**From:** Marc Geddes (*marc_geddes@yahoo.co.nz*)

**Date:** Fri Jan 21 2005 - 20:46:29 MST

**Next message:**Robin Lee Powell: "Re: My attempt at a general technical definition of 'Friendliness'"**Previous message:**Thomas Buckner: "Re: Technical definitions of FAI"**In reply to:**Harvey Newstrom: "Re: My attempt at a general technical definition of 'Friendliness'"**Messages sorted by:**[ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] [ attachment ]

O.K, take out the word 'technical' from my subject

header. Then it reads '...a general definition....'

Satisfied?

--- Harvey Newstrom <mail@HarveyNewstrom.com> wrote:

*>
*

*> > * Proposition: A mind is a utility function. The
*

*> > universe itself could be interpreted as a kind of
*

*> mind
*

*> > in the limit that it formed a super-intelligence
*

*> at an
*

*> > Omega Point. Therefore any concept within reality
*

*> > could be interpreted as a 'utility function'
*

*> within
*

*> > the universal mind.
*

*>
*

*> These are very controversial and non-obvious
*

*> propositions on which to
*

*> base your definitions. Is friendliness really
*

*> dependent on the
*

*> universe being a "mind"? If I dispute that the
*

*> universe is a "mind",
*

*> does that mean friendliness doesn't exist? Your
*

*> evidence that all
*

*> concepts in reality can be coded as utility
*

*> functions within an AI is
*

*> based on the fact that the universe is a mind which
*

*> codes all reality
*

*> at the omega point? This is more of a religious
*

*> faith-based assumption
*

*> than a basis for an engineering design of an AI.
*

*> Besides requiring the universe to be a mind, your
*

*> definitions seem to
*

*> require a Tipler-type omega point to occur for your
*

*> definition. Since
*

*> this is unknown and unproven at this point, it
*

*> sounds like your
*

*> definition must be unknown or unproven for now as
*

*> well. Since the
*

*> Omega Point won't occur until the end of the
*

*> universe, it is unclear
*

*> that your explanation applies to anything today.
*

*> Can't you base your
*

*> examples on physics existing now?
*

What I was suggesting was a 'strange loop' (backward

causality). I was putting forward the proposition

that for sentience to exist now, the Omega Point

condition has to hold. If I can provide some evidence

to support the proposition, this would be indirect

evidence for the Omega Point, since of course we know

that sentience *does* indeed exist (humans are an

example of sentient beings after all).

*>
*

*> > Example: The concept 'Beauty' is defined as being
*

*> > equivalent to the mathematical function which
*

*> > generates a list of all beautiful things.
*

*>
*

*> This is a circular definition. You defined beauty
*

*> by using the word
*

*> "beautiful" in the definition.
*

A mathematical function can be (at least

approximately) implemented as a computation. I

defined beauty to be a *process* - I said it was

equivalent to the *process* of a certain kind of

compuation - the computation which would generate an

awareness of all things that a sentient mind would

judge to be beautiful. This is not circular.

*>
*

*> > This is an
*

*> > uncomputable function, since beauty appears to a
*

*> > prospective attribute: the function to recognize
*

*> or
*

*> > generate beautiful things cannot be finitely
*

*> > specified.
*

*>
*

*> I don't like where this is going. We can't develop
*

*> coherent plans for
*

*> achieving something we can't define. I doubt (and
*

*> hope) that
*

*> "friendiness" is not such a function. Otherwise, it
*

*> boils down to
*

*> "friendliness is in the eye of the beholder". You
*

*> end up saying that
*

*> people will call the system friendly if they like it
*

*> and unfriendly if
*

*> they don't. You can't engineer to such a spec, and
*

*> it ends up being a
*

*> democracy with people voting on what they want for
*

*> friendliness. If
*

*> you can't define it precisely, how can it be a
*

*> requirement? How do you
*

*> know it even exists, if you don't know what it is?
*

*> This isn't some
*

*> observation that we haven't pinned down an
*

*> explanation for yet. This
*

*> is our instructions and requirements to people
*

*> trying to build AI
*

*> systems. How can our request be vague and
*

*> ill-defined, but we'll know
*

*> it when we see it?
*

I *didn't* say it was undefinable! I said it was

*uncomputable*. In the technical sense of the word,

uncomputable simply means that no finitely specified

algorithim can compute it *exactly*. But it would

still be totally objective and definable! A finite

algorithim can still *approximate* an uncomptable

function.

