Re: How will the hunger for computation power shape the emerging mind?

From: Dani Eder (
Date: Fri Jul 11 2003 - 11:12:12 MDT

> Once a basic workable/self-improving AGI structure
> is developed a key
> limiting factor is likely to hinge on the available
> computational
> hardware. The cost per unit will fall over the
> years but the demand for
> computational power will grow rapidly - faster?? -
> so expanding mind
> power is likely to still be an expensive
> proposition.

The computer requirements for an automated replicating
factory are estimated to be 500 Mflops speed, 2 Gbytes
memory, and 35 Gbytes storage. These estimates were
made over 20 years ago, and the idea was shelved
because computers were inadequate at the time.

Today those requirements are well within desktop
PC capabilities. A 'seed factory' is defined as a
minimal set of machines and control computer that can
make copies of itself or make the rest of the types
of machinery needed to make any required output.

So a growing AI that needs lots of solar panels
(for power) and racks of CPUs (for thinking) can
figure out the minimal subset of, say machine tools
and robots, that can crank out copies of themselves,
and also crank out solar panel making and cpu
making machinery. When optimizing for speed of
growth, it may decide to make excess power and
sell it to pay for CPU and memory chips, since those
take large, specialized factories to produce.
But that type of make/buy analysis is the type
of thing done all the time by business, so the
software is liekly there already.

The limiting factor will be how fast the power
source can copy itself. With sufficient power
you can make or buy (by selling power) anything
else you need.


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