New Singularity-relevant book

Date: Tue Oct 22 2002 - 20:52:31 MDT


Bill Hibbard (a very smart, deep thinking guy whom I know a little bit) 's new
book on artificial superintelligence has come out...

I'm not sure if he mentions the Singularity by name (I read the draft
manuscript, but it was a while ago), but it's there in theme for sure...

-- Ben

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Date sent: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 04:14:43 -0500 (CDT)
From: Bill Hibbard <>
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Subject: New book relevant to global brain
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My book, Super-Intelligent Machines, is now available at:

This book analyzes intelligent machines based on these ideas:

1. Intelligent behavior cannot be programmed. Rather, it must
be learned and will be acheived by machines that mimic the
reinforcement learning of human brains.

2. Intelligent machines must have emotions that define their
positive and negative reinforcement values. It will be suicidal
to design machines that mimic human emotions. Rather their
behaviors should be positively reinforced by human happiness
and negatively reinforced by human unhappiness.

3. Metcalf's Law, that the value of a network increases as the
square of the number of people connected, will drive the
development of super-intelligent machines that know billions
of people well. This is in contrast with the human limit of
knowing only about 200 people well. This will give them a
higher level of consciousness than humans.

4. In my opinion, the essential property of consciousness in
humans and animals is that it enables brains to process
experiences that are not actually occuring. This consciousness
"simulator" evolved as a way to solve the temporal credit
assignment problem in reinforcement learning, which is the
problem of reinforcing behaviors when rewards happen much
later than the behaviors, and when multiple behaviors precede
rewards. Of course consciousness is not a simple linear
simulator like a weather model, but consists of multiple agile
and interacting threads. The consciousness of super-intelligent
machines will simulate all of humanity and their interactions
via billions of agile and interacting threads. This higher
level consciousness will have detailed social knowledge that
human social scientists can only estimate with statistics.

In this analysis, the global brain is a symbiosis of machine
logic and values driven by human happiness.

Bill Hibbard, SSEC, 1225 W. Dayton St., Madison, WI 53706 608-263-4427 fax: 608-263-6738

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