*>
*

*> > But if the Omega Point condition holds for our
*

*> > universe, then the function can be defined to be
*

*> the
*

*> > one that a super-intelligence (Universal Mind)
*

*> would
*

*> > hold, in the limit that the rate of information
*

*> > processing was approaching infinity (Omega Point).
*

*> So
*

*> > all concepts can be thought of as 'utility
*

*> functions'
*

*> > in the universal mind.
*

*>
*

*> Again, circular logic. You define the universe as
*

*> mind. Everything is
*

*> in the universe (which equals mind, which equals
*

*> universal mind).
*

*> Therefore everything is in this universal mind.
*

*> Therefore all concepts
*

*> are held in this mind. Therefore a concept is what
*

*> this universal mind
*

*> holds. There are no definitions here. You are
*

*> stating circular
*

*> relationships and tautologies that do not
*

*> distinguish between items
*

*> within the definition and items without it.
*

What I said is not circular. I said that *if* the

universe is like a mind under certain conditions (and

I gave the Omega Point as the required condition

-mathematical limit), *then* we can define all

concepts as utility functions. This is definitely

saying something meaningful. It is stating the

condition required for concepts to be defined as

functions.

For instance I put forward as a proposition earlier

that any concept (and I gave 'beauty' as an example)

can be approximated by a computation (making

*concepts* identical to the *process* of computation).

I'm now stating the limiting condition required for

this to work ( the Omega Point )

*>
*

*> > * Propositions: All concepts in reality can be
*

*> > interpreted as utility functions. 'Friendliness'
*

*> is a
*

*> > concept; therefore Friendliness is a utility
*

*> function.
*

*>
*

*> This is not a proposition. You are labeling
*

*> something with a name you
*

*> want to call it. This is not the same thing as
*

*> defining it or
*

*> explaining it. A label is not a testable theory.
*

*> There is no validity
*

*> or truth test as to whether these things are what
*

*> you say or not. You
*

*> merely coined a term. Besides using circular logic
*

*> to reach this
*

*> point, you still haven't defined it. You merely
*

*> labeled it.
*

No, I am saying that all concepts (like beauty) are

equiavlent to the *process* of computation which

generates an awareness of them in the mind of

sentients, in the limit that the Omega Point is

approached. This definitely has a precise technical

meaning and is falsifiable.

*>
*

*> > The class of friendly sentients appears to be
*

*> > potentially infinite, making 'Friendliness' a
*

*> > prospective attribute. Therefore the exact
*

*> > Friendliness utility function is uncomputable.
*

*>
*

*> The first part of you sentence says "it appears...",
*

*> then you jump to a
*

*> more assertive "making...." Vague appearances
*

*> don't make anything
*

*> true. This argument is beyond weak. It doesn't
*

*> actually explain
*

*> anything at all.
*

I'm putting forward an axiom here. Argument require

assumptions. I'm simply stating an assumption. I say

that it seems likely that a endless diversity of

sentient minds is possible. This seems very

reasonable given that when we observe human beings, we

see that we are not all identical.

*>
*

*> The last sentence seem to sum up most of your
*

*> "definition". Instead of
*

*> giving a strong definition, you seem to be spending
*

*> most of your words
*

*> giving excuses for the weakness of any definition.
*

I'm putting forward reasonable assumptions, then

stating in general terms the conditions required for

them to work.

