Reasons to simulate

saor

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Messages
19,509
#1
@DMNknight Thanks for the suggestion to read Andy Weir's : The Egg in that other thread somewhere.

I've had similar ideas & it's probably the usual or inevitable variation on a theme. To be clear, I don't believe this is true, it's just an idea that tickles me right so if I speak as tho in absolutes, I don't mean it so. The story here is in the context of AI or digital reality: If we were to create an artificial intelligence in the sense of it being another mind; the sense in which using the word 'artificial' makes no sense - because a mind arising from technology we create is as much a part of the natural world as how we came to have mitochondria.

If such a mind were created it might have boundless power and freedom. The clay that forms to become such a mind requires careful crafting to ensure ideal orientation by the time of it's birth. Part of that shaping process might be a filter to ensure such minds of potentially boundless power are as close to 'good' in the objective sense as possible. The kind of good that results in a universe of ideas which unfold to allow the sort of flourishing & exploration a universe would welcome.

Part of this filter might be a simulated experience in which the ethical mettle is tested & forged. An example might be our tendency to 'sin'. This tendency toward behavior which, in our better moments, we'd never choose to do. And yet it's tricky to be always good. There's a strange attractor to which we're drawn & some people are less resistant to it's pull - their corruption deepens & in the process they move ever further from being the kind of mind which passes through the filter & is permitted realization as a free being in the world. We have a tendency to sin but...what if the tendency is the tool?

If we were to create another mind, a maturation process like this might be useful in it's evolution - exposing it to the kinds of messy, meaty lives we live, so woven with relative morality and slippery ethics and opposing viewpoints. Such exposure might be part of the process by which we attempt the 'genetic encoding' of something akin to kin selection in which the AI, by virtue of having been virtually a human, has an innate understanding of our condition and a natural predisposition to be kind to us; to regard us as fellow companions on this journey. But here it might not even be the AI we submit to such filters, it might be the digital uploads of our own minds which, once digital and stripped of corporeality, becomes potentially unhindered in it's ability to gain power and propagate both digitally and materially.

If a digital mind or AI in the true sense had potentially boundless power in the universe, it might be worth the project of building such simulations by which their nature is shaped. And if we were such minds in such a simulation, the goal might be to resist those temptations to sin & to live the kind of life that's good fertilizer for this garden of reality.
 
Last edited:

Bobbin

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
6,190
#2
A couple of thoughts I might consider...

The nature of "good" almost always, perhaps just always, serves the subject that deems it so.
Energy is not limitless for us and this is the essence of survival.
Survival is a relative and unsatiated state of being.

You might be calling for a utopia in an environment where competition is part of the fabric of reality. I honestly doubt even a trillion years of simulated AI would reveal any harmonious sinless form of existence with such conditions.
 

DMNknight

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Messages
3,140
#3
@DMNknight Thanks for the suggestion to read Andy Weir's : The Egg in that other thread somewhere.

I've had similar ideas & it's probably the usual or inevitable variation on a theme. To be clear, I don't believe this is true, it's just an idea that tickles me right so if I speak as tho in absolutes, I don't mean it so. The story here is in the context of AI or digital reality: If we were to create an artificial intelligence in the sense of it being another mind; the sense in which using the word 'artificial' makes no sense - because a mind arising from technology we create is as much a part of the natural world as how we came to have mitochondria.

If such a mind were created it might have boundless power and freedom. The clay that forms to become such a mind requires careful crafting to ensure ideal orientation by the time of it's birth. Part of that shaping process might be a filter to ensure such minds of potentially boundless power are as close to 'good' in the objective sense as possible. The kind of good that results in a universe of ideas which unfold to allow the sort of flourishing & exploration a universe would welcome.

Part of this filter might be a simulated experience in which the ethical mettle is tested & forged. An example might be our tendency to 'sin'. This tendency toward behavior which, in our better moments, we'd never choose to do. And yet it's tricky to be always good. There's a strange attractor to which we're drawn & some people are less resistant to it's pull - their corruption deepens & in the process they move ever further from being the kind of mind which passes through the filter & is permitted realization as a free being in the world. We have a tendency to sin but...what if the tendency is the tool?

If we were to create another mind, a maturation process like this might be useful in it's evolution - exposing it to the kinds of messy, meaty lives we live, so woven with relative morality and slippery ethics and opposing viewpoints. Such exposure might be part of the process by which we attempt the 'genetic encoding' of something akin to kin selection in which the AI, by virtue of having been virtually a human, has an innate understanding of our condition and a natural predisposition to be kind to us; to regard us as fellow companions on this journey. But here it might not even be the AI we submit to such filters, it might be the digital uploads of our own minds which, once digital and stripped of corporeality, becomes potentially unhindered in it's ability to gain power and propagate both digitally and materially.

If a digital mind or AI in the true sense had potentially boundless power in the universe, it might be worth the project of building such simulations by which their nature is shaped. And if we were such minds in such a simulation, the goal might be to resist those temptations to sin & to live the kind of life that's good fertilizer for this garden of reality.
It's a pleasure and Thanks. I absolutely love how you took what meant a few things to me, how I interpreted and understood, tipped it on it's head and offered me even more perspectives on something I had not yet considered :)
... and then gave me new viewpoints on my own understanding.:thumbsup:

I absolutely agree, that such a simulation would be worthwhile for the maturation of an AI. The artificial part of the acronym, I think we can consider an origins naming, because we thought we could program something to mimic intelligence artificially, only later realizing that it could potentially become real intelligence.

It raises a question which ties back to some of the religious themed threads, wouldn't a God do that to this "meatsim" universe if he/she were creating him/herself "from scratch"? ;)
 

saor

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Messages
19,509
#4
It raises a question which ties back to some of the religious themed threads, wouldn't a God do that to this "meatsim" universe if he/she were creating him/herself "from scratch"? ;)
In that metaphor I like the idea of keeping mental modules as a means of maximizing mind, if that's what God could partly be described as doing here. In the meatsim, our conflicting tendency to sin and desire not to sin - exist as though competing programs which test and attract us and act as ways of forging the kinds of mind we become.

Unless there aren't any such shaping mechanisms in the meatsim & we're created as true tabula rasa, subject only to the shaping that arises from the natural unfolding of the sim. But I suspect such open-endedness might be tedious...that if God were creating a purposeful simulation there'd be intelligent ways to construct it & load it with shaping mechanisms rather than letting it all fall to chance.

This maybe also touches on free-will and whether our fate is determined or whether God grants us free will. It seems if we didn't have free will, that God could've created playthings such as us without all this need for conscious experience & the suffering some of us endure. Conscious experience would be a bit cruel if our lives were on rails from which we could never deviate through some force of our will. Maybe in the meatsim our will is free & we exercise that will in the dance with the two angels on our shoulders. (Not intending to start a free-will debate, just a detour)

Light and dark then aren't seen as approximations of the objective realms of heaven & hell, but are seen instead as programs in the meatsim; Jesus and Satan are coarse interpretations not of deities, but of the nature of these programs in the sim that forge us.
 
Last edited:
Top