UFO Conjecture(s)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

SuperIntelligence, the Singularity, and Roko's Basilisk

Just got Nick Bostrom's book -- Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies [Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 2014/2016] in which he eschews the term "singularity" opting for "machine intelligence" instead.

(I'll have more about Professor Bostom's ideas, in the book, upcoming.)

A few weeks ago, Joel Crook sent me an e-mail touting Eliezer Yudkowsky and content about Roko's Basilisk. Joel provided these links:

Roko Basilisk link


The material impacts the super intelligence dialogues online.

There is consternation, all over academia and the internet, about The Singularity, machine intelligence, and AI (artificial intelligence).

What this has to do with UFOs is grist for speculation here that the enigmatic phenomenon may stem from von Neumann-like probes, scouring the Galaxy (Universe or Cosmos), probes which are intelligent [AI] machines.

For instance, in Albert S. Rosales' book, Humanoid Encounters: The Others Amongst Us 2000-2009 [Triangulum Publishing, 2015], setting aside the plethora of insane, hallucinatory accounts, there are several reported incidents that seem to indicate intelligent machines showing themselves to witnesses. For example, on Page 64 is a June 1-4, 2001 sighting in Narli Esme, Usak, Turkey:

Three villagers, on their way to their farm, saw a "strange figure" hovering just above the ground. It was about 70 cm in height and robotic in appearance, wearing a shiny, silvery outfit, yellow colored torso, and red boots. It had a large, rounded head with small slit like eyes.

The villagers threw stones at the thing, which rose up, to about 20 meters and shot towards a nearby water tank and disappeared from sight.

Other villagers saw strange lights and others saw the "alien" in their farm and also threw stones at it, making it fly away.

I've recounted other UFO reports which seem to show machines interacting with humans -- the 1979 Robert Taylor "attack" in Scotland, for one.

Give a read of the Yudkovsky material, linked above, and make an attempt to get your hands on some of Bostrom's thinking, along with that of Ray Kurzweil.

You'll see that a case can be made for super-machine-intelligence, perhaps showing up here on planet Earth from inter-galactic probes, stumbling upon this pathetic ball of life, eons ago and programmed to check back, over and over again as species evolve here.

(The Roko Basilisk scenario is just odd and fictionally frightening.)



  • RR,

    What's with the "pathetic ball of life" and "pathetic place of earth in that Cosmos" comments? Personally I prefer upbeat and 'my glass being half full.'

    As our solar system finds our planet in the liquid water habitable zone, with the stabilizing moon, and the magnetic field we would be a target for ripe for exploration by others and hardly pathetic except for sociopolitical aspects -with our insane warfare and etc. -that could have others just taking a look and moving on and explain (possibly) some of the one of a kind reports.



    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Saturday, April 23, 2016  

  • First off Bryan...

    You fellows have to cut the white copy of your comments...it leaves a wide, wasted space, as you can see. Thanks.

    I am not Earth-centic, obviously.

    I see Earth as a ball of barbarism and scatological demeanor by all species.

    It (the Earth) is a twinkle in the Cosmos, and a dirt-filled home for incredulously disgusting species. desirous of sexual exploits and predatory behavior, not transcendental existence.

    I identify with Yahweh who wiped out humanity (during Noah's flood) for the reasons cited here.

    Humanity disgusts me, and the whole of the animal kingdom also.

    (Maybe that's why I keep projecting the idea that evolved plants from elsewhere pilot UFOs.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, April 23, 2016  

  • Rich, thanks for the post, I see if I can secure a copy of Bolstrom's book.

    "It (the Earth) is a twinkle in the Cosmos, and a dirt-filled home for incredulously disgusting species. desirous of sexual exploits and predatory behavior, not transcendental existence."

    Perhaps this is the universal norm for any evolutionary process? Propagation of one's species and predatory behaviors tend to be paramount in this process. Perhaps universal "Enlightenment" is merely a pipe dream.

    Having my initial degree in Biology with emphasis on vertebrate zoology, I find the animal Kingdom to be more efficient when left to nature's whims. I've a nest of Phoebes on my back porch. They have built a nest in that same location for 10 years. I've watched the adults labor every year to rebuild the nest, lay their eggs and watch over the chicks to fledglings. The pure energy that is invested by the adults shuttling back and forth to feed their chicks is amazing.

    Sometimes Rich, we need to stop and admire what is going on in our own backyards rather than looking for answers in the deep recesses of the cosmos.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Saturday, April 23, 2016  

  • RR,

    Yikes! Time for good counsel! Don't let the bastards get you down... sure there are evil doers but the relative normal folk greatly out pace them in the neighborhoods.

    And forget the great flood and Yahweh biblical bull, the asteroid will likely do us in...on the other hand, if it plops in the Pacific treading water may well be required here in Oregon.

    Moving back to topic, the Singularity, without the Roko nonsense, is worthy of conjecture. I've come to see social media with great displeasure although other aspects of the information age that moves us toward the Singularity amount to enlightenment that I take with great pleasure. -Heck, you throw words at me that I can look up instantly, -scatological for example(good grief).

    The notion that others may have achieved the Singularity and have or will use it to move out into the galaxy is another projection just as dear SETI operates with the notion that electronics will be our source of first contact. Discovery is not over with, Charles H. Duell was certainly wrong and so, likely, are the null people.



    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Saturday, April 23, 2016  

  • Tim:

    We have a small wren that comes back to our office site and a birdhouse there, and has done so since we've been here, 5 years now.

    It's a delight and my animus is generic not specific.

    But to be myopic about existence -- backyard vs the cosmos -- would be short-sighted in the metaphysical sense, as I see it, but I get your point.

    I enjoy the small pleasures....the Bostrom book. for example or a chocolate cupcake I just had....but it's the grand scheme that I keep contending with.

    (Today's griping stems, I think, from a BBC airing of David Attenborough's Frozen Planet, which I'm sharing with the Met Opera of Verdi's "Otello." The Attenborough show is fraught with horrendous behavior by animals, just as his sea world shows depict the grotesque milieu in the planet's oceans. The airing today corresponds to my black mood derived from the stupidities I've been subject to on Facebook.)

    At least I get a surcease from my "pain" from comments from the likes of you, CDA, Brian Bell, et al.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, April 23, 2016  

  • Bryan:

    Bostrom said this in his book's Preface viii:

    "... while I believe that my book is likely to be seriously wrong or misleading, I think that the alternative views that have been presented in the [singularity] literature are substantially worse -- including the default view, or "null hypothesis," [I hope Zoam sees this] according to which we can for the time being safely or reasonably ignore the prospect of superintelligence."

    Bostrom get's it, and his cautious assessment of the machine-intelligence danger supports my foul mood,


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, April 23, 2016  

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