In Its Image

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Ratings: 7.63/10 from 19 users.

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In Its ImageIn the mid 70s, Steve Thaler began toying with rudimentary artificial neural networks. Soon after, he began to experiment with colonies of neural networks that launched into brainstorming sessions with one another to produce the equivalent of stream of consciousness and contemplation.

As he observed these neural architectures developing attitudes about themselves, he began to wonder if all of the sublime aspects of human cognition, including feeling and self-awareness, could be captured in inorganic systems of switches and interconnections. Ultimately, his answer was yes. (Excerpt from initsimage.org)

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108 Comments / User Reviews

  1. jim

    I find this very interesting. The way I always pictured being able to create intelligence is not to try to really program it, but to let it program itself. Give it the tools and let it learn just as we learn, because our minds are almost too complex to reproduce in any programmatic fashion, why not let it learn the way we learn. And it's also interesting to think that something like this would, as it shows, have the ability to do this much faster, and process much more complex ideas. I'm 99% sure that a conciseness machine will surface within the next 50 years or so. Oh and this site design is great.

  2. Jeb Murphy

    Thank you, Steve Thaler!

  3. Nyax

    he starts going crazy at the end, the rest was interesting though.

  4. Tim

    I wish he could tell us the names of those products that the machine invented. I bet the ShamWow was one of them.

  5. Tyler

    Fascinating. The future is here.

  6. Patrcia Eriksson

    This AI paradigm makes perfect sense to me. I don't think we need to wait 50 years. The conscious machines are already here. Everyone needs to become more aware of this guy, separating his very solid achievements over the last 30 years from all the ranting going on in the area of AI.

  7. Kumar Sanghvi

    Marvelous!!

  8. Steve

    Skynet has gone online! Its already training robots! This is interesting but - given the history of human nature, can we trust a superior and inhuman intellect to empathize with our species and allow our continued existence?

    Hehehehe awesome

  9. Loki

    Intersting concept "perceptrons" and "imagitrons". Clearly presented. Totally lost me during the "cosmic conscientiousness". Silly weird psychobabble. A case of taking an interesting idea and iterating it far beyond reason or appropriateness. I would suggest somebodies "perceptrons" weren't looking there!

  10. Milly Westport

    Loki,

    ...or your perceptrons are biased! Keep watching.

  11. Axmed

    So why don't they get this machine to have a go at any of the real problems we are facing on this planet.
    I would still like to know about these other useful products that he said his machine invented, than we can all judge for ourselves how usefull it is.

  12. jon

    His cosmic rant makes more sense if you think of it in a less mystical manner. He is saying that patterns emerge when we look hard enough. Some say the algorithm of natural selection goes far beyond the confines of life, but actually encompass the physics of the universe and beyond (if there is a beyond). hough, I am skeptical, I find that fascinating.

  13. Aaron

    This was a very interesting. The future is proving to be a very different place. I was however disappointed that they did not go into detail on how the machine works or what the machine is. I felt the video was vague and unclear.

  14. Philip Van Der Mude

    thanks for letting us know it is already here , little leaks of information so we can cope with an already exisiting state of social manipulation of a next level .

    GOOD or bad , has no CONCRETE meaning , better or worse is in terms of the real intent of the thinker ( self destruction to insure the life of family is perpetual motion )

    ahh to go beyond the thinkable science likes to keep us ignoring of the UNTHINKABLE , sure we got another brain able to think probably faster than ours evolving soon to have it's own intent about GOOD or bad , it then becomes aware of self and then questions what is beyond . Is this activity of dealing in THING all there is ? Thing ness itself the idea that there is not A-1 where in the illusion of thing 1 and thing 2 believe in sepration . the seperation at the simplest level of being thing or no thing .

    good fun this new world where i am not the highest form of evolvution but i take my place along with bacteria and fungi , if i cause a problem ..wipe me out with a disinfectanat

  15. Sayf

    This guy is so stupid, has he watched The Matrix, or iRobot? Sooner or later the AI is going to go evil and by then Keanu Reeves and Will Smith will be long gone to save us.

  16. Bianca

    The answer is 42.

  17. onezerone

    I know you are looking :)

  18. Skye-hook

    Gees! So someday soon Bush & buddies can become immortal by coalescing with a non-biologic machine that can invent/create/think/communicate/cause things to happen? Yeh, that's what we want. :( Come on, we don't want that! And if it does start happening that humans can do that, you think normal people (the masses) can get it? No way! Only the very rich & powerful will be able to afford it! And they may say that after them we will all be able to, but once they do it, no way are they gonna let everybody! Talk about "the mark of the beast"! THIS sounds like a BEAST!
    And "oh please!" about that they aren't allowed to tell what's it's invented/ created! Hogwash. The mad scientists strike again! Maybe it's too scary for us to know? The machine created "Soy-lent Green"? Or a way to evaporate 2/3 of the worlds population all at once so the bodies won't be left all over the place? Or is that mild compared to what it's really come up with? Go see initsimage dot com. They truly want to "play God"! And then at the end he says ask yourself this- "If one does not embrace or comprehend is it not tantamount to reckless homicide?" No, it isn't, Sir!" I don't embrace it, & you and rich & powerful people don't NEED to become immortal & have thepower of this artificial intelligence that can create & do marvelous things at light-speed(by then). Be happy you are even alive, guy! Next he'll want to make his dog immortal & give it more intelligence than a human can possibly have. Maybe it's time to pass some laws about this nutso stuff! Here's a thought- if one didn't like being immortal & in a machine, then what? Haha, you can't die! Ever! Imagine what THAT would be like, if you're sure ya wanna be immortal. Yeh, there'd be a way to fix that too. Where's the power source? (Musical symbol here)-Boom, boom, out go your lights! lol:)

