**From:** Christian Szegedy (*szegedy@or.uni-bonn.de*)

**Date:** Thu Feb 28 2002 - 02:51:11 MST

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Ben Goertzel wrote:

*>I did NOT say that I could create a pragmatically feasible, 100% accurate
*

*>algorithm for measuring the level of self-modification being displayed by a
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*>given system.
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*>
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Of course an algorithm would be very far fetched, but it I think the

following much much simpler

theoretical problems are also out of reach:

a) Show two self-modificating systems which are provably different. I

mean by different that

one of them can perform some tasks more effectively than the other.

It seems to be still hopeless, so it would be great if you could:

b) Give precise mathematical definition of two systems, and some

evidence (not proof) that the

one system is significantly more efficient in some way than the other.

(Part of the problem

is of course to define some efficiency measure which has some slight

correspondence with real-word

efficience. Normally, one considers two algorithms equally efficient if

the running time is within a

constant factor of the running time of the other, and vica versa. This

distinction is of course

too fine for most cases, but sometimes the constants involved are soo

huge, that you can't say

anything about the real time performance.)

While reading your three different types of self modificating systems,

my first thought was:

are they different at all? Does not allow the first type of self

modification the same degree of

flexibility and the effectiveness for all learning tasks? Of course you

are allowed to be 1000000000

(or whatever) times slower (simulations always have overhead...), but if

you never get slower,

then the two types are not at all distinct from a theoretical point of

view. In this case your

three cases are not at all different from the mathematical point of

view. To be more concrete:

does not lead the learning process of type 1) to a higher level learning

(i.e. to an improvement

in the learning process itself), if your system is large enough? There

are good chances that you could

simulate learning systems of type 2) by sufficiently complicated systems

of type 1). Of course

I can't support this intuition, because you have not even clearly

defined the difference between

type 1) ,2) and 3) systems. Even a precise mathematical definition would

be of great value.

*>Indeed, the mathematical formalization I have in mind will involve some
*

*>very-hard-to-compute quantities, and hence will be of value only
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*>
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*>a) conceptually
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*>
*

I would not neglect the conceptual value. I think you could happily

write down your thoughts

if you had the slightest evidence the the different types of self

modifications you proposed are

basically different.

Of course I can't blame you. Developing ground breaking theories is

hard, the chances of

success are uncalculable and it costs lot of time. At this stage of the

development, the time may

be better invested in practical (engineering) work.

On the other hand, having the basic definitions and at least a basic

mathematical formulation

can be of great deal of help in guiding the practical process, and for

an effective communication

on the subject.

Normally I am quite irritated by people stating that they could

formulate something mathematically,

and use this as an argument. It is nornally used when running out of

real arguments.

I am not against working using mostly intuition, In most of my time, I

also work on producing efficient

but hard to prove solutions for huge problems, so I know the gap between

the theoretical

and practial world, but I also love mathematics, so my first commandment is:

Do not take the name of Mathematics in vain!

Best regards, Christian

**Next message:**Gordon Worley: "Re: Seed AI milestones (types of self-modification.)"**Previous message:**Eugene Leitl: "RE: Seed AI milestones - Explicit Knowlege Codification"**In reply to:**Ben Goertzel: "RE: Seed AI milestones (was: Microsoft aflare)"**Next in thread:**Gordon Worley: "Re: Seed AI milestones (types of self-modification.)"**Reply:**Gordon Worley: "Re: Seed AI milestones (types of self-modification.)"**Reply:**ben goertzel: "Re: Seed AI milestones (types of self-modification.)"**Messages sorted by:**[ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] [ attachment ]

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