|Photo by Robynne Hu on Unsplash|
Imagine the headlines:
- Powerful alien discovered!
- Alien has superpowers--knows what you’re up to!
- You are being judged!
Apparently not. Yet we have to take this Being seriously. Deny its existence and the Great Religions are simply men and women in frocks expressing pointless rituals: an OCD epidemic.
And as for their followers …
If God is real, what would our research programme conclude? Omniscient, omnipotent and moralistic: it’s a tough specification, pretty much full-on agency, a fully-realised intentional system.
Agents are conceptualised within AI as four-vectors: [Perceptions, Beliefs, Goals, Actions]. The corresponding agent-algebra tells you that perceptions combine with prior beliefs and goals to generate plans consisting of actions. In the process, beliefs and goals get updated. It’s more complex but this basic model is good enough for Government work.
Where do an agent’s goals come from? Ultimately from homeostasis requirements. The agent is designed to survive (in biology its genes are): as Woody Allen said, “80 percent of life is showing up.”
The non-trivial agent confronts a challenging environment which knocks it away from its enduring, homeostatic ambitions--it gets hungry or thirsty; it’s threatened, damaged or needs to find a mate. In its situated context homeostasis determines goals and plans … and demands their execution to restore the agent to its set-point.
How do we apply this model to God?
For omniscience and omnipotence, God’s sensor and effector apparatuses must span all of spacetime. God’s beliefs should be accurate--but complete and effective sensory coverage should address that, other (processing) things being equal.
But what are God’s goals?
It seems parochial that a Cosmic God should be motivated by the needs or welfare of the puny beings of Sol Planet Three at Big-Bang + 13.8 billion years. I think we need a more universal homeostasis requirement, something more Spinozan.
God is concerned with preserving the harmony of the universe.
A requirement for homeostasis is only interesting if there is a threat to it. At the level of the universe--harmoniously regulated by the laws of physics--God becomes non-trivial, non-superfluous only if there is a threat to those very laws. Perhaps in the bifurcating projections of the universe's state-vector in Hilbert space--where our universe shimmers in possibilities--there are pathological outcomes which threaten the very fabric, the very integrity of the entire cosmos.
Catalysed false-vacuum decay.
Just as the coldest place in the universe is on planet Earth, perhaps the greatest threat to our universe’s stability is also here?
Imagine God as a deep neural net with inputs and outputs at each point in spacetime: past, present and future. The neural net resides in an orthogonal set of spatial dimensions and has a developmental trajectory in a second time dimension. Its understanding of the present state of all reality is its collection of input-vectors in superposition. Each input-vector corresponds to a possible world weighted by its amplitude.
The feedback loop in second-time is from possible worlds and their amplitudes through the God-net with its evolving weight-matrices through to spacetime actions through to revised amplitudes. The intent is to ensure that possible worlds representing pathological excursions constitute a set of measure zero.
Who or what is giving God grief? People who want supernatural actions--either to help their own cause or to bring fire and brimstone down on their opponents. Praying over the millennia hasn’t had much effect but high-energy physics?
It is possible to frighten God: perhaps in productive ways.
If you knew there was a well-funded, competent adversary-team with access to unimaginably high energy-densities sufficient to trigger a bubble nucleation event, what would you do? If you were a state with an intelligence agency and resources, that is.
Could we go beyond threats against the Deity. Could we converse with it--is God a second-order intentional system? What should we say?
So that's the setting (as requested). Now over to Adam to devise the characters, plot and narrative.