Re: drives ABC > XYZ

From: Phil Goetz (
Date: Tue Aug 30 2005 - 13:44:08 MDT

--- Michael Vassar <> wrote:

> Drives in a human mind
> may be agent-like and "conspire". Criteria in an optimization do not
> do this.

Substitute "cooperate" or "interact" for "conspire".

> Three discrete top-level goals might easily interact in such a
> manner as to alter or remove one-another, but they should not
> ever generate novel top-level goals, only sub-goals.

That's a design decision. We have already supposed that the
organism has write access to its top-level goals, thus
violating that design decision.

> In so far as the meme complex is a semantic
> web, it cannot even directly interface with the perceptions
> which it is referring to,

This statement combines two large assumptions - that the meme
complex "is" a semantic web, and that a semantic network can't
"directly" interface with perceptions. My belief, as expressed
in my 2000 Cognitive Science paper "A neuronal basis for the
fan effect", is that the nodes in semantic networks can and
probably should actually be recalled, content-addressable memories
stored in networks. One of the reasons for doing this is so
that they can interface with perceptions. (In fact, the inability
of symbolic AI to interface with perception is one of the main
motivating factors for adding a subsymbolic level.)

> This topic
> and others are covered rather well in Coding a Friendly AI. There
> have been
> subsequent advances in Friendlyness theory, but this document is the
> basic introductory text. It is extremely unlikely that someone
> who doesn't understand it will be prepared to contribute
> insights into AI safety.

That's a diplomatic way of putting it. I'll take the hint. :)
The use of the term "friendliness" has fooled many of us into
thinking that we know what we're talking about, when others on
the list apparently have a technical definition in mind.

- Phil

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