Re: A fairly concrete path to the Singularity

From: Fabio Mascarenhas (
Date: Thu Apr 26 2001 - 21:57:04 MDT


> My thinking has evolved a HELL OF A LOT in the period 1997-2000, i.e.
> the time I was working on the WM AI Engine... let alone since 1989-90 when
> wrote The Structure of Intelligence.
> Not that I've changed my basic philosophy in any way. I'd say that my 4
> sci books explored different aspects of the same basic conceptual point of
> view. The WM AI Engine incorporates all these aspects, and some other
> too...

This is interesting! Has any of this been documented in "Wild Computing"? I
noticed it's a lot about Webmind in particular, and wondered how much of it
still holds.

> Structure of Intelligence -- formalizing what mind and intelligence are,
> Evolving Mind -- analogy between mind and evolution, formalization of
> Chaotic Logic -- a formal model of the mind, very abstract and not

What about the last one, "From Complexity to Creativity"? As the last book
you wrote before Webmind I guess it's fairly accurate about the beliefs and
theories you had before actual construction. This is specially of interest
to me, as I plan to use the psynet and creativity discussions on this book
for a term paper in my current psychology class.

> Only AFTER writing all of this stuff, and thus getting a really deep
> intuitive feel for the computational and mathematical modeling of all
> aspects of mind, did I begin really deeply thinking about how to implement
> mind, how to teach it, etc. ... the stuff dealt with in Digital Intuition.

Of course! No matter how much you design upfront, actual implementation
reveals much, much more about the problem domain you're addressing. This is
one of the primaty tenets of Extreme Programming, and something Eliezer
should be aware of: implementation is far away from a purely mechanical job,
no matter how much design was done.

> Looking back, I find those earlier books kind of frustrating to read. A
> of vague stuff compared to the clarity with which I see things now. And
> first two books have just a hideous number of typos, including some bad
> in math formulas. But, that's the way the cookie crumbles.... If I ever
> have time I'll go back and rewrite them all in light of what I understand
> now...

Please, try to share at least some of this clarity with us right now. Dr.
Goertzel, I must confess that the more I read about your work on Webmind the
more I think I should contribute to it after I graduate! :-)

Fabio Mascarenhas

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