RE: Designing AGI

From: Michael Wilson (
Date: Tue Oct 25 2005 - 19:05:05 MDT

Ben Goertzel wrote:
> I think that the emergent adult knowledge structures and the learning
> mechanisms need to be considered together.

I agree, but you also need to add 'inference mechanisms' and 'goal
system'. Even if you've got a working learning mechanism building
descriptive representations, that's still not enough for AGI unless
those representations can be processed efficiently by an inferential
search mechanism that can produce well-calibrated, nonobvious and
goal-relevant predictions. Representations are also critical to
accurately defining goals, and if you surrender the ability to specify
representational structure and/or allow them to be mutated in an
unknown, uncontrolled fashion by learning mechanisms, the design will
be incompatible with FAI (or any narrow, purposeful application). I'm
sure you're well aware of the former point Ben (and maybe the later
one), I'm just making this clear for other readers.

Beyond that there's planning, tractable sensory processing, final
stage action generation, realtime processing, reflection and numerous
other required cognitive competencies. These things need to be
addressed in a design, and will not just 'emerge' given a mechanism
for learning representations, but they're not quite as critical and
interlinked as the four problems identified abouve.

> Thinking only about the learning mechanism and not about the final emergent
> structures is not going to get you to AGI very quickly. Nor is thinking
> only about the final emergent structures and not about the learning
> mechanisms. In short, both traditional cog sci and complex systems
> thinking are needed, and need to be carefully coordinated.

I disagree with this because I don't think you need 'Complex systems'
theory to describe a functional learning system. I did at one time, but
that was before I knew how to make normative reasoning tractable. I'm
sure my views on 'emergence' in AGI are pretty clear by now.

> Finding learning mechanisms that will generate "anything stable" is
> exactly as useless for AI as finding knowledge representations
> divorced from learning mechanisms.

But I do agree with this point.

> We can let different learning mechanisms generate adult systems NOW,
> it just takes a long time and a lot of work.

Though of couse generating a whole system from scratch (i.e. by
evolutionary methods) is a different task from just generating

 * Michael Wilson

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