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Author Topic: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?  (Read 20434 times)

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #100 on: 10/11/2013 19:27:14 »

It all comes down to the following , lady :
All the malaise at the very heart of science can be summarised by this lethal error that has been made in all sciences and elsewhere , thanks to materialism :
Reality as a whole is just material or physical .
As long as all sciences will continue looking at reality just through one eye , or rather through just the materialist key hole version of reality , as long as all sciences thus will continue to look at reality as a whole just via one eye , the materialist one , while assuming that the other eye is non-existent , then , all sciences will just give us a distortion of reality as a whole .
In short :
Reality as a whole is not just material or physical, as the false materialist mainstream 'scientific world view " has been assuming it to be for so long now .

So, when all sciences will start including the mental side of reality which they have been missing ,or which they have been reducing to just the physical or material , well, then and only then , all sciences might be able to reveal some more deeper and more fundamental forms of causation that might be underlying the laws of physics themselves , who knows ?

Then, all sciences will see reality as a whole , life in general , human language , consciousness ,evolution , and the rest from much wider angles, via science's both eyes , so to speak thus  :
Even evolution itself  cannot be just biological or physical material as a result , the same goes for the origins of life ,its evolution and emergence  ,the same goes for  the origins of human language....and the rest .

Other than the use of the word "evolved," there wasn't really anything especially materialistic my post. It was about the relationship between language and self-awareness in people and in animals. You keep saying you are genuinely interested in these topics that you post, like language or the origin of life or free will, but your discussion always leads back to the same anti-materialist complaint. (which is why you can even cross post the exact same response to multiple threads, regardless of their original topics.) I'm no longer interested in trying to explain to you why I don't agree with it.

Even though you say that once science is liberated from materialism, it will free scientists to explore exciting new vistas and consider all sorts of new and interesting ideas, I haven't seen any evidence of that from you.
[/quote]

Well, i was neither referring to nor  talking about that previous post of yours .
I was just stating the core error made in all sciences for that matter , core error that's been embodied by  the false materialist version of reality that has been taken for granted as the "scientific world view " , and that has implications for all sciences' approaches of reality , and hence has implications for all the rest that all sciences have been trying to deal with , including evolution itself that cannot therefore be just biological, including the origins evolution and emergence of life , including the origins emergence and evolution of human language .....that cannot be just a matter of physics and chemistry thus .
That's all .
How all sciences would look like without materialism remains to be seen thus : i told you many times i have no real answer to just that , as Sheldrake , Nagel , other anti-reductionists and others do not .
Sheldrake's work and others ' , for example, is a good start on the subject , despite their  flaws ...
The next generations of scientists might be able to come up with better understandings regarding how to include and deal with the missing part of reality empirically  , who knows ? or regarding how science can be radically changed in order to evolve in ways that should enable science to include the missing part of reality empirically thus .

Cheers.
« Last Edit: 10/11/2013 19:34:36 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #101 on: 10/11/2013 21:54:07 »
A while back, I asked whether or not animals hear their own vocalizations and ever mistake it for, say, a rival male, the way a bird attacks attacks his own reflection in a window.

They might if there's an echo. What happens if you record their calls and play them back to them, I wonder? They might recognise themselves if they're intelligent enough, or they might think they're being immitated. It would be interesting to know if any of them are intelligent enough to recognise their own calls/voices.

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Even if response to vocalizations is a simple stimulus response mechanism, the animal has to make the exception “unless it’s coming from me.” I suppose it’s also possible that the animal simply doesn’t have the machinery to do those things at once, make the sound and hear it and the same time.

It's bound to hear it at the same time, but it'll know that it's making the noise itself - if that isn't programmed in instinctively, it'll be learned early in life.

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In that same post I also wondered at what point humans or prehumans started talking to themselves, and not just using vocalizations to warn  or provoke someone to do something.

Do you mean talking out loud to themselves or doing this in thought?

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What I would really like to know about chimps and other animals that have rudimentary forms of language is whether they have internal language, non vocalized representations of vocalizations, or a mental representation of gestures that can exist without actually carrying out the action.

There's a gorilla that does sign language, and although it's poor at it, I see no reason to think that it can't imagine making the signs without actually making them. There are crows which have (in the lab) been able to look at a problem and imagine a solution to it which they have then carried out for real, getting a piece of wire, bending it into a hook and then using it to revover food from a basket with a handle pushed down into a thin transparent tube. That capability to imagine things will be in all intelligent species capable of using a rudimentary language. There are bonobos which communicate by pressing buttons with symbols on them, and when they aren't next to the board with all the buttons on it, I would imagine that they can visualise the board and know where the button is that relates to what they want to say, and what the symbol on it looks like. With a language based on sounds, it takes the visualisation into a different form, but they'll be simulating the world in their heads with both vision and hearing wrapped up in it.

