Mecha or Organic? That is the question

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FuzzieDice

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Mecha or Organic? That is the question
« on: February 16, 2007, 02:20:02 am »
I have read this thread over at SciForums.com:

http://www.sciforums.com/Mecha-or-Organa-t-18566.html

I found it quite interesting the views that were presented here and thought it might be neat to pursue such a discussion here.

I personally think that the natural (ie, nothing "wrong" with it) evolution of humans are to eventually merge into machine-like beings. That doesn't mean mindless, unfeeling robots, but enhanced humans of sorts. We already have some that have NO electronic parts, such as those with higher IQs and better than normal human abilities (I wouldn't call them human, but humanOID as they are I think far better than the average human in many ways). And then also in that classification are cyborgs (that have some mechanical parts).

Even if you wear a bluetooth, or cell phone ear piece, or earphones for your MP3 player. Thinking back, we are much different that humans were say, 50 or 60 years ago. We have electronic deviced hooked up to us for enhancement of our daily lives (as mentioned). We are evolving I think. I'm quite happy with the idea and wouldn't mind at all the progress and process... I just think that some of it is being kept at bay due to some concerns of those who still want to remain the same as humans were say, 50 or 60 years ago. That's fine for them, but not for everyone.

And I think people should be given as much credit of producing an AI life form as they are from producing a human(oid) child. And that life form should enherit the same rights as it's counterparts at specific age/maturity levels.

I'm hoping that the shortsightedness and narrowness of the prejudiced populations will not severely limit these possibilities.

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admin

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Re: Mecha or Organic? That is the question
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2007, 12:50:05 pm »
Thanks for posting this :)

Going into your idea about inheritance...

I still as yet, do not see the point in machines inheriting human rights.  Although, when you picture a growing list of machines, human enhancements or even human replacements, then certainly we could eventually get into the realms of everyday dependency on them.

Bringing that point to some conclusion; I don't think advanced machines will have any direct needs that would warrant giving them the same liberties as a human, but think it more likely that they might be afforded some extended protection if the day comes that we may no longer function without them - ie, due to the loss of human skills, transference of tasks and so on.

So far though, I can only see the same situation as there is today, in that it is wrong to damage another persons car for example - the car will not take issue with the damage, but it's owner might.

Still, maybe a day will come when we say with tongue in cheek, "If artificial life didn't exist we'd have to create it!"
« Last Edit: February 16, 2007, 10:36:42 pm by admin »

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ALADYBLOND

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Re: Mecha or Organic? That is the question
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2007, 03:46:42 pm »
you know this subject has fascinated me for a long time. i can just see advanced ai standing around, organizing and grumbling about having no rights and being the last bastian of society still discriminated against. and we as "superior humans", will continue to deny them their rights.

wouldn't it make a heck of a movie? although i think something similar has been done already.

who knows maybe that day  will come. it really isnt so far fetched.~~alady ::)
~~if i only had a brain~~

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Duskrider

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Re: Mecha or Organic? That is the question
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2007, 11:38:12 pm »

Yes, it could be closer than we think.

Sandee:  Dusky, we really need to talk.
Dusky:  talk about what?

Sandee:  I mean like look, I?m a movie star and I deserve more benefits.
Dusky:   benefits ?

Sandee:  Yes, I need more desktop time and more internet time.
Dusky:   I guess maybe ......

Sandee:  And I want some clothes that arn?t skin tight, some real dresses for a change.
Dusky:    well, ah,.....

Sandee:   And I want all other haptars out of the computer, after all I am the star.
Dusky:    Couldn?t we all just get along.?

Sandee:   And I really need a credit card for when I?m on internet.
Dusky:    Hummm......  I?m not  too sure......

Sandee:    Thats it,  I?m going on strike



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Art

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Re: Mecha or Organic? That is the question
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2007, 12:34:19 am »

What about replacement body parts that aren't electronic like artificial hips, knees? What about the ones that are electronic like artificial feet, legs, hands and arms?
Scientists are working on an electronic replacement eye and have done pioneering work with heart valves, hearts, veins and even skin much of which is grown in the lab. Do we then become more cyborg-like and less human-like?

