Fully Automated Luxury … Dancing?  (A futuristic conspiracy theory) — Turing’s Radiator

Fully Automated Luxury … Dancing? (A futuristic conspiracy theory in the making) Vic Grout, Professor of Computing Futures, Wrexham Glyndŵr University Download the PDF version: Fully Automated Luxury Dancing – Download Version [Note/Disclaimer: Some of the discussion in this piece is shockingly brief. A limit of 10,000 words was planned and (just) adhered to.] We’ve […]

Fully Automated Luxury … Dancing?  (A futuristic conspiracy theory) — Turing’s Radiator

This is a fantastic post by Vic Grout. I’ve only read part so far but I’ve read enough to recommend.

Posted in AI, End Times, Futurism | 1 Comment

Brief Followup to World As Neural Network

Some of the claims for the theory dealt with in my last post were fairly astonishing and we should rightfully be skeptical of them. However, I would like to point out that the idea that entropy could be connected to the evolution of universe and the accumulation of information and complexity is not new with that theory. David Layzer, a Harvard cosmologist, in the 1960’s and 1970’s made the argument that there could be an increasing gap between the maximum possible entropy and the actual entropy of the universe. This gap could provide an explanation for the growth of order or information at the same time entropy is increasing.

Posted in Entropy, Information | 11 Comments

World As Neural Network?

I’m interested in getting people reactions to this paper: The world as a neural network.

Here’s a fragment of the abstract that omits the technical parts:

We discuss a possibility that the entire universe on its most fundamental level is a neural network…This shows that the learning dynamics of a neural network can indeed exhibit approximate behaviors described by both quantum mechanics and general relativity. We also discuss a possibility that the two descriptions are holographic duals of each other.

Here’s an article and interview with the author.

I don’t understand the math and I’m skeptical of another Theory of Everything, but there are few items that struck a cord with me.

For one thing, it tries to tie learning to entropy and to view the evolution of the universe as terms of learning. This includes, of course, the physical aspects of the universe, but also biological evolution, as a form of learning. Consciousness and its association with learning emerges directly from the overall processes.

Indeed, if the entire universe is a neural network, then something like natural selection might be happening on all scales from cosmological (> 10+15 m) and biological (10+2 − 10−6 m) all the way to subatomic (< 10−15 m) scales. The main idea is that some local structures (or architectures) of neural networks are more stable against external perturbations (i.e. interactions with the rest of the network) than other local structures. As a result the more stable structures are more likely to survive and the less stable structures are more likely to be exterminated. There is no reason to expect that this process might stop at a fixed time or might be confined to a fixed scale and so the evolution must continue indefinitely and on all scales. We have already seen that on the smallest scales the learning evolution is likely to produce structures of a very low complexity (i.e. second law of learning) such as one dimensional chains of neurons, but this might just be the beginning. As the learning progresses these chains can chop off loops, form junctions and according to natural selection the more stable structures would survive. If correct, then what we now call atoms and particles might actually be the outcomes of a long evolution starting from some very low complexity structures and what we now call macroscopic observers and biological cells might be the outcome of an even longer evolution. Of course, at present the claim that natural selection may be relevant on all scales is very speculative, but it seems that neural networks do offer an interesting new perspective on the problem of observers.

Posted in Consciousness, Quantum Mechanics | 15 Comments