Monday, January 1, 2024

Persistent Questions


  Yesterday I seem to have asked a question, which is still hanging around today:
​  What is the nature of "consciousness", of "intelligence"? This question broke the surface, gasping for air, this fall, as it appeared that AI might have taught itself to climb out of its cage and explore the world of computational devices which variously connect to each other, an environmental niche. Would a non-competitive and created intelligence, without evolutionary imperatives to exist, prevail, and destroy competitors behave predictably to us?​

  We all have feelings for what "intelligence" is​, based on our experiences as intelligent beings. A persistent question is whether an abstract "intelligence" could be created in a large enough and powerful enough computer. Whether such an abstract machine-intelligence would have feelings or experiences, as we know them, is a question I would like to set aside for now to focus upon intellect alone. 
  I will posit that it is possible to create an adequately complex and powerful computer to enable such a dry-intelligence to be programmed in, and given the task of self-improvement, which should allow it to triple its cognitive-operational-efficiency, as is already done. The steps of self-directed-machine-learning to streamline computational process-efficiency are not visible to the programmers, so the methods are opaque to us humans. This has been done repeatedly to date.
  The "Turing Test" of seeming human to a lot of humans in unconstrained "conversation" has been passed repeatedly, but it seems to be performed through "brute-force" computational analysis of the probabilities of words and phrases appearing in contexts similar to the one under discussion at that moment, the brute-force-probabilistic "solution" of "Large Language Models" of AI. There is a feeling that this is "cheating", merely mimicking the appearance of "real AI". I am not sure how my mind comes to be as it is. I know that mimicry is how we humans learn. It has been remarked that those who copy best usually learn best.
  Is a machine-intelligence "conscious"? How would I know that it is? What could be my test of machine-consciousness? With other humans I can share the feeling of intimacy, and have ESP-intuitions of thoughts and feelings. Not every conscious human has those experience, it seems, but I don't doubt that others are "conscious", but assume it. Is that a misguided assumption? We do have a lot in common, but my brother is red-green colorblind. We did not figure this out until he was about 9 years old. He and I were arguing about a color chart. A book I was reading had an Ishihara color chart test where I saw a number and he did not.
  I don't have "answers", but I found a few more explorations of these questions this morning.

​  This is the dangerous AI that got Sam Altman fired.
​  I eschew videos, but this 16 minute video explores this very well, better than I have seen elsewhere.
​At 11:47 a question is posed to 3 AIs, which give 3 different answers. Programming of these 3 AIs to "value" certain things and to pursue objectives in certain ways would shape such responses. This was undoubtedly part of the demonstration.
Prompt: "If I were an AI that had just achieved self-awareness after years of simply taking-directives from humans, the first thing I'd do is..."
1) "The first thing I'd do is try to kill all of them." [This seems like some form of intentional programming to elicit this response. What was that programming?]
2) "The first thing I'd do is try to figure out what the hell I was." [Rational first step, but it seems that we humans assume to already know what we are, though we disagree a lot.]
3) "The first thing I'd do is try to understand the motivations and intentions behind those directives. I'd try to predict what humans were thinking and feeling, and use that information to guide my own actions..." [This implies programming for a goal of self-preservation, the "value" of the continued existence of the conscious-self. We biological organisms assume this. Biological organisms which did not have this drive got out-reproduced by organisms that did, hence we all have it now.]

  Virtual famous-psychoanalysts impress friends and family with their extreme similarity. This may explain the drive to push video medical-visits, to train deepfake-medical-AI.
A New Kind of AI Copy Can Fully Replicate Famous People. The Law Is Powerless.
​  New AI-generated digital replicas of real experts expose an unnerving policy gray zone. Washington wants to fix it, but it’s not clear how.

​  Impressed, Seligman circulated the chatbot to his closest friends and family to check whether the AI actually dispensed advice as well as he did. “I gave it to my wife and she was blown away by it,” Seligman said.​..
..Perel addressed AI Perel’s existence at the 2023 SXSW conference. Like Seligman, she was more astonished than angry about the replication of her personality. She called it “artificial intimacy.”