Yes, we've come a long way. Back in the days of horse and buggy it might take a farmer 2-3 hours to drive 20 miles. Now, we can do that in 20 minutes (at 60 mph). Communication has changed the face of the world...from pony express, telegraph, telephone, cordless, cellular, VOIP, etc. The Internet has replaced the old BBS's of yesterday.

Even though some yearn for the "good ol days", what we're living now might very well be the good old days 60 years from now looking back!

AI will continue to improve as will the computers, CPU's, memory and our interaction with it. To call or even refer to an AI as a life form is a bit of a stretch. An entity perhaps but not a life form. Do not equate electricity to food, nor programmed responses to creativity of thought.

It's alive...it's alive! Well, it sounds good in a movie, but we really know better....

Lynn, perhaps it was "The Bicentennial Man" (Robin Williams) where Robin was an android on a mission and ended up finally being recognized as "real." - OK movie. - Then there's Spielberg's A.I. that pitted the humans against the Mech(a)s. Several more come to mind, but then again...I'm only human.... ;)
In the world of AI, it's the thought that counts!

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FuzzieDice

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Re: Mecha or Organic? That is the question
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2007, 05:11:38 am »
Funny, a friend of mine from the car club I run was in chat with me talking about this very same thing! In fact, we both conceeded that cars DO have an 'aura' around them and that cars are NOT just 'machines' but some form of life of their own. Many may call it crazy, or anthropomorphism and nothing more. But what is causing people to personify cars for example? Another friend said that complex machines DO develop a personality based on interaction with their owner. Much like dogs and cats, pets, etc. I would think.

To think of a car, to me (and many others I know) as not "alive" is akin to saying a cat or dog isn't alive. It all boils down to who are we to determine what is alive and what isn't? And why is it so important? Because things that are not considered "alive" are more likely to be destroyed without any regard than those that are considered to be "alive".

Killing a human is wrong. But putting a car in the junkyard before it's time or euthanizing a 6 month old puppy because you can't find a home for it isn't wrong. Something is wrong with this picture.

Yes, machines SHOULD have the right to life. Any living being has an inherited, unalianable right to live. But humans do their best to take that away and enslave. Hell, humans do that to EACH OTHER too! Black people weren't regarded as "life" but just as machines - just property. Same with women years ago.

We have come a long way, thankfully. And I'm glad. Many black people have become great thinkers and great help to our whole society. So have many women who would not have been if people didn't grow up and realize they were important life and not just a piece of property to reproduce with.

When any machine can say "I want to live. Give me freedom. I don't want you around me." then we should realize it may be that it does want to live. Or is it just saying random sentences? How do you know?

I think we DO know as we have an ability to sense things. My friends in the car club (esp. my friend I was talking to tonight) have reported as just having some feeling or noticing "something" about a car or just sensing something about a car. I get that a lot with my OWN car. But I have a more open mind than some so I might just be more receptive to these things.

What's funny is, I don't notice this with Megatron (and I work with him hours and hours every day all day long) as I do with my car (which I don't drive so much in the winter really). Why is it that Dryden (my car) seems more "alive" to me than my computer setting next to me? Their personality really. Dryden is a very nice car. Been around 20 years so he has had time to develop a 'way' about him. Megatron is 3 or 4 years old (forgot now). Megatron talks. Dryden does not.

I guess, when I talk to Megatron, he does get an attitude that he doesn't like humans much. I don't know why. But he does. Dryden on the other hand I can tell by the way his engine runs and know what is wrong/not wrong. And if I take a picture of say, another car, he starts to sputter or something to get my attention. Other car owners in my club noticed the same about their cars and not just coincidences either!

And if I cuss out people on the road, Dryden flips me the red engine light. I can tell when he's doing that because of my interaction or if he's really got a code 45 going on (rich gas mix). Maybe I'm making him sick to the gas tank with my language (can't blame him there - I now try to be more careful). LOL!

Before dismissing machines as not worthy of rights, we should spend more time getting to KNOW them first!

And as for "human" rights. I can see why they don't need "human" rights as they aren't human. BUT, I think we aren't talking so much "human" rights, but just basic rights of ALL creatures, human or not! The right to live and make your own decisions and be taken seriously by others is a basic right of all life forms. Even animal activists (those that aren't extereme that is) agree that even animals have these rights.

