Re: Conservative Estimation of the Economic Impact of Artificial Intelligence

From: Russell Wallace (
Date: Fri Dec 31 2004 - 02:50:10 MST

On Thu, 30 Dec 2004 19:15:36 -0800 (PST), Thomas Buckner
<> wrote:
> Evolutionary trial-and-error tournaments between
> subsystems of itself, with winning strategies
> globally adopted, but still under control of the
> singleton.

Well yes, that's what I believe in too. Evolution as a tool under
control of something that is not itself evolved.

Or put another way: A "self-modifying" entity must, to produce useful
results in the long run, consist of a static part that modifies the
dynamic part, but is not itself modified in the process.

(Biological evolution is not a counterexample (the static part being
the laws of physics + the terrestrial environment) nor is human
culture (the static part being the laws of physics + the terrestrial
environment + the human genome).)

However, that won't "fold the graph in on itself" to make a magic FOOM
as Eliezer appears to believe.

As I understand him to mean it, "recursive self-improvement" means
modifying the whole stack. That's the part I don't believe in; more to
the point, that's the part that would have to work in order for a
"hard takeoff" scenario to be realistic.

I don't think that can happen, but if it could, it would make a
difference to rational planning at the present time, which is why I'm
asking whether there's a reason to believe it could.

- Russell

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