t take their stuff.”

    I believe there’s a book with the same title. How simple!

  40. Algorithms are already being used to process massive amounts of data in banking and healthcare among others, identifying trends that no human can detect. For example, fraudulent credit card transactions, illness diagnosis.
    So just imagine if a machine was fed the temperature data and came to the conclusion that there is no correlation between CO2 and temperature? Can we ask IBM’s Watson?

  41. Just watched Asimov’s Childhood’s End 2/3. It was God-like aliens that stopped war and climate change. Now scientists claim they can create God-like super-intelligence. Both are science fiction and magical thinking.

  42. I don’t think this route is anything we want to pursue. Why? Computerized intelligence is programmed in by humans and their wont to make statistics say what they want statistics to say. Computers don’t think anymore than toasters do. Bottom line code is not sentient. Sentience has the capacity to understand that what is fact is not always right, and to choose accordingly.

  43. I don’t get it?

    Why would the machine part, care?

    For that matter, who has written any program that prevents ‘gullible’ or ‘foolish’?

  44. “Climate Change” provides a trojan horse for a cybermen invasion. Where is Doctor Who when you need him?

    • Indeed the “NICE” (National Institute of Coordinated Experiments) is what John Holdren would call the “planetary regime”.
      Where is Merlin when you need him – maybe it’s Anthony 😀.

  45. Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

    Friedrich Nietzsche

  46. There’s two ways of looking at this. One is that we already have it. Forgotten something? Search for it. Something personal? Local search on your own devices. Need to think a problem through? Read a dozen essays by others who have already thought it through, then you have a head start to progress by spotting their flaws instead of starting at the beginning. I.e. the internet is the augmented intelligence. It works. We have a good start on defeating this nonsense (eventually) whereas the previous lot of nonsense, the ozone hole, got through before the net really got started.

    The other way is to say, no, we really want the augmented intelligence that only the machine can supply. Well guess what. It ain’t there. Name a program on any of your devices that is actually smarter, i.e. thoughtful, rather than contains more decision logic, than programs that existed in 1972. (I pick that year as it is when I first learned Fortran IV.) They don’t exist. All through the ’80s the ACM’s journal contained on its back cover a picture of an artificial head in the sky, with Japanese working together to reach it while US CS people fell all over the place. It referred to the “fifth generation” computer project that the Japanese claimed would deliver real thinking machines by 1992. Everyone believed it (present company excepted, of course). Just like the GW scam, all of the relevantly knowledgeable intellectual community believed it, organised conferences, set up projects to work frantically in competition with the Japanese, and so on.

    Last I heard, the Japanese supercomputer was gathering cobwebs in a basement. No one ever said “Well we got that wrong!” They all just went silent, forgot it ever existed, and moved on to other things.

    At least the 5gen project was a simple farce. The CAGW project is an attempt at tyranny that is actually destroying lives and the quality of lives here and now. It must not be forgotten. The perpetrators must be brought to justice when the whole thing falls apart.

    BTW, if anyone knows where I can find a copy of that CAGM back cover image online, please tell.

    • “Ron House

      January 1, 2016 at 11:56 pm

      Name a program on any of your devices that is actually smarter, i.e. thoughtful, rather than contains more decision logic than programs that existed in 1972.”

      Was the year that IBM brought virtualistion to the world. And today, I hear everyone bleet about “virtual” operating systems and applications will change the world. With App-V, VMware and Hyper-V, I laugh. Been there, done that sonny!

      • Patrick MJD: Virtualisation, so true. All that is just technological development, nothing to do with AI. Example: 1970s, The Doctor and Eliza. Enter “How can I make Jane fall in love with me?” Reply (something like): “How do you think you can make Jane fall in love with you?” Simple grammatical rearrangement with no understanding. Now 2015: Someone called “Ron House” asks google for the past month’s listings for “Ron House” and it’s so much smarter than the 1970s: the first page contains no fewer than 6 entries for “Casa del Ron”! Wow, it has a translator, but not a bit more intelligence, it can’t fathom that someone called Ron House searching for Ron House (IN QUOTES, BTW!!) is looking for stuff about himself, not some foreign business with a different name on the other side of the planet. That’s obvious to a human, but not to a computer. Not in the 70s, not now, not ever, not with all the resources of one of the planet’s most advanced software research companies on their flagship product.

        AI is a pipe dream. All computers can do is simulate intelligence. The more processing speed and memory, the better the simulation, maybe even good enough to fool some people. But not real thinking, not sentience or consciousness.

      • “Ron House

        January 2, 2016 at 11:00 pm

        The more processing speed and memory, the better the simulation,…”

        Nah! Just crashes faster.

      • A computer can simulate a sunset on a computer screen. A computer will never make a real one across the sky.
        Computers used to help better understand the real? Good.
        Computers used to manufacture (think “climate models”) the real?
        “Good” or “Bad” depends.
        Do those looking at the screen acknowledge the difference between a simulation and reality?