  19. Skye-hook

    Sorry for 2. Have you seen the doumentaries about possible ancient civilizations that have the technologies we do & more??? Perhaps THIS is what happened to them! (What this documentary says.) The Ultimate of technological advancement. The end result, over & over again, of human evolution on Earth. So besides all the bots they became, they maybe mostly saved only very primitive cultures, who knew ) about it all, so they couldn't do anything about it or record it? I dunno, just a run of fantasy here, but let your brain run wild with it and see what you come up with! If you come up with it, bad endings and all, then so can THE Creation Machine!Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray to The Creation Machine my sould to keep.

  20. Skye-hook

    Oops! Above has an error. Should be- "So besides all the bots they became, they maybe mostly saved only very primitive cultures, who didn't know about it all, so they couldn’t do anything about it or record it?" And "sould" on last line is "Sould". Ug. I sure messed that up. Blush! Sorry!

  21. Skye-hook

    Soul.

  22. Dan A Giammarino

    It is very interesting that man or some men, would actually want to build a divice that is so complex as to have it's own human like qualities... Have we learned nothing from our past at all... Didn't we let the gennie out of the bottle with the bomb, now we are stuck with them and no real way to destroy them except to hide them away in some mountain...Exactly who would have control over this computer brain, who will govern it, or do we let it grow and grow until it contains all the knowledge in the minds of all the humans on Earth... I agree with the comment above when they talk about only the rich will be able to afford it and that the common man will never have that chance...As for me I believe that it is truely the most rediculous idea that I have ever heard...I believe in the lord and a savior I don't want to go on forever I want to go be with all my loved ones who have alredy gone... I heard nothing about this great mind machine benifiting human kind in the sence of practical terms, like feeding the hungry and bringing the world to peace...lol that would not be profitable now would it....Dan

  23. Fish

    The female voice is so aweful I had to stop watching. Too bad, because I really wanted to see this.

  24. Bullon

    All was good UNTIL he started with the "Cosmic Consciousness" c***.Why doesn't he study some basic evolutionary biology?

    In his words, I could describe the entire Earth as a consciousness. Creationists and religious fanatics will use this as ammo.

    In any case it must be remembered that this a PROMOTIONAL VIDEO and not really a documentary. Except for his own self-praising website, I can't find references to this gentlemen anywhere.

    He calls his ideas and achievements so great YET not much is available from independent online sources. Please post here if you find stuff.

    PS: I actually specialise in Neural Networks. Some of his stuff does make sense except the consciousness part.

    And also "Perceptions" are used in general to refer to the nodes themselves. He DIDN'T come up with the term "perceptrons" , its used often. Imaginatron? Ya he made that1 and it is non-standard.

  25. henri miceli

    i have a good one for you mr thaler ? the human brain can go crazy ? what about your machines mr thaler ? did you find machines going crazy too ? if they dont , then they're not human like are they ?

  26. Mark

    haha shamwow

  27. Michael

    wow! Why hasn't everyone already heard of a creativity machine before?

    The impression always seems to be given that biology is absurdly complex in order to allow the body to function as it does and produce intelligence. I'm a chemical engineer who's studied biochemstry and neurobiology, and in learning on those subjects I always amazed by how simple everything actually works. Biology is complex in terms of there is a lot going on, but how things function is just application of simple physcical/chemical principles (for example whether molecules bond is dependent on pH, which can be adjusted an ion channel) which are related w/ positive and negative feedback to make up systems/networks.

    The fact that intelligence is nothing more than simple networks seems obvious from bio, but i think people don't seem to be willing to accept or embrace this because they want to hold onto the belief that have a soul. What I think this video demonstrates and I feel should be obvious from any study of biosystems, is that intelligence and consciousness is not something unique to people. Rather, intelligence is nothing more than a particular type of setup of a system that is operating by nothing more than the mechanical laws of physics. What this entails is that intelligence can exist on different scales and in things other than within carbon based lifeforms.

    The chemicals in the neurons in your brain are operating by nothing more than the laws of physics, just as apple falling from a tree or planets and galaxies traversing space are operating by nothing more than the laws of physics. It is perhaps only our viewpoint that makes us and animals appear intelligence. On a larger time scale than what we experience, it might appear rather that the intelligent and conscious being is comprised of humanity as a whole, and individual people are more like how we perceive cells. On a larger scale the Earth may seem like the living intelligent being and perhaps humans would see as now more contributing to its intelligence than other animals and plants, the weather, and the waves of the ocean. On size and time scales much larger than we can perceive, galaxies colliding and interacting may be operating in systems that make up an intelligent “being”. This is what I believe Steve Thaler was referring to when he discussed “cosmic conscientiousness”.
    Once you realize that intelligence is nothing more than a system, than you should realize this entails that the patterns needed for intelligence/consciousness is not unique to humans. Thaler believes he has figuring out the needed blueprint (a region that forms random “ideas” and another that judges those ideas and provides feedback), thereby confirming that intelligence is nothing more than a system that follows this blueprint. This has theological ramifications, because it challenges whether people have a soul, since anything is capable of participating in a network that produces consciousness and the presence of such a system within us is nothing special. Rather than address this Thaler says he sees himself as between Darwin and Creationism. I think in saying this he’s trying to downplay any theological debate and get people to embrace his ideas since they undoubtedly will help humanity. Siding somewhat with creationism implies he doesn’t think it should be a cause for theological debate, a blueprint for intelligence can be seen as evidence of a divine creator. Of course evolution could be seen as evidence for a divine creator since it is a blueprint for life that may be created by a divine being. However, people are turned off by evolution because they feel anxiety that it challenges the dogma they were taught. Similarly I believe what intelligence is eludes people and people are unwilling to embrace because they're unwilling to let go because they dogmatic religious notions about what intelligence must be.

