Nigel Shadbolt, who is a professor of computer science at Oxford University gets the award for most profound and on target statement of the year:

“Speaking at the Hay Festival of Literature and Arts he said, ‘Does AI threaten humanity? Certainly anything you see in Hollywood portrays it that way. They are usually mad, bad and dangerous to know. Essentially, you don't want to get too close to them. But this is to misunderstand where the real problem lies. It is not artificial intelligence that should terrify you, it is natural stupidity.’ [2]

Science has become lazy. Used to be, if something was not known; then scientists put forth theories to explain. Scientists discussed and attacked (as they should) any claim made by anyone they deemed worth listening to. That process kept lunatics out of the mainstream (sometimes) and kept pure fiction in books where it belongs.

That has all ended. Peer Review is now a sad thing of the past as science is now about money. OK it has always been about money, to some point, but NOT THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD.

The Scientific Method has been replaced with the Corporate Goal.

Don’t misunderstand that. I am not attacking Capitalism. On the contrary.

What IS the Scientific Method? This quote and graphic best displays just that.

“The scientific method is a process for experimentation that is used to explore observations and answer questions. Does this mean all scientists follow exactly this process? No. Some areas of science can be more easily tested than others. For example, scientists studying how stars change as they age or how dinosaurs digested their food cannot fast-forward a star's life by a million years or run medical exams on feeding dinosaurs to test their hypotheses. When direct experimentation is not possible, scientists modify the scientific method. In fact, there are probably as many versions of the scientific method as there are scientists! But even when modified, the goal remains the same: to discover cause and effect relationships by asking questions, carefully gathering and examining the evidence, and seeing if all the available information can be combined in to a logical answer.” [1]

Corporate science has added a step that has never and should never exist.

See “Procedure Working?” It follows with Yes and No. Corporate science has added “Maybe”.

Science cannot proceed without a simple binary answer in the affirmative. But not today. It isn’t science that is proceeding. Business is proceeding to use science as just another marketing platform by not finding answers but by redefining the questions, therefore creating what was never asked.

Examples happen every single day but today’s example is the cake taker.

Scientists invent 'self-aware' robot that operates ON ITS OWN and able to REPAIR ITSELF” [2]

“Engineers at Columbia University, in New York, have reached a pinnacle in robotics inventions, inventing a mechanical arm able to programme itself - even after it is malfunctioned. Professor Hod Lipson, who leads the Creative Machines lab, where the research was carried out, likened the robotic arm to how a "newborn child" adapts to their environment and learns things on its own. The group of scientists claimed this is the first time a robot has shown the ability to "imagine itself" and work out its purpose, figuring out how to operate without inbuilt mechanics. In the study, published in the journal Science Robotics, Prof Lipson said: “This is perhaps what a newborn child does in its crib, as it learns what it is.” [2]

The video offered does not even relate to the claims made.

[advanced_iframe src="//players.brightcove.net/2540076170001/B1Hli6KCG_default/index.html?videoId=5249037343001" width="100%" height=360]

*Please excuse the brightcove advancement to the next silly video.

There are 5 claims in that headline.

1: Scientists invent

Invention requires something new. This is not. It is modification of the works done by others, added together and demands claims it cannot support.

2: self-aware

No definition of self-aware has ever been accepted by more than a handful of scientists in all of recorded history yet Columbia, (yes the organization is responsible for this behavior) has announced having created an artificial self-aware ‘arm’. Pay no attention to the rules and code and programs and computers that run that arm doing absolutely nothing a brain would do; naturally.

3: operates on its own

‘On its own’ requires disconnection. To be ‘on its own’ there would have to be NO artificial rules set by a leader and no instructions made by a programmer. Connection to a computer, unless that computer was not doing either of the former; means whatever it is (this time its an ‘arm’ [think auto assembly] ) is not independent and therefore cannot be ‘on its own’.

4: able to

Any device that does something is able to do it. Unless it breaks.

5: repair itself

So if it breaks it can repair itself. No it can’t. It can modify the outcome based on the rules from the correct condition it has in its memory to restore to a working condition the programmer determined was correct based on something not matching correct. Using ‘self’ is the foundation of this poster child for very very bad science.

“The researchers printed a 3D-deformed part to simulate a damaged part, to see if the robot was able to detect the fault and adapt its mechanics. The arm was able to detect the malfunction, and retrained its system to continue performing tasks despite the damaged part.” [2]

The ‘arm’ did nothing of the sort. The software did. It did not ‘retrain’ its system it corrected the error including the damaged part’s involvement in it.

As with all other good cons a warning is required.

"Self-awareness will lead to more resilient and adaptive systems, but also implies some loss of control. It's a powerful technology, but it should be handled with care.” [2]

No idea what Intelligence is. No idea what awareness is, let alone self-awareness. These ‘scientists’ are computer geeks they are not neuroscientists, not physics mavens, not even original. But I bet they get more funding.

So then what IS intelligence and awareness and self-awareness?

Answers to those questions have stumped the species ever since they were first identified as existing.

There is NO SUCH THING as Artificial Intelligence.