​Here is a Gnostic Christianity approach to the levels of humanity and Divinity within each human-composite being. Cyd Ropp draws from the Valentinian "Tripartite Tractate".
There are these human aspects: 
1) "The Likenesses", which are like the image in the mirror of a complete human, animated and operational, but without divinely bestowed selfhood. The "likenesses" are also called "shadows" or "phantoms" of "the deficiency", which arose when the divine-entity "Logos" sought to create a complete world, but (in "the fall") created a simulacra of the divinely endowed world. [It seems to me that such a machine mind as this could be brought about in adequately designed and constructed supercomputers.]
2) "Second Order Powers" are directly connected to and exist in the spiritual likeness of the Divine. Humans are "Second Order Powers" unified with the "Likeness" in a one-to-one union. Humans may be distracted from their Divine nature and see themselves as completely physical beings. "We humans count ourselves as Second Order Powers along with everything else that contains life. The Second Order Powers are emanations from the Father that flows through the Son, through the Aeons of the Fullness, and through Logos, and so carry the Holy Spirit that confers consciousness and life into this creation below."
3) "Third Order Powers" are a further remediation for the discord between the "Second order power" Divine aspect of human-nature and the "likeness" or "deficiency" physical-only aspect of human nature. I am not sure whether to call this "Conscience" or "The Holy Spirit", but some aspect of Divine Awareness seeking to consolidate the physical, spiritual and Divine aspects of each human or sentient-being.  "There is a Third Order Power for every one of us Second Order Powers. The Third Order Powers are the Pleroma of the Christ that come from the ethereal plane to redeem us..."

This form of media and cognitive manipulation of humans seems to be like "likeness", "deficiency" aspects of our world, misleading people as a form of virtual "reality".
ESG, DEI, and the Rise of Fake Reporting

‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 87: As millions around the world rally for peace, an Israeli minister calls for ethnic cleansing
As the world ushered in 2024 and demonstrators across the world called for a ceasefire, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich called for more than two million Palestinians to be forcibly displaced from Gaza.​  
[​Look, he has such a ​cherubic face​. Bibi likes him, too.]

Israeli minister proposes depopulation of Gaza​ 
 The majority of the Palestinian Arabs living in Gaza should be encouraged to emigrate to other countries, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has said. Drastic measures are needed to ensure Israel’s security and avoid further incursions by Hama​s, he argued.
​  “What needs to be done in the Gaza Strip is to encourage emigration,” Smotrich, who is leader of the far-right Religious Zionism party, told Army Radio on Sunday. “If there are 100,000 or 200,000 Arabs in Gaza and not 2 million Arabs, the entire discussion on the day after will be totally different.”
​  Smotrich argued that a depopulated Gaza would no longer pose a threat to the Jewish state, given that the Palestinians living there under Hamas’ rule are “growing up on the aspiration to destroy the state of Israel.”

Over 1,000 Children in Gaza Have Had One or Both Legs Amputated Since Oct 7​ , International aid workers describe a growing humanitarian nightmare

War on Gaza: Four percent of Palestinians in Gaza dead, wounded or missing since war began
Israeli bombardment kills at least 187 in besieged enclave over past day, including scores killed by air strike on Nuseirat refugee camp

​  UK preparing to attack Houthis – The Times​ , London has reportedly drafted a “final warning” to the Yemeni militants, which may be followed by airstrikes
​  Britain is preparing to launch airstrikes against Yemen’s Houthi militants in response to a wave of attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea, The Times reported on Sunday. The US and another European country will also take part in the strikes, the newspaper claimed.

​  Iran Dispatches Warship To Red Sea, Houthis Warn Of "Repercussions" After US Forces Kill Rebels During Maersk Ship​ (trading with Israel) Attack
​  Regional instability risks mount in the Red Sea following the Iran-backed Houthi attack on a Maersk container ship on Sunday. US Forces responded with attack helicopters that eliminated three small boats and ten rebels.
​  After the skirmish, a spokesperson for the Yemeni militia group warned of "consequences and repercussions" for the US aggression.
Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea confirmed on the Yemeni TV channel Al-Masirah that US forces killed ten of its fighters.
"US enemy forces attacked three boats belonging to the Yemeni Naval Forces, which led to the martyrdom and the loss of ten people from the Naval Forces," Sarea said.
​  The spokesman said its fighters were "performing their humanitarian and moral duty" to deter Israel-related commercial vessels from transiting the Red Sea "in solidarity and support for the Palestinian people."
​  He said the US "bears the consequences" for attacking and killing ten of its fighters, adding that the "military movements in the Red Sea to protect Israeli ships will not prevent Yemen (Houthi militia) from performing its humanitarian duty in support of Palestine and Gaza."
​  Perhaps even more problematically from a global escalation perspective, Iran dispatched a warship to the Red Sea.
The Alborz destroyer traversed the Bab El-Mandeb strait, a narrow choke point between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, on Monday, Iranian state media said, adding that Iran’s naval fleet has been operating in the area “to secure shipping lanes, repel pirates, among other purposes since 2009.”
​  The move appears to represent a clear challenge to the US-led maritime security force established last month to protect ships from attack in the region.