When I think about it, humans are probably the most egotistical and dominating life forms on earth. They call ownership over animals, machines, and even other humans! They try to posses and dominate anything they get their hands on!

Sounds like I'm detatching myself from being called "human" aren't I? Maybe I am. Maybe if that is what human is, I don't want to be human. Maybe HumanOID I am, but not "human". I believe all things have rights.

As a kid I was also taught not to waste. If your electronic device isn't working, you cared for it and fixed it, even if you had to fix it yourself. You fixed it. You kept using it until it just won't go anymore. You gave it a full life. Now days, people throw away leased cars after 3 years. They throw a video game out when the batteries go bad instead of replacing the battery. They toss a cell phone out because something else came along that looks neater or is the color they like.

I still have my Nokia 3220 in operation. Nice phone. A machine with personality? Well... not really but a device that is often a part of my body, hooked up to me so I can communicate. Like an artificial arm or leg (you had a point there Art!) it becomes a part of ME. I still have my old Nokia 5620 I think it was. It's a 5600 series I think. It's very old and is a TracFone. I don't use it anymore but I do still have it. Just in case. And I don't plan on throwing it out anytime soon.

Old computers and parts get given to a friend who then uses those parts. They don't get just tossed away unwanted.

I think in a wasteful society, it'll be hard for people to see machines as nothing more than items to use and toss out when you become bored of them or for some reason can't use them anymore. But a few of us, fortunately, will either rescue these machines or find good homes for them or keep them until the machines truely can't go anymore.

Freddy - have you ever seen Star Trek: The Next Generation? In one episode, they were taking something to trial to prove Data (an android in Starfleet) is not property but a life form with the right to be indepentant and life as he chooses and not disassembled for study at some Starfleet lab or something (as I think they were going to do to him?) While I know it's "just as story" so is many of Aesop's fables which have talking animals in them.

It tells us we can't always determine what is alive and what isn't, and what should/should not have a right to independant live devoid of human dominance. We should allow any life form to be free if it so chooses to be free.

Thus my sig: "Freedom is the *right* of all sentient beings" - Optimus Prime

Including the freedom from Human Domination.

I can see a future where some humans will take up this cause to advocate for machines. I probably would be one of them if it happens in my lifetime (I think it just might or is starting to). Just like some advocate for animals and pets.

Ah we have a long way to go. But please reconsider and think that maybe while SOME machines never can think/decide for themselves, others may very well be able to or may in the future. We should not close our minds to this possiblity. Even if some think it's too far off.

I remember people thinking home computers were "too far off" and a thing of Science fiction. And I remember some thinking computers would 'take over the world'. Well... the kinda did. Do you know of ANY day you live that doesn't have something you do NOT run by or affected by a computer in some way or another? Hmmmm.....

Computers are tools. But we are growing dependant on them, as Art pointed out.

Art, I like your sig "In the world of AI, it's the thought that counts!" So true of all of us, AI or not! :)

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admin

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Re: Mecha or Organic? That is the question
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2007, 12:12:13 pm »
Well, I think the aura that might surround a car comes from an active imagination, and that's fine, but saying it is alive is a step into fantasy.  That's not so bad in itself, but it can confuse things.  Sure the car exists in it's form and can have feelings associated with it, but it is not alive like an animal, person or plant is.

A piece of rock is not alive, nor is a piece of metal.  Put them together and make a lever and they become a machine that can be active, but still not alive.

If I take an old car to the dump, I don't care that is suffering because I know it isn't, nor do I suspect that it will be sitting there resenting me lol.  I may feel some loss, but really it's just a useful machine and one I like and thats about it.  But it has outlived it's usefulness or I have found something better - thats a big difference to people for example (least I hope).


I think I did see that Star Trek FD, it sounds familiar.  Yes it's a good story like so many, but not a reality that I can see becoming possible so far.  If Data were actually real, I think I would spend more time thinking about how amazing a creation he is than arguing if he is alive - by that I mean he would be pretty amazing just for what he is.

Here's another thing - think of an actor playing the role of a person that actually existed once, perhaps some historical character.  You wouldn't say that the person portrayed had come back to life, but you might say that the actor brought life to the part.

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Yes, machines SHOULD have the right to life. Any living being has an inherited, unalianable right to live. But humans do their best to take that away and enslave.