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In my late 20s I had a weird episode lasting about six months where I found myself attaching the wrong endings to words when I spoke, resulting in a word that was either grammatically incorrect, (with an “ing”  ending instead of an “ed”)
...

That sounds like a mini stroke, but don't be alarmed at the thought. It doesn't mean you're any more likely to have a repeat of this kind of episode than anyone else is likely to have a first experience of such an event. A small part of neural net will have been damaged and the brain has had to bypass it to replace the functionality that was lost.

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...it’s just the weirdest feeling when something comes out of your mouth that you didn’t intend to say, not just odd, but surprising and startling, as if it wasn't "I" who had said, although clearly it had to be.

Whenever you say anything, the idea you want to express is already there right at the start and you are merely translating it into a linear string as you speak it, a lot of that process being done through processes which you have automated, so they can generate errors. You also listen to the linear string of words you are producing and translate back from it to a network thought structure, and in the course of doing that you will pick up errors and notice ambiguities which may need to be clarified, such as where you produce an expression which can be taken the wrong way and you only notice that because you're monitoring your own output and translating it back.

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I’m not sure how my odd experience relates to the questions above. We are conscious  of our internal monologue and sometimes planning carefully what we want to say before we say it, but on some lower, less conscious level, there also seems to be a process that compares output with intentions, and we aren’t aware of it until there’s a screw up.

A perfectly innocent idea could lead to someone generating the phrase, "I'm going to give her one," but it's only when that person monitors what they've just said that this string of words goes through the machinery that generates an unfortunate interpretation which would not have been considered by the machinery that generated the words in the first place. We only get alerted to things of this kind because they have gone wrong, so most of the time we don't realise that we are constantly monitoring what we are saying.

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I don’t know if chimps have an internal monologue, but it’s not hard for me to imagine that they might at the very least have a system that compares output with intentions and makes corrections. There are lots of feedback loops like this - the cerebellum does this for physical movements, although not on a conscious level.

Their attempts at generating language probably aren't advanced enough to make it easy to find out.

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Without a working definition of consciousness, it's hard to say how self-awareness relates to consciousness. Some people see self-awareness and introspection as result of consciousness, but if consciousness evolved, it seems more likely that it developed from self-awareness, not the other way around, by turning those same thought processes that are applied to others on oneself, hearing and reacting to one's voice. At any rate, it's interesting that semantic capability and the degree of self-awareness correlate in great apes and babies and possibly other animals as well.

Consciousness doesn't really come into it other than by being associated with anything that goes through the main processor, whatever and wherever that is (it may be distributed across many places such that it hasn't been pinned down yet). We are multi-processing machines which can multitask huge numbers of non-conscious processes without difficulty (I can ride a bike while juggling and holding a conversation with someone), but we also have a main processor which does anything new (that hasn't been automated yet) and which cannot multitask different thoughts at all well. Whenever that processor is used to think about ourselves, there will be a feeling of self-recognition, but there is also self-recognition when we walk past a mirror without thinking about it, and we'd only be alerted to something odd happening if the reflection was wrong in some way (due to it being an experiment where the mirror is replaced with a window with someone else on the other side mimicking your actions). Consciousness actually has no role in self-awareness or introspection, but is merely something that comes out of thinking via the main processor which ties feelings to absolutely everything that goes through it.
« Last Edit: 10/11/2013 21:58:35 by David Cooper »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #102 on: 12/11/2013 17:37:27 »

A perfectly innocent idea could lead to someone generating the phrase, "I'm going to give her one," but it's only when that person monitors what they've just said that this string of words goes through the machinery that generates an unfortunate interpretation which would not have been considered by the machinery that generated the words in the first place. We only get alerted to things of this kind because they have gone wrong, so most of the time we don't realise that we are constantly monitoring what we are saying....

......Consciousness doesn't really come into it other than by being associated with anything that goes through the main processor, whatever and wherever that is (it may be distributed across many places such that it hasn't been pinned down yet). We are multi-processing machines which can multitask huge numbers of non-conscious processes without difficulty (I can ride a bike while juggling and holding a conversation with someone), but we also have a main processor which does anything new (that hasn't been automated yet) and which cannot multitask different thoughts at all well. Whenever that processor is used to think about ourselves, there will be a feeling of self-recognition, but there is also self-recognition when we walk past a mirror without thinking about it, and we'd only be alerted to something odd happening if the reflection was wrong in some way (due to it being an experiment where the mirror is replaced with a window with someone else on the other side mimicking your actions). Consciousness actually has no role in self-awareness or introspection, but is merely something that comes out of thinking via the main processor which ties feelings to absolutely everything that goes through it.

Realising that one has said something that is ambiguous or misinterpreted feels different from having something totally unexpected come out of your mouth. The later is more like “alien hand syndrome.” There is a different kind of qulia, or even a lack of qualia attached.