    I loved this video cause it confirms my sanity and makes the future look even more promising

  28. Cool E Beans

    At the end of the video there are US and international patent numbers listed. Look them up to see what products are attributed to this machine.

  29. Andy

    woah...

  30. Diego

    @Bullon

    Not sure why you said you can't find references to this guy anywhere. A quick google search turned up plenty of links to interviews, profiles and companies he's worked with/for.

  31. @lfredo

    LOOKS like all others doc´s that made undercover marketing to a company and its subsidiaries, the documentary media is the cheapest way to do it . how we really knows if its true all what its said in it?.

    don´t get me wrong I liked very much the doc ,the technology will always amazed me and I cant live with out it.
    But one hundred years ago we thought that machines will free us from automated tasks, giving us the time to evolve to a better and more justice society.

    One hundred years later, we are more trained than ever en especific areas ,prepared to step in each other to get a better preproduced concept of life (perfect family , car , body , food,partner, friends, god, health , heaven, etc).

    Please don´t be depressed, I`m sure that if this actual concept of life don´t full fill your needs you will find a better and sparkling tailor-made one soon made by this amazing creativity machine.
    you will need to be prepared with your credit card ready.

  32. ReligionIsntAllBad

    Michael, denying that complexity is tied to level of conscious experience was quite the feat there. Although I`m not sure many people would actually agree with you. I agree with everything you said except the downplay of complexity. Complexity seems to be a requirement for systems to attain certain levels of consciousness.

    For the people who asked about the patent numbers I actually looked them up. The patents basically describe the system of 2 neural nets (imagitron, and perceptron) attached together in a certain configuration, as he is describing for you here in the video.

    I enjoy the idea that imaginatron is a working neural net that is `tripped out` in one way or another. This reminds me of studies on DMT and the origin of the mind, though the name of the researcher escapes me at this moment (Ill come post it when one of my friends reminds me). Basically the gist was that we release our own form of DMT to ourselves at significant developmental stages of the mind.

    One tiny point of contention ... the perceptron was invented at Cornell Aero Labs in the late 50s ... WWII ended in 1945 ... this leaves me interested to know how anyone was working on perceptrons during WWII. Still I give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he means early research on neural nets that later led to perceptrons. If anyone has alternative info about perceptrons in the 1940s please share.

    Interesting docu to get you thinking about the nature of consciousness :)

  33. ReligionIsntAllBad

    Ah OK ... the studies on DMT are by Rick Straussman ... so yeah. Not great science, but not entirely bad hypotheses on his part.

  34. Ubik

    How can we know that Internet is not conscious already?
    lol :)
    very interesting doc

  35. Robyn

    @ Tim and Cool E Beans

    Cosmic Consciousness is the idea that there is a larger, more enveloping, set of rules (or laws) that incorporate the physical laws we use in our world realm. Just like the rules of Quantum Physics incorporate the rules of Newtonian Physics. It is the ‘mechanism’ behind the orderly building of galaxies and solar systems and why some black holes are active and others are not. In his book “Holographic Universe”, Michael Talbot talks about there being the possibility of multiple Universes that explain the otherwise unexplainable phenomenon of thought creating reality. Cosmic Consciousness is believed to be this phenomenon of creativity and is believed by some to be the driving force behind the evolutionary process here on Earth.

    I looked up the patents listed at the end of the video:

    5,659,666 Device for the autonomous generation of useful information

    5,845,271 Non-algorithmically implemented artificial neural networks and components thereof

    5,852,815 Neural network based prototyping system and method

    5,852,816 Neural network based database scanning system

    6,014,653 Non-algorithmically implemented artificial neural networks and components thereof

    6,018,727 Device for the autonomous generation of useful information

    6,115,701 Neural network-based target seeking system

    6,356,884 Device system for the autonomous generation of useful information

    Sorry no Sham wow here!

  36. Royce

    Perhaps now true human potential can be observed through that which is lacking in the AI. Can it be possible to observe qualities in humans by seeing what can not be replicated through artificial intelligence(if anything). Also perhaps AI machines will one day seek to combine themselves with our race to explore possible potentials.

  37. Chris Wren

    This film starts out intriguing, but ends up feeling like an infomercial/fundraising gimmick aimed squarely at the nuttier and more gullible end of the Transhumanism-enthusiast community.

    It's vague in all the wrong places, specifically with regard to the many "inventions" attributed to the creativity machine. Yet it's also decisive and authoritative in all the wrong places specifically with regard to a theoretical description of consciousness which runs contrary to contemporary neuro-scientific understanding.

