Re: DNA as a measure of brain complexity [WAS Re: ESSAY: Program length, Omega and Friendliness]

From: Philip Goetz (
Date: Fri Feb 24 2006 - 08:41:14 MST

On 2/24/06, Keith Henson <> wrote:

> If you don't have other information input, then a zygote is a NI (natural
> intelligence) seed. I can't think of an AI researcher in the world who
> would not be *delighted* with an AI that had the potential of a baby.
> If you look at it in this light, then the information content of a seed AI
> with human level potential should not be more than the information content
> of the human genome and is probably a good deal less.

This is irrefutable. The human baby contains some information in its
DNA, and some information in its other physical structure (the
apparatus that uses that DNA). The information in its physical
structure is isomorphic to the information in the physical structure
of a computer. The info in the DNA is isomorphic to the information
in the software. The relation the baby has to its environment is the
same as the relation the AI has to its environment. You could argue
about whether a distinct hardware-software line is valid, but there is
no getting around the fact that this thing is created with that much
information within it, dumped into the environment, and develops
intelligence. Unless you posit that there is an additional quantity of
information in its soul.

It's true that there are plants with ten times the DNA of a human.
The DNA estimate is an upper bound on an organism's complexity, not a
lower bound.

- Phil

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