To reach a Singularity (was Re: Time and Minds)

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Sat Sep 29 2001 - 15:01:15 MDT

At 4:05 PM -0400 9/29/01, wrote:
>In a message dated 9/29/2001 12:13:29 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> writes:
><< Eliezer's proposed singularity leaves room for voluntary pain (for the
> sadomasochist types) >>
>My question is somewhat simpler. Is there an actual estimated crossover point
>of 'operations per second' where the Singularity must occur? Is there a
>calculated range where it could occur? If someone has estimated this level
>of processing, what are the calculations per second?

Probably. It is likely that the Singularity can be attained by brute
force use of a genetic algorithm (or, hopefully, a smarter version of
this idea). This is not really desirable, but it could be done.
This would require a lot of processing power, so we'd have to wait 20
or 30 years before the effort could even start.

What is more likely and the faster solution is to try to jump into
the Singularity. By this I mean that it doesn't matter how slow the
AI that is going to take us to the Singularity is, but the nature of
its programming is different in a fundamental way (namely, it can
rewrite its own code). If we do this, we're on the fast track to the
Singularity (depending on a number of factors, anywhere from 2-5
years to a few of hours).

Earlier I said probably because there is the chance that programs
that can program themselves are outside the problem space of current
languages. In other words, we may need a more powerful language
(i.e. we need GlooP). If that's the case, then we need Flare badly
(assuming it will make what I describe possible). This seems to be
what Eliezer thinks (correct me if I'm wrong), while Ben takes the
stance from the previous paragraph.

Hope that sums things up for you. This has been discussed before,
but in bits an pieces.

Gordon Worley                     `When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty            said, `it means just what I choose                it to mean--neither more nor less.'
PGP:  0xBBD3B003                                  --Lewis Carroll

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