Even with activities that involve a lot of automatic, subconscious processing,  like typing or driving,  most of the time there is not a complete disconnect.  I might not remember everything about my trip if I’m thinking of other things, but there’s no loss of the sense that “I am the one who is doing this”, no big gap in my experience of it.Consciousness seems to have enough time to monitor, if not control.

Although, I can recall feeling a big disconnect in a more normal experience. I was baby-sitting two kids, and one girl threw a rock at her sister’s head (I have no idea why) who was standing next to me. I don’t remember reaching out to catch it. I just remember thinking “ow, my hand hurts”, and being genuinely surprised that it was holding a rock, followed by a second feeling of surprise once I realized what had happened,  because I am really bad at baseball.

Even though computers can self reference, I can’t see that as being the same as self awareness, any more than referencing descriptions of qualia is the same as experiencing them. I’m not convinced that self awareness is just self-identification with qualia attached. Or maybe I am just temped by the idea that if consciousness were an expanded form of self-awareness, that gives you your inroad from biology. Sensation -> distinguishing self vs non self -> self awareness -> consciousness-> qualia. Wikipedia calls self-awareness secondary consciousness, and I think their path would look more like: sensation -> who knows what -> qualia-> consciousness -> self awareness.

Maybe qulia and self-awareness go missing when consciousness is by-passed. But it also might be true that there is no consciousness experience of qualia without self-awareness. In the brain, the structures most closely associated with consciousness (Reticular Activating system, the thalamus, the cingulate cortex and the somatosensory cortex) are the same ones associated with a core sense of self. Surprisingly, they are mid level brain structures, except for the somatosensory cortex. In older anatomy textbooks, they are described as just being like relay stations or switch boards, or controlling level of physiological alertness, but these areas seem to be getting more attention now.   

Supposedly, even pain does not register in the brain until after you have removed your hand from a hot element, because the initial reflex arc only goes to the spinal cord. Reflex arcs are fast and obviously protective, but without self-awareness the brain has to constantly reason backwards to explain events, the way I did when I found the rock in my hand. (That is what it does with confabulation in split brain patients, and often incorrectly.)
I’m not sure where I’m going with this exactly, and it still doesn’t explain qualia, but  I think self-awareness is bound up in it.

Getting back to language, I can’t get around the idea that once an animal generates an internal monologue, there logically has to be a self who saying it, a self that experiences it. And maybe that is also inferred from other self-object relationships.  I don’t like the idea that something physical can be generated by an abstraction,(which is also why I don’t like philosophical proofs that something exists or doesn’t exist based on logical arguments alone and by-pass empirical evidence.) The neuroscientist Antonio Damasio says consciousness is generated when the brain maps self-object relationships and then re-maps the maps of self-object relationships, but some critics say that is just a fancy way of saying the brain thinks about thinking and it doesn't really get you anywhere. I don't know what he says about qualia.
« Last Edit: 12/11/2013 17:42:36 by cheryl j »
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #103 on: 12/11/2013 22:00:01 »
Realising that one has said something that is ambiguous or misinterpreted feels different from having something totally unexpected come out of your mouth. The later is more like “alien hand syndrome.” There is a different kind of qulia, or even a lack of qualia attached.

I'm sure it does feel different, but it's still automated systems that are building the words, phrases and sentences. If an ambiguity is recognised it's obviously going to feel very different from hearing some strange error occur, but the feelings involved aren't being generated by the part of the system that's doing the building work - it comes out of the part of the system doing the monitoring of the output.

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Even with activities that involve a lot of automatic, subconscious processing,  like typing or driving,  most of the time there is not a complete disconnect.  I might not remember everything about my trip if I’m thinking of other things, but there’s no loss of the sense that “I am the one who is doing this”, no big gap in my experience of it.Consciousness seems to have enough time to monitor, if not control.

That's because the main processor still switches about monitoring what the other processors are up to. Early on when you learn a new skill you have to do a lot of monitoring, but later on even a lot of the monitoring is automated and done in the background, but the main processor will still turn its attention to those other tasks from time to time to check that all's going well, unless it's really busy, like it can be on a long cycle run when you're talking to a friend and don't notice the miles going by or even give a thought to navigation at junctions - you do all the cycling and navigating on autopilot and then you can suddenly be surprised to find yourself at a particular place and have no memory of any part of the journey that took you there because your main processor was completely tied up with the conversation.

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Although, I can recall feeling a big disconnect in a more normal experience. I was baby-sitting two kids, and one girl threw a rock at her sister’s head (I have no idea why) who was standing next to me. I don’t remember reaching out to catch it. I just remember thinking “ow, my hand hurts”, and being genuinely surprised that it was holding a rock, followed by a second feeling of surprise once I realized what had happened,  because I am really bad at baseball.

Nice example. Out of interest, how old were those girls at that time? (I'm just trying to imagine how this kind of thing could happen, because throwing rocks like that isn't normal.)

