IMGP1849-HDR

Introducing Diamondis

Diamondis is about the preservation of curiosity at the moment of death.

We see those we loved when were children as angels, for we loved when we did not yet know the identity of humans or the significance of our warm-blooded biological nature. So when we recall these moments lost long ago to the ever growing, multiplying, and revising physiological processes that govern our accessible memories and cognition systems, we search for new explanations that make sense to our realistic perspective. It seems a shame, though. To me the nature and perspective of that love experienced by a child who does not have a complete grip of identity or biological realities is far nearer to the deeper love that we experience and cannot fully explain. Even when you can identify every force of true and deep love, there are mysteries in that love until the very end. Diamondis is a description of that love, marked by the promise of love’s permanence by a man who faces oblivion in his final second of consciousness.

Please click here for the full preview and excerpts!

Diamondis is my “debut” novel. All previews, excerpts, and descriptions on my websites and social media accounts are copyrighted by me (James Wadman).
photo-1439459615612-2f585873ca7a-2

Conscious Talks: Neural Systems, Neural Networks, & AI

From Neural Systems to Neural Networks, by James Wadman

This is a very casual meditation on the state and future of artificial intelligence from the perspective of a neurobiologist.

I want to clarify that I will use two different phrases to make it easy to distinguish between biology and computer science. In this piece, “neural systems” refers to the biological nervous system and the associated molecular biology. “Neural networks” refers to artificial intelligence that mimics (for now) neural systems on the macro-scale of neurons. I will argue that neural networks should operate on a more fundamental scale, where instead of focusing on macro-scale neurons, we should focus on the underlying molecular-scale (genetic) processes. To address the hardcore physicists: yes, we can and will at some point go one step further and operate neural networks on an atomic (dare I say quantum) scale, but this will come only after we fully understand molecular-scale neural networks. More on this later.

First let me ask, what are you trying to accomplish with designing an artificial intelligence system? One of the more common applications of artificial intelligence is to compose an algorithm that can evaluate and improve itself. Let’s call this AIa. This utilizes simplified (although not necessary simple) versions of neural networks that take into consideration the connectivity between neurons using a circuit-structured and feedback mentality. Another form of artificial intelligence includes algorithms that can make sense of large, often abstract, data structures and draw conclusions from the chaos that humans would not see. Let’s call this AIb. This form might also use neural network feedback tools, but focuses on data rather than the plasticity of the algorithm. Both of these take simple human logic characteristics, such as deduction and compare/contrast, and apply them to data that is far too vast for an ordinary human to sift through. Either of these examples are only as complex as the data itself or the results desired. In other words, the more abstract the data or the more precise the conclusions, the more challenging the algorithms. The differences between the two can be understood by comparing them to behavioral traits in humans. While AIa is based on the principles of learning (the brain adapts to experience to create intelligence), AIb is mimics intuition (the brain extrapolates direct conclusions from abstract concepts). However, one can write these algorithms without a fundamental understanding of how actual biological intelligence works.

If, however, our goal for artificial intelligence is to make a true intelligent entity we have a major problem. We should not expect to fully replicate human intelligence or consciousness through neural networks until we fully understand neural systems. Ironically, we also cannot fully understand neural systems without our work so far in using artificial intelligence algorithms in the manner of the first two examples I discussed above. AIa and AIb are integral tools to understanding the complexity of neural systems with incredible capacity and utility in modern computing. But they are not yet acceptable for making true consciousness.

In the wake of my seemingly pessimistic sentiments, I want to make clear that our only barrier to artificial intelligence is our knowledge of the problem itself and the complexity of our algorithms. Once we really understand what we are doing, the solution will be obvious. For now, we should be working toward optimizing functional use algorithms (AIa and AIb) to build the foundation for true intelligence systems.

AIa and AIb are powerful algorithms for modeling molecular biology and are therefore the keys to understanding the problem, not the solution. Neural networks are designed to solve problems or enhance algorithms by simulating neuron-neuron interaction and plasticity. Let us not power to quickly forward in attempts to create functional artificial intelligence algorithms before truly understanding the capacity of learning and ingenuity. Concisely stated, the solution to creating an algorithm for artificial consciousness is to create realistic neural networks based on the underlying molecular neural systems. Go beyond just neuron plasticity, incorporate genetics and cell signaling, and build upon neuron replication.

Artificial intelligence has so far undervalued multi-stage memory consolidation and altogether neglected the ironic cohesion between the unconscious and conscious minds. We are therefore taking blind shots into a darkened room that is likely far larger than the echoes that call back. This comes as a contrast to my often optimistic perspective on technology and our ascension toward the future, so what is my intention in saying this? Quite simply I am suggesting that more biologists should program and more programmers should study the brain’s fundamental biology. Everything in biology is a product of the molecular processes that govern the expression, activation, and inhibition of genetics. It would be foolish, therefore, to limit neural networks to neuron-neuron interactions when their actual function involves far more complicated interactions. Human intelligence might be a function of synaptic interactions, but we cannot ignore the fact the synaptic interactions are the function of intracellular molecular processes. At the present moment, we are too limited by our knowledge of what happens “under the hood” of neurons to properly model intelligence through a synaptic model. We should develop accurate libraries for how biological systems work to the point where neural networks in computer science are equally complex and efficient as neural systems in human conscious reflections, unconscious reflexes, and intelligence.

