The limits of AI…

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Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

A team of mathematicians and AI researchers discovered that despite the seemingly boundless potential of machine learning, even the cleverest algorithms are nonetheless bound by the constraints of mathematics.

Research showed that a machine’s ability to actually learn – called learnability – can be constrained by mathematics that is unprovable. In other words, it’s basically giving an AI an undecidable problem, something that’s impossible for an algorithm to solve with a true-or-false response.

The team investigate a machine learning problem they call ‘estimating the maximum’ (EMX), in which a website seeks to display targeted advertising to the visitors that browse the site most frequently – although it isn’t known in advance which visitors will visit the site. This problem is similar to a mathematical paradox called the continuum hypothesis, another field of investigation for Gödel.

Like the incompleteness theorems, the continuum hypothesis is concerned with mathematics that cannot ever be proved to be true or untrue, and given the conditions of the EMX example, at least, machine learning could hypothetically run into the same perpetual stalemate. (1)

We believe in science.

But the only thing science has proved is that it cannot prove anything.

Gödel’s incompleteness theorem showed that whatever we do, we will never be able to prove everything in the context of our limited theories. No matter how many axioms you choose and how carefully you choose them, you will never be able to describe the cosmos in its totality in an objective way as proponents of scientism would like to believe.

Now we have built big computers.

With the hope that they will answer everything.

But they cannot answer anything.

Because there is nothing to answer in the first place.

In a limited world there is no reason to analyze the Monad.

In an immeasurable cosmos you cannot count beyond One.

The maximum is zero.

The minimum is infinite.

A computer struggling to make sense of the problem. A man standing beside the computer trying to make sense of the computer. A bird flying by. Poor man…

Eugenics works! So why not use it? A hard problem begging for a simple answer…

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Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

In a recent online discussion where the idea of modern eugenics was brought up, many people were against it. Since eugenics bring up correlations with the Nazis it is easy for most people to discard such ideas as wrong or unethical. It is obvious that applying eugenics is wrong.

But all obvious things are very hard to prove.

In this case, someone simply asked “Why shouldn’t we engineer a baby not being sick?” and since then, this simple question has stuck into my mind. Sure, eugenics seems obviously wrong. But why? Why shouldn’t we make better babies? Only because we have bad memories of some people who at some point in time used similar techniques to do bad?

This sounds as stupid as fearing nuclear energy because at some point the US Air Force dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan. Surely it did happen, but one has nothing to do with the other.

So why is eugenics wrong?

Why shouldn’t we eradicate disease if we can?

The argument that “eugenics will not work and will cause probably more disease” is a plausible one, but yet it is not enough. For sure eugenics are currently not so advanced that it is error-free. Editing the genome of a person could result in numerous other mutations that could in turn result in more dreadful diseases than the ones we try to eradicate. But this argument does not answer the question at hand. It simply defers the answer. What if we had a way to have a working method for eugenics and for editing genome without problems? Would we then accept eugenics as something good?

Imagining this perfect scenario where we have mastered eugenics in such a way that it can produce perfect humans with no diseases whatsoever, is the key to the answer we seek. You see, the problem of technology as Heidegger put it, is not that it does not work, but that it does.

Humans without disease.

Humans not dying.

Humans perfect in any way.

This is our dream. But we have been into that dream for so long, that we have forgotten it is a nightmare. Humans not dying, means humans enslaved into the material world were we do not belong in the first place. A cosmos without disease and pain, means a world where there are no warning signs. We might all fear pain and death, but philosophy does strongly indicate that these might not be issues after all, in a cosmos which strongly suggests that the material aspect is insignificant in front of the spiritual one that engulfs it. A world with perfect humans, is not a dream of a rational man but the hubris of an irrational psychopath looking for perfection is a world which is nothing but. A world with people not dying is no different than a world full of zombies.

In simpler words: Yes, a car might get you faster where you go. But that does not say anything whether your destination is the right one.

Eugenics is a way to build on modern materialistic dogmatism and enhance it to new unprecedented heights.

But is materialism correct as a philosophy?

Is the cosmos made of matter only?

Do you breath only because your cells do?

Do you think because your brain does?

Do you love because of chemistry?