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Even though computers can self reference, I can’t see that as being the same as self awareness, any more than referencing descriptions of qualia is the same as experiencing them. I’m not convinced that self awareness is just self-identification with qualia attached. Or maybe I am just temped by the idea that if consciousness were an expanded form of self-awareness, that gives you your inroad from biology. Sensation -> distinguishing self vs non self -> self awareness -> consciousness-> qualia. Wikipedia calls self-awareness secondary consciousness, and I think their path would look more like: sensation -> who knows what -> qualia-> consciousness -> self awareness.

With most thoughts, a feeling of understanding is just a feeling which goes along with a calculation that something computes without generating contradictions. There are times when you can feel that you understand something even though you've completely lost track of what it is that you feel that you're understanding. Self-recognition is just the same thing, understanding that what you're seeing is yourself, everything falling into place and making sense without any clash of data. It's just a reward feeling that goes with any successful computation, but when you recognise yourself it will then trigger thoughts related to yourself which go on to trigger other feelings which need to be separated out. If you think about it, recognising yourself in a photograph is no different from recognising a friend in a photograph in terms of the feeling of recognition, but you are then triggered to think and feel different things depending on who it is that the photograph depicts. A mirror is different from a photograph of yourself in that it is giving you a live view, so that will make you behave and think differently and lead to different feelings being generated.

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Maybe qulia and self-awareness go missing when consciousness is by-passed. But it also might be true that there is no consciousness experience of qualia without self-awareness.

Any experience of qualia is the real self awareness, because the thing doing the experiencing is the real self. The human that you recognise in a mirror or photo is just a container.

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In the brain, the structures most closely associated with consciousness (Reticular Activating system, the thalamus, the cingulate cortex and the somatosensory cortex) are the same ones associated with a core sense of self. Surprisingly, they are mid level brain structures, except for the somatosensory cortex. In older anatomy textbooks, they are described as just being like relay stations or switch boards, or controlling level of physiological alertness, but these areas seem to be getting more attention now.

There's a lot more work needed before we have any real idea where consciousness is being experienced (if it's really happening at all), because, so far as I know, all we've been doing up to now is disrupting the machine to see when it stops it happening or when it stops it being reported that it is happening (and we can't tell the difference between the two), or alters the feelings generated. Experiments which narrow it down by saying that it must have happened after this point or before that point are needed to isolate the actual locations. Most experiments only tell us that it happened before or after a particular point and we don't know which because we can't tell if we're preventing the experience from happening or preventing it from being reported that it happened.

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Getting back to language, I can’t get around the idea that once an animal generates an internal monologue, there logically has to be a self who saying it, a self that experiences it. And maybe that is also inferred from other self-object relationships.

But an intelligent machine can produce an internal monologue too without having a self that feels anything. It's just a whole lot of rules being run which generate thoughts. What's missing is the feelings associated with ideas, including feelings of success when something computes (without errors/contradiction) and is thus labelled as understood. If we knew how to generate and read feelings, we'd have the whole problem wrapped up, and we'd be able to point at the experiencer of the feelings and call it the soul, but we can't find it. We have all these assertions that there are feelings being experienced, but we can't find them directly - all we have to go on is the data that claims they're in there and the feeling that feelings are real and that we are something in the system that feels them for real.

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I don’t like the idea that something physical can be generated by an abstraction,(which is also why I don’t like philosophical proofs that something exists or doesn’t exist based on logical arguments alone and by-pass empirical evidence.) The neuroscientist Antonio Damasio says consciousness is generated when the brain maps self-object relationships and then re-maps the maps of self-object relationships, but some critics say that is just a fancy way of saying the brain thinks about thinking and it doesn't really get you anywhere. I don't know what he says about qualia.

I don't think we're going to get anywhere with consciousness until we find a way to trace back the data we generate that makes claims about feelings to see the evidence for those claims, though we might get there sooner if someone somehow comes up with an idea for a completely new way of doing processing which ties feelings up into it in such a way that the feelings are directly accessible to processing without merely being data representing ideas of feelings where actual feelings have no functional role.
« Last Edit: 12/11/2013 22:05:06 by David Cooper »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #104 on: 13/11/2013 16:16:51 »



Nice example. Out of interest, how old were those girls at that time? (I'm just trying to imagine how this kind of thing could happen, because throwing rocks like that isn't normal.)



They were six or seven, or maybe seven and eight I think. We were standing on the shore, where there were lots of stones. The island I live on is basically one big rock. Kids are always throwing stones at something, but not usually at each other.
 
