A plain English description of my technical definition of 'Friendliness'

From: Marc Geddes (marc_geddes@yahoo.co.nz)
Date: Wed Jan 19 2005 - 23:55:03 MST

Taken from the comments I posted on the Imm Inst


A Plain English description of Friendliness

In order to get a handle on something as enormously
difficult as the concept of 'Friendliness', I had to
start right at the beginning and come up with the most
general definition that I could in order to lay the
foundations for the rest of my theory. Although what
I've posted here is very general, I don't think it's
vacuous. If you read what I said, I say that the exact
'Friendliness' function is uncomputable (it is not
Turing computable). Then I try to show that there
exist Turing computable functions that can approximate
any uncomputable function to any desired degree of
accuracy. This is a big mathematical claim. I attempt
to establish that in order for these functions to
exist, the Omega Point condition has to hold for our
universe, another big claim. So I've attempted to lay
the framework for establishing 2 big claims, which are
certainly not vacuous! To sum up my two big claims:

*There exist Turing computable functions that can
approximate any uncomputable function to any desired
degree of accuracy

*The Omega Point condition has to hold in our universe
for these functions to exist

Defining concepts as utility functions is my key idea!
You may be aware of the old idea that everything that
exists is simply thoughts in the mind of God. Well,
I'm simply trying to re-phrase this idea in a modern
scientific sense. You are familiar with Objective
Idealism? Let me put it this way: In what sense can
something be said to exist if it could not be
perceived by some mind? The very word 'Concept' is
itself a concept. It is only meaningful in so far as
it means something to a mind which understands it. So
in what sense can anything be said to really be
'inert'? Perception is a *process*. And no concept in
reality can be separated from the perceptual process
required to understand it.

Also consider the idea of universal computation. All
finite things in reality are 'computations'. But minds
are also believed be 'computations'. Again, we see a
kind of equivalence between 'thoughts' and 'things'.
What seems like an external 'thing' from one
perspective exists as a 'thought' from another
perspective. Consider your own thoughts. To you they
are internal subjective perceptions. But imagine
someone with a device capable of recording every
detail that was going on in your mind. To that person,
all your thoughts would actually appear to be material

So these are my reasons for regarding concepts as
being no different to the actual perceptual process of
understanding them.

Of course we can then ask: Whose perceptual process
should we use as defining what a concept means? It
can't be our own - that would be no different to
solipsism - a confusion of our own internal map with
the territory.

That's where the idea of an Omega Point
super-intelligence comes in you see. We then have a
way to define a concept as a perceptual process in a
limiting case: the idea is that the concept is defined
to be the perceptual process of understanding taken by
super-intelligence at the end of time - the Omega
Point limit.

You are right to say that there would be many utility
functions approximating Prospective attributes - and I
gave the example of 'Beauty' in the post.

But it seems that you missed my implicit definition of

Utility functions approximating other prospective
attributes do not self-improve! That is, they not
inputting/outputting other functions. For instance the
utility function approximating beauty outputs examples
of beautiful things.

The Friendliness utility function is taking
*functions* as input/output. It's self-reflective
(recursive). It takes a function as input and outputs
an improved version of the function. For instance the
Friendliness function could take the Beauty function
and improve the Beauty function.

You are asking what a Friendliness function actually
ultimately does? It should be obvious. The Omega Point
condition is the condition required to enable the
Friendliness function to exist. Therefore the ultimate
telos of Friendliness is to bring about the Omega
Point. It sounds paradoxical. But it's not. It's a
closed 'strange loop'.

So the end purpose of the Universe is 'continue to
exist'. Immortality in other words! This is a journey
not a destination. It's the process of attempting to
continue to exist that is equivalent to the meaning of



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