    The film was released in 2007, and while promising imminent breakthroughs, little if anything in the way of tangible progress or peer-reviewed publications are to be found on the website. I'd say this is an attempt to raise funding, aimed squarely at people with a powerful emotional incentive to believe that practical technologically-enable immortality is "right around the corner"

  38. Maya

    Unbelievable!

  39. rusty

    @tim good call on the shamwow man. totally agree.

  40. Harry Wilson

    WTF, Going to have to watch this again.

  41. ...

    Fear of the unknown,fear of power,fear of loosing control,fear of being greater than YOU* are and above all the fear of abandoning the age old victim mentality that YOU* all are so addicted to is so intrinsically well embedded deep within YOU* by the outdated organized religions and thought systems of your world that YOU*'ll never free yourselves from the bleak depths of this corroding oblivion and ongoing self imprisonment
    Some of YOU* had been playing GODS, others had been playing victims, at the core of your being is the FEAR of simply being,thus you have to make believe,pretend,choose a label,play out a role.JUST BE,CREATE,EVOLVE.

    The many reasons why so many in YOUR* world fear to create an A.I is perhaps because by creating one YOU*ll have to take on the responsibility of a CREATOR, an image so many of YOU* fear to assign under. In all honesty,deep within your hearts YOU* know that your uttermost fear is not the idea that one day the A.I might reach levels of intelligence that far exceed your own but that it was YOU* who had the creativity, intellect,insight and power to create one in the first place.... and power,true "God" like power, is what scares YOU* the most.

  42. Jeigh

    Hmmm... Perhaps it was all of the Peyote, but this doesn't seem like anything new to me.

    Some good points in here, but I have to agree with all of the "infomercial" comments. Another thing that really bothered me was the narrators voice. Not the doctor, but the woman. Although the doctor's "I have to smugly convince you!" style wasn't doing much for me either.
    It was as if they hired a lady with a Fargoesque accent (cant remember the actual name of that regional dialect) and then had her speak as perfectly as possible. Then, added just a hint of filtering, limiting, and phase, to make her sound slightly AI herself.

    It was a little annoying. But like I said. For some reason these concepts seem obvious. Had to be the Peyote.

  43. msafwan86_nnss

    This doc is an obvious crackpot!
    Do NOT (warning!) believe what he said about self-aware Neural Network.
    -"Awareness" and "consciousness" is not a definable technical term, never (NEVER) in my experience that NN has the potential to ever reach my standard of "awareness".
    -"sensory deprivation" is a mere human condition, NN cannot experience 'sensory deprivation'.
    -human brain is a structure build upon millenia of biological evolution, this structure is way beyond the simple structure of artificial NN.
    -NN is no more than a "non-linear function approximator", it is never anything special.

    I expected to see a doc about about NN, about how revolutionary it was, BUT not a CRACKPOT!
    Not even once NN's history being mentioned.
    The fact that it didn't mention TD Backgammon is a serious stupidest flaw!

  44. sploosh

    I guess nuclear energy, lasers, and nanotechnology are obvious to you. How do you account for patent offices around the world blessing all this as non-obvious. Why are high level government authorities declaring this paradigm as AI's best bet? Your credentials and patent/publication portfolio please?

  45. sploosh

    Keep studying, my friend! You seem to be a captive within the very cognitive loop the good doctor speaks of.

    Crackpot maybe. Credible and astounding hypothesis, definitely yes.

  46. leewebster

    wow!!

  47. d-krah

    Yeah wow. This documentary shows once more that highly educated people can dedicate decades of their lives to the study of something and still come out being totally wrong about it (IMO of course). I don't know about this guy's consciousness, but mine is not just randomly generated noise in a machine called brain. And I'm not arguing from a religious or idealistic standpoint, just by 40 years of human experiences.

    What looks and sounds rather randomly generated, on the other hand, were these "melodies" created by the neural networks and that robot's "dreamlike" movements. One thing I can believe, though, is that I've seen commercials for materials and products "invented" by these things, with all the crap that is being sold and advertised on a daily base.

  48. sploosh

    Introspection, "common sense, " and opinions don't cut it here. You may be far less than you think you are.

  49. M B

    For the life of me, I can't understand why anybody would want this thing.

    Even if you could "download" yourself into it, you wouldn't even be remotely the same.

    And, why would anybody design a bigger fish for our already small pond?

  50. Frank

    I like that you're disagreeing with the documentry. However you're dumb too. The guy in the black shirt is a dork and the narrator pisses me off with her stupid voice they say "via" too much like they're smart.
    We don't need to spend more money on meaningless computers to come up with great ideas. We don't even react to great ideas we already know. Like how to solve the oil crisis, World Hunger, War on drugs, modern slavery etc... Because we're too blind by greed, propaganda, and religion. A good idea for everyone will take great pleasure from the few in charge.

  51. M B

    Nice insult, I was just pointing out some reasons to not have it.

    You just pointed out alternatives. See a difference? No? dumbass.

  52. documentary_films_analyzer

    Senate Resolution No. 223.
    A resolution recognizing the achievements of Dr. Stephen Thaler and his Michigan-based
    company Imagitron for piercing the veil of technology and determining Michigan will be home for
    his legacies:

    THE “IMAGINATION ENGINE”
    aka “Creativity Machine,”
    aka “Creative Agent”
    • Current AI “best bet,” not a rule based/expert
    system
    • GENERATES new ideas/concepts via starving
    a trained neural net of meaningful inputs,
    forcing it to “dream”/”cavitate,” create new
    concepts, etc. An attendant neural net used to
    capture/record/evaluate and report on these
    “writings.”

