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Author Topic: AI wonderings and discussion  (Read 1430 times)

Gnabberwocky

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AI wonderings and discussion
« on: 23 Sep 2020, 21:38 »

How do AI chromatophores work?

I assumed they were, like, nanobots in the dermal covering or something, but they're also in hair (we saw Roko turn green at one point). We also know that AIs routinely cut and style their hair (Momo and Bubs have both done so). How do the chromatophores go into the new hair and how do they connect to the AI's mind?

This is an open thread for other obsessed nerds as well, if you have more questions about QC AIs.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #1 on: 23 Sep 2020, 23:07 »

The hair is hollow and transparent and acts like a damaged optical fibre, absorbing and retransmitting light from basically the entire surface.
As for the colours, microscopic RGBY oLEDs in the dermis with the exterior surface itself acting as a diffuser.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #2 on: 24 Sep 2020, 03:38 »

I thought that they worked essentially the same way as a Cuttlefish's colour-change abilities: Electro-reactive red, blue and green pigments whose size is controlled by changes in the current through a micro-weave electrical mesh just beneath the top layer of the derma.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #3 on: 24 Sep 2020, 08:07 »

I thought that they worked essentially the same way as a Cuttlefish's colour-change abilities: Electro-reactive red, blue and green pigments whose size is controlled by changes in the current through a micro-weave electrical mesh just beneath the top layer of the derma.
I remember a while back an experimental material woven from conductive fibres and coated with a unique liquid crystal coating. The zones would switch from light to dark depending on current flow IIRC and show the core pigmentation when dark. Didn't require any power to maintain still images. It was supposed to be a low power low labour replacement of commercial printed banners but flat screens dropped in cost so quickly they killed this tech in it's infancy.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #4 on: 24 Sep 2020, 10:14 »

I thought that they worked essentially the same way as a Cuttlefish's colour-change abilities: Electro-reactive red, blue and green pigments whose size is controlled by changes in the current through a micro-weave electrical mesh just beneath the top layer of the derma.
So why is newly grown robot hair affected?
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #5 on: 24 Sep 2020, 20:58 »

I'm imagining something similar to an E-Ink display.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #6 on: 25 Sep 2020, 00:16 »

I thought that they worked essentially the same way as a Cuttlefish's colour-change abilities: Electro-reactive red, blue and green pigments whose size is controlled by changes in the current through a micro-weave electrical mesh just beneath the top layer of the derma.

So why is newly grown robot hair affected?

It's a different material but essentially it's the same trick - pigment cells in the fibres either expand or contract based on the electrical current/frequency around the roots.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #7 on: 25 Sep 2020, 06:09 »

I'm imagining something similar to an E-Ink display.

I second that. Needs practically no energy to keep in its current state, and doesn't shine at night. And the kind of thing fancier chassis have, opposed to a cheaper and simpler single-color dermal cover.
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Gnabberwocky

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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #8 on: 25 Sep 2020, 10:52 »

We've seen the process of AI hair growth. They submerge their head in a pool of liquid until the fibers attach. Does the liquid contain the color cells, or are those stored elsewhere in the AI's body and move to the hair once it attaches?

By the way, you guys have great answers. I just never run out of questions.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #9 on: 26 Sep 2020, 12:49 »

I'd want to know why they call themselves robots. It's a fairly recent coinage that comes from the Slavic (I think) root for labor or slave, and (outside Questionable Content) more correctly refers to machinery that does some work, like an assembly arm or the mechanical quadrupeds, rather than sapient machines.
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Carl-E

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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #10 on: 26 Sep 2020, 20:57 »

Until you get to things like Robbie the Robot.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #11 on: 27 Sep 2020, 02:57 »

Sure it's a recent coinage, but it is far less recent than their existence. And humans have been referring to human-shaped machines for decades. It makes sense that people would use the term, and by extension makes sense that the entities themselves would pick up that usage just by existing in a culture that uses it frequently.
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@syleegrrl

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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #12 on: 27 Sep 2020, 12:57 »

Would there be such that refer to themselves as automatons? Clientele of the Horrible Revelation, perhaps?
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #13 on: 27 Sep 2020, 13:05 »

I do wonder if they use 'robot' to reclaim the word for themselves. Destroy its negative connotations by making it theirs.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #14 on: 27 Sep 2020, 23:45 »

Also it's important to note that, while yes the origins of the word are a reference to slavery, most people outside of etymology nerds don't know that or make that connection. The actual etymology of a word is less important than the mental connections and psychosocial associations it elicits.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #15 on: 28 Sep 2020, 06:45 »

...mental connections and psychosexual associations it elicits.

