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Ten Big Questions for Artificial Intelligence

One day, I would love to have an artificial intelligence installed on my smartphone that could watch me and my wife playing ping-pong in the basement, to referee suspicious situations and count points so we don't have to. I wouldn't mind if it could occasionally throw in a witty comment during the game as well, for example, if I miss some easy point, it would be interesting to hear some scathing intrusion, like "Come on, I'm sure you can do that better!" or "Oh dear, why am I even rooting for you!". When that happens, I will know that the next breakthrough in the development of artificial intelligence has definitely happened. But, we are not there yet. Today, artificial intelligence is still in its infancy, and that's actually a good thing. It is a long ride and it needs time. I'm perfectly aware that the current stage of AI is more focused on handling real (and huge) amounts of internet data, both online and offline, than towards real human-li

Are We All NPCs?

Let me answer with what I think right away. To me, this is not one of those yes or no questions because it's impossible to tell. Simply put, the theory behind the question is most likely unprovable. Not from the within anyway. 'Simulation Hypothesis' and the phrase 'Non Playable Characters' are concept relatively new, born not that long ago, when digital computing came to be fast enough to produce graphically demanding multi-player games sophisticated enough to hint this question and probability that we might also be inside one of those simulations. And to dispute the question about the nature of reality is quite useless, because everything that surrounds us, no matter how strange we think it is, can also be real and not part of the code. Even if our reality was simulated, its origin would be extremely difficult, if not impossible to prove. By design, nothing inside the simulation could be able to see the lines of the code, only the outcome of its work. In order to

Is Infinity Real?

Sooner or later computation hardware and artificial intelligence algorithms will inevitably reach the point of enough sophistication that creation of a simulation of enormous proportions, for example the size of entire universe, will be effortless. So to speak. These gods-like engineers of such future simulation will indeed face a decision point regarding which degree of limitation to create for their simulated entities or artificial intelligence units in order for them to never reach the point of finding the proof that their world is in fact nothing more than just a series of electrical or optical currents of one inconceivably powerful futuristic computer. If created right, there's no doubt that the inner world of all those hypothetical units would seem to be as real to them as our own very reality to us. So, considering the state of obvious, the question arises by itself - if our own reality is such simulation and we are nothing but AI units within some alien quantum computer, wh

What Jupiter and Mercury Have in Common?

Before we jump into premature conclusion with easy answers as 'nothing at all' or 'at least they are both orbiting the Sun' perhaps we could do some quick research for just in case... With equatorial radius of Jupiter almost thirty times bigger than the same property on Mercury, obvious composition difference between one gas giant and small rocky planet and all the other major difference in mass, density, temperature, orbital inclination, orbit period and with almost everything we could compare the two, it is very hard to find the slightest similarity. Not to say that Jupiter in its arsenal is in possession of moons equal or even bigger in size than the smallest planet of our Solar system. However within past couple of seasons, what they had in common was the fact that they were under the spotlight of all of us who from time to time enjoy gazing the sky with naked eyes or through modest telescopes with strong feeling of being the witnesses of our own Solar system

Is City-State the Future of Globalization?

It is definitely not easy to answer this simple question with a word or sentence. Perhaps the best and only answer I could think of is that "it would make perfect sense" for the imminent future of humanity in 21st century and beyond. However within current world order we are living in today, it is far from being applicable for one 'teeny-tiny' reason - it would require canceling of what is well rooted today. The political system of Nation-State governmental polity that in one form or another exist almost everywhere on the planet. To cease that from existence is one of those Sisyphean tasks that is almost unimaginable to achieve. In simple words, in order to make City-State the only governmental polity we would have to nullify countries and to erase borders from the maps. Not only that, it also means the politics and politicians would have to reduce its influence and their numbers significantly which is also a task comparable to the impossible efforts from the mythical

EU moves towards unitary statehood?

