Re: Seed AI (was: How hard a Singularity?)

From: James Rogers (
Date: Mon Jun 24 2002 - 17:48:24 MDT

On Mon, 2002-06-24 at 16:02, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> An AI can have a very elegant design and still be far more complex than what
> human programmers are used to. Overcomplexity and oversimplification are
> relative to the problem, not relative to what strikes humans as being a lot
> or a little complexity. The natural complexity of AI is a lot higher than
> what programmers are used to, so in an absolute sense a "just-right AI" is
> probably more complex than most "overcomplicated" programs. Yet an AI built
> "just right" might still have in all other ways the signature of good
> design, rather than bad design.

That makes more sense now. When I use "complexity" while talking about
machinery, I usually mean intrinsic complexity (a la Kolmogorov). Human
programmers creating their own "complexity", or the reverse case of
attempting to express an algorithm in a form that contains less
intrinsic complexity than the algorithm they are trying to express (good
luck!) are human factors and not something I generally concern myself

I don't usually consider something that is an example of "just right"
engineering to be "complex", except perhaps in a pedestrian sense. For
me, "elegant" and "complex" are at the opposite ends of the descriptive
spectrum when talking about software.

-James Rogers

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