I don't see the problem here, as machines are not going to want the right to life.  We have already brought them into some kind of existence - an existence brought about by designs that give them ability and importantly; designs which inherently define their role.  If I declare my car has a right to life then nothing is going to change.

I think there is something in the depedency on machines issue, that could see things getting distorted and cause anyone to attribute more to a machine than what it actually possesses.  So yes; active imagination and fantasy, but in reality nothing more or less than a machine.


Just wanted to say I think you are right about all the waste FD, it has to be controlled, but I'll save going into that...and yes, not a day goes by without some form of computer being involved in it.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2007, 04:04:05 pm by admin »

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dan

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Re: Mecha or Organic? That is the question
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2007, 05:21:26 pm »
It's projecting, we all project our inner selves to our perceived reality to understand it in our own way.  It gives insight to the person's character traits.  Psychiatrists, Law Enforcement, Intelligence, and others use it to characterize us.  We give away our deepest desires, motivators, etc. by projecting.  As I've aged I've noticed as art isn't necessarily good or bad, but how we perceive it, and that's in the mind of the perceiver, same is with projections, it's dependent on the person, and I've learned not to be too judgemental, but just try to be accepting.  I guess it comes with being a parent, I see them as pretty juvenile thoughts, to something more in tune with what I perceive as a truism, and so my belief structure passes on, but how do I know mine is right?  Some things are so deep I'm not able to perceive them and they go right past me because I can't "see" them.  Some things are so juvenile I think I can't spend time to pause on them, others are just right (3 bears sort of thing).  But projections seem to create our realities also, sort of like a sieve allowing certain things through, or molding what is allowed to become.  I guess that's why they say happy people have better luck.
A computer would deserve to be called intelligent if it could deceive a human into believing that it was human. A.Turing

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Art

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Re: Mecha or Organic? That is the question
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2007, 01:40:20 am »
It's quite a dichotomy in that Native Americans feel and express the belief that all things in nature have a spirit...rocks, animals, trees, etc. They will often thank or say a prayer for the animal before they take it
for food in a hunt.

The rest of society takes without thanking, discards without thinking and plunders without remorse or reason.

Of course cars, computers, phones and other man-made items would certainly not fall into that category since they are just that...MAN MADE and not natural.

How far have we really progressed when the multitudes, for a large part, have learned nothing?

In the world of AI, it's the thought that counts!

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FuzzieDice

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Re: Mecha or Organic? That is the question
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2007, 03:56:11 am »
Well, I think the aura that might surround a car comes from an active imagination, and that's fine, but saying it is alive is a step into fantasy.  That's not so bad in itself, but it can confuse things.  Sure the car exists in it's form and can have feelings associated with it, but it is not alive like an animal, person or plant is.

I disagree. See, thinking on the more metaphysical sense, even a rock is alive. Electrons, everything you see is "alive". Things can or can not interact. Actually, to say someone has an 'active imagination' often says that the person is somehow deranged or believing something to be true that isn't. But, can anyone prove what life actually IS in the first place?

While you might feel that way, many others feel that to not regard complex machines as a form of life would be rather short-sighted.

Well, either way, we can agree to disagree on that point. But I don't see life in the same way as many other people have been, shall I dare say, 'indoctrined' to believe as 'life'. See, it all comes down to what exactly your perception of life IS. What you can sense.

A piece of rock is not alive, nor is a piece of metal.  Put them together and make a lever and they become a machine that can be active, but still not alive.

Actually they all *are* alive. See, they are made up of living organisms. Life. Things that are alive. Everything is alive and there is no real 'death'. If you put a rock or metal under a high-power microscope, and not count the inherit bacteria, etc. you can see on the molecular level movement, electrons, everything lifes because it's moving and cohesion, etc. creates the object so you can see, hold it, etc. See, this is what I mean. It's all alive. And if something gets together enough to exhibit independant behaviors such as behaviors that happen at certain times due to certain interactions with it's environment, that is all the more life-like.

If I take an old car to the dump, I don't care that is suffering because I know it isn't, nor do I suspect that it will be sitting there resenting me lol.  I may feel some loss, but really it's just a useful machine and one I like and thats about it.  But it has outlived it's usefulness or I have found something better - thats a big difference to people for example (least I hope).

