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by Jan Sand
2007-03-03 10:58:17
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People who analyze dynamic systems and replicate them for their own arcane usage are very clever. They examine carefully the elements of the system, discover how they function and what their requirements may be and duplicate them in the same or similar materials. When these duplicated elements are assembled in the same pattern as the original they should function in the same way. Usually there are several attempts to make correct duplication and assembly before the artificial system functions as desired.

In many instances precise duplication is not possible so people make substitutions. If your arm is not long enough to reach something a simple long stick forms a satisfactory substitute. Many of our primate relatives have figured this out and use it all the time. But humans would like something like a hand at the end of the stick so they put together a grasper system for this purpose.

These objects are rare today but in the old days before supermarkets individual grocery stores were small in area so they built shelves all the way up to the ceiling filled with boxes of merchandise. Each store had a couple of grasper sticks that permitted the grocer to reach up to the ceiling and grab a box on the top shelf and pull it out to tumble to counter level. Human muscle supplied the power for this spring-actuated device to duplicate an extremely long arm.

Artificial Intelligence (or AI) is a bit more difficult. Machines are action-reaction devices. They are devised to perform an operation when properly stimulated. Stimulate a bell with a hammer and it will ring. Stimulate an alligator with a piece of meat and it may gratefully swallow the meat and, equally gratefully, swallow your arm and the rest of you if you so permit it. Meat, after all, is meat.

One must therefore carefully discriminate between a bell and an alligator. Striking an alligator with a hammer can evoke various reactions, some more stimulating than others. It is characteristic of intelligent machines that they react to similar situations in widely differing ways depending upon their evaluation of a particular stimulation through past experience or preset inclination.

Intelligence itself is a slippery concept. A thermostat has a simple basic intelligence in that it perceives a temperature and activates a system to maintain it. Animals are slightly more sophisticated in that they not only perceive incoming data but also compare it to complicated learned or inherent models which indicate what reaction would be most appropriate. The thermostat's model is a mere simple point on a thermometer. Animals may have basic models of favorable outcomes hard wired into their nervous systems but very many models are acquired through various ways and, depending upon their personal history, will react in very different ways. Some dogs will lick your hand and some dogs will bite it and some dogs will bark up a storm if you even come close. These are learned behaviors resulting from past encounters which individual dogs have used to construct their comparison models.

Human beings have no real competitors in their capability to accept a wide variety of data and construct models to evaluate the data and prescribe appropriate reactions. Almost any human has tremendous potential in this basic operation. But there is a real problem in selecting the proper model for comparison.

As humans have developed sophisticated social systems particular groups have segregated themselves from humans in general. Animals also suffer from this capability which is roughly based on genetic competition so that superior groups can survive and dominate over less capable social organizations. But humans have developed this to a fine degree so that subgroups lever particular capabilities of power such as race, previous family success, national origin, tradition, religion, accidental access to rich resources of material or intellectual material and so forth to suppress the capabilities of the other individuals in the culture.

This practice can be extremely detrimental to the species as a whole so that tremendous miscalculations as to the nature of reality are imposed by dominant subgroups. Outstanding examples of this imposition can be found in religious beliefs such as the denial of the obvious reality of evolution which is ongoing and dealt with daily in medicine and the development of new and useful varieties of animals and plants. A classic example of this artificial stupidity is in the denial of the astronomical discoveries of Galileo for centuries by the Catholic Church.

But artificial stupidity (or AS) is alive and active in the world today and supported by great finances in politics and government.

But by far the most successful use of artificial stupidity lies in the highly rewarding and bustling dynamic world of advertising.

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