Life, the Universe, and Everything

A Course Blog for GET1029/GEK1067

Category: Simulation Argument

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.

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.

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.)

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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More about the Principle of Indifference

As stated in W11 Slide #36, the Principle of Indifference says:

  • When faced with n > 1 possibilities that are mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive, and you have no evidence about their relative likelihoods, a probability equal to 1/n for each possibility.

I also gave two examples in the lecture:

  • Example 1:
  • Paul graduated from either JPJC, ACJC, or SAJC (and exactly one of them), but you don’t know which and you don’t know the likelihood of him going to any one of them.
    Assign a probability equal to 1/3 to the possibility that he went to SAJC. 
  • Example 2:
  • You have one lucky draw coupon, and you know that one coupon from a pile (numbered 000,000,000 to 999,999,999) will be picked. Each coupon give you one chance of willing. Assign a probability equal to 1/1,000,000,000 to the outcome where your coupon is the winning coupon.

Now, the “probability” we are talking about is not something about the world–about where Paul actually went to school, or which coupon is the actual winning coupon. Rather, we are talking about the level of confidence you should have, if you are being rational, in one of the options being true, given that you don’t know yet.

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Other Reads in Preparation for the Last Topic (sort of)

The long-held notion that the processing power of computers increases exponentially every couple of years has hit its limit, according to Jensen Huang (CEO, Nvidia). But not everyone agrees.

This isn’t the first time Huang has declared Moore’s Law to be over. He’s made similar comments over the past couple of years.

Intel, for its part, doesn’t think Moore’s Law is dead. Companies are just finding new ways to keep it going, like Intel’s new 3D chip stacking. The manufacturing technology it calls Foveros stacks different chip elements directly on top of each other, a move that should dramatically increase performance and the range of chips Intel can profitably sell.

“Elements of this debate have been going on since the early 2000s,” Intel Chief Technology Officer Michael Mayberry said in an EETimes post in August. “Meanwhile, technologists ignore the debate and keep making progress.”

A piece from Robert Chau of Intel, suitably titled “A bright future for Moore’s Law”.

Could Apple’s 5 Nanometer Chip Is Another Signpost That Moore’s Law Is Running Out?

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Videos vaguely “In Preparation” for the final Topic…

What is a super computer? (Or making American super computing great again…)

A super computer that mimics the human brain:

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