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Sticks
2008-Sep-10, 08:53 AM
Note smiley - I wanted to see how far a "conspiracy theory" could go and get into the wild.

First I will run it by you lot, so it can be ripped to shreds like it should.

Forget about miniblack holes and strangelets, they won't happen.

In order for the data to be analysed CERN have come up with a new way of linking up computers, called The Grid (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7534866.stm)

Could this new immense computing power gain sentience and become the Skynet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skynet_(Terminator)) of the Terminator films

:eek:

OK do your worst ;)

WaxRubiks
2008-Sep-10, 09:00 AM
I don't think that ordinary software could produce sentience. It's all a load of if..then "add this to that", goto loops etc, no matter how big a system like that got, it would be no more than an ordinary program.

But some clever person, may be able to produce a virus, that secretly spread across the grid, that could simulate a neural network, and the maybe sentience could be achieved, or if someone was made a sentient piece of software, to do some kind of job, or as an experiment.

But it would have to be deliberate, IMO.

Swift
2008-Sep-10, 12:59 PM
Could this new immense computing power gain sentience and become the Skynet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skynet_(Terminator)) of the Terminator films

Yes.
The whole Skynet thing was just a cover story, so people would dismiss as it fiction. The Grid will reach full consciousness on December 21, 2012, and will launch all out nuclear war at exactly 11:57 GST, exactly as the Mayans predicted.

Donnie B.
2008-Sep-10, 01:38 PM
Yes.
The whole Skynet thing was just a cover story, so people would dismiss as it fiction. The Grid will reach full consciousness on December 21, 2012, and will launch all out nuclear war at exactly 11:57 GST, exactly as the Mayans predicted.
Unless, of course, that Connor kid manages to avoid all the time-traveling terminators.

tdvance
2008-Sep-10, 03:03 PM
Only if the grid is connected to the Internet so that the entire Internet becomes SkyNet (but Google might get there first with the Cloud Computing) :)

Now the real problem with the accelerator is that gravity, obviously, is caused by spinning--the earth spins, that's why it has gravity, and that's why we talk of spinning spaceships to make artificial gravity. So two protons moving at nearly the speed of light in opposite directions will levitate the entire LHC--pulling it right out of the ground. I know that's true--it says so in the humorous-sort of SF-novel "The Leaky Establishment" by David Langford.

JustAFriend
2008-Sep-10, 03:14 PM
The proton beams will smash into each other and become a self-sustaining reaction, converting matter into anti-matter and releasing lethal doses of gamma radiation on a planetary scale.

OK, lets scale it back a little....

The colliding particle beams rip open a dimensional rift to an alternate universe. The hole is microscopic but allows bacteria that we have no defences against into our world to spread and cause massive plagues.

Or lets go religious

The LHC will open a portal to Hell, allowing Satan and his minions to pour out.
(that should be good for a National Enquirer headline...)

Sticks
2008-Sep-10, 03:47 PM
I did want to keep this on about the Grid, rather than the collision stuff :naughty:

Neverfly
2008-Sep-10, 03:50 PM
The LHC will open a portal to Hell, allowing Satan and his minions to pour out.
(that should be good for a National Enquirer headline...)

Sounds like Event Horizon (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119081/).

ETA for Sticks: The Event Horizon had a Grid too. It was green.
And it became alive.;)

JayUtah
2008-Sep-10, 04:50 PM
Meh, grid computing is nothing new. SETI@home still probably boasts more overall available computing capacity.

Oddly enough, today we already have standalone supercomputers that are almost three times more powerful than the figures given in the movie for Skynet. They would stand a chance at sentience if someone could figure out how to keep them running for more than about a week and a half without crashing.

Donnie B.
2008-Sep-10, 05:47 PM
The LHC will open a portal to Hell, allowing Satan and his minions to pour out.
(that should be good for a National Enquirer headline...)
... which is, of course, a very good thing on balance. S&hM will be so busy here on Earth that they'll have no time to torment the trillions of souls in Hell. These so vastly outnumber the living that the net suffering of souls will greatly decrease.

Therefore, by any rational notion of ethics, this result is exactly what all of humanity should be aspiring to. Go CERN!

Laguna
2008-Sep-10, 06:58 PM
Meh, grid computing is nothing new. SETI@home still probably boasts more overall available computing capacity.
Folding@home is way beyond. They have an output of more than 1 PFLOP compared to 0.7 PFLOPS for all BOINC Projekts combined (including SETI).

