Re: State of the SI's AI and FAI research

From: Slawomir Paliwoda (
Date: Tue Feb 15 2005 - 18:17:05 MST

> Slawomir Paliwoda wrote:
>> I'm curious about the amount of theoretical progress SI has made since
>> and LOGI in the areas of FAI and AI research.

> My thinking has changed dramatically. I just don't know how to measure
> that.

You can measure progress by examining your existing knowledge on the subject
and comparing it to an expected knowledge sufficient enough for you to say:
"Finally we can begin coding." If these two sets look more alike then
before, then I would call that a progress.

I know what you're thinking. How does one develop a sense of knowledge
complete enough to start the implementation if one doesn't know exactly what
that final theory looks like? As someone who has been developing AI theory
for some time now, perhaps your experience with incomplete theories that
later become complete has taught you a sense of what it takes to build
theoretical frameworks that are not only necessary, but also sufficient. My
hunch is you might know what it takes to get from today to the
finish/starting line. I might be wrong, but, since I'm not a mind reader, I
can't know what you know until you tell me.

> Progress is not the same as visible progress.

That's why I'm asking about the unpublished progress.

> Now that I have a better idea of what it means to understand something, I
> also understand a little better what it means to "explain" something, and
> it's clear that my earlier explanations failed - people did not apply or
> build on the knowledge.

I'm a bit worried about this because, it seems, you're not getting much help
on the theoretical front which might delay the implementation indefinitely,
thereby increasing existential risk. I'm disappointed in myself and others
that this or other special purpose list still hasn't morphed into mainly a
theory-extending forum for discussing technical topics directly related to
SeedAI and Friendliness. It's just that the knowledge requirements to
contribute anything relevant to the existing theory appear so high that
there's hardly anyone who can meet them.

> So now I try to explain simpler things at greater length, for that it is
> better to understand just one thing than to be confused by two dozen.


>> How far is SI currently from
>> the point at which its programmers can begin writing code?
> How on Earth am I supposed to know this?

By taking account of what you know vs. everything you need to know to write
code. If you're at the stage where you still don't know what you don't know
then, yes, your reaction is appropriate.

> I hope I am not to be penalized if, unlike other futurists, I know better
> than to make stuff up.

Well, at the very least you have the option of sending me your best
nonobligatory ass number (in whatever units you like) offlist so the
community won't hound you to death in case you don't make the predicted
deadline. :)


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:50 MDT