Category Archives: experimental

AI 2017 part 2 highlights/ trends

hi all. 2nd half AI in 2017 was very fast paced and as usual its hard to keep up. many headlines on the subj. this is a 2nd half review.

seems like some of the biggest news is the increasing dominance of China in the area after the govt announced major initiatives, funding, and resolve/ determination.[b]

google/ deepmind continues to dominate headlines.[a] the other big news is googles alphago and alphazero that no longer required human training games![a2] officially its under the name of “reinforcement learning” but my feeling is that this technology is something like “directed learning” where the AI is manipulating its environment to “detect/ seek/ digest novelty,” and that this will be a key, paradigm shifting trend in the near future. the same algorithm also works in chess/ go!

starcraft[a3] and Dota are starting to show up in AI engines/ research and OpenAI just announced breakthru championship level play vs humans in Dota, and Deepmind is attacking starcraft. despite all this major domination, it looks like games will not move out of cutting edge research anytime soon.[c4]

another notable shift/ trend is that AI/ machine learning is starting to couple stronger with physics and robotics. eg Deepmind humanoid walking simulations etc.

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secret/ blueprint/ path to AGI: novelty detection/ seeking

hi all. kurzweil wrote in 2006 “the singularity is near”. foreboding words! but today, still maybe more of a feeling than a fact. definitely, the AI field has started to mature into a new steady advance period/ era in the last few years, also with a burst of energy/ enthusiasm/ innovation heralded by the Google Deepmind acquisition in 2014, and other massive shifts toward increased investment by large corporations and govts. the Musk Open AI initiative was announced in 2015.

the other massive milestone is the ready conquering of Go by Google in 2016 by AlphaGo. in late 2017, a new version AlphaZero was announced that plays superior to AlphaGo (at “beyond human grandmaster level”) after learning merely from the rules and reinforcement learning, ie no example human-level play presented as training whatsoever. AlphaZero also plays grandmaster level chess after learning “from scratch”. this breakthrough is not fully/ widely appreciated in some ways. it is the first case of a potentially more general algorithm for AI emerging from “previously relatively narrow” study of AI in games.

AI has the terminology “weak AI” and “strong AI” for different levels/ sophistication/ “ability”. more recently the term AGI, Artificial General Intelligence has been coined.

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latest on killing copenhagen interpretation via fluid dynamics

⭐ ❗ 💡 😎 😮 ❤ hi all. bohr was transfixed by so-called "complementarity"; its said schroedingers cat is both alive and dead, and curiosity killed the cat. wikipedia states[n6]

In the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, the wave function is the most complete description that can be given of a physical system.

but wait, if that is against inquiring deeper, isnt that nearly an anti-curiosity-investigation-research position/ pov? and isnt anti-curiosity-investigation-research nearly anti-science? 😮

copenhagen interpretation is sometimes referred to as the shut up and calculate ideology by questioners/ challengers/ critics in a statement originating with one of them, Mermin, an adept popsci writer and fan of Bells work. here is a famous quote that sounds like a near restatement of the copenhagen interpretation by Feynman:

Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, “But how can it be like that?” because you will get “down the drain”, into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.

I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.

now how about a somewhat radical quote/ response from Daniel Sank, Phd working for Google QM labs?

The other day someone from the WSJ asked me to explain why quantum mechanics is weird.

I went off on a rather well-reasoned and carefully articulated rant about how it’s not weird and that people only say that to sound cool.

I even went so far as to say that Feynman’s famous statement that {anyone who thinks they understand quantum mechanics is wrong} is destructive, stupid, and should not be repeated.

whoa, strong words there! however maybe somewhat unexpectedly, both somewhat agree/ disagree! yet, alas, somehow think DS is not really intending to challenge the copenhagen interpretation with his dramatic excoriation of feynman!* DS is also on the (chat) record as averse to/ strongly rejecting “alternative interpretations”. which to me is not really scientific, where to me conceptual evolution/ scientific progress inherently entails/ involves never stopping/ ceasing questioning how can it be like that?

oh, coincidentally right around writing all this, just ran into another striking quote by John Rennie a very high ranking member of physics stack exchange on the “1st Law,” with high ranking mod ACuriousMind immediately agreeing:

no physicist shall discuss interpretations of quantum mechanics or by inaction allow interpretations of quantum mechanics to be discussed.

lol and now this seems to reach/ degenerate to the absurd levels of Epimenides paradox when one asks the simple question, are Bohr/ Heisenberg, the founders of the Copenhagen interpretation, physicists? …so is this physics or fight club? 😮 o_O 🙄

* further search jujitsu by me, managed to turn up another striking quote by DS expressly rejecting Copenhagen interpretation… more strong words!

