Life, the Universe, and Everything

A Course Blog for GET1029/GEK1067

Month: November 2020

Vaguely related to the Simulation Argument topic

From the wikipedia article:

In the open world video game Free City, Guy (Reynolds) is a non-player character (NPC) working as a bank teller. Thanks to a program developed by programmers Milly (Comer) and Keys (Keery) inserted into Free City by the publisher Antoine (Waititi), Guy becomes aware of his world being a video game, and takes steps to make himself the hero, creating a race against time to save the game before the developers can shut it down.

Past Final Exam Debriefs

You can find the debriefs for the last rounds of GET1029 Final Exams taught by me. The exam questions themselves are available from Central Library; though I have them in Luminus Files as well.

Do keep in mind that some of the readings and topics have changed over time, and even for the same topics, some of the definitions were different as well. So don’t be surprised if a few things are not what you expected (to give an example–I didn’t emphasize the epistemological nature of the LPOE in the earlier years).

Just as importantly, I set questions of a very different style compared to my colleague, A/P Mike Pelczar, who rotates the module with me–even though a lot of material overlap between us. Just be warned if you look at the exam scripts from outside the above list.

Some Group Discussion Summaries

I asked the tutors to send me some of their favorite “Group Discussion Summaries” (GDS). You will see them below. Keep in mind that some (but not all) of these go above and beyond what we were looking for. But before that, let me say something about the genesis and rationale for the component.

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Article: The intelligent monster that you should let eat you

Hat tip to a student of mine who sent me this:

Imagine a monster with a set of words so powerful you have to let it eat you. It might sound fanciful, but we could be on a trajectory to inventing one right now, writes Richard Fisher.

Quiz 10 Debrief

Ok, here goes the last of the lot. Click through to see…

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Free Will and Fatalism and Simulation in the Mandalorian

A student from my other class alerted me to this:

Trooper 1: Let me ask you something. Do you think you have free will or do you believe in fatalism?

Trooper 2: That kind of thinking is a little bit above my pay grade…

Simulation Argument involved as well.

W12 Q/A

The below are my notes for each of the questions submitted beforehand, with some brief expansions. Those actually touched on in the recording are marked “#”. The questions we didn’t get to come after the break (* * * * *). Questions added in chat are marked “%”.

Update: More questions that came in via email added to the end (search for “Questions that came later by email”).

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Quiz 10 Hints

  • Question 3

Small edit made to what Cain and Zoey said.

  • Question 7

Gene’s statement “we–as in the five of us–should assign a probability equal to 0.5 that each of us is obsessed with Japanese culture”–what he’s saying is that they* should assign a probability of 0.5 to Lena’s being obsessed, 0.5 to Dave’s being obsessed, and so on. (*You can take the “they” collectively–so there’s only one assignment of probabilities–or individually, as in each of them should make that assignment of probability; the answer is the same either way.)

Quiz 09 Debrief

Good work! Click through to see…

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W11 Q/A

Update: New question on Virtual vs Simulated Life, Substrate Independence vs. the “Brain-Computer Assumption” added to the end. 

Here we go…

Isn’t AI a developing form of simulated consciousness?

Please review Slides #16-17, 19, 48. Make sure you are clear about the distinction between intelligence and consciousness, and therefore, the distinction between AI and AC. The confusing part comes in because some researchers use the term “AI” when they really mean “AC”. Or alternatively, “Strong AI” (which includes AC), as opposed to “Weak AI” (which doesn’t). And people don’t all agree on using the terms the same way. But whatever else, just be clear that for the purposes of our class, we are distinguishing between talking about AI and talking about AC, just as we distinguished between talking about intelligence and talking about consciousness (see also W10 Slide #25). The above is important else you don’t get the punchline of the Simulation Argument.

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