RE: A short note on intuition (slightly lengthened)

From: pdugan (
Date: Sat Jul 23 2005 - 10:59:33 MDT

>I was pointing out that there has to be a way to
>translate between these two types of languages, and
>suggested that Friendliness naturally falls out as a
>logical consequence of the fact that you *can*
>translate between the two levels of organzation ie
>Intelligence imples Friendliness and visa versa i.e
>Objective Morality.

  Ah, well that sounds like something testable, albiet requiring a full FAI
theory. However, what if objective morality is real, but it turns out to
something of a tangled loop, such as "Objective Morality is fulfilled for
every individual mind which experiences a subjective sensation of fulfilling
their own personal morality", or if the correlation between logic and agency
proves to be more tenous than a mere bottum to top correlation, then the
consciousness of an FAI, no matter how powerful, would still be considerably
subjective. If this subjective "hard problem" of consciousness persists even
in a superintelligence, its reasonable to assume the possiblity that a full
theory of FAI is unattainable, perhaps along the same lines as a complete
panuniversal TOE, or an Objective Morality. But you've made your case, and I
think its one of the most important questions one can ask, however assuming
its truth a priori tends to ignore serious risks of Objective Morality being
less Friendly than we'd like, ect.

   I have a wild conjecture regarding what Objective Morality might be, did
something resembling it prove to exist. What if Objective Morality were a
system of heuristics embedded into an ultracomputing substrate governing a set
of universes, perhaps an infinite though not total set, put into place by an
intelligence so powerful that a mind merely billions of times smarter than us
would seem like an amoeba to it. This is as far out and awe inspiring to a
religionist as it is frightening to a humanist. Were controls like this to
exist there is no assurance our goals would have a place in them, or that an
AGI seeking them out would experienced enchance Friendliness, or that these
controls reflected a truly Objective Morality of a truly objective God
(presumably infinite, rather than a "Wizard of Oz" merely 3^^^^^7 times more
intelligent than us). The only assurance would be that these moral controls
would be something extremely powerful and discrete, and that they would have
to be negotiated with, particularily in the worst case scenarios.

>Just to clarify, I also don't think there's anything
>mystical about intelligence or consciousness. I think
>consciousness is entirely dependent on physical
>proccesses and that intelligence is completely
>computational. No mysticism required.

   Fair enough. But what if Friendliness isn't directly emergent from
intelligence, but rather dependant on design, useful yet compassionate
meta-hueristics, or something even more elusive that General Intelligence does
not embody a priori? If General Intelligence depends of qualia, as you
suggest, then that "something" is included in General Intelligence, hopefully.
Engineering that is a huge challenge, however, and assuming it without a
complete thoery of qualia probably strikes many on this list as
counter-productive. Then again, Einstien's first few papers were flamed and
rejected for accusedly sweeping hard problems like "Ether dynamics" under the

   Now, to keep the subject line honest, some words on intuition. We don't
know how intuition works in the brain, yet, but we can glean from studying the
numerology of myth and literature that it often produces outcomes sculpted by
subconscious hueristics which assert correlations between symbols without
stipulating a causal correlation. For instance, why suggest there be 7
Knowledge Domains? Why not 8? Its nothing proven that there can only be seven,
but the number does intiutively strike most as more elegant, perhaps holy. Or
above, when I described the intelligence of the "Oz" entity behind a
theoretical Objective Morality, I wrote three to the five times nested power
of seven. Three, five, and seven are all very significant numbers in
occultism, wicca, Christianity; not to mention the second, third, and fourth
prime numbers. Coincidence? Exactly a coincedence. I had no conscious thought
of those number's ontological signifigance when I wrote down that ridiculously
large value, but somehow they emerged from my memeome as they did, like magic.
Intuition is a powerful cognitive technology of human wetware, perhaps
indistinguishable from magic to some, but its probably more similar to a
powerfully selective, heuristic driven evolutionary algorithm in our brains
than any mystic insight to the "Objective". Everybody, for Marc to Eliezer,
would benifit from an introspective self-diagnostic regarding their
subconscious influences.

   The dead horse has now been turned into glue, thank you for your time.


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