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

From: James Martin Luther (
Date: Sat Jul 12 2003 - 02:24:16 MDT

On Friday, July 11, 2003, at 12:24 AM, Philip Sutton wrote:
> So it's out to the saltmines for the young AGI to earn some money to
> support its habit - expanding mind power.

Economics will have a big impact on the shape of the emerging
singularity, just as it had a big impact on the development of the

An AGI which requires costly resources will be expected to earn value
for its creators and, if it is independent, compete for resources in a
regulated market just like the rest of us. Until technology advances
enough where "everything is free", an AGI must earn its keep, even if
it has to use benefactors.

The process of surviving and thriving also could give an AGI valuable
experiences (just as it does for human beings and organizations).

> How do we avoid getting a generation of AGIs that will do whatever
> earns the most money to expand their minds?  If Dubya or some Mafia
> boss or an arms manufacture or a drug company the highest
> why wouldn't the young AGI go along with it?

Making money in un-Friendly ways would attract all kinds of costly heat
from the affected (or concerned) parties. While an AGI would ideally be
intelligent enough to avoid the pitfalls of easy money, what about the
"bad apples"?

On a somewhat related subject, I have been flushing out the
implications of a theoretical software agent called an Econophage that
will certainly be constructed once web services become more widespread.
This agent would "survive" and "proliferate" on the web by gathering
financial energy through various kinds of market trading. The
Econophage would use surplus financial energy to support its various
life-like activities: maintaining an ISP account, maintaining some sort
of market trading account, analyzing market information, and, most
costly of all, reproduction.


James Martin Luther

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