FYP




OK, more like hijacked it. 
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #16 on: 29 Sep 2020, 08:28 »

I said what I said.

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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #17 on: 29 Sep 2020, 09:26 »

I agree on the "etymology doesn't matter if no-one knows it" part.

I'm Polish, I *should've* recognized the word for being Slavic ("robota" in modern Polish is still a colloquial word for "work" or "a task"), and I still didn't until relatively recently. I don't think anyone outside of Eastern Europe has an even remote chance of thinking of the word's origin.

I don't think the average person, including the average AI, would dig that deep.

If anything, "robotically" connoting unthinking repetition of mundane tasks would be more problematic than the word's etymological roots.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #18 on: 29 Sep 2020, 09:45 »

If anything, "robotically" connoting unthinking repetition of mundane tasks would be more problematic than the word's etymological roots.
Oh yes, definitely. Also, I wonder who sued who first over discriminatory “are you a robot” checks on websites…?

That said, the origin of the word is commonly expounded upon in “history of robotics” books but that’s a tiny audience in the here and now, though I guess it may be bigger in the QC-verse?
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #19 on: 29 Sep 2020, 16:09 »

Robotically denotes unthinking repetition. Not repetition, but my impression had the unthinking part as more significant. It's unthinking work, which is repetitive stereotypically. This is not to doubt the significance of connotation (I know personally how much hate can hide in there) but denotation is always more significant.
Robot has nothing to do with the human shape, but everything to do with the mechanical structure designed for complex motion. This accurately describes some Questionable Content characters' chasses.
Another fact that I would like to mention is that robot was coined over a decade before the first robots was made.
The characters of Questionable Content are not robots, the same way that I am not a human. But we call ourselves human, because our human bodies are tangible, while our personalities, which are closer to who we are, are intangible. And idiots that we are, we often rely too much on such superficial aspects in our decisions.
The definition alone (especially with that root) as it's used in engineering would let us adopt it as a slur against the persons who happened to have been made in a way that makes them compatible only with robot bodies.
It's only a matter of time. Whether that means a couple years or decades, only god can know in advance.

Of course I cannot speak about their reasons for using such a term about themselves, especially with my thinking leading me to conclude it has a bad odor at least.


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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #20 on: 29 Sep 2020, 19:16 »


The characters of Questionable Content are not robots, the same way that I am not a human. But we call ourselves human, because our human bodies are tangible, while our personalities, which are closer to who we are, are intangible.
Except that these are inseparable from each other. Personality is just an amalgamation of the processes performed by all the various interacting bits of our bodies. In a very real sense, we are our bodies, although mostly the parts we can't see.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #21 on: 29 Sep 2020, 20:54 »

Except that these are inseparable from each other. Personality is just an amalgamation of the processes performed by all the various interacting bits of our bodies. In a very real sense, we are our bodies, although mostly the parts we can't see.
Personality, the person's essential phenomenal pattern, may emerge from such processes, but is not merely an amalgam thereof. Certain instances of certain personalities may be inseparable from their embodiment, but excepting those defined enthralled, the personality is. Of course existence in this reality requires embodiment, but that does not prevent separation from a body. For example into another body. If your body fits you so well that none other can suffice, you have my envy, and my pity.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #22 on: 29 Sep 2020, 21:21 »

Whether or not my body is acceptable to me is irrelevant. It is what it is. There is no personality separate from embodiment. We are bodies. Alter the body, you alter the personality.

Consciousness is non-transferable. Theoretically one could generate a new consciousness very similar to another, but it would not be the same one.