It is already inherent to computer algorithms that the efficiency of problem solving far exceeds the efficiency of a human with a pen and paper. That is to say, given any complex question and a computer program with the algorithm and a person to knows how to solve the problem, the computer program will nearly always win. Artificial intelligence, even in its early stages of simply replicating human thought, will create far more capable “thinkers.” However, artificial intelligence entities will not be restrained by genetics, evolution, and neurochemistry. We will be able to take strides from there to improve upon the biological disadvantages of natural neural system to the point where we will eventually determine strategies for enhancing the basic framework of thought beyond that of the capacity of humans.

I believe that the future of artificial intelligence will progress in stages that address both our strides so far and the distance left before us to the end goal. Its success will be based on genuine understanding and the pursuit of knowledge not driven by profit or social gain. However, in the end artificial intelligence will be profitable, but the benefits beyond just currency are what will make the true difference. Our moral, intellectual, and sensible views of modern structure will be forever improved.

IMG_8109

Boundless Wonder

By James Wadman

Society has misguided us into believing that boundless wonder has an expiration date in our lives. The difference between a child and a parent is experience, not the capacity for desire, curiosity, or even intelligent thought. I can’t be the only person to suggest that some of the most brilliant ideas are those voiced by children.

Anatomically, there are differences between the adult and child brains. Throughout late childhood and adolescence, the brain undergoes what is called “synaptic pruning,” a molecular phenomenon where unused circuits in the brain grow weaker and the useful circuitry grows stronger. For many of us that means that logical thought and responsibility increases as a function of growing up, while playful thought and uninhibited pleasure seeking is tamed by rationality. In modern society, synaptic pruning is an important product of our evolution. However, it is also an inherent limitation that forces us to cling to our biological history.

And for this I will suggest that maintaining the characteristics of a child’s brain can prove to be effective for a genuinely happy life, even if it would seem that this is fundamentally impossible given the previously discussed anatomical differences. Embrace your dreams, the chance to see new things in the world, and express yourself freely. Growing up, we learn to be responsible in a world that becomes increasingly competitive. Don’t let your curiosity fall victim to the false notion of growing up.

 

 

Photo Mar 31, 7 44 02 PM

A Dream of Extinction

By James Wadman, Written at 6am

There were two objects orbiting in a curved pattern. At the pinnacle of this sinusoidal motion they would become brightly colored, like shooting stars, and then slope down toward the horizon. This repeated for several revolutions around the panoramic view. Then a thin white speck fell at an angled trajectory down to earth from one of the brighter orbiting objects. I have never seen anything reach so high into the sky. I could feel it the second I saw the flames: A warm pulse and a shockwave. Our extinction.

Read my lucid dream guide here!

This dream reflects a feeling I have not yet identified. The theme of extinction is one that can have good or bad implications depending on the nature of the dream. A cataclysmic event can represent a fear of extinction of oneself (the fear of death that underlies most of our existential motives), or it can represent the termination of a chapter in one’s life. I believe that the best indication for the nature of a dream is the initial feeling you have upon waking up. I woke up immediately upon the seeing and feeling the explosion that came from the mysterious lights orbiting the earth. For some reason, I wanted to jump back into the dream. I wanted to see what came after the explosion (I should mention that the explosion itself was too far away to pose any threat of danger). Therefore, I concluded that the explosion represented something good, something I know I have to look forward to. I’ll keep my eyes open for the extinction.

If you have an idea about what this dream could represent or you have your own dream stories, I would love to hear!

Image from my Instagram page, where I first featured the story of this dream.

IMGP3008

Every Window is a Story

I am sitting in New York City with a camera printed sheets of the book I wrote over the last few years. I watch the way the sun soaks the façade of apartment buildings that stand tall in every direction. A thought surfaces. It is not a new idea. In fact, it is an idea that occurs to me almost every day, but here it speaks louder.

Every human being on this earth has a story. Every window on the façade of those apartments across the street is a part of that story. It is a fractional glimpse into someone else’s world, and the way that person sees the world outside.

Listening to people, even it is only to the simple “How are you?” can have a drastic effect on how you perceive your own life. Accepting that everyone is the protagonist of their own journey can allow you to play a supporting role in their joys or relief from sorrows. It’s not about finding the fascinating or comic stories. It’s about listening to every story, and understanding that society is the composite of all of our lives interwoven.

DSC00415 copy

The Images of Diamondis

By James Wadman

A pressing issue of modern literature is the assimilation of the written word into our modern gadgets. The storyteller now has the opportunity to easily combine multiple artistic forms to create a complete, distinct portrait. This is my goal with my novel, Diamondis. Before I release the text of the novel, I am releasing my images that accompany the story. These images are my creations based on my inspiration from the natural world, day-to-day life, and the storyline of Diamondis.

 

His tears were his first creations #Diamondis • • much credit due to @erondu and @unsplash

A photo posted by Jimmy Wadman (@jhwadman) on

 

A photo posted by Jimmy Wadman (@jhwadman) on

 

Perceptive divinity / / Iceland

A photo posted by Jimmy Wadman (@jhwadman) on

 

A photo posted by Jimmy Wadman (@jhwadman) on

For those wondering, Diamondis is in the editing phases. I hope to be able to generalize a release time-period by the end of March. You can subscribe for the latest if you haven’t already! Thank you, as always, for the support. -Jw

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
As long as the universe exists, there is something to be created and something to be explored. James Wadman
%d bloggers like this: