AGI and Contact with "Reality"

From: Dimitry Volfson (
Date: Thu Feb 10 2005 - 07:51:22 MST

E.S. Yudkowsky wrote in LOGI: "Intelligence is an evolutionary advantage
because it enables us to model, predict, and manipulate reality."
"[O]ur intelligence allows us to model social realities consisting of
other humans, and the ability to predict and manipulate the internal
reality of the mind"

These presuppositions about reality are the usual ones. Reality is "out
there", and we can try to understand it and then to manipulate it - as if
it were an adaptable object. But reality exists not just "out there" --
we Co-Create at least some of our second-order-reality (2OR) -- and much
of our reality happens "in here".

Borrowing definitions from Paul Watzlawick:
First-Order Reality (1OR) - the topology of matter (whatever that means.)
Second-Order Reality (2OR) - our perceptions-of and thoughts-about 1OR
(and 2OR).

When we talk or write, we describe the surface of our cognitive maps; and
under the surface, presuppositional structure develops. When people's
presuppositional structures match; there is something sometimes called
"rapport" that develops, an experience of being on "common ground".
Rapport is a sense of ease of understanding and communication between
people; and since much of human reality is constructed and negotiated
between people, it is a valuable source of information and of the
co-creation of 2OR.

Backtracking momentarily: A presupposition is an assumption taken for
granted but not directly expressed in language (or behavior). In the
sentence "The cat sat on the table." -- some of the pressuppositions are:
cats exists, tables exists, cats can sit, tables can support cats, cats
can sit on tables. A less direct presupposition (perhaps an "implication"
or even a "co-location") is that: the table and cat are indoors in a
domicile. In order to understand language, we have to revive memories and
structures into some sort of mental workspace. Much of what is revived
are presuppositions and implications about.

And so, when the presuppositions of two persons match; then communication
is facilitated. For example, one person may accidentally revive memory of
a tiger (a cat), while the other revives the standard housecat -- when
revived presuppositions differ, misunderstandings develop. When revived
presuppositions are similar, communication is facilitated; and we often
call this "rapport". There is no need to constantly re-check the
truth-value of the information being communicated, because we have
concluded that the other person's cognitive map IS our cognitive map; of
whatever is under discussion. This is CONTACT with another person at the
level of minds - Contact with the reality between people.

This leads to what some hypnotists and people in (the other) NLP; call
pacing and leading. Tell someone several true things that match the other
person's cogntitive maps (pace); then say something you want them to
believe (lead). Since their need to re-check information has been damped
by pacing their presuppositional structures, you have a better chance of
redirecting and impacting upon their information store, their thought
process, their beliefs and attitudes. In other words, you can (more
easily) install presuppositions that will later be revived when the
associated context comes up for them (by first matching them at a
presuppositional level). Sometimes the installation or strengtheing of
presuppositions is called "learning".

Now, I don't know if an AGI will maintain hypervigilence of the
truth-value of information from all sources regardless of past value from
sources. But I do know that AGI will have to interact with humans (or
transhumans) if humans want it to solve the problems of humans. And we
will need to communicate what we want done. This will make it necessary
to co-create a new reality (new concepts) both in the AGI and in the
humans who interact with it.

To Summarize: We need "rapport" with any AGI's. Human reality has to be
communicated and a co-creation of human-to-AGI-to-human reality will have
to happen. Rapport is built on the (sense of) synchronization of
cognitive maps, common ground. Humans are mostly unaware of exactly what
is being synchronized when they communicate and co-create their
realities. Communication involves negotiation of 2OR.



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