The "self" is an illusion.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #23 on: 29 Sep 2020, 21:28 »

Whether or not my body is acceptable to me is irrelevant. It is what it is. There is no personality separate from embodiment. We are bodies. Alter the body, you alter the personality.

Consciousness is non-transferable. Theoretically one could generate a new consciousness very similar to another, but it would not be the same one.

The "self" is an illusion.
I agree and disagree. It is true that the body has a major and unalterable effect on the personality, but humans are brains. We're brains using complicated electrical signals and feedback loops to power a mech made of meat. The meat suit protects us and feeds the brain, and the chemicals it sends to our brains affect how we act, but it isn't itself a direct part of our personalities.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #24 on: 29 Sep 2020, 21:37 »

Those chemical processes are part of the whole, and brain is part of the body.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #25 on: 29 Sep 2020, 22:01 »

Those chemical processes are part of the whole, and brain is part of the body.
I think we're arguing about different points. Please correct me if I'm wrong on this, but it seems like you're saying that the brain isn't complete without the body. I agree with that; they're codependent. The body needs the brain's control to move and live, and the brain needs the body's supplies to work properly. I was only trying to get at the fact that the root of consciousness is in the brain.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #26 on: 29 Sep 2020, 23:31 »

I wonder if any advanced hybrots will turn up.

I don't recall seeing any updates on that line of research since around 2012.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #27 on: 30 Sep 2020, 04:27 »

Whether or not my body is acceptable to me is irrelevant. It is what it is. There is no personality separate from embodiment. We are bodies. Alter the body, you alter the personality.
I don't think Dock Braun was referencing the acceptability of your body, but the fact that there is no other body that could possibly fit you. Also, being essentially thralled to the whim of arbitrary chemical processes would be a perfect hell for me. There are plenty changes to my body that don't entail changes to my personality. It may be that my personality would need an embodiment to even exist---that seems to be in the nature of this our universe---but that doesn't mean the same personality cannot be embodied otherwise.
Consciousness is non-transferable. Theoretically one could generate a new consciousness very similar to another, but it would not be the same one.
Personality and consciousness are not identical. Also, I would be very interested in knowing what methods you used to conclude that consciousness cannot move to another embodiment.
The "self" is an illusion.
All of mathematics, any work of fiction, physics, your thoughts or perceptions---all illusions; doesn't mean they're not real.
Those chemical processes are part of the whole, and brain is part of the body.
The idea of being part of something is illusory, too. I could extend my definition of self to include all the things I own, or even things I don't own, or the persons with whom I interact. By your reasoning, I could well define myself so that my personality depends on the financial state of a corporation I partially own. The personality is one thing that a person has nigh-total control of.

I think a problem here is we're using crude language discussing subtle concepts.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #28 on: 30 Sep 2020, 07:37 »

It wouldn't be the same personality. At most it would be one very much like it. The personality arises from the gestalt of all the physiological processes currently going on in the body. At most you could replicate those processes somehow in another body, but even if you somehow managed to transfer all of the data stored in the brain along with it, it still wouldn't be the same personality, just a copy. And an imperfect one at that as they would immediate begin to diverge from one another.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #29 on: 30 Sep 2020, 08:28 »

I think a problem here is we're using crude language discussing subtle concepts.
“I think perhaps the most important problem is that we are trying to understand the fundamental workings of the universe via a language devised for telling one another where the best fruit is.” --Terry Pratchett
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #30 on: 30 Sep 2020, 08:36 »

Those chemical processes are part of the whole, and brain is part of the body.
"Mind is a function of brain," as I've heard it put.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #31 on: 30 Sep 2020, 10:03 »

(click to show/hide)
The personality arises from the gestalt of all the physiological processes currently going on in the body. At most you could replicate those processes somehow in another body, but even if you somehow managed to transfer all of the data stored in the brain along with it, it still wouldn't be the same personality, just a copy.
I am interested in learning more about this conception of personality. I'm not convinced that it requires that inseparability quality. (I suspect that this thread is not the most appropriate place for a discussion of these topics. Perhaps somewhere in RELATE or DISCUSS?)
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Gnabberwocky

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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #32 on: 30 Sep 2020, 14:38 »

I've set up a thread for it over in RELATE.

