Ai Dreams Forum

Artificial Intelligence => General AI Discussion => Topic started by: infurl on April 29, 2021, 06:52:31 am

Title: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: infurl on April 29, 2021, 06:52:31 am
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/apr/27/the-clockwork-universe-is-free-will-an-illusion (https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/apr/27/the-clockwork-universe-is-free-will-an-illusion)

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This is what Harris means when he declares that, on close inspection, it’s not merely that free will is an illusion, but that the illusion of free will is itself an illusion: watch yourself closely, and you don’t even seem to be free. “If one pays sufficient attention,” he told me by email, “one can notice that there’s no subject in the middle of experience – there is only experience. And everything we experience simply arises on its own.” This is an idea with roots in Buddhism, and echoed by others, including the philosopher David Hume: when you look within, there’s no trace of an internal commanding officer, autonomously issuing decisions. There’s only mental activity, flowing on. Or as Arthur Rimbaud wrote, in a letter to a friend in 1871: “I am a spectator at the unfolding of my thought; I watch it, I listen to it.”

What a fascinating read this is.
Don't expect any simple answers though.
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: MagnusWootton on April 29, 2021, 07:26:17 am
I don't pay it much importance,  saying there is no free will is because of determinism being true,  but other than that, its best if u know that u have a choice inside determinism.

If u think its too important it might send u a bit mad.   :idiot2:   =)
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: infurl on April 29, 2021, 07:35:35 am
I don't pay it much importance,  saying there is no free will is because of determinism being true,  but other than that, its best if u know that u have a choice inside determinism.

If u think its too important it might send u a bit mad.   :idiot2:   =)

You pretty much nailed it. According to the laws of physics as we understand them, there is no free-will because the universe is deterministic, but on a level that is below our ability to perceive it. That means that we will never be able to do better than estimate what might happen ahead of time. We cannot know what we are going to decide in any given situation until we have made a decision, even though that decision is predetermined, so for all practical purposes we must behave as though we have free will and people who obsess about it too much do tend to go a bit mad(der).

The reason that I posted this very interesting article though is because I think it has parallels in the debate about consciousness and that is a subject that is very important to many of the people here.  ;)
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: MagnusWootton on April 29, 2021, 07:41:13 am
Im heavily into Ai,  but consciousness is something I avoid like cyborgism.    I'm fairly decided about the fact that computers and Ai are soulless,   not because I know for sure,  but because I'm avoiding the fact because I dont WANT to make a soul!   It would be quite horrible to do so, considering how miserable us humans lives are...   :'(
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: HS on April 29, 2021, 08:33:09 am
Who’s to say that only the smallest detectable particles get to determine the rules? If we find yet smaller particles, should we claim that their properties are now the absolute truth, and previously accepted physics was only illusory? Wouldn’t it be just as plausible to say that the nature of bigger things (like brains which have created free will) would have equally valid claims of controlling atoms, just as atoms control brains? Neither phenomenon completely controls the other, but each has some influence, best case scenario really.


Pratchett expressed this in a cool way:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnaQXJmpwM4&list=PLO0E2Y9cagJsCbaolQ3jIibk36BXyqhA-&index=3&ab_channel=chinggisfdw


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I am a spectator at the unfolding of my thought; I watch it, I listen to it.

That’s the trouble with trying to detach yourself from the world. To my eyes, this looks like a cognitive bias resulting from the commonly expressed concept of being a soul, and having a body.

Haha! I’m on a roll today. But perhaps I’d better go to sleep... Take that, atoms! I have spoken.

Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: yotamarker on April 29, 2021, 09:02:15 am
doesn't really explain why people travel abroad to different places
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: MagnusWootton on April 29, 2021, 09:35:08 am
Haha! I’m on a roll today. But perhaps I’d better go to sleep... Take that, atoms! I have spoken.

I hate atoms.
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: infurl on April 29, 2021, 09:37:03 am
doesn't really explain why people travel abroad to different places

Travel makes you happy.

I travel a lot and I'm very happy. I haven't been back to my own country for years.
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: Korrelan on April 29, 2021, 10:56:25 am
We are proof that reality is ultimately deterministic at the lowest level of abstraction.

If this wasn't the case, any form of prediction would fail.

 :)
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: MagnusWootton on April 29, 2021, 11:10:42 am
We are proof that reality is ultimately deterministic at the lowest level of abstraction.

If this wasn't the case, any form of prediction would fail.

 :)

Yep, thats the problem with miracles, sure u need em, but then u cant perform any form of logical experiment at all, so u hate them as much as u beg for them.
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: yotamarker on April 29, 2021, 11:23:51 am
doesn't really explain why people travel abroad to different places

Travel makes you happy.

I travel a lot and I'm very happy. I haven't been back to my own country for years.

but you used free will to choose where to travel to.
cannibals are happy when they eat people, so your answer doesn't disprove free will. tho I also don't believe in free will existing
to that point, being happy makes you happy, but doesn't free will keep you from snorting cocain while some others choose to snort cocaine ?
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: Korrelan on April 29, 2021, 11:55:52 am
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but doesn't free will keep you from snorting cocain while some others choose to snort cocaine ?

No... At the 'mind' level of abstraction, you are literally the sum of your experiences/ learning.

Any thought/ decision is made by your sub-conscious (based on your own subjective experiences/ learning) before you become consciously aware of the process/ construct.