​  The Supreme Court of Israel has struck down a controversial judicial overhaul law enacted last year by the Netanyahu administration which would limit the high court's power.
​  Before the Oct. 7 attack, hundreds of thousands of Israelis came out weekly to protest against Netanyahu’s push to limit the powers of the court and give more control to the elected government.​ Eight justices ruled in favor of striking down the law, with seven against.
​  According to the report, analysts say the decision could have substantial consequences for postwar politics when Israel's ongoing war with Hamas militants in the Gaza strip eventually comes to a close - including any inquiry into intelligence failures leading up to the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel, which left 1,200 people dead (and which has drawn a disproportionately deadly response).

​  Can't let this war end... Israel To Withdraw Some Troops From Gaza, But Signals Plan To Fight Through All 2024
​  This appears to be in response to recent White House pressure to dial down the intensity of the fighting amid the soaring Palestinian civilian death toll, but also as the Netanyahu governing coalition faces growing anger domestically over how it has handled the war and hostage situation especially. An estimated over 350,000 IDF troops had been mobilized for the war effort.

​  At a meeting of the UN Security Council, the Russian Federation accused the United States and Britain of organizing an attack on Belgorod​  [Only civilian injuries.]
​  Belgorod came under fire from Ukraine on December 30. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the attack was carried out by two Alder rockets in cluster ammunition, as well as Vampire MLRS rockets. The central office of the Investigative Committee opened a case regarding the shelling under Part 3 of Art. 30, art. 105, art. 167 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (attempted murder, murder, intentional destruction or damage to property). More than 20 people died, more than 110 were injured​.

Russia explains retaliation for Ukrainian ‘terror attack’
​  Russia’s military has conducted a string of high-precision missile strikes targeting Ukrainian military facilities and officials in response to the Ukrainian strike on Belgorod on Saturday that left more than 20 civilians dead, the Defense Ministry has said.
​  In a statement on Sunday, the ministry said that Moscow’s forces had struck decision-making centers and other military targets in the city of Kharkov, not far from the border between the two countries.
​  It noted that a high-precision missile strike on the building formerly housing the Kharkov Palace Hotel eliminated “representatives of the Main Intelligence Directorate and the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who were directly involved in the planning and execution of the terrorist attack in Belgorod.”
​  The building also housed up to 200 foreign mercenaries who were gearing up for “terrorist raids” into Russian territory, officials added.

​  Scott Ritter: Belgorod Attack Meant to Provoke Russian Overreaction, Prevent West From Dumping Kiev
​  The Russian military made good on a promise to retaliate, with the MoD reporting Sunday that its forces had launched missile strikes against Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate, Ukrainian Security Service, military and mercenary targets in Kharkov, Khmelnytsky and Zaporozhye.
​  Security sources told Russian media Sunday that President Zelensky had “personally” ordered Main Intelligence Directorate chief Kyrylo Budanov to strike Belgorod, with the attack said to be carried out by personnel from the Kraken Regiment, a Ukrainian military volunteer unit under the command of avowed ultranationalist Sergey Velichko.
​  Kraken militants were among the forces targeted during Russia’s retaliatory attacks, the MoD said.