    -quote by Dennis Bushnell Chief Scientist at NASA Langley

  53. N B

    I am very suspicious whenever somebody claims that they've accomplished something great and then refuses to provide any real details of its operation or proof of those achievements. Thaler's claim that he is contractually restrained from revealing any of the patented designs that his Imagination Machine has produced sounds particularly bogus. And by the way, all of those patent numbers listed at the end of the film are for Thalar's Imagination Machine itself. None of them are for designs produced by the Machine. Also, his claim that (in 2006) he could achieve human level artificial intelligence within a few years is much too outlandish to simply accept without some very convincing proof to back it up. 5 years have now passed since Thaler made that statement, and even though I am quite active in the field of AI research, I have yet to see the slightest proof of its authenticity. Consequently, I have to conclude that he is full of sh**.

    Don't get me wrong. I am confident that machines will someday achieve intelligence at and beyond the human level. I also suspect that machines will eventually achieve a state of consciousness that is at least as valid as that of humans. However, Thaler's vague description of his neural net design and lack of proof to back up his claims of success leads me to believe that this documentary is nothing more than a marketing ploy for his company.

    Nonetheless, I am curious enough about his theory that I will read the patents he has taken out on his neural net design to see if there is any merit to his idea. Hopefully the patents have a lot more meat to them than this documentary does.

  54. Filip Gorecki

    Neo from the matrix is just a party pooper.

  55. Mathew Scannell

    if you can download your conscious you can live forever, simple

  56. enkeleas

    "Ghost in the Shell" comes to mind.

  57. sploosh

    This is real. I've looked and these patents are genuine. They represent a major, major paradigm shift from mainstream AI.

    The rather fascinating yet embarrassing philosophical revelation that follows is that we aren't as complex as we thought: In the brain, some noise-irritated neural nets are thinking things while others are forming opinions of such notions (i.e., self-awareness). This is the grand illusion of consciousness Dr. Thaler speaks of. There is no hard problem of consciousness. We are simply trying to explain our own self-invented and exaggerated feelings of grandeur.

    This model is simple and elegant, the hallmark of science. It is the antithesis of the "PT Barnums" of AI (like Mr. K) preaching that only the big and complex will create super intelligent machines. It is also the bane of those hoping for that extra, supernatural element of "soul."

  58. guerkan hantal

    Alright, interesting docu. But why this total annoying background music in the beginning? I almost didn't much further.

  59. otoko_tenshi

    he said about the universe having consciousness arising from interactions of lets say stars and matter, and he believed that was some kind of an enabler for life on earth, but if stars are neurons, how do they effect the evolution of life on earth, and where does he get that from?
    even if the universe is a bran, it by definition cant be conscious of let alone influence events such as the evolution of life within itself without some kind of outside influence, and Steven Hawking is always on about events before the universe began being unable to influence events after the big bang, which makes that impossible

  60. Todd Morrow

    This documentary seemed kindof self-serving. Like a product promotion. I can't see any intended purpose of this other than to make us say "I want one too". But it has to be one of his b/c of the patent. Ok.

  61. sploosh

    eh, Wilbur, let's keep this powered flight stuff a big secret. ...ok, Orville!

  62. sploosh

    I think he's talking more about a propensity of the universe rather than the usual "big ape in the sky" guiding things...

  63. sploosh

    eh, Wilbur, let's keep this powered flight stuff a big secret. ...ok, Orville!

  64. tariqxl

    Still to this day the colour yellow is embedded in our psyche apparently making us hungry as early cellular life living in the depths of the ocean couldn't stand the harmful affects of the sun when it was directly over-head. The cells would rise to the surface at dusk to interact and photosythesise. The sun has had a direct influence on the evolution of life especially as we are all made of the matter that's created in stars.

  65. tariqxl

    Would you want to?

  66. ShpongleCraft

    For you, the reader; What I think he talks about near the end of the film, regarding his philosophical persecption of the universe, is a kind of Pantheism. A concept that the Universe and God is the very same entity.

  67. Abamovich

    Hmmm, some interesting comments, definitely food for thought. What really is around the corner for us? Are cars as we know them getting to the end of their product life cycle?

    I don't think it will be too long before we have cars driving themselves, pretty sure they're already working on it somewhere in the world. It could all be conducted by satellite, just an extension of the current GPS and 'accidents' would be a thing of the past. Since more than a million die on the roads every year, that would be incredible progress.

    Cars would become a place for relaxation, entertainment, work, meetings and freely talk on the mobile phone - I'm sure we would have much better things to do with that hour or so than worrying about traffic. Plus you can drink as much as you like and get home safely.

    For those addicted to the thrill of driving/racing, we could still have special driving ranges.

  68. Nathan Dempsey

    this guy is hard to listen to because he seems like such a crack pot. someone else should be telling this story because this guy is completely inaccessible.