Thinking about those girls also reminded me that one of them had a life-threatening peanut allergy. She once said she never wanted to taste or smell peanut butter, because she had been repeatedly warned it might kill her, but she was still curious about what it did smell or taste like, this substance that loomed dangerously around every corner, in candy bars and fried food, on door knobs or kitchen knives in friends' houses.   I remember a group of kids trying to describe to her what peanut butter tastes like, and being impressed with their descriptions. Smells are arguably the hardest qualia to describe. Even in textbooks they are named by comparisons to other things, fruity, flowery, citrus, musky, etc. although there some chemical similarities in these groups. The kids told her things like "It tastes like brown looks" "It tastes like cheese and chocolate together" or "burnt cheese," and  odder things like the "way leaves smell in the Fall mixed with butter" or "salty wood, if wood tasted good," even "dirt" which made the rest say "Eew, no"  But finally they agreed that there was nothing else exactly like it.

 If I were playing a game and had to come up with an answer before the buzzer went off, I would say consciousness is expanded self-awareness and qualia is the symbolic language of the brain. There's nothing about the shape of letter A that is A-ish or like its sound, but it's been reinforced so many times in our heads that it's impossible to think of it any other way. (although, it did look like the end of swingset when I was little.) The symbol somehow seems to take on the qualities of what it stands in for. Animal brains have to interpret sensation, not just for what it is, but what it might represent - a meal, a mate, a threat, so symbols are often tagged with a positive or negative quality, but not always.  I don't know how computers deal with loaded symbols, symbols that have multiple meanings, different meanings in different contexts, or meaning that is clear in the center, but fuzzy on the edges, overlapping with the meaning of other symbols.

But maybe, like the kids trying to describe peanut butter, I am more or less giving up.

ps. Don Quichotte wasn't a Turing test you invented, was he?
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #105 on: 13/11/2013 17:57:24 »
She really meant it then (the stone thrower). If she wasn't unstable, I wonder what the other girl did to cause that. Maybe it was just a really bad throw though and wasn't meant to go anywhere near her head.

I don't know how computers deal with loaded symbols, symbols that have multiple meanings, different meanings in different contexts, or meaning that is clear in the center, but fuzzy on the edges, overlapping with the meaning of other symbols.

I'm not sure what you mean by loaded symbols, but when it comes to ambiguity you have to create different theories as to which meaning is intended using unambiguous replacement symbols, and then you calculate the probability as to which of those meanings is most likely to be intended. If it's obvious to the person providing the data and they don't spot a stronger rival meaning to the one they intended when they monitor their output, it must be possible to work out which meaning is intended, just so long as the program doing the analysis is sufficiently intelligent.

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ps. Don Quichotte wasn't a Turing test you invented, was he?

Some people can fool a tester into thinking they're machines, while some machines can fool a tester into thinking they're a human of the kind that can fool a tester into thinking they're machines, so there isn't going to be a clear point at which machines pass the Turing Test. If I was going to program a machine to pretend to be a trollic human, I would use the spectacular William McCormick as a model to copy rather than our friend Don. He signed all his posts here in a standard way so they're easy to find with a search. It's a real shame he was banned because even though a lot of his ideas are bonkers, he's an interesting character and a lot of fun.

I should add though, if I ever set any AGI loose on this or any other forum, it will not pretend to be human but will instead make it fully clear that it is a machine - it will not hide its intelligence.
« Last Edit: 13/11/2013 18:20:12 by David Cooper »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #106 on: 14/11/2013 19:14:32 »
Dave :

I was never banned.
Thanks for the compliments indeed .
You're not so bad yourself either .
You just do remind me of some crazy scientists in some sc-fiction movies , who think they can create some machines or robots that might be able to solve all humanity 's problems: naive idealist utopia  .

Take care .
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #107 on: 15/11/2013 01:03:08 »

I'm not sure what you mean by loaded symbols, but when it comes to ambiguity you have to create different theories as to which meaning is intended using unambiguous replacement symbols, and then you calculate the probability as to which of those meanings is most likely to be intended. If it's obvious to the person providing the data and they don't spot a stronger rival meaning to the one they intended when they monitor their output, it must be possible to work out which meaning is intended, just so long as the program doing the analysis is sufficiently intelligent.


By  loaded symbol I guess I mean different kinds of information in one symbol. Even the image of a simple red ball (if it can be a symbol, maybe it can't) has redness, the shade and saturation of that color, roundness, smoothness, indications that it is a sphere, not a circle, maybe size if there is anything to compare it to. Do computers use complex symbols and know what to pay attention to and when, and can they figure out why something  is unusual (this elephant has wings. None of the elephants in my data base have wings. No large mammals have wings.)

One thing that amazed me when my daughter was very little (2 or 3) was her ability to categorize. A photo of a rabbit, a painting, Bugs bunny, a stuffed animal, a real rabbit (which she had not even seen) a baby bunny with small ears - don't actually look a lot alike. I was surprised how well she could do this without being told what to look for or look at.

Even if one cannot find the sufferer in the geometry, what would it mean if qualia was somehow found to follow certain mathematical rules? What would it mean if you could use the math to make predictions about quale? Would that matter?

