its obnoxious length is nothing compared to the disquieting truths it reveals about a popular social/messaging/hookup platform that humanity already spends 11.2 percent of its online time engaged with. About who really built all that, and why. About who’s listening, and what they’re recording
You don’t have to know any of this. And ignoring the hidden ugliness we can’t do much about makes life easier
But for now, let’s begin our story with some quick opening praise for the women and men of Silicon Valley. Yes, yes; I know—“but those fuckers gave us FarmVille!” It’s true. And everyone’s awfully sorry about that
But across the decades, its countless startups have also rebuilt our world’s foundations
Literally thousands of Silicon Valley startups in these and countless fields have advanced humanity in palpable ways. And no matter how you cut it—however imaginatively, generously, even schizophrenically you look at things—Giftish.ly was never, ever one of them
Giftish.ly was an unremembered startup in the wholly forgotten realm of “social gifting.” (Social Networking)
Only time will tell if social gifting’s pioneers were dead wrong about everything, or merely (and this is a huuuuuuuge badge of honor for Valley also-rans) too early
I can only imagine what Phluttr would do with AR and couponing.
So this is why we must brutally prevent China from developing a Super AI!” Hogan concluded. “WRONG,” came the thunderous boom from on high. “It is why we must BEAT THEM TO IT
how their Animotion technology works... basic concept is rooted in evolutionary psychology... thinking is expensive
Kuba’s wife’s research seems to show that emotions run much deeper in analytical processes than anyone previously imagined. And that an emotional substrate is actually essential for all sorts of analysis... What we’re now learning is that this thought framework is powered by a wildly complex undercurrent of emotions... Most of these emotions are minuscule and fleeting...she named them 'motes'... my wife’s research indicates that human consciousness is in some way enabled by motes*
NeuroBeat: The Ellie Stanislaw Interview
Motes are very brief neural events that unfold in tiny spaces in the brain. And I believe they’re the core building blocks of emotional states in humans and other mammals
Are there also three of them? Ellie Stanislaw: Four, actually. And, akin to primary colors, they combine in sophisticated ways to create a spectacularly varied emotional palette. The four basic motes are happiness, sadness, anger, and surprise
Those primaries mix and match in packets of twelve that pulse through the mind in repeating patterns. Each mote lasts about a millisecond, so a twelve-pack plays out over about twelve milliseconds.
most mote patterns only repeat one or two times
the subject of all of my published work to date. The connection between motes and decision-making.
there might be a sort of foundational mote pattern that’s key to booting up the whole system in infancy
my starting precept is that young infants aren’t actually conscious in any meaningful sense of the word
imaging study that wrapped up at UCSF just as I was starting my dissertation work. It strongly suggested that newborns give equal weight to all sensory input. Every photon. Every sound wave. Every fleck of sensation from every teeny patch of skin. It all seems to be experienced with identical intensity
And in my view,” Ellie continues, “that undifferentiated flood isn’t consciousness
So what changes?” “They start having goals
Goals are basically cognitive actors. You could almost say they make us conscious!”
your goal of conversing is shaping your sensory experience! It’s drastically amplifying the tiny subset of signals connected to our words and negating everything else.”
So then where do goals come from? Is it from the…‘foundational mote pattern’ the interviewer mentioned in that NeuroBeat piece?” “Exactly—and that’s what my new paper’s about! The research is preliminary, but it’s starting to look like everything starts with frustration
the brain generates something very specific: six parts surprise, four parts anger, and two parts sadness
when that pattern propagates in an infant’s brain, it’s followed by gales of motes of all kinds! I call it a ‘mote storm’
Embarrassment is the inverse of frustration! Not as an experience, but in terms of mote patterns!”
Centaur Confab (CC), an annual event held on the fringes of the DEFCON conference in Las Vegas. CC showcases the synergies that arise when human and machine intelligences pair into “centaurs” (so named after the human/horse mashups of Greek myth).
Well, I have the answer for you. And I think you will find it interesting. And personally, quite relevant. Which is that this is a simulation.
So really, I just told you nothing of consequence.” Danna pauses. “Oh. Except for this one little element you should probably keep in mind from now on.” “Which is?” “That we’re being scored.”
So, would you like to know how you’re scored?” “Very much.” “It’s mainly on the basis of doing good.
maybe what she needs—in addition to us, not instead of us—is a really, really fast wingman
I don’t think we need, or want to generate a full-blown human consciousness,” Mitchell says. “More of a pre-conscious AI. Like, something that could pass the Turing Test, for sure. But not wake up, or even come close to that
what if we collect a rich body of intensely human output from a single individual? Creative output. The stuff of pure thought and inspiration! And then, we use Phluttr’s insane horsepower to reverse engineer an algorithm that could have created that output?
Mitchell talks them through the concept of “digital resurrection (LifeBox)