answers I'd like from an SI

From: Wei Dai (
Date: Sat Nov 10 2007 - 07:26:45 MST

One of the things I'd like most from a friendly SI is answers to certain
questions. If I meet an SI and it can't answer these questions or at least
explain why they can't be answered, I would be really disappointed. But it's
hard to imagine how an optimization process can answer them (unless the
answers are programmed into it, or it's doing something like "search for the
string that maximizes intellectual satisfaction for the questioner"), which
makes me think that intelligence != optimization process. Does anyone have a

Here are my questions:

How does math really work? Why do we believe that P!=NP even though we don't
have a proof one way or the other?

How does induction really work? Why do we intuitively know that, contra
Solomonoff Induction, we shouldn't believe in the non-existence of
halting-problem oracles no matter what evidence we may see?

Is there such a thing as absolute complexity (as opposed to complexity
relative to a Turing machine or some other construct)?

How does qualia work? Why do certain patterns of neuron firings translate
into sensations of pain, and other patterns into pleasure?

How does morality work? If I take a deterministic program that simulates a
neuron firing pattern that represents pleasure, and run it twice, is that
twice as good as running it once? Or good at all?

Why am I me, and not one of the billions of other people on Earth, or one of
the many people in other parts of the multiverse?

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