Re: Is there evidence for, "Humans are going to create an AI," to be a probable hypothesis?

From: Kaj Sotala (
Date: Wed Oct 24 2007 - 07:48:06 MDT

On 10/24/07, William Pearson <> wrote:
> I can't currently get around the problem that we haven't had any
> instances of this happening. In a way we have had negative instances
> of some hypotheses involving AI, e.g. each planck time we don't create
> a realistic intelligence could be counted as evidence that we won't
> create one in the next planck second (and this hypothesis is very
> reliable, to date). And by induction it is not probable to create one
> in any planck time. And until we do create one, we shouldn't have a
> reason for increasing the probability of one being created, and we
> should be forever decreasing it.

You are using too narrow of a special case. Using the same reasoning,
we haven't had any instances of the world population being over 7
billion, so by induction it is not very probable that we will have a
population that high in any planck time.

Instead, look at the progress of science so far, and you'll see that
nearly without exception, physical phenomena have become more and more
understood as time has passed. The human brain is a physical
phenomenon, so it will become more understood in time. Things being
understood also allows them to be replicated and improved upon in a
mechanical format. If you apply induction to this, it becomes likely
that AI *will* be created, sooner or later. If you wish to suggest
otherwise, you need to show that the information-processing of the
brain is somehow a special exception from everything that science has
encountered so far, impossible to dechiper no matter how much science
advances. (This case, by the way, is badly supported by neuroscience.)

> Now my knowledge of bayesian decision theory is rusty, so it may well
> be that I am missing something or my analyses are faulty. Any pointers
> to things already written? And note I am looking for a body of data I
> could feed to a Bayesian classifier, so no general human type
> arguments for AI.

I'm unsure of what sort of evidence you are looking for, exactly, but
a while back I wrote an article arguing that AI is likely to be
developed during our lifetime via reverse-engineering of the brain. It
is admittedly no statistical argument, but I'm not sure why you'd want
to insist on statistical arguments only. It can be found at .

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