From cosmism to deism

January 18, 2011 by Hugo de Garis,

The rise of artilects (artificial intellects, i.e., godlike massively intelligent machines with intellectual capacities trillions of trillions of times above the human level) in this century makes the existence of a deity (a massively intelligent entity capable of creating a universe) seem much more plausible.

There are now thousands of AI scientists around the world (concentrated largely in the English-speaking countries) who feel that humanity will be able to build massively intelligent machines this century that will be hugely smarter than human beings. The author, for example, thinks that the issue of whether humanity should build these “artilects” (artificial intellects) will dominate our global politics this century and lead to a “gigadeath” war, killing billions of people.

These AI researchers know that 21st century technology will be capable of creating machines with a bit processing rate trillions of trillions of times above the estimated human-brain-equivalent bit-processing rate, and that neuro-scientific knowledge is advancing at an exponential rate.

Let us assume for the sake of argument that these artilects are actually built this century, and then speculate on what such creatures might occupy themselves with. Of course, as humans, with our puny human brains, trying to imagine what an artilect would think about is like a mouse trying to imagine what humans think about, using its puny mouse brain. Nevertheless, we will speculate anyway, because some of these human level suggestions may turn out to be correct.

The obvious question then arises, “Is it possible that our universe was designed by some artilect in some other universe?” This question raises some interesting metaphysical issues, that will be discussed later, but let us assume that the answer is “yes.” What then?

This “creator artilect” would then satisfy the definition of a deity, i.e., a creator of our universe. Given that it is likely that humanity will be building artilects this century, science ought to be a lot more open to the idea of deism. The above argument makes it much more plausible.

Deisma pamatā ir uzskats, ka Universs un mūsu novērotā komplicētība veidojušies tā, kā to māca kosmoloģija un evolūcijas teorija. Tikai … to pirmo, to Einšteina vispārējās relativitātes modeli (ar visiem tā ‘sākuma noteikumiem’), kas apraksta mūsu universu, to … radījis Dievs. 

Šeit pārkāpts parsimonijas (hipotēžu taupīšanas) princips:

Deism and Science. “Richard Dawkins is not keen on the idea of a deity. He claims, I think correctly, that any deity capable of creating our universe, would need to be extremely complex, at least as complex as that of our universe. Where I disagree with him is his idea that instead of postulating the existence of a deity, science should start with the premise that the universe exists with given properties, that science then attempts to discover and explain. For Dawkins, the idea of a deity is “outside science” and conceptually redundant. If a deity made the universe, who made the deity? One gets stuck in an infinite regress.”

Autors, kaut gan atzīst, ka zinātnē nevajadzētu pārkāpt parsimonijas principu, tomēr aicina mūs to darīt:

“This essay hopes to persuade its readers that science ought to take the notion of deism a lot more seriously. The rise of the artilect in this century makes the notion of a hyperintelligent designer and creator of our universe far more plausible. It suggests the creation of a “hyper-physics” (as distinct from a traditional metaphysics that poses the deepest of questions) that would “investigate” the tree of universes that a branching set of artilects may have created.”

Fakts, ka Homo sapiens varbūt tuvāko gadsimtu laikā iemācīsies radīt jaunus universus, nerada nekādas papildus zināšanas jautājumā par to, kas bija ‘pirms Lielā sprādziena’.


About basicrulesoflife

Year 1935. Interests: Contemporary society problems, quality of life, happiness, understanding and changing ourselves - everything based on scientific evidence.
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