*>
*

*> > Therefore all finite approximations to
*

*> 'Friendliness'
*

*> > must have the property that they are recursive and
*

*> > converge on the ideal utility function.
*

*>
*

*> The only thing you have defined in the end is that
*

*> friendliness is
*

*> recursive. This is not a definition either. It is
*

*> an implementation
*

*> method for encoding the process toward friendliness.
*

*> This is about as
*

*> useful as defining Bayes Theorem as being
*

*> mathematical notation. It
*

*> tells us how it is implemented or expressed, but
*

*> tells us nothing about
*

*> what you are implementing.
*

It does tell you something. I'm saying that the

mathematical function representing the Friendliness

program has the property that it is recursive.

*>
*

*> > Let Partial Friendly (PF) = finitely specified
*

*> > approximation to the Friendliness function.
*

*> >
*

*> > Omega Friendly (OF) = exact Friendliness
*

*> > function (uncomputable)
*

*> >
*

*> > PF must be a recursive function such that PF (PF)
*

*> > outputs PF’ which approaches OF as number of
*

*> > iterations approaches infinity.
*

*>
*

*> Assigning variables (or abbreviations) to terms
*

*> sounds like a lead into
*

*> a rigorous definition, like a mathematical formula
*

*> or technical
*

*> specification. But you fizzle off and don't
*

*> actually use these
*

*> abbreviations you define. They sound good, and look
*

*> rigorous, but
*

*> aren't actually used anything. This is about as
*

*> useful as padding a
*

*> glossary with technical words that aren't actually
*

*> used. It adds
*

*> nothing.
*

The terms are defining a particular kind of recursive

function. I'm assigning lablels to the particular

kind of recursive functions that I'm interested in -

namely the one's that approximate uncomputable

functions.

Remember, maths functions are equivalent to

computations.

So I'm actually labelling certain kinds of programs -

I'm giving a name to recursive programs that take in

particular other functions as input data and modify

them then give back the modified version as output.

*>
*

*> > Definition of Friendliness
*

*> >
*

*> > A computable 'Friendly' function (PF) is a
*

*> function
*

*> > which takes any finitely specified function
*

*> Partial x
*

*> > as input and modifies it such that the outputted
*

*> > function Partial x' is a better approximation to
*

*> Omega
*

*> > x. Successive output used as input for the next
*

*> > iteration has to cause Partial x' to converge on
*

*> Omega
*

*> > x as the number of iterations approaches infinity.
*

*>
*

*> This definition of "friendliness" merely says it is
*

*> will have a
*

*> recursive implementation. There is no definition
*

*> here. You have
*

*> described one attribute (recursiveness) of another
*

*> attribute
*

*> (friendliness) without defining that other
*

*> attribute. There is also no
*

*> measurement method of friendliness here, to
*

*> calculate how friendly we
*

*> are getting. Nor is there a test to define whether
*

*> we are friendly or
*

*> not.
*

*>
*

*> Any recursive function, such as factorial, would
*

*> seem to meet your
*

*> definition above. As such, it fails to define or
*

*> distinguish between
*

*> friendly and non-friendly items.
*

Not so! A recursive function such as factorial does

not have the property that it takes in the particular

kind of functions I labelled as input data, modifies

them, then outputs the improved version.

The functions operated on by my Friendliness function

were defined to be a very particular kind of function.

Let's why I used the labels I did previously. It is

those specific functions that I defined and labelled

previously that my Friendliness function operates on.

Go back to the definition I gave. I defined a

'Partial function' to be a finite function which is an

*approximation* to an uncomputable function.

Then I said that what Friendly fuctions do is take in

these Partial Functions as input data, modify them and

then output improved versions. My 'improved' I mean

that the outputted Partial function is a closer

approximation to the uncomputable function that the

Partial function was approximating.

If you don't think my statements make precise

mathematical sense please continue to explain why not.

=====

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**Next message:**Robin Lee Powell: "Re: My attempt at a general technical definition of 'Friendliness'"**Previous message:**Thomas Buckner: "Re: Technical definitions of FAI"**In reply to:**Harvey Newstrom: "Re: My attempt at a general technical definition of 'Friendliness'"**Messages sorted by:**[ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] [ attachment ]

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