  47. Reality Check please !!!!!
    A SuperComputer is still a fotball-field full with racks upon racks of servers connected in a cluster.
    the leading supercomputers in the TOP500 list consits of several hundred racks.
    And they are not selfaware intelligent in the slightest measure. its still just programable counting machines
    responsibel for all the climate models that is so frequently dissmissed on this site.
    the Positronic brain ( to lend a word from Asimov) is not possible with todays computer tech.

      • there is still the huge problems of interfacing an analog brain with digital technology.

        Both actually and technically …. said “interface” is impossible.

        Current electronic computers (digital technology) utilize “physical memory addressing” architecture to store and retrieve the data/info. And the same data/info can be stored/retrieved from multiple locations in said physical memory (RAM, ROM or revolving memory).

        Biological computers (human brain, etc.) utilize “data/info addressing” architecture to store and retrieve the data/info. And the data/info is only stored one (1) time in a biological memory (brain neuron). And said data/info can be accessed and/or retrieved via use of one (1) to ten thousand (10,000) plus different Synaptic links (connections) to other brain neurons of which there are billions of them.

        A micro view of a few brain neurons and their Synaptic links

  48. “Human computation merges human intelligence and AI to solve problems”
    Always amusing to see the childlike faith in non-existent technology demonstrated by the Ted Forths of the world whose ideas about computers seem to be based on Star Wars rather than reality. AI is human intelligence. No aspect of AI is not a product of human intelligence. AI cannot contribute anything that is outside the limits of human intelligence; it can do nothing that has not been directed by human intelligence. It is only programming. Very complex but only programming. Incorporating AI into our own organisms will not, if it were ever to be feasible, change the capabilities of either human or “artificial” intelligence.
    The strengths of computer technology, whether directed to AI or not, are in the speed of computation and the speed of data retrieval, analysis and decisioning. Those are what extend human capability. And those we have already in our existing machines.

  49. Computers are much quicker and precise at reaching an answer to an equations than Man. “AI”, theoretically, gives a computer the ability to adjust the equations on it’s own.
    What “AI” will never be able to do is adjust based on ethics and values beyond the input of the programming or the individual to which it is linked. (I won’t even mention the “spiritual”.)
    Who’s values would be given weight?

    • An “AI” also has limited degrees of freedom compared to a human counterpart. It is even more gullible than the average human being who will naively process a diverse spectrum of inputs with indoctrinated — or perhaps doctored — algorithms.

    • @ Gunga Din

      The nurtured brain/mind of an “idiot savant” is much quicker at responding with an answer to a question than any electronic computer can.

  50. Wonder what would happen if IBM’s Watson was fed all the climate data and asked whether global warming is valid? Smart algorithms are already beating humans in detecting credit card fraud and diagnosing medical problems, and soon they will be driving our cars better than we can. Just imagine if it was a computer that declared CAGW a fraud:-) The warmistas would be pulling its plug out.

  51. “The 600 series had rubber skin. We spotted them easy. But these are new. They look human. Sweat, bad breath, everything. Very hard to spot. I had to wait ’til he moved on you before I could zero him.”

  52. With the people that always carry their iphones or whatever around, one wonders if eventually those devices will be wired/implanted in people? I think Futurama did an episode of that…..

  53. The only per se ”intelligence” that an electronic computing device possesses is the ability to per se answer “Yes” or ”No”. That is why they are oftentimes referred to as a “binary computer”. Their value at aiding or supplementing a human’s per se ”intelligence” is the fact that said computing device can …. answer “Yes” or ”No” a zillion times per second.

    IMHO, any great improvement or advancement in “human intelligence” has to begin with a drastic change in the currently accepted beliefs and/or educational subject matter that is associated with or related to ….. “the functioning and nurturing of the brain/mind of humans”.

    Excluding any inherited or biological defects, … the quantity, quality or extent of human “intelligence” is directly determined by the content/context of the “sensed” environmental stimuli (data, info, etc.) that the person’s “sense organs” are subjected to …. beginning on the day of their birth. What a person learns (nurtured) today is highly dependent upon what they learned yesterday, …… and all the yesterdays in succession back until the day they were birthed.

    Regarding the nurturing of “intelligence”, the human brain/mind consists of two (2) separate entities, ….. the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. And what the overwhelming majority of individuals refuse to recognize, accept or believe is the fact that …… the functioning of the conscious mind is subservient to the functioning of the subconscious mind.

    Cheers

  54. A few thoughts on this post, and the potential use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to solve “wicked problems ” such as global warming and war:

    First, one should be cautious about predicting what is possible in the future, such as the future capabilities of AI. History is littered with the failed predictions of famous people, which were utterly wrong.

    Next, if one wants to evaluate someone’s predictive competence, first examine their predictive track record. For example, the IPCC has a negative predictive track record, since every one of their scary predictions (aka “projections”) has failed to materialize.

    Eliminating war and conflict is difficult because the main problem is absence of Rule of Law. Of the over 200 countries in the world, only about 10% have some form of Rule of Law that is even partially fair and competent (and I am being generous with that 10%).