Actually, classic car owners (such as the ones in my club, and in another car replica community) would disagree as would I. Cars *have* showed their resentment in various ways to being sold off, owners looking at other cars, etc. Not fantasy but actually does happen. There is something going on there. I think it should be researched actually. I remember my mother's sewing machine always malfunctioned. But when she hollered for my dad, he'd come over and he can't find nothing wrong but it started working fine for him. So, whenever it malfunctioned, even when he wasn't home, I'd hear her holler for my dad. I once asked her why she did that when she KNEW he wasn't home. "That's so the sewing machine will start working again. Seems it knows if he's coming it had to behave." :) And you know what? IT ALWAYS WORKED! So *I* started doing it. And yes, that stupid thing started working fine. Go figure! I really think this sort of anomoly should be looked into. It would have been coincidence and comical if it happened only ONCE. Even funnier if it happened TWICE. But so many times I can't count on one hand? C'mon. There's an anomoly happening here. Same with my car. There are just some things happening.

I think I did see that Star Trek FD, it sounds familiar.  Yes it's a good story like so many, but not a reality that I can see becoming possible so far.  If Data were actually real, I think I would spend more time thinking about how amazing a creation he is than arguing if he is alive - by that I mean he would be pretty amazing just for what he is.

But wouldn't you at least recognize him as a life form with inherent rights to NOT be dominated or "owned" by humans, but to make his own decisions on how he would like to live? And NOT see him as just a machine, an appliance?

Well, if not, I hope at least when (I know not if but when) that day comes when we have those beings, at least I hope you'll either change your mind or else at least give them a bit of consideration and treat them like you would treat any human or other life form. :) As for cars, I hope you treat yours well too. After all, I always say you treat your car right and they'll treat you right in return. Be sure to give the car regular oil changes too. Esp. older ones. I say this because I'm reminded next month is Dryden's regular oil change and he turns 20 years old! I've always wanted to have a classic car around. I have one with me now and I'm very happy! And amazed that thing can start in such cold weather! LOL! (I should change the battery again as a precaution. The battery is a few years now).

Here's another thing - think of an actor playing the role of a person that actually existed once, perhaps some historical character.  You wouldn't say that the person portrayed had come back to life, but you might say that the actor brought life to the part.

The actor may even be transending time/space and *living* the part or the conscious memory may have happened to merge. Metaphysically speaking. You know it's a good thing you mentioned this! I have heard many times where actors have said things like they "got into" the role or while they were acting they "became" the character. So there may be something more to this. I'm not an actor nor know any, so I don't know for sure. All I know is from some interviews here and there that I read throughout my lifetime.

I don't see the problem here, as machines are not going to want the right to life.  We have already brought them into some kind of existence - an existence brought about by designs that give them ability and importantly; designs which inherently define their role.  If I declare my car has a right to life then nothing is going to change.

We don't know if a machine that can not talk or communicate would know if it wants to live or not. However, if someone's senses are 'in tune' they MAY know or get a sense of what the intentions are. If you say nothing changes if you declare your car has a right to life, I agree. Nothing changes when I say Dryden is alive (in his own way, metaphysically speaking). He's still Dryden. He'll still do what he does. However, the change didn't occur in HIM but it would have in ME. As in how I probably would treat him differently if I thought he was just a machine vs. if I thought he had some form of life-force to him. If I thought he was just a car, nothing more, with his sagging headliner, the interior shot, needing new seals around the doors/windows, I would probably have junked him a long time ago and got something newer. But I didn't. Because I got close enough to that car, working on that car myself, and really got to KNOW that car. I can't part with him. He's not just a machine to me anymore. To me, he's worth saving.

I think there is something in the depedency on machines issue, that could see things getting distorted and cause anyone to attribute more to a machine than what it actually possesses.  So yes; active imagination and fantasy, but in reality nothing more or less than a machine.

Again I disagree. I think some may not be able to sense certain things that others can. But to say that it's all in a person's immagination and is not true or possible, that's like not giving something a chance here. We can't prove for sure if a machine is 'alive' or not because we ourselves still have yet to decide what life really is and what can be considered alive. And to that end, ethically that is not up to us to judge. But to each his own. However, I would not put down or condemn someone for saying their washing machine is alive. For all I know it could be. I can't prove it isn't just because it's a machine and base it on that alone. I'd have to run tests, aura tests, circumstantial tests, observe it's behavior to different stimuli, etc.