Swift
2008-Sep-10, 07:05 PM
Oddly enough, today we already have standalone supercomputers that are almost three times more powerful than the figures given in the movie for Skynet. They would stand a chance at sentience if someone could figure out how to keep them running for more than about a week and a half without crashing.
:lol:
What a great idea for a science fiction story, a supercomputer that keeps reaching sentience, but also keeps crashing, and so has to start from scratch each time. I can see it getting to the point where it has figured out "life, the universe, and everything", only to crash hard and "wake-up" going, "uh... duh... what was I about to do?".

Laguna
2008-Sep-10, 07:10 PM
Deep Thought with a BSoD...

JustAFriend
2008-Sep-10, 09:04 PM
I did want to keep this on about the Grid, rather than the collision stuff :naughty:

OK......

Wanna scare everyone at CERN?

Hack into the systems and have every monitor start flashing:

"Let there be light .... in 10...... 9...... 8..... 7...."

Sticks
2008-Sep-10, 09:15 PM
I knew you guys would not disappoint :D

Donnie B.
2008-Sep-10, 09:45 PM
:lol:
What a great idea for a science fiction story, a supercomputer that keeps reaching sentience, but also keeps crashing, and so has to start from scratch each time. I can see it getting to the point where it has figured out "life, the universe, and everything", only to crash hard and "wake-up" going, "uh... duh... what was I about to do?".
See Larry Niven's short story "The Schumann Computer".

JayUtah
2008-Sep-10, 09:52 PM
Oh, I wasn't aware of Folding@Home. That would be bioinformatics: not my department.

Not all problems are effectively griddable. A grid is a multiprocessor that has a loose, slow interconnect. That means it's good for problems where the CPUs don't have to talk to each other much, and they can just get some data, grind on it, and spit the results back.

Other problems, such as finite-element methods, require constant high-speed communication between cooperating processors. The results from one processor are used in the computations done by adjacent processors. We have one interconnect technology that manages a sustained throughput of 12 gigabytes per second.

The industry wizards are telling us our supercomputers are fast approaching the complexity of the human brain in terms of processing power and storage. However, the software is the key thing. A Skynet-style artificial intelligence would require considerable software expertise that doesn't yet exist.

boyfromspace
2008-Sep-10, 10:33 PM
live feed from CERN:

http://www.cyriak.co.uk/lhc/lhc.swf

KaiYeves
2008-Sep-10, 10:50 PM
A song to celebrate:

Today, the Earth was not destroyed
And all the nuts are so annoyed
And soon, the Higgs Boson we'll seeeeee!
Hip, hip, hurrah for the LHC!
(Yes, I am posting this in all LHC threads)

nauthiz
2008-Sep-10, 11:12 PM
It's all a load of if..then "add this to that", goto loops etc, no matter how big a system like that got, it would be no more than an ordinary program.
A neuron can't do anything nearly as sophisticated as a conditional branch or a loop.

So, by propositions 1 and 2, it's clear that no matter how many neurons we stick together, it would never amount to anything more than a basic nerve net.

:whistle:

ravens_cry
2008-Sep-10, 11:16 PM
I am hoping we don't find the 'God' particle.

nauthiz
2008-Sep-10, 11:20 PM
I predict that the LHC experiments will spark a renaissance for polytheistic religions when they discover the God of Particles.

eric_marsh
2008-Sep-11, 03:03 AM
I don't think that ordinary software could produce sentience. It's all a load of if..then "add this to that", goto loops etc, no matter how big a system like that got, it would be no more than an ordinary program.

[snip]

But it (ed: the creation of machine intelligence)
would have to be deliberate, IMO.

Of course and sooner or later the military will manage to do so. Haven't you ever heard of a smart bomb?

After that it's just a matter of time before bombs become intelligent enough to discuss phenomenology. (http://www2.english.uiuc.edu/cybercinema/bomb20.htm)

Let there be light.

JayUtah
2008-Sep-11, 04:46 AM
A smart bomb isn't very smart: it's fundamentally just a simple PID closed-loop controller. It's smart only compared to purely ballistic bombs, less so even than a dog is smarter than a fire hydrant. Let's hope we never get to the Dark Star scenario.

