Re: The AIbox

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sat Jul 03 2004 - 13:43:39 MDT

On Jul 1, 2004, at 1:43 AM, Josh Cryer wrote:

> I don't think there's some magical rule in the universe that says that
> humans can't create such a thing, just for the record. I do not
> believe that there exist useful things that an AI could understand
> which a sufficiently learned human could not. Sure, an AI could know
> five quadrillion digits of PI, that does not necessarily mean that
> that is remotely useful to humans. If anything, an AI could make
> things simplier for humans to understand, technological simplification
> could be the actual results rather than the opposite.

It is not a "magical rule". But there are limits to human
computational ability. Many of us run into those limits in the things
we attempt to understand and do quite often. It would be a sad
universe if no intelligence with great computational abilities, could
improve on our limits. A sufficiently learned human still works at
the roughly same speed with no larger a conscious attention queue and
so on. There are many problems today of crucial interest to humans
and human survival, that are apparently beyond our limitations. True,
we build specialized computational and other tools to address some of
it. But the human in the loop is still a very real limitation to what
can be done.

If the AI makes things "simpler for humans to understand" implies there
are things the AI can do that humans cannot.

> Of course, you might argue that stopping the simulation to work on
> anything the AI invents for us would clue it in to time passage (say
> we turn the machine off to build nanotechnology it designed; which
> results in the stars changing their alignment, etc, it would see an
> instant change in the alignment of many many events it can observe),
> but this is sufficiently quelled by recording all data inputs that the
> AI would recieve and plugging them into the resulting virtual universe
> that we have created. Basically, the start of the virtual universe
> will be the end of the real universe. It could be totally unnoticable
> to an AI. An AI can't know what doesn't exist. We're essentially
> talking about an AI trying to get out of a box that has no evidence
> for its existance.

ALARM! The humans are about to figure out that *they* are in a box!
The simulated universe designed to solve the safe creation of AI is
failing to produce the desired results..

- samantha

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