Back to the main point of this thread...

...how do AI feelings work? Is it a set programming of a response to given trigger phrases and actions, or is it more like humans, where physical chemicals are released based on your reaction?
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #33 on: 30 Sep 2020, 14:54 »

I'm pretty sure that, given the infodumps he has done in the past, Jeph follows the MST3K mantra.  The primary evidence for that point is when it was mentioned that the first AI was an emergent phenomenon.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #34 on: 30 Sep 2020, 20:37 »

It wouldn't be the same personality. At most it would be one very much like it. The personality arises from the gestalt of all the physiological processes currently going on in the body. At most you could replicate those processes somehow in another body, but even if you somehow managed to transfer all of the data stored in the brain along with it, it still wouldn't be the same personality, just a copy. And an imperfect one at that as they would immediate begin to diverge from one another.
One's experiences and disposition also play rather major roles in the development of one's personality.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #35 on: 23 Oct 2020, 07:22 »

I wonder if any of the artificial muscles in QC work like this?


EDIT: I mean more in the general sense of 'compressed gas contracts and expands the muscle fibers'. Probably something decidedly less flammable than pure hydrogen.
« Last Edit: 26 Oct 2020, 06:10 by Gyrre »
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #36 on: 25 Oct 2020, 22:16 »

Okay, next question: this comic.

Based on the background (and the hologram Roko holds up in 4301), it looks like a virtual environment, right? Where would they be if it weren't? But Landon seems definitively human, unless that's an incredibly realistic AI body. Also, Roko comes back into the office a few comics later, as if she's just returned from a meeting. If it were virtual, what would have stopped her from simply using the interface at her desk?

I guess it's possible that they're all using external VR sets with full-body video tracking. If anyone has any ideas, let me know.

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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #37 on: 25 Oct 2020, 23:18 »

Okay, next question: this comic.

Based on the background (and the hologram Roko holds up in 4301), it looks like a virtual environment, right? Where would they be if it weren't? But Landon seems definitively human, unless that's an incredibly realistic AI body. Also, Roko comes back into the office a few comics later, as if she's just returned from a meeting. If it were virtual, what would have stopped her from simply using the interface at her desk?

I guess it's possible that they're all using external VR sets with full-body video tracking. If anyone has any ideas, let me know.
In the previous strip Roko says "I have a call today with some people at Munroe Robotics." So it's clear that this is not a physical-presence meeting.

Simplest explanation is that Roko is entering the main office from the conference room, which is set up with all the fancy VC (in this case VR) gear, much like many real offices. Yes, she probably could have done a lower fidelity call from her own workstation, but apart from disturbing people around her, it probably makes a better impression on the person on the other end of the call if you use the fancy stuff. And when you're trying to make friends and influence people, those impressions count.
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Re: AI wonderings and discussion
« Reply #38 on: 28 Oct 2020, 08:35 »

I wonder if any of the artificial muscles in QC work like this?
EDIT: I mean more in the general sense of 'compressed gas contracts and expands the muscle fibres. Probably something decidedly less flammable than pure hydrogen.
Interesting but requires way too much support infrastructure.

The use of memory metals work well enough as springs by just passing a current through them.
The myomers used as the basis for the technology in the game universe of Battletech is based on the polymer version where passing a current through the fibre causes it to shorten.
We do have something like that in the lab but making it durable and in large quantities is way off in the future ..... maybe.

The thing is servo and direct drive stepper motors are not what they once were.
They have come down in size and mass and increased in relative power and efficiency by several magnitudes.
This is why drones are even possible and now they are cheap consumer products compared to even a decade ago.

Just think what you could do with the right software and sensor suite linked with servo motors on each of the circular seals of an atmospheric hardsuit.
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« Reply #39 on: 28 Oct 2020, 17:19 »

Just think what you could do with the right software and sensor suite linked with servo motors on each of the circular seals of an atmospheric hardsuit.
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