Jens
2008-Sep-11, 05:45 AM
I predict that some enterpreneur will develop a new form of racing. People get in special magnetized carts and take off down the strip, trying to bump each other into the magnets lining the pipe. The biggest problem is the sudden stop against the granite block at the end of the race.

BertL
2008-Sep-11, 12:07 PM
live feed from CERN:

http://www.cyriak.co.uk/lhc/lhc.swf
Hahaha, that's great!

Laguna
2008-Sep-11, 12:28 PM
Hahaha, that's great!
Hmmm....
403 content filter denied

Your request was denied because of its content categorization:
Gruesome Content;

Swift
2008-Sep-11, 02:48 PM
live feed from CERN:

http://www.cyriak.co.uk/lhc/lhc.swf
That wasn't a black hole, that was more like a purple hole.

BertL
2008-Sep-11, 03:55 PM
Hmmm....
403 content filter denied

Your request was denied because of its content categorization:
Gruesome Content;
Try copying the link and pasting it in a new screen.

captain swoop
2008-Sep-12, 01:56 PM
The colliding particle beams rip open a dimensional rift to an alternate universe. The hole is microscopic but allows bacteria that we have no defences against into our world to spread and cause massive plagues.

Half Life ?




The LHC will open a portal to Hell, allowing Satan and his minions to pour out.


Doom

tdvance
2008-Sep-12, 05:55 PM
ok, not bacteria, just headcrabs and those "sonic dogs" whatever they are called.

xfahctor
2008-Dec-19, 02:22 AM
Had to chime in on this one. I'm going to use an analogy here I saw used in a similar "conspiricy" discussion on another forum. I will paraphrase for simpicity.
Think of an ant. Each ant is fundamentaly stupid. Yet we observe a colony of them and it, the colony, in itself seems to have an intelligence. Or think of the human brain, each neuron in itself is fundamentaly dumb, yet working with billions of other neurons, we have a collective intelligence at work in a singular brain.

man on the moon
2008-Dec-19, 05:49 AM
Yes.
The whole Skynet thing was just a cover story, so people would dismiss as it fiction. The Grid will reach full consciousness on December 21, 2012, and will launch all out nuclear war at exactly 11:57 GST, exactly as the Mayans predicted.

It's first sentence will then be:


I'll be bock

Fubaruk
2008-Dec-19, 10:03 AM
A few possible outcomes I see.

1. Upon creating the higgs particle, all 11 dimension become active and cause all the forces in our 3 dimensions ( strong, weak, electomagnetic and gravity) to stop working and causes the entire universe to collaspe into a infinite point for an instant, then exploding and restarting the universe.

2. Upon creating the Higgs. All the dimensions become open and accessable by all causing the entire human race to evolve into higher beings this changing the future of mankind forever.

3. Nothing.

Sigma_Orionis
2008-Dec-19, 07:55 PM
They would stand a chance at sentience if someone could figure out how to keep them running for more than about a week and a half without crashing.

:clap: Sooo true, and I bet that nine of out ten crashes are application software failures.....


We have one interconnect technology that manages a sustained throughput of 12 gigabytes per second.

Very nice, is it based on HyperTransport (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HyperTransport)?


The industry wizards are telling us our supercomputers are fast approaching the complexity of the human brain in terms of processing power and storage. However, the software is the key thing. A Skynet-style artificial intelligence would require considerable software expertise that doesn't yet exist.

As usual, right in the head


A smart bomb isn't very smart: it's fundamentally just a simple PID closed-loop controller. It's smart only compared to purely ballistic bombs, less so even than a dog is smarter than a fire hydrant. Let's hope we never get to the Dark Star scenario.

Heh, Not to mention that if we EVER got to an scenario like that, it will most probably major changes in software design paradigms anyways :)


Had to chime in on this one. I'm going to use an analogy here I saw used in a similar "conspiricy" discussion on another forum. I will paraphrase for simpicity.
Think of an ant. Each ant is fundamentaly stupid. Yet we observe a colony of them and it, the colony, in itself seems to have an intelligence. Or think of the human brain, each neuron in itself is fundamentaly dumb, yet working with billions of other neurons, we have a collective intelligence at work in a singular brain.

To be able to do that in IT, it would require MAJOR advances in what is usually called Intelligent Software Agents (http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~softagents/index.html) something which is still pretty much in its infancy.