Do you cry because of molecular interactions?

Sorry to break the news, but if your answer to the above is “Yes”, then it doesn’t even matter if eugenics works or not.

Because you are already dead.

Destroyers of the Heavens… (Musk vs. Astronomy)

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StarLink satellites leaving a trail in the night sky

Some of you might have heard that the skies will never be the same again…
If not, I would suggest you follow up the Space X micro-satellites story more closely.

Elon Musks’s company has decided to launch a constellation of 42,000 micro-satellites in the skies, so as to provide Internet services to everyone on the planet. This constellation will be called StarLink and has caused astronomer’s to have nightmares for many days now. So far Musk’s company has launched 120 of those satellites (the actual number doen’s play a role, since it will change as we speak). To understand the magnitude of the endeavor, note that from the beginning of the space age until now, we have put around 8,000 satellites in orbit! But the problem is not just a problem of potential space junk and troubles in handling and managing the satellites traffic in space (ESA has already once diverted one of its satellites to avoid collision with a StarLink satellite). By the way, note that also other companies like Amazon are planning to put into the skies similar constellations of satellites.

The main problem arises from the fact that the satellites are too close to Earth (around 550 km) and too reflective (and thus, too bright). This causes extreme problems for astronomy. Telescopes are used to avoid satellites in orbit when taking photographs of the sky. However this would be one satellite at some point interfering with one photo. Now there are dozens (and in the future thousands) of such satellites literally destroying any observations astronomers try to make, by leaving a bright trail of light in the photographs astronomers take. The picture below is indicative of the problem.

StarLink satellites leaving trails of light in a telescope photo

Similar problems arise when amateur astronomers take long-exposure photos of the sky…

And last but not least, at their peak, the StarLink constellation will be visible with the naked eye and whenever you look at the stars it will be like you are looking at a video game with many small dots passing fast through the dark sky between the stars. (actually the total number of StarLink satellites is much higher than the number of visible stars which is in rough approximation 9,000)

Note: Musk is trying to find a solution to the problem, but of course after it is created. He already launched a satellite which was painted black on its belly, so as to evaluate whether this could be a solution to the problem.

So there you go my dear friends.

We ruined the Earth. And now we will ruin the sky as well.

Take a look at the sky to-night. For it will never be the same again. And then go back to Earth. And plant a tree. Cover your hands in dirt. This is your way up to the stars. Stars which you saw perfectly long before there were any telescopes.

Heidegger had said so a long time ago.

The problem with technology is not that it doesn’t work.

But that it does…

Related articles & sources

Ice loss. From above…

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Photo by Eneida Nieves from Pexels

Decades of satellite monitoring reveal Antarctic ice loss. (1)

People sitting in the warmth of their home.

Never to step on ice at all.

Knowing all there is to know about ice…

Detecting ice changes from above…

Heidegger once said it pretty eloquently.

The problem with technology is not that it doesn’t work.

But that it does…

Copying nature. For what?

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Sunlight reflected by solar cells is lost as unused energy. The wings of the butterfly Pachliopta aristolochiae are drilled by nanostructures (nanoholes) that help absorbing light over a wide spectrum far better than smooth surfaces. Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now succeeded in transferring these nanostructures to solar cells and, thus, enhancing their light absorption rate by up to 200 percent. The scientists reported their results in the journal Science Advances last year.

“The butterfly studied by us is very dark black. This signifies that it perfectly absorbs sunlight for optimum heat management. Even more fascinating than its appearance are the mechanisms that help reaching the high absorption. The optimization potential when transferring these structures to photovoltaics (PV) systems was found to be much higher than expected,” says Dr. Hendrik Hölscher of KIT’s Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT).

The scientists of the team of Hendrik Hölscher and Radwanul H. Siddique (formerly KIT, now Caltech) reproduced the butterfly’s nanostructures in the silicon absorbing layer of a thin-film solar cell. Subsequent analysis of light absorption yielded promising results. (1)

We have distanced our self from nature.

And then we try to copy nature.

In order to achieve “more”.

But why doesn’t the butterfly copy anyone else?

Is it that it is stupid or that it simply knows its place in the cosmos?

We want to reach new places and yet, we fail to understand where we already are…