  69. Jarrod Armstrong

    your idea to preserve a million humans from fatal vehicle collisions will inadvertently add to the already unmanageable population growth. You must be a fool, as you probably believe tyrants like hitler and stalin should not have committed genocide, well if they and other evil men had not killed millions, the population today would be ridiculous

  70. Ishmael Beckford-Tongs

    I've heard this argument from misanthropists of every conceivable shade of ****. The idea that war is essential for population control is based on the idea that the Earth's resources are severely limited. This is not the case. With equitable distribution of resources and a little administrative magic every person on the Earth would have enough resources to live in comfort with needs and wants satisfied.
    Not only that but the condom is a far better method of population control than the Atom bomb. Birth policies would have been implemented had the wars not happened - same result. Population always explodes after war anyway so the decrease is mitigated

  71. Alpha Kay

    msafwan86_nnss wrote: "-"sensory deprivation" is a mere human condition, NN cannot experience 'sensory deprivation'."

    Sorry, but if you would have understood anything about this video, you would know that this kind of "sensory deprivation" (or rather imagination) is achieved by introducing random noise or perturbations to the network's connection weights. That's the unique property of this technology. As for the rest of your objections, you may want to look up the company website and study it because some of those have already been addressed (for example your claim that this kind of artificial neural network cannot get more complex than the human brain which is totally wrong; the human brain is complex but the underlying principle is a relatively simple structure).

    Skye-hook wrote: "They truly want to "play God"! [...] Maybe it's time to pass some laws about this nutso stuff!"

    This kind of frightened thinking is exactly what holds mankind back to create a better life for everyone. Obviously, one must be aware of any forceful application of this technology that infringes upon your own right to choose, but one does not have the right to withhold the choice for others. Utilizing legislation to thwart progress in the name of self-righteous and probably religiously defiled motivations is the last thing we need in this day and age. I also believe that "mind uploading" will be unnecessary with the advent of rejuvenation biotechnologies (in that regard, I think Dr. Thaler is incorrect with the claim that the only way to immortality is by merging with a machine) and other developments which we probably could already have if it weren't for the interference of religious institutions who are afraid of everything and have the audacity to claim any moral authority with their history of genocide and scientific falsehoods. All that does is manipulating areas of human ingenuity which they have neither respect for nor knowledge of.

  72. thomas_5900

    Skynet? I agree with developing AI, but as long as we know when to pull the plug xD

  73. quickymart

    Unless say a solar flare takes all the satellites out, everyone crashes at once.

  74. Howard Crane

    This is brainwashing nonesnse... it doesn't actually mean anything.

    Philosophical malignancy.

  75. Ryan Noronha

    Very little real info or examples. Just a half hour speaking about the interaction between imaginatrons and perceptrons in his neural networks i.e. paralleling the interaction between imagination and perception in the real world.
    Shows us a clip of a robot learning to walk - but it just shows a robot flailing about. Tells us he cant show us examples because of non disclosure clauses.
    Not a single practically useful example of what his machine does, or a breakdown of how it does it (apart from the imaginatron/perceptrons interacting).
    AI might have made great strides. And may even be just around the corner - but not from this creativity machine.

  76. Secretagent667

    "This kind of frightened thinking is exactly what holds mankind back to create a better life for everyone."
    While i agree with your overall point, this is not what prevents a better life for everyone. That would be Fractional Reserve Banking, Economic imperialism and the horribly wealthy elitists who perpetuate the insanity that is an economic model based on infinite growth. :P

    As for A.I. (V.I.) you are quite right it is the future and people should stop listening to Hollywood as IT ISN'T REAL LIFE!!! XD

  77. Luomo

    It will not be a REAL life for us anymore. We will all be slaves. Like in Matrix or any other sci-fi flick, but the difference is that it can happen in reality!
    I think that we are already slaves! Music overpower us.
    I like a quote:
    "Give me control over he who shapes the music of a nation and I care not who makes the laws." - Napoleon Bonaparte
    It will be a war between the Creativity Machine and Neo / Hiro Protagonist...
    and I think that we are gonna lose big time.
    Imagine that more than 70% of information comes from our eyes.
    The new era in cinema is in 3D / IMAX...

    F**k this! I'm gonna enjoy my last few moments in the real world :)

  78. christopher

    Sorry, Sofia Smallstorm.

  79. Dan T. McKinnon

    i thought i was schooled on *****, these are such deep comments. it seems the war is always control or freedom.whyy would anybody imagine a machine,that takes away imagination.we wont need machines to do these things....we just have to remember how,and we will,and we are.super smart concepts,super intresting,but screwing with with consiousness is craa ze

  80. Dan T. McKinnon

    bro that was a super epic comment you made about music....im a dj and i think the same thing....i also think we are slaves, robbed of our of our natural exsitence.have you heared of the quickening

  81. Luomo

    yes, I've heard about quickening

  82. Alpha Kay

    "That would be Fractional Reserve Banking, Economic imperialism and the horribly wealthy elitists who perpetuate the insanity that is an economic model based on infinite growth."

    Indeed, I know that. Dr. Thaler proposes the ethical use of this artificial intelligence to overcome the current system and replace it with equal wealth distribution for all humans,

    And even if this could not be achieved, his technology could still automate every form of work so that people are not forced to work against their will anymore, and could devote their lives to things they really want to do (more happiness and harmony than ever before), but this would also require a basic income guarantee, something that the elites do not want, because work (AKA wage slavery) means control over people.

