From: Dani Eder (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Jun 18 2002 - 12:12:36 MDT
I have thought off and on about a value system based
on information content. In this type of system,
terms such as 'good', 'bad', 'better', and 'worse'
are quantified by the increase or decrease in
information content, especially unique information
For example, killing a random tree isn't very bad,
since there is very little unique genetic
information in such tree. Killing one of the
selectively bred parent trees at International
Paper's nurseries would be worse. Killing the
last tree of a given species is the worst of
the three examples.
Another example, a hard drive full of popular
song mp3's is
better than a blank disk. A hard drive full of
new master recordings from a talented composer
would be more valuble than the disk of mp3's.
In this value system, a human is worth much more
than an ant because he has much more unique
information in his brain, and has the potential
to create more unique information in the future.
It is my opinion that such a value system would
be easy for an AI to use, as values would be
measured in bits. It is also my opinion that
such a value system could be 'tuned' to be in
accord with human values. This would be done
by asking humans to make value comparisons, and then
adjusting relative values of different types
of information (genetic, neuronal, computer-stored)
to match the human results.
For example, it is easy to value a bus
full of people more than the life of one
suicide bomber, and thus decide kill the
Now consider the question of a suicide bomber
who has infiltrated the Louvre museum. Do you
kill a human to save a lot of unique artwork?
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