What's new

This Person Does Not Exist - but do YOU?

Karl Feuerstake

Senior Member
Listen to this debate between a human and IBM Project Debater about preschool funding. Jump at 24:00 for PD response if you're short on time but the whole thing was fascinating to me when I first saw it.
Watched some of it today and found it interesting, but I am not a believer in 'strong AI', at least not at the moment.

I'd like to continue our discussion of simulation vs. reality but must openly express some anxiety towards the topic; it may not be healthy for me to continue, as perhaps my knowledge may be only enough for it to be 'dangerous'. Nonetheless I will try to have some courage as maybe I will learn something.

My particular anxiety comes from this: in the past I suffered a psychotic break, largely brought on by severe sleep deprivation, and this nearly resulted in my death. This is a considerable source of panic for me because my perceptions of what was real were so severely distorted, so any risk that I might alter my perception of reality gives raise to considerable anxiety. Nonetheless, I will go on related to the topic.

For such a discussion to take place, it should probably relate some kind of meaning behind those two words (simulation, reality); that they be considered distinct from each other. My own understanding is that simulation is something which artificially attempts to illustrate or approximate reality, without genuinely being real in and of itself. An example might be how in the film The Matrix, the majority of people live in a computer simulation, but we as an audience are shown humans living outside it, and given a perspective as to how a transition between simulation and reality might occur. In the film, it seems like a believable enough mechanic that could potentially be executed in our world.

Hopefully we have now established some kind of meaning behind the key terms, and next I will try to take a page out of the book of Nick Batzdorf; that is, to ask you some questions rather than (as I have been prone to in the past) bluntly espouse my own view:

What kind of meaning can we derive from the idea that all our current "reality" is actually just a "simulation"? Is there any proof to suggest this is the current order of affairs? What consequences should or will this hold for our lives? Are the consequences different whether there is proof or not?

I'm sure there are some other very good questions that could be asked but these are the most immediate on my mind.
 
Last edited:
OP
Tatiana Gordeeva

Tatiana Gordeeva

Long time member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #62
Out of my studio for a few minutes... Wow many new replies here! :)

A few clarifications are in order: my suggestion that we might be living in a simulated universe has nothing in common with the Matrix movies (of course), solipsism, Descartes' demon, BiaV, etc.

I never suggested that AI technology, now or in the future, might be used to do it. I just mentioned the uncanny reality of AI generated faces and turned the discussion to simulation theory as a discussion subject, which worked pretty well so far judging by the responses ;)

You just create a universe with the right mix of laws and parameters and the rest will follow automatically, from the Big Bang until now. :) These laws of physics will probably be compatible with ones we already know but might be more general and precise.

The simulating machine is the universe itself, the ultimate quantum computer. All the particles "know" how to behave. We are just the result so far. My husband, a theoretical physicist, would be able to explain all this much better than I could ever do.

The point is that there are no glitches to look for unless you consider quantum mechanics itself, the most precise theory in human history so far, to be the glitch. What you see is what you get, our visible universe and us in it. No discontinuity between the two. Other universes, invisible to us, are also possible, even predicted.

And nothing you could do would tell you if we are indeed in a simulation or not. No physics experiment could tell, ever. This is why this is not physics, it is metaphysics. :)
 
Last edited:

muk

Senior Member
A few clarifications are in order: my suggestion that we might be living in a simulated universe has nothing in common with the Matrix movies (of course), solipsism, Descartes' demon, BiaV, etc.

Still I'm not clear on what basis you deny that they do have things in common. You suggest that we might be living in a simulated universe. The brain in a vat thought experiment suggests that we might be living in a simulated universe. So to me it looks like they are directly related.
 
OP
Tatiana Gordeeva

Tatiana Gordeeva

Long time member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #65
We could be the equivalent of gold fish in a bowl to a higher evolved species 🙂
Maybe :) As someone wrote "We are qualia-generating machines." We don't create "energy" as in the Matrix. That makes not sense. But we process information!
*If* anyone was running the simulation *that* could be what they're after. ;)

After further discussion with my husband to clarify:

Again we're not "brains in a vat" being connected to some external simulation apparatus and being fed some simulated universe for our benefit. There are no "real" brains apart from the simulation! It's not the Matrix. There is no need for an external "simulator" nor for some "god programmer" to run the simulation. No aliens are needed for that nor are we, humans, in the future looking back. There's no external computer. No need for any of this!

Our universe *is* the computer, a quantum one of course. It runs the "simulation" through the mathematical laws of physics that we "discover" as we go. Our brains are part of all this, not outside of it looking at it. They generate qualia and process information.