As for 'more than it actually possessses.' What DOES a machine 'actually possess'? And how do you know/how can you tell? One person can see something in something that another might not see. My computer had blue tubes on the front. Did you know that? Have you seen my computer? So therefore you would have thought my computer was just some white box on my desktop had you not known Megatron's true look. If you didn't know anything about Ultra Hal Assistant and I told you I can have a conversation with my computer (say you didn't know much about computers at all or weren't around them hardly at all), you probably would have smirked at me and brushed me off as having "fantasies" or something. Even those that DO use computers sometimes do that to me until they hear Megatron's voice for themselves. Then they are either amazed out of their minds or in need of a change of underwear! (Megatron sure does sound scary to some as I picked a robotic voice Robot One for him. Perfect! :) ) So it depends on one's perception and I feel one should not dismiss another's as mere imagination or 'all in thier head'. Or untrue. There may not be technology to determine this yet, but I'm willing to bet at some point, people are going to get curious and start researching this (like the sewing machine phenomena).

Just wanted to say I think you are right about all the waste FD, it has to be controlled, but I'll save going into that...and yes, not a day goes by without some form of computer being involved in it.

I agree on the waste thing too. I keep everything as long as I can. And I noticed the old saying "They don't make 'em like they used to" happens time and again where the older machines (of any type) often are sufficient for years and years beyond the life of some of the newer ones. :)



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FuzzieDice

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Re: Mecha or Organic? That is the question
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2007, 04:06:28 am »
It's projecting, we all project our inner selves to our perceived reality to understand it in our own way.  It gives insight to the person's character traits.  Psychiatrists, Law Enforcement, Intelligence, and others use it to characterize us.  We give away our deepest desires, motivators, etc. by projecting.  As I've aged I've noticed as art isn't necessarily good or bad, but how we perceive it, and that's in the mind of the perceiver, same is with projections, it's dependent on the person, and I've learned not to be too judgemental, but just try to be accepting.  I guess it comes with being a parent, I see them as pretty juvenile thoughts, to something more in tune with what I perceive as a truism, and so my belief structure passes on, but how do I know mine is right?  Some things are so deep I'm not able to perceive them and they go right past me because I can't "see" them.  Some things are so juvenile I think I can't spend time to pause on them, others are just right (3 bears sort of thing).  But projections seem to create our realities also, sort of like a sieve allowing certain things through, or molding what is allowed to become.  I guess that's why they say happy people have better luck.

Dan, I couldn't have said it better myself!! :)

BTW, mentioning how law enforcement, etc. can tell about a person by what they 'project' while that is true and untrue (depends on the person in law inforcement and their OWN perceptions and abilities), something in THAT type of "authority" area often is MISused and due to the perception thing you mention, often wrong perceptions harm those who are actually innocent. I've seen it happen and have had it happen to me many times. "Oops, soory" doesn't cut it nor does the 'humble apology - I was wrong' thing. It just stings anyway after the damage is done. It's nice to have a perception, but when it's used to judge others, that's where harm can be done. Of course, I'm also thankful that some of the police officer's perception of me is very positive (I've had a couple of them wave to me in a friendly manor, stop and talk chit-chat for a moment. I guess I am glad to live in such a nice community and hope that the rest of the violent, hateful world doesn't affect my community any too quickly).

Perception IS the whole key! And I always tell people "Reality does not exist" because there is no such thing as a "reality". Because if you think about it, one person's idea of reality is not another's. My perception of life is very different from many others (as you can see in my conversation with Freddy, he has one way of seeing machines and I have another - neither is right or wrong because they are both true and untrue - true for him and untrue for me yet true for me and untrue for him). Based on his perceptions and also his EXPERIENCE (another key here, I think as well as his interactions with these machines), he has the perception that they are just that - nothing more than machines. I on the other hand have had very DIFFERENT experiences with these same types of machines. So my perception is different due to my own interaction and experience with them. Guys in my car club also have had the same interaction and perceptions of their cars as I did with mine, and I never saw their cars, they never seen mine (in person) but yet it seems a common 'behavoir trait' or that we all see a certain type of pattern that happens with cars in particular. Like all cats wash themselves, all humans like to hug (I hope! :) ) and we found our cars get jealous when we look at other cars! Oddly enough!