The field of ‘AI’ as it is called is made up of the wrong driving motive.

The motive is rush to profit. The motive should be knowledge itself. Whatever comes from that knowledge in the form of revenue has nothing at all to do with the knowledge. It has everything to do with the use of it. And that is where we define Intelligence.

Intelligence is simply what you do with knowledge. But to be ‘intelligent’ requires something else:

“Intelligence is the degree to which process exceeds input. It means the creature with the brain can not only react to input, that creature can anticipate input, can formulate a difference to input based on previous experience with it.” [5]

Human intelligence adds a layer to that and allows memory to be overridden by stupid.

One does not need to be ‘self-aware’ to be intelligent. One does need to be intelligent to be self-aware. See stupid.

To Know

To Know : is the motive that should be running science. It is the whole meaning of physical life. But it isn’t any longer for science. Announcements are made of ‘breakthroughs’ that do not exist as those announcements are made from press releases of submissions to peer reviewed journals, before more level headed professionals destroy the claims and make the con go away. For computer geeks that is memory.

To Know, that you Know : is what allows you to use what you know. If you do not know you know something you cannot use that knowing to do anything about it. In fact if you do not know you do not know you cannot know without externally being ‘taught’. Teaching is not programming and it is not a set of rules you must adhere to. For computer geeks that is an awareness of other. What sets humans apart from all other creatures and rocks for that matter is both this awareness (which all creatures possess, not rocks) and the abililty to know that we know, that we know something. What?

To Know, that you Know, that you Know: Stop laughing. This is not the description of observed things. Like referring to something by what it does, not what it is. [6 see this very sad piece describing observed results instead of cause.]

Awareness is knowing that you know. You are aware of knowing something. That something is something other than you. If you are not fully self-aware (this applies to the human species, all other readers please ignore this part) you are not in control of yourself. That means motion becomes motion not reflective reaction. [7]

Being ‘self-aware’ means not confusing anything for self. It means not having to find a unique way of identifying yourself to others. Tattoos, hair cut, implants, clothing... It means not becoming a member of a group because you think for yourself. Most carnivores travel in packs. Humans excel alone, but collect in mindless mobs when not self-aware. Intelligence is something you are born with. It is your parents’ fault. Awareness is your job. Normally you become self-aware around age 8. Some far sooner. Some, never. Every human who is not physically defective in some mental way can be helped into self-awarness. Doing so would be a really good thing before the species kills itself off.

If you know that you know, then you know something and know that you know it. It centers on only what you know. For humans, this is training. And misinterpreted natural behavour.

If you know that you know, that you know: then you know you know something and it centers on you, not what you know. You know that what you know is not you. You know that what others know is not you. You know others are not you. You know you are not others. You know you.

Does an ‘arm’ know anything? Nope. Does a program made of rules know anything? Nope. Is a program acquiring a memory able to know that memory? Nope. Can a program that has acquired a memory be able to know that it knows that it knows it has acquired that memory? Ok you can laugh now. Not in binay it can’t. That ‘maybe’ does exist as a ‘state’, but it is a definitive and variable value, sum of two values. (That would be quantum superposition) See stupid.

The dirty little secret behind this sharade of AI and self-aware claims is this:

“The team said this is the first time a robot has shown the ability to ‘imagine itself’, thereby working out what its purpose is and how to perform it. Until now, some experts had pointed to the failure to achieve this as evidence that machines would never be able to develop their own intelligence in the complex way that humans do.” [4]

Science has not figured out what intelligence is so it puts that responsibility on some mythical machine to figure it out for them. Science has not figured out what awareness is so it imposes that condition on anything that does something on its own (after being told what to do , how to do it, when to do it, where to do it, and how much to do it by a program.) Only two machines in history has ever managed to know and to know that it knows without a computer. The brain and the only replicated brain ever made.

If you have the knowledge of the concept of level, you can use that knowledge to make things not fall over. If you have know that you have that knowledge you can teach others to know it. If you have the knowledge that you know, that you know that knowledge, you can use it without you becoming what you know.

Humans are granted the mechanics that creates the functions that emerges as self-awareness. Machines can too. Our physical plant is not that special. But it can only be done by replicating the brain.

Not by declaring you have because it looks like something a brain would do.


[1] https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/science-fair/steps-of-the-scientific-method

[2] https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1080325/science-robots-self-aware-mechanical-arm-artificial-intelligence-columbia-university?fbclid=IwAR3nUh9dEKbaLQiWAjBHwz3kLEG58mrhep8AIKNI5LFWSe6IlEmEQtpnIm8

[3] https://www.thoughtco.com/steps-of-the-scientific-method-p2-606045

[4] https://finance.yahoo.com/news/robot-thinks-itself-scratch-brings-190000563.html

[5] https://leehempfling.com/blog/2019/01/06/what-intelligence-is/

[6] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/changepower/201603/know-yourself-6-specific-ways-know-who-you-are

[7] https://leehempfling.com/blog/2019/01/05/the-price-is-right-1972-to-2018-proves-self-awareness-is-slipping-away-how-to-fix/