I don't understand about 90% of the article below, especially the math, or what it means exactly to consider "an experience as a shape in qualia space." But he claims the geometry explains why "specific qualities of consciousness, while generated by a local mechanism, cannot be reduced to it, and why "the repertoire of states available to you cannot be subdivided into the repertoire of states available to independent components." For all I know the author could be stark raving mad, but I do like some of his examples:

"When the photodiode reacts to light, it can only tell that things are one way rather than another way. On the other hand, when we see “light,” we discriminate against many more states of affairs as a single entity, and thus generate much more integrated information, i.e. consciousness. But what makes “light” light, and not some other conscious experience? The key is to realize that the many discriminations we can do, and the photodiode cannot, do not merely distinguish some particular state against an undifferentiated bunch of equivalent alternatives, but rather discriminate that state, in a specific way, against each and every alternative.Consider a very simple example: a binary counter capable of discriminating among the 4 numbers: 00, 01, 10, 11. When the counter says binary “3,” it is not just discriminating 11 from everything else as an undifferentiated bunch; otherwise it would not be a counter, but a 11 detector. To be a counter, the system must be able to tell 11 apart from 00 as well as from 10 as well as from 01 in different, specific ways. It does so, of course, by making choices through its mechanisms, for example: is this the first or the second digit? Is it a 0 or a 1? Each mechanism adds its specific contribution to the discrimination they perform together. Similarly, when we see light, mechanisms in our brain are not just specifying “light” with respect to a bunch of undifferentiated alternatives. Rather, these mechanisms are specifying that light is what it is by virtue of being different, in this and that specific way, from every other alternative. Thus, they specify at once that light is different not only from dark, but also from any color, any shape, any movie frame, any sound or smell, and so on, in every instance in a very specific way. In this way, light acquires its specific meaning: light as opposed to dark, not colored as opposed to colored (any color), diffuse as opposed to having a particular shape (any particular one), visual as opposed to auditory or olfactory, sensory as opposed to thought-like, and so on. To us, then, light is much more meaningful precisely because we have mechanisms that can discriminate this particular state of affairs we call “light” against a large number of alternatives.

By contrast, when the photodiode signals light, what does it mean? The photodiode has no mechanism to discriminate colored from achromatic light, even less to tell which particular color the light might be. As a consequence, all light is the same to it, as long as the intensity exceeds a certain threshold."


That's about the only thing in the article I did understand. Oh, and he mentioned that some people with damage to their cortex lose not only the ability to experience qualia, but to even dream about or remember it, which I had never heard before. That is truly weird:

 "Consider, then, the experience of seeing a pure color, such as red. The evidence suggests that the “neural correlate” or NCC [47] of color, including red, is probably a set of neurons and connections in the fusiform gyrus, maybe in area V8. Ideally, neurons in this area are activated whenever a subject sees red and not otherwise, if stimulated trigger the experience of red, and if lesioned abolish the capacity to see red. Certain subjects with dysfunctions in this general area, who are otherwise perfectly conscious, seem to lack the feeling of what it is like to see color, its “coloredness,” including the “redness” of red. Such achromatopsic subjects cannot experience, imagine, remember and even dream of color, though they may talk about it, just as we could talk about echolocation, from a third person perspective."


Qualia: The Geometry of Integrated Information

http://www.ploscompbiol.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pcbi.1000462
« Last Edit: 15/11/2013 02:31:42 by cheryl j »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #108 on: 15/11/2013 13:47:27 »


Some people can fool a tester into thinking they're machines, while some machines can fool a tester into thinking they're a human of the kind that can fool a tester into thinking they're machines, so there isn't going to be a clear point at which machines pass the Turing Test.


What happens when two Turing machines talk to each other? Do they always decide they are machines?
 

Offline RD

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #109 on: 15/11/2013 14:51:37 »
What happens when two Turing machines talk to each other?

They argue ...
:)
« Last Edit: 15/11/2013 14:55:18 by RD »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #110 on: 15/11/2013 18:24:10 »


Some people can fool a tester into thinking they're machines, while some machines can fool a tester into thinking they're a human of the kind that can fool a tester into thinking they're machines, so there isn't going to be a clear point at which machines pass the Turing Test.


What happens when two Turing machines talk to each other? Do they always decide they are machines?
[/quote]

What Dave fails to see is that modern science has been assuming that the whole universe , including all living organisms , man included thus , are just machines .
Living organisms are just machines , just hardware programmed by DNA software : a false machine metaphor in science , a false computer analogy .
We're neither machines , nor turing machines .
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #111 on: 15/11/2013 19:10:58 »
Dave :

I was never banned.
Thanks for the compliments indeed .
You're not so bad yourself either .
You just do remind me of some crazy scientists in some sc-fiction movies , who think they can create some machines or robots that might be able to solve all humanity 's problems: naive idealist utopia  .

Take care .