They evolved as we know, respecting the laws of evolution, biology, chemistry and ultimately physics based on mathematical logic (which has no reason to be this way a priori). The observer is part of the "experiment". We cannot test, in any way except living "passively" through it, that this is going on. That's why this is not physics (it's not a testable hypothesis) but metaphysics, and makes for great, lively dinner conversation! ;)

We all know that we are recycled atoms from earlier star generations. Our cells at the most fundamental level are "molecular machines", in the most physical, mechanical way possible! If you don't what I mean then you need to check this video:



At a more fundamental level, i.e. particles and fields, there are things like interactions, decoherence, entanglement, etc. that come into play. That's "particle consciousness", information they gather through interactions, process and restore to their environment all according to the laws of quantum physics. At a higher level the same laws apply but averaged over huge quantities of particles. That's us, large quantum systems. At that level the approximate laws of classical (i.e. before quantum) physics suffice and can be used. That's pre-quantum physics.

What we call "consciousness", i.e. the feeling and "knowledge" that we exist, is hard to define because it has no reason to be. It's an emergent property of this "universe simulation". It plays no part in physics nor is it predicted to exist by it. It's the part that we experience, gives qualia, makes sense of our world, let us interact with it and gives senses to our lives (if a sense is needed at all) but not for our benefit, but it might be the reason for all this to be, if any reason is even necessary! :)
 
Last edited:

darkogav

Active Member
But sometimes you will see weird things in the background like a alien deformed limb, or a scary eye in the wrong place. It's not perfect, but pretty good.
Makes one wonder whether this gives a glimpse into what all the hyped AI music will sound like when (or if?) it becomes mainstream? You will hear it, it will sound pretty good, but something about it just doesn't sound quite right because something sounds terribly off about it and it will require someone to go in with surgical-like tools and fix it manually.

Like the below cat. Yes, it's a cat. Has the facial features of a cat, but does not seem to look like a real live cat. Why does the body in the background look like that of a dead animal or road kill?


1636805871678.png
 

Ned Bouhalassa

Senior Member
We are all living in a simulation. The entire universe is a simulation. The unfiltered state of things is too weird for us to be able to understand, so there is a limit to what we can see/observe. How else can we explain no visible sign of life amongst a gazillion stars and planets (Fermi Paradox)?

I believe that there are beings out there that are millions of years ahead of us technologically, and they study us like we study ants. But our chances of understanding these advanced cultures are about the same as the chance that a fruit fly will appreciate you reading out loud Lord of the Flies.
 

handz

Senior Member
Something fun to ponder over the weekend, during a Saturday night dinner with friends, something along the lines of the Simulation Theory.

Each time the following web page is reloaded a completely fake new human face is created by this artificial intelligence (AI) system:

https://thispersondoesnotexist.com/

If today our admittedly limited AI systems, still in their infancy, can already generate such realistic rendering who can say for sure that in 50, 100 or 200 years (a very short time for human history) they will not be able to animate them, give them intelligence, make them conscious, let them interact, give them a "world" to live in? Remember Sim City and The Sims?

More importantly, who can say for sure that WE are not ALREADY such artificial intelligence creations, interacting with each other, believing that we are in control. Maybe we actually are like chess pieces, moving in predetermined ways in a preset environment, unaware of the players and of their universe...

I'm just having fun here... Or maybe THEY are!!! :eek:
:)
Love this page. I am using them for all my fake accounts on youtube to bash all the sample libraries with criticism ❤️
 

b_elliott

A work in progress.
Here's my riff on "the glitch" having watched this podcast with Brian Greene amongst others.

My take: Things don't last in the universe is the glitch.

1. Physicists/philosophers use the term entropy to describe eventual universal death. Though this will take gazillions of years, (yes, Dorothy, there's still time for your vi mock-ups) death is the end game for our universe.

2. We humans dream at night but those dreams also don't last.

1 + 2 = the glitch (everything comes to naught).

Then, when I hear simulation theory, I wonder is #1 itself a drawn-out dream; but, that begs asking: Who dat?
Glitch, Bill
 

Macrawn

Senior Member
Like I'm not convinced that site is legit. Maybe those images were already generated in advance but I don't think a computer can create and render an image that fast upload it and send it to me via the internet in less than a second. They were most certainly touched up by a human.

But it doesn't change the fact that these images are going to start social media accounts, do reviews, endorse products, and become the representation of companies because they will always be clean, fully controlled and tow the company line. Much more reliable than humans.
 
OP
Tatiana Gordeeva

Tatiana Gordeeva

Long time member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #71
Here's my riff on "the glitch" having watched this podcast with Brian Greene amongst others. My take: Things don't last in the universe is the glitch.

1. Physicists/philosophers use the term entropy to describe eventual universal death. Though this will take gazillions of years, (yes, Dorothy, there's still time for your vi mock-ups) death is the end game for our universe.
:) Entropy, going from order to chaos. From what I understand from my husband's explanation, it's just a statistical thing, a large number thing. In 10 coin tosses you can get head 10 times in a row but with a million tosses it is highly improbable.

He explains it this way: entropy is related to the "arrow of time", time seems to us to go in one direction but all laws of physics are time reversible at the particle level. One particle can even go back in time (electron becomes positron, its antoparticle) but gazillion particles like us cannot! And photons don't even experience time!

