Re: DGI Paper

From: Michael Roy Ames (
Date: Mon Apr 15 2002 - 00:17:35 MDT

Ben wrote:

> You omit to mention that thoughts as well as concepts can be remembered.
> Much of episodic memory consists of memories of thoughts! Thus, thoughts
> are not really "disposable one-time structures" as you say. Most but not
> all are disposed of.

Ben: I took Eliezer's DGI design intention, to define thoughts ==
"disposable one-time structures", as a pragmatic deliniation between
'ephemeral' vs. 'permanent'. This 'cut' has to be made somewhere, as saving
a detailed mind-state for every passing thought is just too expensive. I
also have described this border as "a storm of thoughts raging over a sea of
concepts"... when the storm of thoughts abate, the concepts remain, although
somewhat mixed and changed. This is not to say that a thought cannot be
saved for later retrieval, just that it won't be saved in the same format as
it normally exists. Instead it will be encoded as a memory - perhaps as a
group of related concepts linked to specific imagery.

Eliezer wrote:

> No, you often have mental imagery that depicts ongoing cognition within
> than one train of thought, and you switch around the focus of attention,

Ben wrote:

> I feel that my focus of attention can span two or three different thoughts
> at once, sometimes.

I have to side with Ben on this one. I frequently find myself engaging an a
veritable panoply of simultaneous thoughts. It happens often enough that,
when opening my mouth to participate in a conversation, I have to pause and
rein-in the thoughts to a semi-serial format so that I don't sound like a
schitzophrenic who has forgotten to take his meds.

For an AI, though, I don't think it will make the slightest difference to
the end result whether the thoughts are in parallel or serial. However, the
most *efficient* "number of simultaneous threads of thought" will vary
depending on: 1) the hardware implementation architecture, 2) the software
design and 3) the specific thought.

Michael Roy Ames

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