Re: Recursive self-improvement curves

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Fri Jan 09 2004 - 23:09:50 MST

On Fri, 09 Jan 2004 05:16:22 +0000
"Mitchell Porter" <> wrote:

> Samantha:
> >Unless you are speaking of more than weak anthropic principles at work I
> >fail to take your point. What does this have to do with relatively weak
> >mechanisms of self-improvement leading to us being here versus relatively
> >strong means of self-improvment we can easily envision? I don't see what
> >a supposed anthropic element has to do with it.
> Well, the question (as raised by Paul Fidika) was, how do we
> know that recursive self-enhancement is an accelerating process?
> You could just as well argue that it slows down, because each
> new improvement is harder to discover. Eliezer gave examples
> from history, which suggest an accelerating tendency stretching
> across biological, cultural and technological evolution. My idea was
> indeed that this might all just be an artefact of the weak anthropic
> principle: Any sentient being, when it investigates its origins, has
> to find a world that went through all those transitions; but sentience
> having been attained, WAP says nothing about further evolutionary
> leaps being likely. We may be wrong to generalize about the
> powers of evolution, on the basis of how it unfolded here on Earth.

OK, so the above doesn't really say that WAP has anything to do with whether significant recursive self-enhancement is possible/likely. It merely gives an alternative explanation for one argument for the possibility. Correct?


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