Thursday, June 27, 2019

Rehabilitating Your Laughter Will Make It Much More Pleasurable

The muscles involved in laughing have been traumatized by life-stress and it is well worth the effort to rehab them. As an infant your laugh was genuine and primordial. Combining anxiety with fake laughing, and worrying that your laugh is too aggressive has damaged your instinctual laughing pattern. As you might expect, people that are depressed or anxious have the least convincing laughs. Extremely dominant people laugh loudly, without hesitating, at whatever they like. But most people stifle their laugh in the same way that they stifle their posture, and breathing. This is why the laughs of most adults are eccentric, and largely deviated from the innate laughing reflex. Most adult laughs hardly activate the pleasure system at all. Laughing should be intensely pleasurable and highly beneficial for your health. This entry will help you make this a reality.
Baby’s laughs are healthy and natural. Infants don’t stifle their laughs. To relearn to laugh genuinely it is helpful to watch infants and toddlers laughing. Please take some time, and search for videos of “babies laughing” on the internet and mimic them. The video below is an excellent example. Pay attention to how the baby laughs at 22 seconds into the video. This is how you want to laugh, but before you can, you need to practice emulating it.

A hearty and progressive emptying of the lungs applies a significant load to the diaphragm and the muscles of the chest wall triggering the endorphin system (Dunbar, 2017). After years of stifling laughter we have forgotten how to laugh in a genuine way that produces this response. The role of the diaphragm in laughter has been weakened so much that laughter no longer recruits the endorphin response and is draining rather than exhilarating.
The respiratory diaphragm is the main muscle responsible for natural laughter. Fake and nervous laughter comes from the throat and often results in increasing tension rather that relieving it. By training yourself to laugh through deep contractions of the diaphragm and abdominals you can rebuild an authentic laugh. These muscles should reach exhaustion and start to fail during a good laugh. If your diaphragm and abdominals start to burn like they did when you were a child, you know that you are doing it right. The next exercise will show you exactly how to retrain your diaphragm to cooperate in the laugh.
Composed Kindness #3: Diaphragmatic Laughing
Practice laughing while exhaling completely. This is an uninterrupted emptying of the lungs with no intervening inhalations. Inhale completely only after you laugh/exhale completely. Try to make a long series of laughing sounds punctuated by vocal (glottal) closure. The brief closing of the vocal tract against the exhalation allows pressure to build and makes the laugh sound like a series of rapid-fire punches. Practice this as an exercise, and attempt to make the laugh last for at least 5 seconds, but shoot for 10 to 20 seconds. Laugh all the way to the bottom of your range of exhalation. Complete 10 to 20 such laughs a day. Try the following variations:
1)      Focus on and coordinate the laughs so that they proceed at a smooth and steady rate.
2)      Notice inadvertent irregularities in timing, and the tendency to gulp, choke or falter and iron these out.
3)      Cause the punctuated exhalations to roll out as fast as possible while maintaining a fixed rythm. After speeding them up, try slowing them down.
4)      Do this using your voice in different ranges, but focus on using a deep voice to create a deep laugh.
5)      Explore your preferred ways of laughing (melody, inflection, and timing) and while doing so, modulate each.
6)      Laugh authoritatively, compellingly, boldly, forcefully, mightily.
7)      Employ different melodies and model other people’s laughs.
8)      Watch videos of babies laughing and simulate their laughs.
9)      Try laughing while exhaling completely until it turns into a wheeze, and you feel you don’t have a cubic centimeter of air left in your lungs. Ensure that the laughing pattern remains coordinated even at the bottom of your exhalation. This will greatly strengthen the muscles involved.
10)  Don't raise your shoulders when you laugh, and focus on keeping them pushed toward the floor. Try to induce paroxysms of laughter without raising the eyebrows, squinting, sneering or tensing any other muscles.
11)  Try to do this with a relaxed face, this will make it so that you can laugh heartily without intense facial constriction.

Because the muscles are strained, stagnant and uncoordinated, at first this will sound like the laugh of an insane villain, but with practice it will become hearty. It is important to do this exercise loudly and unhesitatingly so make sure that you are not worried that others will hear you. Try it in a closet, or in the car.
It will be uncomfortable at first. Your entire thorax will feel sore. Your chest should ache during and after the exercise. The muscles you engage may be so weak that they may feel susceptible to damage. If so take it easy the first few days and build up to doing it vigorously. Consider it a much needed workout. I believe that this exercise is a powerful complement to diaphragmatic breathing exercises and will allow you to reach muscles that you otherwise couldn’t.
It will make you feel weary. This is why I recommend doing it a few minutes before bedtime. After only one week the ache will disappear, and you will be able to push harder, and will be more adept at coordinating the pulses of laughter. After a few weeks you will be good at it, and you will find yourself laughing more often.
This exercise transformed my laugh from a perfunctory courtesy laugh to something enjoyable. Now I laugh spontaneously, heartily and much more frequently. I find laughing tremendously gratifying, and things that were barely amusing to me before are now hilarious.
I believe that laughing evolved to help humans let off steam. We brace our breathing musculature during stress and a real laugh probably helped us attain a full-range, hard contraction of the diaphragm. This contraction relieves the diaphragm of the tension caused by shallow breathing. It may be an evolved exercise that rewarded instances of camaraderie and social bonding by creating a naturally rehabilitating contraction of muscles throughout the thorax. The more you rehab it, the more you increase its potential for providing you with endorphins.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Solving the AI Control Problem: Transmit Its Mental Imagery and Inner Speech to a Television

The "AI control problem" is the issue of how to build a superintelligent artificial intelligence, while still being able to control it. It is important to be able to control it, because we want to be able to intervene before if it starts to plan a hostile takeover. I have written articles that explain how to do this, and I will lay out the general premise here. I call it the "Mental Imagery Visualization Model."