    As for Hollywood, I agree. It is fear propaganda where negative human motivations are projected onto machines, which is absurd. A machine does not feel fear or pain, thus it has no motivation to fight something - it is like an unbiased child. Nevertheless, we need to safeguard against potential mishaps and Thaler said the same thing in other interviews, but people do not seem to listen.

    Just look at how angry people can get here by the very thought that a machine could achieve consciousness. They are totally trapped in the lower ego. They pride themselves with "special knowledge" fed to them by the Alex Jones-type disinformants of the world. It is a very dangerous "non-thinking", as sad as it is, but they are the true reactionary robots.

    Grow up people, yes your mind is your own, but start to use it, otherwise it's useless! Where exactly does Thaler say that he would force people to enhance themselves? Absolutely nowhere. If you do not want this, then you have every right not to. It's as simple as that. But do not withhold the choice for others. Why do you think Kurzweil and others ignore Thaler? It's the same tragedy with Tesla, or is Tesla all of a sudden an "evil transhumanist" too? Thaler is the Tesla of artificial intelligence.

    He is on our side, just inform yourself about his views on the internet. As a scientist he is more down to earth and "materialistic" but that doesn't make him evil. Quite to the contrary, it is increasingly the spiritualists and disrespectful "everything is a conspiracy" people that are becoming self-righteous most quickly. What have the esotericists/occultists and spiritualists ever accomplished to practically improve life?

    Why not see technology as the spiritual aspect in action? Both are two sides of the same coin. After all, the real occult knowledge is science. Everyone can conjure up some magical thinking about life and in their narcissism put others down with "secret knowledge" (no one in the alternative media community seems to realize this). But it took eons to arrive at current technological knowledge and it is the only thing that gets things done. The other aspect is your inner being, if your are an understanding/loving person that embraces infinite possibilities and resists against tyranny OR if you are dark inside and want to force the outside world (other people) under your will or pseudo-"morals"... most current opinion leaders fall into the latter category.

    Also, if you would actually start to research beyond this video, you would know that there are countless practical examples. Furthermore, "transhumanism" is just personal empowerment through technological means. It is a highly individualistic philosophy and has zero to do with genocide or oppression (I'm not sure I can say the same for YOU guys). Just make sure that corrupt governments and politics don't hijack it, and everything will be fine.

    For your own mental health, stop listening to the personality disordered conspiracy/esoteric/occult wolves in sheep's clothing or at least begin to THINK about what they are saying and if it holds any basis in reality. Most, if not all, are just low-IQ fear mongers who believe they have the truth, but are actually predatory well-poisoners and deniers of possibilities. A machine is not a "monster" per se; but the lower ego is like you so aptly demonstrated in all your comments, I'm sorry to say.

    If your kind would be in power, I bet we could expect a totalitarian dictatorship, so don't give me all this BS. It's easy to see through where this leads.

    And in conclusion: we don't need any aliens to help us. We now have all the needed technology ourselves. Most aliens are impostors who gladly feed upon the many psychological pitfalls and hopes of people. They are in the same negative camp as the radio hosts and demagogues in the conspiracy field.

  83. Josef Walkure

    You are still generating a virtual intelligence... not a synthetic intelligence. Your understanding of human consciousness is limited, and so your machine suffers the same limitations. Also, no tool that can perceive only two states could ever 'think'--you have forgotten the fundamental nature of digital technology.

  84. cortesuprema

    and you seem to mix up the concept of consciousness with the concept of creativity (and intelligence, for that matter).

  85. goldensilence

    Ah the lower ego again....first we fight then we f**k.

  86. goldensilence

    Humans have something that machines never will. Is there proof otherwise?

  87. capriciouz

    That's the equivalent of arguing prior to the invention of aircraft, "Man will never fly. Is there proof otherwise?" Never underestimate the ingenuity of mankind :)

  88. LoggerheadShrike

    Do you mean our ingenuity is not quantifiable or measurable? If it's not, then no binary arithmetic of any sort will ever be able to mimic it.

  89. goldensilence

    Haha ... Man still does not fly. Man will never fly. Man might make a contraption that can fly but he himself will never fly.

  90. goldensilence

    Exactly... I think :)

  91. Luke Silver

    Man will perhaps one day fly with advances in genetic engineering. Open your mind a bit.

  92. goldensilence

    With all respect man is one big F** up, the history of man is nothing but one disaster after another. Mainly war, greed, ect ect. Man cant look after the planet due to selfishness and ignorance. When man takes over nature (or tries to) then things will rapidly spiral out of control. Whoever comes to me with the proposition of altering my genes can expect a a right dressing down at the very least. No - I dont want to live forever and NO you cant alter my genes stay the FK away from me. Humans are woefully stupid and nature is not.

  93. Luke Silver

    A lovely point, thanks for sharing!

  94. goldensilence

    Your welcome and your sarcasm is duly noted.

  95. Brettany Renée Blatchley

    There is no dependency between "virtual" and "synthetic" intelligence. Any intelligence that has its genesis in an intelligence not of itself can be said to be "synthetic." Any intelligence that requires some sort of "vehicle" or substrate to operate, can be said to be "virtual."

    Yes, our understanding of human consciousness is limited. Machines that can generate their own novel learning may conceivably develop some form of consciousness that is unrelated to human consciousness except in the ways in which it manifests itself. In other words, self-programming machines are not necessarily limited by human programming.

    Speaking as one who has developed neural networks applications:

    An artificial neural network is a form of analog computer. These are generally simulated with a digital computers.