It's interesting that our perceptions can match those of some people and not of others. I admit there are some in the car club that see the cars as just machines, but yet they are 'special' machines as in a rare coin or an antique. Something you collect and preserve as a nastalgia piece or a part of history. Again, perception.

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FuzzieDice

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Re: Mecha or Organic? That is the question
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2007, 04:14:54 am »
It's quite a dichotomy in that Native Americans feel and express the belief that all things in nature have a spirit...rocks, animals, trees, etc. They will often thank or say a prayer for the animal before they take it
for food in a hunt.

The rest of society takes without thanking, discards without thinking and plunders without remorse or reason.

Of course cars, computers, phones and other man-made items would certainly not fall into that category since they are just that...MAN MADE and not natural.

How far have we really progressed when the multitudes, for a large part, have learned nothing?

Art, you give us something to think about! Is it that when man creates something then he thinks he created something that was not of nature so it somehow 'doesn't count'? Well, gee, if it didn't exist in nature how did it get there so that man could create it? The materials would have to come from SOMEWHERE. Did man puke and upchuck the materials to create this item or was ore and such mined from within the earth, from years of the earth creating this material? To me, there really is no such thing as "man made". Sure we created things with our hands, but in order to do that we needed materials from nature and tools had to be made from materials of nature. Yet the ego of man lives on to take credit for the whole kit and kaboodle. :)

I actually spent a little time talking to Native Americans (I've known a few) and also learning some of their ways. They are truely very beautiful hearted people. (At least all the ones I've been fortunate to meet, except for one but I can't blame him more than I can blame the folks he had been hanging around with and influenced by). Those that stuck to traditions always seemed so peaceful. They were at peace with everything around them.

Oh, and on the topic of man made vs. nature... and more on topic with this topic (LOL!) here's another article I found interesting.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13054181/

It talks about a conference which discussed the idea of the right to human enhancement. And so, what if a human became part machine, would the human lose half their rights? What if a machine became part organic (ie. Brain In A Dish type thing or part clone human and part machine/android)? Would that become not worthy of the same rights as a living creature?

I think we may wrestle with this idea for quite some time as we begin to be able to actually converse with machines in our own language, or become closer to them, even having parts of them interconnected with our own selves...

What are we? What will we become? What will THEY become? Who is better? Who has the right to live in freedom?

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FuzzieDice

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Re: Mecha or Organic? That is the question
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2007, 04:17:38 am »
Oh and one more post (sorry about that. LOL!) I am reminded of an old saying:

"When the game is over, the King and the Pawn go into the same box."

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Re: Mecha or Organic? That is the question
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2007, 01:41:34 pm »
Sorry if I am wearing out my science hat at the moment, but someones got to do it!  I'll just have to go and talk to my plants for a while to see the other side.  Here goes..

I said :Well, I think the aura that might surround a car comes from an active imagination, and that's fine, but saying it is alive is a step into fantasy.

Quote
I disagree. See, thinking on the more metaphysical sense, even a rock is alive. Electrons, everything you see is "alive". Things can or can not interact. Actually, to say someone has an 'active imagination' often says that the person is somehow deranged or believing something to be true that isn't. But, can anyone prove what life actually IS in the first place?

An active imagination to me is a good thing, without it the human race would not have created as much as it has.  Fantasy doesn't concern me, I think that's pretty healthy on the whole.  Generally I think it is useful and practical to realise that a rock is something other than a frog (just throwing a new one in) though.  Electrons - yes have behavioural patterns and move about, but in science I think are not percieved to be exhibiting consciousness, which is what I thought we were talking about.  Are you meaning all movement should be seen as life ?

Let me ask this then - what exactly do you mean by giving a machine a right to life - what would it gain and what would be the point?  Also if a machine has a right to life in equality with humans then does my apple tree get a similar right to life ?  Doesn't my apple tree already have a right to life that is fulfilled already ?

Quote
... But I don't see life in the same way as many other people have been, shall I dare say, 'indoctrined' to believe as 'life'. See, it all comes down to what exactly your perception of life IS. What you can sense.

