Re: [agi] What best evidence for fast AI?

From: Thomas McCabe (
Date: Sat Nov 10 2007 - 13:14:55 MST

The human brain contains a hundred billion neurons and a hundred
trillion synapses. It is more complicated than any other system we
have studied. Why anyone would think of it as simple- "just a Simple
Matter of Programming"- is quite beyond me. For a quick overview of
the huge volume of published material on the human brain, see MITECS.
It's over a thousand pages long for a reason. Also see on physics envy.

 - Tom

On Nov 10, 2007 11:12 AM, Joshua Fox <> wrote:
> > So I am here to ask: where are the best analyses arguing the case for
> > rapid (non-emulation) AI progress?
> Some answers examine the progress of engineering and suggest that AGI will
> probably come at a certain date -- soon -- just as the telephone and the
> airplane seemed fated to emerge when they did: there were multiple inventors
> racing for the finish line.
> There is some justice in that, but another approach is this: All that
> remains on the road to AGI is figuring out how intelligence works. Some
> researcher(s) will do so. We don't know when, but it is fundamentally a
> mathematical/philosophical advance rather than a nitty-gritty understanding
> of the quirks of a biological systems. The implementation is just a Simple
> Matter of Programming.
> The understanding could be achieved by one genius with a brain-flash, or by
> a community making progress together. We can compare the breakthroughs of
> Wiles and Perlman, which depended on a series of mathematical developments,
> yet could not be predicted like the progress of some engineering project
> (not that those are too predictable).
> This is different from, e.g., reaching Alpha Centauri, which would require
> solving more than one engineering problem (despite the good work of
> pioneering researchers who have laid out advance plans) and enormous
> economic resources. It is also different from time travel or teleportation
> which would require re-defining laws of physics (despite some speculative
> thought in these directions). Indeed, I'd say that it's different from life
> extension, which requires understanding multiple biological systems and
> engineering a well-balanced fix to certain problems.
> Joshua

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