Most professionals in the field of artificial intelligence believe that the most promising form of AI is found in neural networks. The artificial neural network is a computer architecture for building learning machines. A neural network is composed of many nodes, or neurons, that communicate with each other to process inputs and create outputs. Neural networks are generally the most intelligent and best performing versions of AI today. However, the problem with neural networks is that they are a "black box." They are so complicated that, even in a very simple network, a human could never decipher the complex mathematics to determine what was on the network's mind. This is one reason why AI researchers are afraid that the AI systems of the future will be completely inscrutable, and that we will never know about its plans for world domination until it starts to act on them. However, I believe that I have a powerful precautionary safeguard to address this problem.

There are many technologies in use today that make it possible to take the outputs of a neural network and use them to formulate a picture or a video. These technologies include inverse networks, generative networks, Hopfield networks, self-organizing maps, and Kohonen networks. In this article and on this webpage I explain how to build a superintelligent AI system that implements my model of working memory. These sources also explain how to use the above technologies to create a audio/video output of the AI's consciousness... a clear view into its mind's eye.

If the contents of the AI's consciousness (its mental imagery and inner speech) are transmitted to a television, then people can watch exactly what is going on in its mind. In the article I explain that human reasoning is propelled by a constant back and forth interaction between association areas (prefrontal cortex, posterior parietal cortex) that hold working memory, and sensory brain areas (early visual and auditory cortex) that build maps of what is going on in working memory. These interactions are key to the progression of thought.

Think of something right now. Don't you see mental images? If I ask you to imagine a green hippopotamus on a unicycle, your early visual cortex will build a topographic map of exactly that. In fact, there is brain imaging technology today that can create pictures of people's mental imagery. It doesn't work so well yet, but it uses neural networks to do what it does. The technology for creating pictures of a neural network's activity is much more advanced, and neural networks are routinely used today for building topographic maps. Slap this tech on to your superintelligent AI, and it won't be able to hide anything from you.

In my architecture for AI, the generation of imagery maps is necessary for a cognitive cycle. In order to keep thinking and reasoning, the system must be building mental imagery. It is inherently obligated to create pictures and text to initiate and inform the next state of processing. It would be a simple addition to the network to capture its internally generated imagery and display it for humans to observe. In an advanced AI, this video stream may proceed very rapidly, but it could be recorded to an external memory drive and monitored by a team of people. You could have many people observing and interpreting various parts of this video feed, or you could also have another AI scanning it for contentious elements.  As they watch its inner eye and listen to its inner voice, they can determine if its intentions become malevolent and determine if its "kill switch" should be activated. With full insight into its mind's eye, it should be possible to discover and address a hidden agenda before the AI initiates a hostile takeover.

It would be important to ensure that all of the cognitive representations held coactive in the machine's working memory were included in the composite depiction built into its maps. This would make it an open book. This way the machine could not attempt to formulate thoughts that were not transduced into mental images. The sequence of maps that are made must be consistent with the aims, hopes, and motives. This is the case with the human brain. Imagine that you are in a room with someone and the only thing in the room is a knife. Complete access to the pictures they form in their brain, along with their subvocal speech would give you near certainty about everything from their plans to their impulses.

This kind of information could also help us to develop "friendly AI." Instead of rewarding and punishing an AI's behavior, we could use this video feed to reward and punish its intentions and impulses to bring its motivations in line with our own. It could also be used to alter the machine's motivations, intentions, and utility functions to bring them in line with human objectives. Just as in a human child, compassionate, prosocial, and positive behaviors and cognitions could be programmed and engineered into it after it has already been designed and implemented.

Without using this method it would be practically impossible to predict the intentions of a recursively self-improving artificial agent that was undergoing a rapid explosion in intelligence. Many researchers have come up with good reasons why sufficiently intelligent AI might veer off the friendly course. Steve Omohundro has advanced that an AI system will exhibit basic drives that will cause AI to exhibit undesired behavior, these include resource acquisition, self-preservation, and continuous self-improvement. Similarly, Alexander Wissner-Gross has said that AIs will be highly motivated to maximize future freedom of action, despite our wants and needs. Eliezer Yudkowsky has been quoted as saying, "The AI does not hate you, nor does it love you, but you are made out of atoms which it can use for something else." Alexa Ryszard Michalski, a pioneer of machine learning, has emphasized that a machine mind is fundamentally unknowable and is therefore dangerous to humans. If the technology described above is properly implemented, the machine mind would not be unknowable, and would not necessarily be dangerous at all.

A LINK TO: My Article on AI and Working Memory

A LINK TO: My Webpage on My Architecture for AI

A diagram illustrating the reciprocal interactions between items held in working memory and sensory cortex in the brain. This would be recreated in an AI system.

A diagram illustrating how working memory interacting with sensory cortex that build mental imagery in the form of topographic maps creates a continuous narrative, a stream of thought, and progressive imagery modification.