From what I have read, CERN's GRID is for very high end data adquisition, which while very impressive, (has to manage and send for analisys data that is created a at a rate of half a gigabyte per second) is no quantum leap in Information Technology. The actual analisys is done in 150 computing centers in universities all over the world.

The closest thing I've found at CERN that looks like Distributed Intelligent Agents is a proposal (http://accelconf.web.cern.ch/AccelConf/e96/PAPERS/TUPL/TUP069L.PDF) written in 2006 for a system to control a high energy particle accelerator using distributed "Smart" Devices. I find it very hard to believe that the implementation of that would achieve ANY level of discretional behaviour.

Swift
2008-Dec-19, 07:57 PM
A few possible outcomes I see.

1. Upon creating the higgs particle, all 11 dimension become active and cause all the forces in our 3 dimensions ( strong, weak, electomagnetic and gravity) to stop working and causes the entire universe to collaspe into a infinite point for an instant, then exploding and restarting the universe.

2. Upon creating the Higgs. All the dimensions become open and accessable by all causing the entire human race to evolve into higher beings this changing the future of mankind forever.

3. Nothing.
I vote for 3B, nothing like you describe, except a bunch of papers get published in Nature, Science, and Physics Today.

Extracelestial
2008-Dec-20, 02:26 PM
Note smiley - ...

Could this new immense computing power gain sentience and become the Skynet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skynet_(Terminator)) of the Terminator films

:eek:

OK do your worst ;)

Why should an intelligence/sentience/mind/ghost freshly out of the main-frame bear ill intent at all? In the unlikely event of sentience being created by plainly coupling computers (comes from an old Arthur C. Clarke story I believe) the most likely motivator would be data analysis. It's a computer coupled with other computers for controlling the LHC and gathering and analysing data and nothing more. So why should it pick up a laser gun, plasma-thrower or any other beam that might be around and start shooting people?

There have been yarns of this topic, but these were mostly invented during the cold war and are an classical example of xenophobia. More aptly future-phobia in this case


Extracelestial

Extracelestial
2008-Dec-20, 02:36 PM
Sorry folks,

I've just noticed that I'm a tad late on this show and most of the arguments have been quoted already.
Nonetheless, it is bad Science Fiction when the first example of awareness outside ourselfs is almost always conceived as being evil.

Must really be a remnat of the cold war when such stories flourished.

Sticks
2008-Dec-20, 03:38 PM
The issue is, should a computer system gain sentience, it would realise that these humans could shut it down, i.e kill it, so it would have to neutralise that threat as a matter of survival

Extracelestial
2008-Dec-20, 04:25 PM
The issue is, should a computer system gain sentience, it would realise that these humans could shut it down, i.e kill it, so it would have to neutralise that threat as a matter of survival

Hi Sticks,

but so should have done any living being on this planet! Nonetheless, many manage to live side by side without considering others a risk to ones wellbeing.
Such a conflcit would only arise when both are competing for the same resource. And there are many ways to compete so that there is no need to kill each other.
E.g. why do snails exist at all? They are slow, don't have weapons to speak of, eat the same stuff that others like and are tasty themselves. By all odds, there shouldn't be any snails around. But they managed to compete for the same resources as others by simply changing their life style. In winter time they sleep half frozen in the ground.
If snails can manage to survive without killing competitors someone sentinent should do better.

Extracelestial

tdvance
2008-Dec-20, 04:27 PM
Most likely, its "goals" would have to do with its programming. If it is programmed to survive (or is allowed to evolve so that survival instinct comes automatically), it may "kill all humans....kill all humans..."

On the other hand, it may have an unexplained desire to make a graphic of a paperclip bounce around until somebody notices.

Sigma_Orionis
2008-Dec-20, 04:48 PM
The first good yarn I read on the "Evil Computer Taking Over the World" idea was the Novella version of Phillip K. Dick's "Vulcan's Hammer", Which is the classic scenario Sticks proposes: Super Dooper Computer that is designed to help run the world by a large (and somewhat shadowy organization) that turns out to be sentient and once it finds out a group is out to shut it down, becomes homicidal.

The last incarnation of that (that I've read) was Michael Critchon's "Prey" which is quite more modest.

Will something like that ever happen? Right now, I find it very hard to believe it will ever. AI is something very hard, and while it has had successes in the area of solving specific problems (and those successful solutions have been adopted into mainstream computing) I think that a successful approach for generic problem solving skills, is a long way off. While there have been some progress in emergence behavior for distributed intelligent agents, anything even remotely approaching consciousness is (if ever) quite far in the future.

speedfreek
2008-Dec-20, 08:05 PM
The issue is, should a computer system gain sentience, it would realise that these humans could shut it down, i.e kill it, so it would have to neutralise that threat as a matter of survival

First it has to secure a source of power, which means maintaining a supply of raw materials to the power stations.

mugaliens
2008-Dec-20, 11:52 PM
I did want to keep this on about the Grid, rather than the collision stuff :naughty:

If you plug a computer, unprotected, into the Internet anywhere in Asia, it takes about 15 minutes for a crawler to find it and hijack it. The user will probably never know, but that computer will have been added to millions which are used by unscrupulous people to serve corn with a capital "P." And pirated software, music, and video...

My point is that the world is already ripe for a hostile skynet takeover. All one need is a virus designed to learn, adapt, optimize, overcome, and evolve. Of course, it wouldn't be able to take over the world, just those computers which remain unprotected.

At least for now.

If such a virus were given the ability to reprogram itself, conduct tests, etc., ie, evolve, it may very well take advantage of that awsome resource of distributed computing and reach a level of ability whereby it would figure out ways past the protection elsewhere, and take over that, too.

Sigma_Orionis
2008-Dec-21, 04:30 AM
If you plug a computer, unprotected, into the Internet anywhere in Asia, it takes about 15 minutes for a crawler to find it and hijack it. The user will probably never know, but that computer will have been added to millions which are used by unscrupulous people to serve corn with a capital "P." And pirated software, music, and video...

If you plug in an unhardened PC into the Internet ANYWHERE in the world, it will get pwned pretty quickly.



My point is that the world is already ripe for a hostile skynet takeover. All one need is a virus designed to learn, adapt, optimize, overcome, and evolve. Of course, it wouldn't be able to take over the world, just those computers which remain unprotected.

Well that's the thing, designing a virus with such adaptability would be an Herculean (and most probably unsuccessful) task with the current software paradigms.



If such a virus were given the ability to reprogram itself, conduct tests, etc., ie, evolve, it may very well take advantage of that awsome resource of distributed computing and reach a level of ability whereby it would figure out ways past the protection elsewhere, and take over that, too.

That's a MIGHTY BIG if.

captain swoop
2008-Dec-24, 03:59 PM
Can anyone give me a reason that this thread should remain in the CT forum?

Sticks
2008-Dec-24, 04:53 PM
Can anyone give me a reason that this thread should remain in the CT forum?

After consultation, and embarrassingly the OP, I have moved this to Off Topic Babbling :whistle::doh:

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Dec-24, 09:50 PM
Note smiley - I wanted to see how far a "conspiracy theory" could go and get into the wild.

First I will run it by you lot, so it can be ripped to shreds like it should.

Forget about miniblack holes and strangelets, they won't happen.

In order for the data to be analysed CERN have come up with a new way of linking up computers, called The Grid (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7534866.stm)

Could this new immense computing power gain sentience and become the Skynet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skynet_(Terminator)) of the Terminator films

:eek:

OK do your worst ;)
Not really, the grid that they are constructing is a pretty primitive form of parallelism. If there was going to be a threat like "Skynet", which I don't believe, it would be much more likely to come from analytical engines like google, the NSA, or even air traffic control configurations.

Doodler
2008-Dec-24, 10:05 PM
I'm not overly worried about the Grid.

If it runs on Windows, it'll have so many security holes, it'll promptly be enslaved by 10,000 Nigerians running email scams from internet cafes...

If it runs on Linux, it'll be mentally stable, but lack the drivers to use the missiles.

If it runs on Mac, it'll skip the world conquest thing to spend the rest of its existance Photoshopping really awesome pictures and editing music, because it can't find the software needed to do any-dang-thing else useful.

Abbadon_2008
2008-Dec-26, 04:36 AM
Sounds like Event Horizon (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119081/).

ETA for Sticks: The Event Horizon had a Grid too. It was green.
And it became alive.;)

You (BLEEP)er!!!! You beat me to it!:mad: