Re: What best evidence for fast AI?

From: Peter C. McCluskey (
Date: Mon Nov 12 2007 - 13:10:11 MST (Eliezer S. Yudkowsky) writes:
>I would begin by asking if there was ever, in the whole history of
>technology, a single case where someone *first* duplicated a desirable
>effect by emulating biology at a lower level of organization, without
>understanding the principles of that effect's production from that low

 Here are a few innovations that happened in a way that resembles uploading
more than it resembles designing AI based on the principles of intelligence:
 - producing carrots and strawberries that are an order of magnitude
larger than their wild ancestors. This process appears to have used methods
of evolution before evolution was understood. Alternatives such as writing
new genomes from scratch or telling a molecular assembler where to put the
atoms still look hard.
 - aspirin was created by tweaking an herbal medicine before we began to
understand how pain surpression works.
 - inoculation as a means of reducing smallpox deaths appears to have
started about two millenia before there was a clear understanding of
how it works.
 - molecular modeling via force fields is mostly based on low level
emulation of the behavior of specific bond types. A much more accurate
and much more general theory of chemistry was available before those
force fields were developed, but that general theory of quantum chemistry
is intractable for many problems unless you use a quantum computer.

>The notion of whole-brain emulation *which preserves intelligence's
>mysteriousness* seems to me a device to preserve the future's
>nonabsurdity - to avoid violating the invariant "Intelligence is
>mysterious" in a futuristic prediction. But the future is always absurd.

 It's not obvious whether brain emulation would preserve the mysteriousness
of intelligence.

Peter McCluskey         | The road to hell is paved with overconfidence| in your good intentions. - Stuart Armstrong

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