Original post date: August 2011, Update: June 2016 Today, after so called #brexit or "United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union" I thought it would be nice time to revive one of my old posts related to European Union dated five years ago. I wanted to put my own thoughts to the test and see if anything changed within my political views and EU after half a decade ... and just like I thought in the first place I couldn't find anything more to say. So here they are - the same thoughts from before only slightly enhanced with new images and small syntax corrections. --- Original post August 2011 ----- I read today very interesting Big Think article regarding European Union and the future of this big political project ( Europe Moves Towards Unitary Statehood ) and I can't resist not to post couple of thoughts about it. After all, I am living in Europe, geographically and politically speaking and it would be at least little strange of not having a modest opinio

What is Intelligent Life?

I remember reading an article in the Guardian last year with title "Our galaxy may contain billions of planets with the same mass as Earth". Surely, it is valid scientific guess as it is but if it is really true, my first thought would be that intelligent life as we know it (assuming we are intelligent species) is as rare as we can imagine. If they are not, the big question is why we are still not able to detect any single proof of their existence or still not eaten by some violent alien species? The only logical answer that we are first one walks on the edge of impossibility to me. Most likely we are missing something important, a discovery as important as fire was. While this statement is still accurate and generally speaking plausible, let's think a little more about it. So to start with the original statement, is there really that many planets with Earth like properties in our galaxy? Ever since I read the Drake equation for the first time (shown above), I coul

Is Life a Zero-Player Game?

Think about it. If life really is some sort of a game and we are just a characters in one giant artificial intelligence play then ... Well, let's just say that we can safely recognize not very enjoyable rules we unconscionably must obey. They are simple. We must play the game. We can't quit the game. We can't win. Oh, and yes, if life really is a game then we are only just either a slaves in one master-puppeteer god-like performance or we could be just a bunch of units interacting with each other in a sort of limited free will world or a world where free will is just an illusion. Now, if life really WAS a game, what would you prefer?

What's Wrong with Society?

It's simple really. Nothing is wrong with it. Society, like anything else created by our social behavior, is following human evolution ever since we started living together within small and functionally organized communities. In the beginning there was a simple need for this - it was impossible for just one man to hunt down one, for example, mammoth or to defend a family from the herd of prehistoric saber-tooth tigers and the only solution was to get together and organize a little for the mutual benefit. Not to mention everlasting need for prolonging the species which also required, sort of, well, socializing with a member of opposite gender. Mammoth hunt and prehistoric society* We can only wish that things are as simple as it was millenniums before. If we disregard the fact that socializing in order to save the species didn't change much from the times where humans shared the habitat with mammoths, all other aspects of one human society, due to the thousands of years

Why Do We Age?

Did you know that there are certain species on the face of the Earth that are truly and literally immortal? Yep. They never die. Of old age that is. I am not talking about some microscopic bacterial life or stubborn viruses in existence. No. Real animals. Take these two: turtles and lobsters. They literally don't age. When it comes to first one, I can't resist not to quote article in below refs* I read online - to the logical suspicion of endless turtle lifespan and why in aftermath they don't crawl everywhere we look today, they answer: "Of course they die, otherwise we'd be swimming in turtles, but the weird thing is, they never seem to die of old age. It's always a disease, or a falling boulder, or Master Shredder". And this is a real truth actually, including 'Master Shredder' who might be just a metaphor for us killing turtles for food or purses and belts or whatever we do with dead turtles. Joking aside, the very research of big turtles shows

Who's Behind the Wheel?

Have you ever been in situation to answer somebody's question with 'Yes and No'? Well, it is definitely one of those answers they are teaching politicians to answer every time they need to use some evasive maneuvers in order to avoid discussions they don't want to get into. But in this case, the answer to the question from the title, or expanded a little with: "Are you really behind the wheel of your body?" is really 'Yes and No'. And nothing could be closer to the truth. The keyword is of course Parasitology, a very complex scientific research that is trying to understand properly all the macro and micro organisms who can't live without other living beings and usually do that without their consent and rather use them to live their entire or partial life which in most cases leads to host's malfunction, to use raw mechanical word. They only leave hosts in case of their death or if the host's environment is exploited to the level of uselessne