RE: Is complex emergence necessary for intelligence under limited resources?

From: H C (
Date: Mon Sep 19 2005 - 10:42:33 MDT

What is the difference between something that is "an unpredictable emergent
phenomena" and something that is "random"

Either one can be a part of a "complex system" -- and could also be part of
any "complex emergent system" or a "dynamic complex emergent system". It
seems to me that the only difference between the two arguments is that one
is saying that in order for intelligence to be tractable some random
variable must be used.

To say that Friendliness is mathematically unlikely to be verified only
means that there is "some random variable" which can either cause the
intelligent system to be Friendly or not- and that it is unlikely that we
can determine the Friendliness of the system because there is randomness in
the system. If there is no randomness in the system, then
Friendliness-verification isn't a question of probability, but of motivation
to actually verify it.

I think it's a valid argument to say that randomness is necessary for
tractability (although randomness would definitely be sub-optimal as
compared to determinism), however I think it would be presumptous to say
that intelligence requires randomness just because intelligent systems are
really complex and confusing.

complex != random
emergent + complex != random
emergent + complex + dynamic != random

actually, ONLY:
random = random


>From: "Ben Goertzel" <>
>To: <>
>Subject: Is complex emergence necessary for intelligence under limited
>Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 10:54:21 -0400
> > The answers that others offer to your questions are, pretty much: no
> > you cannot really avoid complex systems, and mathematical verification
> > of their friendliness is the very last thing you would be able to do.
> > The main defining characteristic of complex systems is that such
> > mathematical verification is out of reach.
>There is no question that human mind/brain is a complex system which
>achieves its intelligence via emergence, self-organization, strange
>attractors, terminal attractors, and all that great stuff....
>And there is little question that emergence-based intelligence is
>intrinsically very difficult to predict and control with a high
>degree of reliability, thus rendering verified Friendliness an
>unlikely outcome.
>However, these observations don't tell you much about whether it's
>possible to use digital computers to create an intelligence that
>DOESN'T rely critically on the emergent phenomena typically
>associated with biological complex dynamical systems.
>Semi-similarly, the human mind/brain probably uses complex emergent
>phenomena to add 2+2 and get 4, but, a calculator doesn't, and a
>calculator does a better job of arithmetic anyway.
>One may argue that flexible, creative intelligence is fundamentally
>different than arithmetic, and is not achievable within limited
>computational resources except via complex, unpredictable emergent
>dynamics. In fact I strongly SUSPECT this is true, but I haven't SHOWN
>that it's true in a convincing way, and I'm not 100% convinced
>it's true.
>If you have a strong argument why this contention is true, I'd be
>very eager to hear it.
>On the other hand, some others seems pretty sure that the opposite is true,
>and that it IS possible to achieve powerful intelligence under
>limited resources without requiring unpredictable emergent phenomena.
>However, I haven't seen any strong arguments in this direction either.
>-- Ben Goertzel

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:52 MDT