Re: Fundamental problems

From: Mitchell Porter (
Date: Tue Feb 28 2006 - 21:26:45 MST

As it is apparently unsafe to discuss the theory of self-enhancement
in public, I'd like to suggest the following topic: how to make AIXI
(or AIXItl, or Schmidhuber's Godel machine) Friendly. AIXItl, if Hutter
is correct, is an optimal general problem solver, but it is massively slow.
There would appear to be no prospect of anyone attaching an
UnFriendly supergoal to an AIXI engine and creating a threat. But
solving the problem of "FAIXI" could be good practice.

Skipping a lot of other stuff that I'm still thinking about - Eliezer said:

>>The aim should always be, to turn all of these into
>>well-posed problems of theoretical computer science, just
>>as well-posed as, say, "Is P equal to NP?"
>On ordinary computers or quantum ones? For our current model of physics or
>actual physics?

I agree with the computer scientist Scott Aaronson that this is
basically a question of mathematics, not of physics. By definition,
it's about whether P and NP are the same *for a Turing machine*.
If you're in a universe with super-Turing computational primitives,
what you can do in polynomial *physical* time may be different,
but for conceptual clarity, I'd prefer to keep the theory of
computational complexity distinct from the contingencies
of physics.

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