Listen to me very closely: I am a quantum computing professional and I think the Copenhagen interpretation is not even self-consistent and therefore entirely inadmissible as a theory of Nature.

and to finish on a different note, think this captures something relevant/ accurate/ typically unspoken “between the lines” by mod ACuriousMind, a sort of “non-interpretation” approach at least )( admitted openly/ candidly/ honestly:

Of those named, Copenhagen is the most popular, but my impression is that a significant number of people actually doing quantum physics every day share my personal disdain for all the squabbles around “interpretations”.

(so then, bottom line/ in conclusion… Copenhagen and/ or interpretations as taboo, that which shall not be named? aka scientific omerta, “code of silence”) 😳 😮 🙄

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

have been collecting physics links on a diverse set of topics that are not unified yet but think will someday be unified. the general area is now sometimes known as Pilot Wave Hydrodynamics (PWH) also aka/ known as “oil drop dynamics experiments”. the Bohmian pilot wave was speculated on for many decades, and soliton theory combined with new experimental findings has given rise to a new reality, science, and growing research area/ program/ paradigm! but it exists alongside in a tension right now with “standard” quantum mechanics.

the stage has been set! its two large plates shearing against each other. when will the inevitable top/ pivotal showdown/ confrontation/ conflict/ earthquake occur? think its just a matter of time! (admittedly 1 is far much smaller than the other right now, but relatively shortly, predict that will flip-flop.) my feeling/ estimate/ prediction is there is at least 1 nobel to be won in the next 5-10 yrs in this area, and several in store over several decades!* signifying/ corresponding with an imminent genuine physics paradigm shift/ revolution in the 21st century at least on the scale of QM in the 20th.

* 😳 o_O (note, however, some fineprint/ hedging/ reality check on this superficially bold-appearing claim! nobels are clearly not comprehensive/ thorough/ totally evenhanded, eg Einstein did not win one for relativity! also, they are often awarded up to decades after the date of the actual accomplishment! therefore to thoroughly invalidate the claim might take decades!)

would like to write a comprehensive survey based on several years of juicy links but thats a herculean task. even just collecting/ writing up the latest batch is a formidable task. these are some of the big highlights for me.

there are a lot of boundary-pushing experiments in qm lately.[a]

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qm computing summer 2017 update

hi all, seem to have reached a momentary lull in my own schedule and also the QM computing news that typically runneth over. maybe a moment of breath to clear out the queue. years ago it was cutting edge to talk about it but now it looks like a lot of the media is attuned and into covering the race[k] esp with inroads by big corporations (Google, IBM, Microsoft, Intel) into the area. Intel seems a relative newcomer but did finally show up on the radar.[a10]

can recall some of the earliest QM computing books came out around late 1990s eg 1997 or so, so now its been almost exactly 2 decades. here is a technology with immense promise but also immense engineering challenge.

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universe as a simulation hypothesis, holographic principle, recent developments/ notes/ minisurvey

hi all. have blogged before here (admittedly, enthusiastically, even ebulliently) on the “digital physics” concept, an enamoring idea (for some!). recently within last few weeks and last year there seems to be substantial new interest and developments even in “semimainstream” physics, and now even the mainstream media is in a semi-lather over close topics. (skeptics will ofc argue the word “semimainstream” sounds something like “semipregnant”!) its hard to keep up! there are many different angles of povs, events, personalities, etc… this post attempts to collect and summarize some of this and bang it all into a semicoherent story (as much as such a thing is possible). some old but evocative buzz/ magic words thrown around about internet expansion into multiple industries come to mind: consolodation/ convergence…

to start, these ideas are now going under the headline of the “holographic universe/ principle”[a2] or “simulated universe/ hypothesis”[a1] concepts. they are interconnected in major and/ or subtle ways.

mentioned Aaronsons recent blog[i3] on subj citing Hossenfelder [i1][i2] in a recent near-throwaway comment in the SE physics chat room “hbar”[a5] to a new accomplished user BenNiehoff (phd KU Leuven working on string theory with 9 papers on arxiv!). hes met a lot of famous physicists at conferences personally eg Susskind, Zee, Green, Schwarz, and Witten and other famous theorists. am trying to recruit him for a guest session in our elite and popular series, but thats another story!

laid out some of the basic concepts/ “pros” of the simulation hypothesis ideas incl/ eg longtime endorsement/ driven pursuit by nobel prize alumnus ‘t Hooft, which thought were not generally very controversial, but the room denizens/ regulars reacted quite adversely-bordering-on-negatively, with some really stinging retorts! guess those big fat shiny nobel prizes and the proverbial “trip to stockholm” just aint what they used to be! Ben expressed his disinclination and looks like they all smelled blood in the water & went in for the kill! 😮 o_O 😦

Ah, as usual you have no actual argument to make, I should’ve known. —ACuriousMind [a6]

vzn; do you have any mainstream views? —John Rennie [a7]

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