RE: How hard a Singularity?

From: James Higgins (
Date: Sat Jun 22 2002 - 17:33:54 MDT

At 12:50 PM 6/22/2002 -0600, you wrote:

> > > I think the period of transition from human-level AI to
> > superhuman-level AI
> > > will be a matter of months to years, not decades.
> >
> > I suppose I could see a month, but anything longer than that is
> > pretty hard
> > to imagine unless the human-level AI is operating at a subjective
> > slowdown
> > of hundreds to one relative to human thought.
>I understand that this is your intuition, but what is the reasoning
>underlying it?
>Say we have this AI mind with a nonhuman intelligence, roughly as smart as
>Ben or Eliezer. Say this AI mind already uses a huge amount of
>computational resources, and obtaining more rapidly is not financially
>This mind now has to re-engineer its software to make itself smarter.
>Maybe there are only a limited number of tweaks it can make to improve its
>intelligence, without totally rearchitecting itself.

Well, I may not be a giant in the field but here is how I see this issue.

Lets say we could, 6 years from now, upload Eliezer & Ben into (separate)
hardware. They resulting intelligence would be equivalent to what it was
prior to the upload, but it will be running on computing hardware. Let's
also go with Ben's suggestion that the amount of hardware required will be
substantial (which seems likely).

Now, can either of you explain to me why a human-equivalent intelligence
will, all of a sudden, be capable of creating bounds & leaps of technology
that were otherwise impossible, just because it is running on
silicon??? It seems likely that it would take a human-equivalent AI
roughly as long as a single human (discounting sleep, eating, etc) to do
the same amount of work! It doesn't think smarter (yet) so why in the heck
should new architectural designs and technologies spring forth form its
mind like a fountain? As I see it, it would do no more for the project
than employing 3 or more engineers (discounting moral & financial boosts
due to the success, of course)...

James Higgins

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