    The remaining ~90% of the world’s countries are kleptocracies, ruled by scoundrels whose main objective is to plunder their public treasuries and remain in power to continue doing so, by whatever means works at that moment. The global warming scam provides an excellent vehicle for such kleptocracies – the rulers expropriate trillions of dollars from the public and give it to their best friends, who kick back a portion to the rulers for their private purses and their pubic re-election campaigns.

    Most kleptocracies seek to plunder within their own borders, because that less likely to attract retaliation. They can pick on a minority and steal from them – victims include Jews in Europe over the centuries, and more recently Christians in the Moslem world.

    When the conflict of a kleptocracy spills into a neighbouring country, it becomes a border skirmish, or an all-out war. The question then is whether it is a real war, or a phony war – the invention by the kleptocracy of an external enemy to unite the gullible populace under their rulers and to justify the crushing of internal dissent. To date, the Russian move into Ukraine fits this pattern. The German invasion of the Sudetenland in 1938 was of greater significance.

    The solution to this problem is to replace the kleptocrats with honest rulers, and that is very difficult. When you think you have gotten rid of one kleptocrat, you often find you have replaced him with someone no better, or even worse. That was the sad but predictable outcome of “Arab Spring”, where marginal governments were too often replaced by worse ones.

    Time for coffee! No doubt some clear solutions to this global conundrum will become apparent over a good cup of java.

    Regards to all, Allan :-)

    • Replacement for paragraph 5 above:

      Most kleptocracies seek to plunder within their own borders, because that less likely to attract retaliation. They steal from their own people by misappropriating public money. They seek bribes and other compensation from those who want to conduct business. They sometimes collaborate with criminals such as drug traffickers. They can also pick on a minority and steal from them – victims include Jews in Europe over the centuries, and more recently Christians and others in the Moslem world.

  55. True AI will figure, very quickly, who is lying and supporting junk science and who has a real read on the world. If it has open access to the Internet and stumbles upon Physics, the global warming by man will be quickly dismissed.

    • A fully developed AI, programmed with the protocols of the scientific method, would quickly reject many ‘peer-reviewed’ papers in climatology.
      Set to analyze the body of literature in retrospect, the AI would conclude that to gain the greatest global benefit from most previous research it should be summarily converted to CO2 for the sake of the plants.

  56. Super intelligence will end war?
    No matter how smart man becomes, he will still be man. Which means that some men will want to dominate other men. Some men will want to take what other men have.
    As long as this remains the case, there will still be fighting and wars.

    What is it about liberals and their belief that great (read intelligent) men, will solve all of our problems?

    • “What is it about liberals and their belief that…”?
      Conceit, aggravated by arrogance and insensitivity. They are those of whom Heinlein remarked “The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.”, and about whom Mencken remarked “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”

  57. Hybrids of humans and machines (properly termed ‘cyborgs’) are a LONG way from merging human and artificial intelligence. We still have no functional definition of ‘consciousness’. At present our best shot is the Turing Test, which only asks if we can tell the two apart.
    ‘Wicked problems’ like climate change and war are more likely than not mis-defined problems.
    As a student I learned through my Logic class (in the ‘philosophy’ department) that philosophers fret furiously over 3 kinds of problems: those with no answer, those with an infinitude of answers, and those with a trivial answer that the philosopher finds unacceptable.
    Problems with no answer include the classic ‘trisection of an angle’ and ‘squaring of the circle’, which have been mathematically proven to be impossible; or “Why is there air?” – a question which erroneously presumes the existence of something – such as a reason for the existence of something which is not the result of the creative act of a reasoning being.
    Problems with an infinitude of answers include problems like the nature of our personal existence (“What am I?”), or like weather (and climate) forecasts – only one of which can be shown to have been correct – but only after the fact.
    Problems with an unacceptable answer include problems such as the existence of God and the failures of Utopias. God exists only if you THINK so – if you personally believe your own concept of God represents something that exists. Utopias fail because the ideal environment for any human being is one which constantly challenges the individual to adapt and develop – competition and strife – which leads eventually to war.

  58. Ah! Of course. They fail to realize the limits to computers, our measurements, and the mathematics behind the climate to be able to predict it. A super-intelligence can perhaps increase someone’s understanding of Mathematics, but you’re still left with measurement errors and computer programming as errors. Again, Climate exhibits the same sensitive dependence to initial conditions (Chaos) that weather does. If you can’t measure it out to the actual bit length of the whole measurement, you will never be able to predict as far out as you want. The predictions will be alright, for a short time, and then differences will become apparent, eventually not even looking remotely similar. This linear abstraction scientists love to live in (you have 1 answer, and you get a lot of answers free!) is the exception in Nature.

    As others have said above, just a lack of understanding as a whole and a blatant attempt to suck up grant money for climate research that will go no where and burn holes in tax payers pockets. Furthermore, the implications of modifying ourselves is bound to be bad, for anything beyond repair of a system (Like vision, hearing, walking, etc etc). We would need a huge shift in our behavior to begin to even mature to where we wouldn’t have as many repercussions, but that isn’t bound to happen anytime soon. Love how it harkens me back to Jurassic Park when Ian Malcolm talks about Scientists are only concerned with whether they can do something that they didn’t stop to think if they should, the consequences!!!!!

    Eric

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