Re: [sl4] Evolution, personality and altruism

From: Matt Mahoney (
Date: Mon Nov 24 2008 - 14:31:39 MST

--- On Mon, 11/24/08, Aaron Miller <> wrote:

> One important difference between evolution of AIs and "natural"
> organisms is the fact that natural organisms indefinitely die and
> -must- reproduce to actually continue, as a species or DNA sequence,
> to compete for resources. An AI can improve itself -without-
> reproducing, and can "live" indefinitely. In this context, the
> competition between invidual AI programs almost runs parallel to
> competition between entire species in the natural world.

The only important difference between reproduction and immortality is that your children don't inherit all your memories. This has become less important with the invention of written language, and will continue to do so as we offload our knowledge to the internet, and move to a society of pervasive surveillance where everything you say and do is recorded, public knowledge to facilitate the process.

This is a difficult concept because the distinction is given an artificial significance due to our biologically programmed fear of death. But if your memories were actually somebody else's, you wouldn't know the difference.

-- Matt Mahoney,

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