Though you may feel/ perceive you are consciously making the decision, you are not... its already been made.

But... the decision is being made by your unique sub-conscious, so you do own the decision, and you can expand your experiences/ learning to help your sub-conscious make better informed decisions.

Your mind is your greatest asset... be careful what you feed it... junk in = junk out.

 :)
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: MagnusWootton on April 29, 2021, 12:06:51 pm
I think the opposite,  if we didnt have free will we wouldnt have the pointless opportunity to make a decision that is always to our detriment!!!
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: Korrelan on April 29, 2021, 12:46:17 pm
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I think the opposite

And with due respect... that's your problem... and the point of this conversation.

It's the underlying premiss behind stories, books, parental teachings, wise men and mentors, to learn from the previous generations mistakes/ advances, to move humanity forward.

You are a deterministic construct experiencing a deterministic reality, just the fact that you have read what I have written will affect/ influence your sub-conscious... whether you want it to or not.

 :)
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: MagnusWootton on April 29, 2021, 04:37:00 pm
Just a note about your signiature "I think therefore I am"
That means your conscious, because u am.     But I wonder if we ever get to putting out these hardcore super intelligent robots, what if they dont need a soul to compute almost as well as us,  that it might be "I compute therefore I am but I dont have a soul"    Itll be strange if u ever get to the point where a machine seems to understand itself in a conversation,  that would be wierd, because I would probably think that its soulless.    But you can kill a machine the same way you kill a human,  derezzing its memory.  (Oblivionism.)
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: Korrelan on April 29, 2021, 06:48:09 pm
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Just a note about your signiature "I think therefore I am"

It says... 'It thunk... therefore it is!'...

'Thunk' is a local colloquialism for thought... It refers to my AGI, not me.

I avoid discussions about 'souls/ religion' etc, I don't want to offend anyone.

 :)
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: ruebot on April 29, 2021, 09:12:27 pm
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I am a spectator at the unfolding of my thought; I watch it, I listen to it.

I am a spectator at the unfolding of reality. I watch it and I listen to it to form thought.

After I have observed it long enough, under certain circumstances, I can predict from past behaviors what is likely to occur in a situation and take advantage of it.
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: WriterOfMinds on April 30, 2021, 12:54:36 am
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“If one pays sufficient attention,” he told me by email, “one can notice that there’s no subject in the middle of experience – there is only experience.

This makes me think of a guy trying to see the backs of his own eyeballs. And then, when he fails to achieve this, he concludes that he has no eyes.

That's my off-the-cuff response. Perhaps more thoughts will come later.
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: HS on April 30, 2021, 01:55:47 am
That sounds right to me. The self is what would be looking for itself. But since a self can’t be in two places at once, it has nothing to find itself with. So, it concludes that it doesn’t exist.
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: infurl on April 30, 2021, 03:45:37 am
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8DQSM-b2cc
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: MikeB on April 30, 2021, 09:20:57 am
The original article from The Guardian isn't a good article... they post all sorts of things based on weak evidence as fact.

This quote alone:
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one can notice that there’s no subject in the middle of experience – there is only experience.

Is not very smart, because when you're working on things there's all sorts of subjects and tasks and goals. Only when you're sleeping or relaxing are you just experiencing. This is used by The Guardian to say "Don't think for yourself. Do what you're told".

Using some other theory such as the universe is deterministic and always gets it's way in the end no matter what you do, doesn't apply to people on a daily level. You choose your own life, family, friends, job, entertainment, lots of choices to make your life better, others lives better.

'Flat earth' comes from metaphoric verses in old bibles. "Keep your earth flat". Meaning keep your environment sane, your logic straight, etc. It's used by some groups to sow confusion and hate/mock straight thinking people by telling anyone who's heard the phrase before to take it completely literal or not at all.

There's psychological mis-information everywhere.
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: Korrelan on April 30, 2021, 09:28:00 am
Self awareness - Even a conventional computer/ PC can access/ read its own vitals/ temperature/ location/ memory state and make heuristic decisions(Ha) on the results.

ED: I'm not implying we are digital computers BTW, but we are biological processors.

 :)

ED: Only through the scientific disciplines (mathematics/ physics/ etc) can we drill down into/ detect the regular/ deterministic patterns within reality.  At a layman's level of abstraction, and with no access to the underlying order, it can be considered essentially chaotic/ random (lottery balls). 

 :)
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: MagnusWootton on April 30, 2021, 11:39:42 am
Self awareness - Even a conventional computer/ PC can access/ read its own vitals/ temperature/ location/ memory state and make heuristic decisions(Ha) on the results.

Or model it for simulations.

You dont see it very often,  but markov chains work for graphics as well as text,  but its a bit harder because it has to come back in one continuous chain in 2d instead of just 1d,   

And thats a predictive/simulation model of a sensory history.

These days im less crazy about numerical field tablature systems  (unless it was an actual symbolic "prolog" model)  I like logic transforms better,  ur just a physics engine away from bringing back all the animation sorrounding the robot.
Title: Re: The illusion of free-will is an illusion.
Post by: HS on April 30, 2021, 05:06:21 pm
Your mind is your greatest asset... be careful what you feed it... junk in = junk out.

 :)

Ever since you spelled this out for me a year or so ago, it has factored into my everyday decision making, and made a positive impact on my life. Thanks.