Monday, 29 August 2011

Grades of Sentience

I recently got into discussion about qualifying and quantifying sentience, especially as it applies to Artificial Intelligence.
These are my thoughts on the subject.
Credit to Zach Schindler, who helped crystallize my thoughts and broaden the definitions of some Grades, and who added some Grades I didn't even think of.

Grade # (Summary) - Minimum requirements, if previous levels are fufilled. (Examples)
0 (Non-sentient) - inanimate objects, with absolutely no reaction to their environment. (Rocks etc)
0.5 (Basic Reactive)- unconscious reaction. (Aspects of plants)
1 (Reactive) - semi-conscious reaction to simple external stimuli. (Microscopic animals, Roomba vacuum cleaner)
2 (Proactive) - awareness of their environment, and proactive interaction for survival. (Insects and birds)
3 (Endeavoring) - solves simple problems in the environment through trial and error. (Small mammals, human infants)
4 (Predictive)- uses past experience to predict an outcome to an action, rather than trying each action in turn. (Primates, human children, Deep Thought)
4.5 (Advanced Predictive)- Learns by watching others as well as through personal experience, can think of multiple possible outcomes and plan for them.
5 (Empathetic) - Understands that other intelligent beings exist, and is capable of inferring emotions. (Social mammals, basic Artificial Intelligence)
6 (Sympathetic) - Expresses concern for the well-being of other creatures. (Human adults, great apes, dolphins, true Synthetic Intelligence)
7 (Enlightened) - Can apply ethical rules and guidelines in order to determine action based on morality. (Humans, advanced Synthetic Intelligence)
7.5 (Advanced Enlightened) - Applies multiple ethical systems to moral issues.
8 (Independent) - Applies original thought to morality.
9 (Interdependent) - Collective thought is the norm, ranging from committee to total integration of a group consciousness. Individuals are Grade 8 but share thoughts freely.
10 (Ascended) - Transcendent intelligence, hyper-longevity or immortal.
X (Deity or equivalent) - Omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipotent, transcends dimensions.

I'm not certain I'm happy with these, I can imagine some grades could be melded with the grades above or below them, or new grades I haven't thought of slotted in.
I'd be pleased to hear your thoughts on the subject, so as always, comment or message me.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Social networking

I'm slightly worried by the trend among game advertisers to see addiction as desirable to the player. I understand that all designers want you to keep coming back (Zynga being the prime example, every one of their games is a masterclass in luring you back) but when did players shift to wanting all their waking hours ruled by 1s and 0s?

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Kids these days.

According to the BBC, Alien abduction is one of the top excuses for missing school.
Why are kids so dumb?
Oh yeah, they're skipping school to visit aliens.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Assassins Online

A while back I wrote a post explaining the rules for a little game I found called Assassins, (you can read it here, and even more recently I stumbled across an online version.
Essentially, whenever you and another player are on the same website you can have a shootout, and the winner gets points to level up or "buy" turf, which is a particular website which people pay you game money every time they visit.
If Assassins sounds like fun to you check out and get your hitman on.

Monday, 28 March 2011


I recently had to deal with the British government in order to become an officially recognized member of society, and I'm bitterly disappointed. Every turn I found I needed something I was already trying to obtain, and I got kicked along to the next person in line who would give me what I wanted if I could provide them with something from the guy who sent me here, so I decided I'm going to set up my own nation, where I will be a king. Not just any king, but King-in-exile, because I have no land at the moment <sadface>. I'm looking for any help you can give me, be it a name for my nation or a plot of land you can donate or your services in my government, anything is appreciated and I'm sure you'll be rewarded once I start printing currency...
Please comment with your ideas and I promise to read them.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Trading up

I was recently introduced to the work of a guy called Kyle, he took it into his head to trade up from one red paperclip to a whole house, and he managed it in only 14 trades.
you can read all about his journey here...
I so enjoyed reading about this that I decided to emulate it, but to my horror I discovered I had NO paperclips! What am I to do?
I look around and see on my floor a single metal die, I think it's from an old board game or something, I picked it up one day cos I thought it was pretty cool, so I figure I can't be the only one who'd like this, which means I have an almost-free-but-not-quite-worthless starting point, so I looked up the local craiglist and made a post.
I probably won't do as well as Kyle did, America is much bigger then the UK, but I'm damn well going to try and get me a house, or an island, or a house on an island, even if that island is 5 feet square and half of that is sheep.

Saturday, 29 January 2011


I was in Coventry yesterday, and I noticed something odd. Sat leaning on a wall was a book, with a large orange post-it stuck to the front. Naturally, I was curious, what could be going on here? I approached, hesitantly at first, aware that there may be someone watching for my reaction. As I neared the book I could make out the message on the note " Free Book Take Me Home". Still not entirely sure, I picked the book up to check it wasn't obviously stolen, and some prankster was hoping to pass the blame. I noticed a small sticker on the spine of the book, it said "The Liberation of Literature". I was hooked. Opening the book I found another sticker explaining the basic concept of the site, and the community. I came home that night and joined BookCrossing right after I let the previous owner know the book was safe and on it's way.

If you have any books you no longer read, please consider BookCrossing as a way to pass the joy you got from them to the rest of the world. Registering a book is extremely simple, and releasing them even more so.

PS. here's a link to the site

Update: The book found its way to Shrewsbury, and Darwin's statue outside the library. It was scooped up while I was still inside.