Re: Complexity tells us to maybe not fear UFAI

From: Mikko Särelä (
Date: Thu Aug 25 2005 - 15:21:32 MDT

On Thu, 25 Aug 2005, Phil Goetz wrote:
> Mikko Särelä <> wrote:
> > And you are assuming that many of the problems the AGI needs to solve
> > have computationally tractable solutions. This makes the problem P=NP?
> > highly relevant to such hypothetical situation.
> (I think the latest "you" also refers to me?)

Naw, the you up there was meant as a passive for all those who believe in
hard take-off due to hardware capacity going to near infinity in a short
period of time.
> > If P=NP and the AGI is the first to discover this, then he will be
> > able to do things a lot faster than otherwise would be expected. Also
> > if the truly interesting problems have good polynomial (or rather
> > linear, or sublinear) approximation algorithms, then taking away
> > computational power does not really help that much.
> This is a point worth making. I don't think it ultimately
> matters, unless P = NP.

Yep, though many NP-hard problems do have good polynomial approximation
algorithms (and then some don't and never will unless P=NP).
> Am I willing to bet the future of humanity that P = NP?
> I'm confident enough that P != NP to consider the expected
> benefits of the gamble.

My own belief on the matter is also that P != NP, but we must consider all
possibilities in order to understand the choices.

Mikko Särelä
    "I find that good security people are D&D players"
        - Bruce Schneier

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