Un-importance of (Re: The Conjunction Fallacy Fallacy)

From: Olie Lamb (neomorphy@gmail.com)
Date: Mon Aug 28 2006 - 22:58:38 MDT

 Why focus on any particular cognitive bias?

Please correct me if any of the following are the slightest bit controversial:

1) All human brains have many cognitive biases

2) Human brains do not use Bayesian Reasoning (nb: 2 can be derived from 1)

3) Any _really_ powerful AI needs to avoid the same cognitive-bias
pitfalls as humans

4) A really-powerful-AI shall not live by Bayes alone (or, at least, a
Seed-AI can't)

5) Any would-be-powerful-AI is going to utilise some other decision
theory, at least in part.

If we're all very clear and in agreement about this, why is any
particular cognitive bias excruciatingly important?

A fair understanding of human decision making processes is good for
informing AI research, but I don't see the importance on getting hung
up on any particular aspect of the human brain.

ANALOGY: Plane designers should have a basic understanding of how
birds fly, and the aerodynamics of birds' bodies. However, for
aeroplane designers to bicker over the effects of turbulence effects
between feathers is /irrelevant/ to the task of designing an
aeroplane, even a mechanical wing-flapping-aeroplane. Birds aren't
perfectly aerodynamic. They could be improved. They are a good
example of how a flying machine can work, but aren't the only one.
Yes, designing a working AI is harder than designing a plane. My
point is that aeronautical engineers were not bird-biologists even
before the wright brothers.

So, fer crying out loud, don't read too much into any particular
cognitive bias. They are significant, but I doubt that any human
extent of cognitive-bias study will tell one how to build an AI.

-- Olie

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