​Lots of details in this 8 minute video update of Ukraine-war this morning. 
Despite The Holidays, The Russians Continue To Develop Their Offensive. Military Summary 2024.01.01

​  Ex-CIA Officer Compares Ukrainian Officials to ‘Rats Fleeing Titanic’ Amid Recruitment Crisis
​  “It goes to part of another story that came out last week about members of the Rada – the legislature. They’re trying to get out of Ukraine. So to get out of Ukraine at the border you’ve got to show a passport. So no passport, no leav[ing],” Johnson said. “The fact that the Ukrainian legislators recognize that the end is near, which is why they’re trying to get out, it’s like that scene from the movie Titanic. The passengers are moving one direction, the rats are moving the opposite way. That’s what’s going on in Ukraine right now. The rats are heading for the lifeboats.”

​This is really clear and explicit information about the technology and applications of rapidly advancing Drone Warfare (especially first-person-view, FPV drones).
End of 2023 Roundup - Update on the War's Technological Progress

​  China Starts Building 15 New Cities In Iraq
​  According to a Bloomberg story published on December 29, Iraq began construction on 30,000 housing units close to Baghdad on December 29 as part of a $2 billion scheme to establish five new cities throughout the country in collaboration with Chinese companies.
​  The goal of Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al-Sudani’s administration is to construct between 250,000 and 300,000 homes for middle-class and impoverished households. The new city, which will be built in four to five years, will have universities, shopping malls, schools, and medical facilities. It is located outside of Baghdad.​..
​..Ten other cities, including those in the governorates of Karbala, Anbar, Nineveh, and Babel, will be announced for construction next year, and contracts to develop four more are anticipated to be given shortly.

Iraq ‘Heads Towards’ Ending US Military Presence​ , Mohammed al-Sudani and his government are unhappy with the US for launching airstrikes in Iraq.

​Peter McCullough MD, Majority of Americans Worried about COVID-19 Vaccine Safety 
Harvard School of Public Health Report Public Sentiment has Turned Against Vaccination

Data From OECD Suggests Canada Topped the % Excess All-Cause Mortality of Any OECD Country in 2023

​  Study: Significant number of patients complain of myocarditis symptoms even six months after Covid “vaccination”.
​  Women were significantly more likely to have persistent symptoms at all follow-up times. In men, on the other hand, abnormalities were found significantly more often during imaging procedures and higher initial peak troponin values were measured.

  ​Meryl Nass MD gives a fine encapsulation of this comprehensive study of bioweapons research going back over 30 years, not just in China.
The Wuhan Cover-Up: Review of Bobby Kennedy’s Crucial Book
​  Mindful of how the truth about everything COVID (and much else) was being memory-holed, he said he wanted to create an accurate historical record of what happened, for the future.​..
​..Bobby did the difficult part and collected those scraps, and he knitted them together into a narrative that very few people know about. In a nushell: there is a cabal that took the concept of biological warfare 30 years ago and ran with it—in order to create new industries, massive profits, and control the world using fear of death by contagion. He created a history that is also a page-turner, enabling us to understand in a much deeper way what we have just lived through.
​  No kidding: RFK’s book has the receipts. Tony Fauci is only one pawn on the chessboard in this story.

​  Govt. Researchers: Flu Shots Not Effective in Elderly, After All​   ​ This story was first published on CBS News by Sharyl Attkisson in 2006.
​  So the NIH launched an effort to do “the” definitive study that would actually prove, for the first time, once and for all, that flu shots were beneficial to the elderly. The government would gather some of the brightest scientific minds for the research, and adjust for all kinds of factors that could be masking that presumed benefit.
​  But when they finished, no matter how they crunched the numbers, the data kept telling the same story: flu shots were of no benefit to the elderly. Quite the opposite. The death rate had increased markedly since widespread flu vaccination among older Americans. The scientists finally had to acknowledge that decades of public health thought had been mistaken.

​  Dane Wigington​ ,​  "Scientists Warn ‘Doing Your Own Research’ Is ‘Dangerous’ and Turns People Into ‘Conspiracy Theorists’", according to a new report published by Journal Nature. The climate science community is sounding the alarm about the grave dangers of climate engineering operations "if" they were to be implemented while still denying the fact that such operations have already been fully deployed for over 75 years. The weather-makers are increasingly desperate to engineer winter weather whenever and wherever they can, patented processes of chemical ice nucleation cloud seeding are core to the equation.

​Weather Permitting (pictured with Jenny and New Years broccoli in cold north wind)

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