RE: Basement Education

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed Jan 24 2001 - 15:01:10 MST

To me the big problem with the hard takeoff is that even if the increase in
intelligence through progressive self-modification is exponential, the
exponent may be 1.0003

I.e., learning about one's own brain may continue to be hard for quite a

The problem you cite, Dale, seems not a big problem. If AI's are learning
about the physical world or each other, then learning may happen at
much faster than human time-scales. The problem you cite is only relevant
to experiential learning about human interactions.

But AI's may lose interest in humans soon.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf
> Of Dale Johnstone
> Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2001 4:42 PM
> To:
> Subject: Basement Education
> Eliezer wrote:
> > What actually happens is that genetic engineering and neurohacking and
> > human-computer interfaces don't show up, because they'd show up in 2020,
> > and a hard takeoff occurs in SIAI's or Webmind's basement
> sometime in the
> > next ten years or so. Even if the hardware for nanotechnology takes
> > another couple of weeks to manufacture, and even if you're asking the
> > newborn SI questions that whole time, no amount of explanation
> is going to
> > be equivalent to the real thing. There still comes a point when the SI
> > says that the Introdus wavefront is on the way, and you sit
> there waiting
> > for the totally unknowable future to hit you in the next five seconds.
> In order for there to be a hard takeoff the AI must be capable of building
> up a huge amount of experience quickly. It takes years for a human child.
> Obviously we can crank up the AI's clock rate, but how do you
> plan for it to
> gain experience when the rest of the world is running in slow motion? Some
> things can be deduced, others can be learnt from simulations. How does it
> learn about people and human culture in general? From books & the
> internet?
> I'm sure you'd agree giving an inexperienced newborn AI access to nanotech
> is a bad idea. So, as processing time is limited and short-cuts like
> scanning a human mind are not allowed at first, how will it learn to model
> people, and the wider geopolitical environment?
> Do you believe that given sufficient intelligence, experience is not
> required?
> At what point in it's education will you allow it to develop (if it's not
> already available) & use nanotech?
> Cheers,
> Dale.

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