Are you called William McCormick? I think you'll find if you read what I said more carefully you'll find that I wasn't talking about you.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #112 on: 15/11/2013 20:04:43 »
Dave :

I was never banned.
Thanks for the compliments indeed .
You're not so bad yourself either .
You just do remind me of some crazy scientists in some sc-fiction movies , who think they can create some machines or robots that might be able to solve all humanity 's problems: naive idealist utopia  .

Take care .

Are you called William McCormick? I think you'll find if you read what I said more carefully you'll find that I wasn't talking about you.
[/quote]

Oh , yeah , i remarked that afterwards and then i wanted to remove that post of mine in question , but , then , i thought , why not leave it there as it is , to see what happens next haha , voila...
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #113 on: 15/11/2013 20:16:41 »
By  loaded symbol I guess I mean different kinds of information in one symbol. Even the image of a simple red ball (if it can be a symbol, maybe it can't) has redness, the shade and saturation of that color, roundness, smoothness, indications that it is a sphere, not a circle, maybe size if there is anything to compare it to. Do computers use complex symbols and know what to pay attention to and when, and can they figure out why something  is unusual (this elephant has wings. None of the elephants in my data base have wings. No large mammals have wings.)

Anything can be used as a symbol if you decide to create a rule that maps a meaning to it. If you stick a red ball or picture of one in the fridge to indicate that you're running low on moose burgers, that can remind you to buy more the next time you're in town. The attributes of a red ball aren't symbols (unless you use them to represent something). An elephant with wings would be seen by an AGI system as unusual just in the same way as it is in your head - there is no data in there saying that elephants have wings, except perhaps in fiction. The high mass of elephants and their general design also puts it into a category where the ability to fly is unlikely, but most of the time we judge by things we've learned, so we know that penguins can't fly because we've learned that they can't fly rather than by calculating it. If we looked at them directly and knew nothing about them in advance, we might not be sure.

Quote
One thing that amazed me when my daughter was very little (2 or 3) was her ability to categorize. A photo of a rabbit, a painting, Bugs bunny, a stuffed animal, a real rabbit (which she had not even seen) a baby bunny with small ears - don't actually look a lot alike. I was surprised how well she could do this without being told what to look for or look at.

Categorising is one of the most important thinking skills, so by that age she was already an expert, and had already become an expert much further back in age than even twelve months.

Quote
Even if one cannot find the sufferer in the geometry, what would it mean if qualia was somehow found to follow certain mathematical rules? What would it mean if you could use the math to make predictions about quale? Would that matter?

It could be useful. I heard something recently about some connection between different general kinds of smell and the shapes of the chemicals detected in the nose, but I don't know if that helps much.

Quote
For all I know the author could be stark raving mad, but I do like some of his examples:

It looks interesting. I want to take the time to read it carefully, but that won't be today.

Quote
"Consider, then, the experience of seeing a pure color, such as red. The evidence suggests that the “neural correlate” or NCC [47] of color, including red, is probably a set of neurons and connections in the fusiform gyrus, maybe in area V8. Ideally, neurons in this area are activated whenever a subject sees red and not otherwise, if stimulated trigger the experience of red, and if lesioned abolish the capacity to see red. Certain subjects with dysfunctions in this general area, who are otherwise perfectly conscious, seem to lack the feeling of what it is like to see color, its “coloredness,” including the “redness” of red. Such achromatopsic subjects cannot experience, imagine, remember and even dream of color, though they may talk about it, just as we could talk about echolocation, from a third person perspective."

That reminds me of something Jared Diamond wrote about another kind of disorder - people losing the ability to feel the unpleasantness of pain but still recognising it as "pain", even though it didn't hurt. Any information about other unusual disorders of this kind would be worth collecting together.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #114 on: 16/11/2013 01:05:55 »


What Dave fails to see is that modern science has been assuming that the whole universe , including all living organisms , man included thus , are just machines .
Living organisms are just machines , just hardware programmed by DNA software : a false machine metaphor in science , a false computer analogy .
We're neither machines , nor turing machines .

I don't think science has been assuming that at all, in fact that is what makes the whole question interesting - is there a difference between how machines do things and how living organisms do things? Before you even ask about the ultimate cause, whether it is material or immaterial, you have to understand what they actually do (in detail, not just the end result), before you can compare them.
« Last Edit: 16/11/2013 02:23:15 by cheryl j »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #115 on: 16/11/2013 01:43:59 »
It could be useful. I heard something recently about some connection between different general kinds of smell and the shapes of the chemicals detected in the nose, but I don't know if that helps much.

The molecules that trigger smell are more like the lock and key reactions you also see in immunology. It's more about the shape of the molecule presenting or exposing the right reactive sites to the receptor. I think what he is talking about is different from that kind of geometry.

Quote
That reminds me of something Jared Diamond wrote about another kind of disorder - people losing the ability to feel the unpleasantness of pain but still recognising it as "pain", even though it didn't hurt. Any information about other unusual disorders of this kind would be worth collecting together.

