Re: "a mist of probability amplitudes"

From: Mitchell Porter (
Date: Tue Apr 06 2004 - 15:30:10 MDT

Michael Roy Ames:

>The metaphor: "Life is a mist of probability amplitudes" poetically
>describes several levels of organization in the structure of the universe
>including: atomic, molecular, cellular, meteorological, behavioral (!) I
>read it as a comment on how a Bayesian reasoner might view the world. When
>you say, "...let's be a little clearer..." I would reply: It is hard to
>imagine greater clarity of expression in only seven words.

If this were just about Bayes, it should be "Life is a mist of
conditional probabilities" - and then it wouldn't be a statement
of physics. A probability amplitude is not a probability. No-one
can say what it is, except "the thing we get the empirical
probabilities from".

I am hammering hard on this because it is dismaying to see
Eliezer latch on to something like this as dogma, and use it to
dismiss "hard problems" as pseudo-questions. I assume the
attraction is that he can get on with concrete problems of AI
without being distracted by them.

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