RE: FAI (aka 'Reality Hacking') - A list of all my proposed guesses (aka 'hacks')

From: Thomas Buckner (
Date: Fri Jan 28 2005 - 18:45:57 MST

--- Ben Goertzel <> wrote:

> > This is a substantive hypothesis. Here's why
> I disagree with it.
> >
> > Let I(P) = the best way to solve problem P
> given infinite computing power.
> >
> > Let L(P) = the best way to solve problem P
> given limited computing
> > power; for the sake of definiteness, say a
> nanotech supercomputer,
> > which is the most we can plausibly hope to
> get our hands on in the
> > foreseeable future.
> Sure, but let's introduce a different notation
> L(P,x) = the best way to solve P given
> computing power x
> We know that
> L(P,infinity) = AIXI or some variant
> L(P, human brain power) = something with no
> resemblance to AIXI
> It's really an open question what
> L(P, nanotech supercomputer) = ???
> Probably it will have aspects of AIXI and
> aspects of brain-ish architecture,
> and some entirely different aspects as well.
> > We have candidates for (or at least plausible
> steps in the direction
> > of) I(real life); AIXI et al. And we note
> that some formulations of
> > these do, as Marc conjectures, relate to
> Chaitin's omega. But as I
> > remarked in a previous discussion a little
> while ago, there are good
> > reasons AIXI is PDFware rather than running
> code.
> The mixture of references to Chaitin's omega
> number and Tipler's Omega Point
> is a bit confusing, no?
> -- Ben
I've read recently (and I'm sorry to say I can't
remember where) that researchers think the amount
of information processing that has gone on in the
universe is close to the theoretical maximum that
it could have done. If this pie cannot be
enlarged, it follows that all an AI can do is
'make the universe more efficient' by
reallocating much of the available energy/matter
to whatever information processing best serves
its supergoals. Assuming no net increase in the
info-processing overhead in this universe, it's
ultimately a zero-sum game.

Four or five years ago, I was *very* interested
in the Tipler version of the Omega Point (recall
that it was Teilhard de Chardin who coined the

However, as I have previously noted, our Hubble
volume is flat and expanding. The
controlled-collapse free lunch is *out*. I take
no pleasure in saying this. Some other free lunch
may yet be discovered, and that wouldn't surprise
me either, but right now there's no truly
infinite source of time, matter, energy,
processing power, or even candy corn. That we
know of.

What does this tell me in terms of 'moving toward
the Omega Point'? That this goal is worthy, but
it can comfortably stay on the back-burner, for a
billion years. The universe will still be
youngish. More pressing by far is preserving the
human race in good condition until further
notice. It may be that the Omega Point as Tipler
speaks of it (infinite processing for
subjectively infinite time without eternal-return
loops, without a heat death, for ever and ever)
is simply not possible.

Since the Tipler Omega Point is a pig-in-a-poke,
a promissory note with no collateral, it must not
be an excuse for shorter-term UnFriendliness.

And perhaps it will be found to be possible. But
if it is, it's not a problem for today.

If Marc Geddes means some weaker version of Omega
Point, let's say 'vast info-processing and a
digital Heaven for all possible humans living and
dead, until the energy runs out and we all die
again' then this is not a bad plan, but
Collective Volition might have other ideas
(especially if all possible humans is too much
for the vast but not truly infinite processing

Tom Buckner

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