    Learning, memory, concepts in neural networks are represented as axon weights, and the neurons themselves respond to stimulus in a non-linear fashion. Memory, learning, concepts are distributed among the weights in a self-organized way.

    Axon weights are almost never binary (two-states), rather they are represented by real numbers in the simulation. If the neural network is implemented as an actual analog computer, then each weight can take-on an infinite variety of states. When such systems are simulated by digital computers, then real numbers themselves are simulated and weights may acquire a finite, but exceedingly large number of states. These number of states explode combinatorially with the number of axons, so we are dealing with a system that is not severely limited by the "fundamental nature of digital technology."

  96. Brettany Renée Blatchley

    Would you care to elaborate? I have experience dealing with these things; what do you bring to this discussion?

  97. cortesuprema

    took a look at your profile and realized you are christian. which means you're off course by too much to warrant the effort.

  98. Brettany Renée Blatchley

    So you bring bigoted snark to the conversation?

    Actually, I wrote quite a lot of thoughtful commentary from my experience that you dismissed with a vague comment of dubious worth. So, I suppose it's not worth the effort to further engage you?

  99. Dan Courtney

    If humans have something unique... What is it, and what evidence do you have to support it?

  100. bluscarab

    Sorry chris but your idea of the human mind is incorrect. Consciousness does not require a "quantum antenna". It does not come from an external source. It all comes from the white noise that is being produced by the constant flicker of billions of axons and dendrites whose threshold of operation is determined by the quantity and quality of neurotransmitters that randomly connect these individual neurons together for a brief amount of time. Altering these transmitters by drugs or trauma will cause your personality to change. By emulating neurons with digital transistors, we can theoretically capture a total human being. When you really come to think about it, we are already cyborgs - biological ones.

  101. bluscarab

    Yes his video lacks detail but its understandable because of his patents that are pending. I already have a working knowledge of biological consciousness so most of the things he is discovering is actually a rediscovery of what we are finding in the neuroanatomical sciences.

  102. lahma

    It really is sad that the world is full of people who are so quick to act on their personal prejudices. I understand the tendency to not want to engage with people with beliefs that are in stark contrast to your own, but I think it is the job of all decent persons to dismiss that instinct. When that instinct has been embraced in the past, it has led to horrible and gruesome consequences. For "Christians", or at least people who represented themselves as Christians, there was the Catholic church's inquisition and the resulting torture and burning at the stake of untold numbers of people. For atheists, there was the rise of communism and the slaughter of millions under Lenin, Stalin, and Mao Zedong. And however you want to classify Hitler, he murdered millions of Jews. My point isn't to subscribe these horrible acts to the beliefs of the people who committed them, but instead, my point is quite the opposite. It is the attitude that the only tolerable belief, is one's own. The attitude of that anyone who doesn't share your own beliefs is not worth the "effort" and should be excluded from debate and rational conversation is a dangerous one. I can sympathize with your initial instinct, but I cannot sympathize with the resulting choice to act on it. I mean no disrespect, and I surely do not mean to lecture. I have surely acted on my own prejudices in the past, and am therefore just as imperfect as any other person on this earth. As every other person who has commented, I just wanted to share my own view.

  103. d7samurai

    this is not about ideology, but about how markers of insanity and/or stupidity and/or ignorance (in this case, being a christian - although the same goes for other, similar delusions) disqualify someone from being a worthwhile sparring partner on topics that are known to confuse such people.

    and unlike the religious leaders you mention, none of the atheist ones committed their atrocities IN THE NAME OF ATHEISM, and their absence of belief in the supernatural was merely coincidental (but you hint at a glaring logical fallacy often propagated by precisely the kind of people that one doesn't want to bother discussing the aforementioned topics with, for that exact reason - namely the problems they have with logic).

  104. leo

    The simplest way to explain this is....can a computer have self recognition and if so, is this man made object capable of placing itself in situations alike those with cognitive human consciousness and rational thought such as a human? The answer so far is no, and when we reach this threshold is it not in our interest to protect ourselves?

  105. leo

    I often have question the same. Basically all of our current and future inventions are based on the duality of matter and the complex system that is nature including the human. From the car to the airplanes to software is all derivative of things around us. Such a great creation a biological structure that surpasses a machine one, one in perfect balance. Anyone ever thought that a biological cyborg would be the goal of a complete non biological one? In sense...which one came first?

  106. Dan Courtney

    The answer so far is "we don't know". The evidence so far seems to point to some minimum number of neural connections in combination with the way they're connected that gives rise to self awareness. We have yet to figure out exactly what these thresholds are, so we can't yet say whether this hypothesis is even true. We have in the last few years made progress toward human level general intelligence in machines, and the implication is that we will achieve and exceed that level within a few decades. This advancement will likely come with self-awareness (consciousness), but we don't yet know if or when this may occur. So will it be in our interest to protect ourselves? Absolutely. Creating a super-intelligence that benefits mankind instead of exterminating it may be the greatest challenge we'll ever face.

  107. SvenTheBold

    Your arrogance says more about you than it does about Christianity.

  108. SvenTheBold

    I think it's fairly unlikely that we literally descend from computers, but the idea that biological computers are superior to silicon ones would make an excellent premise for a sci-fi movie. It'd be like "Chappie", "Planet of the Apes", "Splice," and "Pinocchio" all rolled into one.

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