Re: Please Re-read CAFAI

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Tue Dec 13 2005 - 20:27:45 MST

On 12/13/05, Michael Vassar <> wrote:
> Some posters seem to be very seriously unaware of what was said in CAFAI,
> but having read and understood it should be a prerequisite to posting here.
> My complaints
> Friendly AIs are explicitly NOT prevented from messing with their
> source-code or with their goal systems. However, they act according to
> decision theory.

Regarding decision theory, check out

Neural Systems Responding to Degrees of Uncertainty in Human Decision-Making

Ming Hsu, Meghana Bhatt, Ralph Adolphs, Daniel Tranel, and Colin F.

Science 9 December 2005: 1680-1683

Much is known about how people make decisions under varying levels of
probability (risk). Less is known about the neural basis of
decision-making when probabilities are uncertain because of missing
information (ambiguity). In decision theory, ambiguity about
probabilities should not affect choices. Using functional brain
imaging, we show that the level of ambiguity in choices correlates
positively with activation in the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex,
and negatively with a striatal system. Moreover, striatal activity
correlates positively with expected reward. Neurological subjects with
orbitofrontal lesions were insensitive to the level of ambiguity and
risk in behavioral choices. These data suggest a general neural
circuit responding to degrees of uncertainty, contrary to decision

Of course, these results contradict aspects of traditional statistical
decision theory, but they don't contradict mathematical probability
theory in general -- just some particular, conventional ways of using
it to study decisions. The way probability theory is used in
Novamente, and the way it's used by imprecise-probabilities-theorists
like Peter Walley, is actually somewhat validated by these findings.

The article can be obtained (for money) at

and some related journalistic discussion is at

-- Ben Goertzel

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