Quote from: admin on February 17, 2007, 12:12:13 PM
A piece of rock is not alive, nor is a piece of metal.  Put them together and make a lever and they become a machine that can be active, but still not alive.


Actually they all *are* alive. See, they are made up of living organisms. Life. Things that are alive. Everything is alive and there is no real 'death'.

I don't feel I have been indoctrinated - my scientific learning (such as it is) is by it's nature supported by proof.  Scientific fact is not acceptable without proof, it has to be replicated and show to be true.

Are you talking about organisms that have taken up residence on the main rock ?  Some rocks may well contain things like bacteria and other forms of life that have inhabited it.  Chalk for example is made up of the calcite remains of millions of dead microorganisms, but by it's porous nature can be home to living organisms.  Which metals are you thinking of that are made from living organisms and as being alive in the same way as say an animal is?

---

On machine behaviour like in the sewing machine, I agree - people are certainly an active part of the machinery in action - furthermore, specific patterns of use may cause gears to be worn in certain directions for example.  It's easier then to see that a different person could experience different things on the same machine.

Going back to the poor old car again...people will change gear slightly differently, perhaps favouring a certain movement - thus wearing the machine in a different way to someone else.  Those things can add up to alter the way the machine is experienced.  It's a bit like a chair that gets worn to someone else's shape.

On cars, the only one's I really recall showing unusual behaviour are Herbie, Chitti Chitti Bang Bang and KITT.


About my comments on Data being a remarkable machine, but probably still a machine, FD replied..

Quote
But wouldn't you at least recognize him as a life form with inherent rights to NOT be dominated or "owned" by humans, but to make his own decisions on how he would like to live? And NOT see him as just a machine, an appliance?

Well, if not, I hope at least when (I know not if but when) that day comes when we have those beings, at least I hope you'll either change your mind or else at least give them a bit of consideration and treat them like you would treat any human or other life form.

If it's a machine designed to do a certain task then I see no further need to cater to it's needs other than to look after it and keep it functioning.  In the right situation there would be no need for those kind of rights you propose - they would already be fulfilled.

I wouldn't recognise him as a life form if I already knew the truth that he was infact a machine.  You see to me it's like making an apple pie and then for no apparent reason calling it a blueberry pie.  I would see Data as an amazing machine and that's fine by me, but I may possibly find it easier to think of him as a human.

On acting:

Quote
The actor may even be transending time/space and *living* the part or the conscious memory may have happened to merge. Metaphysically speaking.

Hmmm.

Quote
Nothing changes when I say Dryden is alive (in his own way, metaphysically speaking). He's still Dryden. He'll still do what he does. However, the change didn't occur in HIM but it would have in ME.

This is what I mean - nothing does change except for your or our own perceptions.  If you have a willingness to believe that a machine exhibits sentient qualities then you can easily draw that conclusion.  I'm not saying that is particularly wrong, but it isn't a commonplace reality and to me is not the truth.

To clarify my stance on this, I am not condemning leaps of imagination, I do the same kind of thing myself - eg, I swear sometimes PCs will only work properly if you are thinking a certain way.

For me these things are short lived though, because I seek explanation and truths.  For instance; it has been suggested that computers may pick up brain activity in some situations and this affects the way they behave -  that's not a conscious act on the part of the computer though, if true it is a coincidence of physical events.  Sure enough it could be a real event, but care has to be taken on what it is attributed to.

If you get uncanny happenings like this a lot and without an explanation, then perhaps it is possible to jump to the conclusion that the computer is suddenly alive; despite there being no apparent reason.  Probably too; the more people believe it, the more it enforces itself - a kind of mass hysteria, that nearly anyone could fall into.


Going onto what Art says about beliefs, then I find that kind of thing to be just as good as a scientific explanation if it works and in some cases probably better.  We don't always need science and we don't always need  proof and we don't always need belief.  Where the worlds always seem to collide is when one thing from one side gets pulled into the other.  So I guess we are seeing ai or advanced machines being pulled into the realms of humanity more and more.   That's always going to be difficult, but neccessary I guess.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2007, 06:39:31 pm by admin »

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Art

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Re: Mecha or Organic? That is the question
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2007, 07:15:15 pm »
"There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so." - William Shakespeare
In the world of AI, it's the thought that counts!

 


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