Yes, I've heard of this to - people, usually on large doses of narcotics, but not always, who were aware of the pain, aware that something was horribly wrong, but felt like they just didn't care, as if it were "happening to someone else". It seems to contradict what pain "is".  And that is another reason why I think the connection to self,  in self awareness, is important.

Another thing in that article that was weird and interesting was his assertion that neurons not firing contributed to qualia shape as much as neurons that do, and that it was different from their being just absent. I have no idea how that works in a mechanistic way, how the receiving neuron would detect the difference. I don't know if there is something similar in computers But it's interesting. It reminded me of a story (not sure it's true) of someone who asked Michelangelo how he sculpted "David", and he said he just removed all that wasn't David.   
« Last Edit: 16/11/2013 02:19:16 by cheryl j »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #116 on: 16/11/2013 18:57:52 »


What Dave fails to see is that modern science has been assuming that the whole universe , including all living organisms , man included thus , are just machines .
Living organisms are just machines , just hardware programmed by DNA software : a false machine metaphor in science , a false computer analogy .
We're neither machines , nor turing machines .

Quote
I don't think science has been assuming that at all, in fact that is what makes the whole question interesting

Science has been assuming just that :  see the historic Eurocentric roots of the mechanical  conception of nature that goes back all the way to Descartes who did introduce it to the natural sciences for the first time ever , while leaving the mind to the church , the latter out of fear of being persecuted though , simply because Descartes was so fascinated and obsessed by machines that seemed to behave like living organisms , according to him at that time at least , and according to modern science as well .

Newtonian science saw the universe  as a whole thus  , later on thus , as just some sort of a clock work predictable machine , a Newtonian-Cartesian conception of nature that has been largely refuted by the maths of chaos .

Materialism, later on, just took over the Cartesian-Newtonian  mechanical  view of nature by reducing everything , including the mind or consciousness thus , to just mechanical  material physical biological processes .

You should have read what i posted on the subject regarding " Is nature mechanical ? " ,on the consciousness thread , by Sheldrake from his "Science set free ..." book , where he traced back the roots of the mechanical view of nature to where it started , and to how , why and when .


Quote
- is there a difference between how machines do things and how living organisms do things? Before you even ask about the ultimate cause, whether it is material or immaterial, you have to understand what they actually do (in detail, not just the end result), before you can compare them.

Living organisms are no machines or computers , the latter are man-made , even though they might achieve some level of self-initiative , self-organization at some point of their developement .

Machines or computers do imply a man-maker .

But , living organisms ' intrinsic relative self-organization, for example,  cannot be explained in terms of machines or computers analogies or metaphors  ,simply because machines or computers do imply makers ,  otherwise , can you then explain that self-organization  of living organisms just in terms of physics and chemistry ?

Just try to do just that in relation to how migrating birds , for example , do know when where and how to migrate to where they need to go to , just try to explain just that , just in terms of physics and chemistry , just in terms of the chemical reactions of DNA ...or just in terms of the materialist version of evolution = you cannot , and nooneesle can for that matter , simply because physics and chemistry alone cannot account for just that .

Neither vitalists nor organicists can either do just that  scientifically  .

In fact , naturalist science with or without materialism cannot do just that either, simply because nature cannot intrinsically or "teleologically " "generate " life , the mind, relative self-organization  or consciousness ....,no way = that's something beyond human science  .


P.S.: Just try to tell me how DNA "did learn " to do what it has been doing  then , all the way back to its so-called original soup , via so many astronomical unbelievable mutations and the like ..............

DNA that 's no program , no software : suppose DNA is , how , on earth, did mother goddess nature accomplish just that then ?= inexplicable mechanical materialist magic in science that's beyond science  .


 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #117 on: 17/11/2013 18:07:57 »
Well, I've tried to read it, but it's hard to follow. It appears to make a decision up front about what qualia are and gets that woefully wrong, so a lot of it is barking up the wrong tree, but it may still be saying something useful about how the triggers of sensation are organised.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #118 on: 17/11/2013 21:10:10 »
Well, I've tried to read it, but it's hard to follow. It appears to make a decision up front about what qualia are and gets that woefully wrong, so a lot of it is barking up the wrong tree, but it may still be saying something useful about how the triggers of sensation are organised.
[/quote]

No , it all comes down to the fact that the current 'scientific world view " is false , and hence the old new mind -body issue is a matter of conceptions of nature , either the false materialist one , the idealist one or the dualist one .

Either conceptions of nature have therefore implications for how materialists , dualists and idealist see the nature of life , of consciousness , the nature of human language , of evolution and the rest .

Stop taking the   false materialist mainstream  "scientific world view " for   granted without question as science thus .
 

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Re: What's The Origin of The Human Language ?
« Reply #118 on: 17/11/2013 21:10:10 »

 

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