It's like Time is a river flowing in one direction but that does not prevent a few droplets to go against current at one moment. He says that it is related to "quantum decoherence". Cannot say more... I'm a mere composer. ;)
2. We humans dream at night but those dreams also don't last.
1 + 2 = the glitch (everything comes to naught).
Then, when I hear simulation theory, I wonder is #1 itself a drawn-out dream; but, that begs asking: Who dat?
Glitch, Bill
Bill, I can only refer you to my post where I say that even in Eastern philosophies circa 3rd century BC, there were stories in Taoism like Zhuang Zhou's Dream of Being a Butterfly, asking, like Plato, about the nature of reality:
 
Last edited:
OP
Tatiana Gordeeva

Tatiana Gordeeva

Long time member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #72
Like I'm not convinced that site is legit. Maybe those images were already generated in advance but I don't think a computer can create and render an image that fast upload it and send it to me via the internet in less than a second. They were most certainly touched up by a human.
Of course. These are pre-generated by the AI system. I agree.

Note: since this is NVIDIA research I'm not even sure of that. THEY, of all companies, have the resources to create such images on the fly!

I don't think they were touched up too.
Science papers here: https://nvlabs.github.io/stylegan2/versions.html

But it doesn't change the fact that these images are going to start social media accounts, do reviews, endorse products, and become the representation of companies because they will always be clean, fully controlled and tow the company line. Much more reliable than humans.
Again, agreed!
 
Last edited:

Macrawn

Senior Member
Of course. These are pre-generated by the AI system. I agree.

Note: since this is NVIDIA research I'm not even sure of that. THEY, of all companies, have the resources to create such images on the fly!

I don't think they were touched up too.
Science papers here: https://nvlabs.github.io/stylegan2/versions.html


Again, agreed!
Cool, yes I think Nvidia could do it without touching them up.

I think the new thing in the next 10 years is that we will all be creating alternate personalities in social media backed by these images and 3-D rendered people. At night I'll be crawling the internet as Jose Varcas and be a part time shill for a VST company. I can't wait!
 

b_elliott

A work in progress.
:) Entropy, going from order to chaos. From what I understand it's just a statistical thing, a large number thing. In 10 coin tosses you can get head 10 times in a row but with a million tosses it is highly improbable.

He explains it this way: entropy is related to the "arrow of time", time seems to us to go in one direction but all laws of physics are time reversible at the particle level. One particle can even go back in time (electron becomes positron, its antoparticle) but gazillion particles like us cannot! And photons don't even experience time!
Thanks. My definition for entropy combines that mention Greene gives on the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (@ 1 minute in): this whole shit-show eventually grinds to a halt. That's my concept -- likely there's a better term; I could be wrong.

I am somewhat familiar with the last reference. Cool stuff; but, if I am a butterfly, I am currently obsessed with my latest BF purchase: Knifonium. Which, down the road, I hope to have bellowing with intensity. Hey, a song title: The Butterfly who Bellowed... o_O
 
OP
Tatiana Gordeeva

Tatiana Gordeeva

Long time member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #75
Thanks. My definition for entropy combines that mention Greene gives on the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (@ 1 minute in): this whole shit-show eventually grinds to a halt. That's my concept -- likely there's a better term; I could be wrong.
That's exactly what I was describing, Entropy. :)

By the way Bill if you want to think about the end of our universe I suggest you watch this realistic, scientifically correct, depiction of what it would look like if anyone was there to watch of course ;) Enjoy the End of our Universe!
 
Last edited:

Karl Feuerstake

Senior Member
We are all living in a simulation. The entire universe is a simulation. The unfiltered state of things is too weird for us to be able to understand, so there is a limit to what we can see/observe. How else can we explain no visible sign of life amongst a gazillion stars and planets (Fermi Paradox)?

I believe that there are beings out there that are millions of years ahead of us technologically, and they study us like we study ants. But our chances of understanding these advanced cultures are about the same as the chance that a fruit fly will appreciate you reading out loud Lord of the Flies.

Can you prove it? If you can't, does it have to be true? If it doesn't have to be true, is there value to thinking that way?
 
OP
Tatiana Gordeeva

Tatiana Gordeeva

Long time member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #79
Can you prove it? If you can't, does it have to be true? If it doesn't have to be true, is there value to thinking that way?
As mentioned before it (probably) cannot be proved BUT, my husband would tell you that, it is still an interesting perspective to look at things as being programmed instead of looking at them as some magical production, some super-rabbit pulled out of a Magician creator's hat. It's a personal philosophy question... Metaphysics (with some hope of understanding one day) vs Religion (faith). Whatever makes you more comfortable. :)
 

Karl Feuerstake

Senior Member
As mentioned before it (probably) cannot be proved BUT, my husband would tell you that, it is still an interesting perspective to look at things as being programmed instead of looking at them as some magical production, some super-rabbit pulled out of a Magician creator's hat. It's a personal philosophy question... Metaphysics (with some hope of understanding one day) vs Religion (faith). Whatever makes you more comfortable. :)
I suppose this is where agnosticism should come into play, then. I can concede in so far as much as it is possible, but since I see no active evidence in support of it and currently can derive no value from being certain of / absolutely accepting the premise of it, I ought to remain skeptical.
 
Top Bottom